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(NECN: Marnie MacLean, Portland, Maine) - Maine artists often find inspiration from the state's natural beauty. For some, that translates into a lot of paintings of lighthouses and rocky coastline. The new biennial show at the Portland Museum of Art shows Maine artists also have a strong presence in contemporary art. The new biennial exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art requires the visitor to look beyond the conventional view. Artists had two weeks to fill the space given to them by the museum. Sean Foley used his time to create menace. "There's this dramatic wall painting on the wall goes up to a component of Looney Toons inspired eyeballs." Curator Sage lewis says the piece was inspired by animation, designed to create an imaginative frenzy. It is one of just 29 works in the show, chosen from over 970 entries -- artists who have a connection to Maine. Jurors who picked the pieces felt fewer works would have a greater impact. "The exhibition allows the viewer to engage with the work in a more intimate way than if we had 100 works in the show." Intimate is exactly how it feels when you enter the hermit house built board by board by artist Ethan Hayes-Chute. Using all found materials, he makes you feel like you are stumbling upon the private life of a man who lives in the woods and has left for just a moment. For some visitors, the installation evokes strong memories. "Brought me back to grandparents and parents and camping and childhood things -- things that bring back vivid, vivid memories." There's even an outhouse --- with a bit more realism than we're willing to show. The exhibit has works ranging from paintings on canvas, to video pieces....sculptures with sound....and works that can engage even the youngest visitors. "I think they pop out at you." Each biennial the museum purchases some works for its permanent collection..this year chose three paintings from a 79-year-old artist who draws inspiration from a dump in Sedgewick, Maine. Mary Aro says she is intrigued by these still lifes created unintentionally by workers at the dump. Both the smaller pieces and larger installations are far from the stereotypical Maine landscape paintings. "I would hope this exhibition shows them that Maine artists are players in the larger contemporary art scene."