Philip Frey was born in Maine in 1967, graduated with a degree in painting from Syracuse University in 1990 and has studied with artist Alan Bray. He lives Sullivan, Maine and paints in a secluded studio surrounded by mature maples and regal cedars. All of Philip’s bodies work reveal an enduring kinship to the state and his environment. His painting interests focus on rural and urban landscape, the figure and interior spaces as well as a recent abstract collection. Influenced by his devotion to hiking and the plein air tradition, Mr. Frey works outside in the warmer months and has a vigorous studio practice during the long Maine winters. Philip’s paintings are represented by Carver Hill Gallery, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Edgewater Gallery and Maine Art Gallery.

In 2016, the University of Maine Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of his work that offered selections from his landscape, figural, interior, cityscape and abstract bodies of work. Philip's paintings are now part of the permanent collection of the museum.



My work begins with a feeling, a connection to my everyday experiences: evocative color; unexpected light; or a fleeting gesture. Perceptions are the inspiration, but the act of painting is the real juice behind my work. I do not attempt to capture a moment or a scene, rather I work with the inspiration as a means to experience the present.

My stock-in-trade are formal elements—deliberate quick, or slow, brushstrokes, color dynamics, spatial relationships, and the surface qualities of the paint. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, however, when a painting is going well, there is an unexplainable feeling of being in the groove, an experience of being present and aware of the process. Many artists, writers, musicians, and athletes experience this state of being, where one is not overtly thinking about what came before, or what is to come. Essentially, in those carefree moments, there is ‘no painter’ and ‘no painting.’ Yet, wondrously, a painting comes forth.

In that way, I have no agenda, nothing I want to tell the viewer, or make them see, other than the joyful process and its ripened fruit. As the painter, Fairfield Porter suggests, “by the process of painting . . . the person who looks at it gets it vicariously.”

My process and paintings are focused on evoking the essence of my experiences in an abstract realist manner.There are definitely specific formal concerns and many artistic influences spanning a lifetime, but I choose not to say too much about those, lest I spoil the mystery and magic.

Curriculum Vitae


BFA (Painting) Cum Laude, Syracuse University, NY, 1990
Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, 1986-1988


Solo & Two Person Exhibitions

Carver Hill Gallery, Frey & Lafuente, Rockland, ME, 2017
University of Maine Museum of Art, Parallels, Bangor, ME, 2016
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Unexpected Light, Ellsworth, ME, 2016
Maine Art Paintings & Sculpture, Recent Work, Kennebunk, ME, 2015
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, In the Moment, Ellsworth, ME, 2014
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Island Portrait, Ellsworth, ME, 2013
Gleason Fine Art, New Work, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2012
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, New Work, Ellsworth, ME, 2011
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Maine Harbors, Ellsworth, ME, 2009
Maine Art Paintings & Sculpture, Philip Frey & Stephan Pastuhov, Kennebunk, ME, 2009
Thos. Moser, Luminous Maine: Reflections of Coastal Life, Freeport, ME, 2008
Shaw Jewelry, Interiors/Exteriors: Frey & Banquer, Northeast Harbor, ME, 2006


Selected Group & Juried Exhibitions

Edgewater Gallery, Middlebury, VT, 2017
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Ellsworth, ME, 2006-2017
Greenhut Galleries, Portland, ME, 2001-2004, '14, '16, '17
Maine Art Gallery, Kennebunk, ME, 2008-2017
Penobscot Marine Museum (Curated by Carl Little), Searsport, ME, 2004, '09, '16
Bert Gallery, Providence, RI, 2014
Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2010-2015
Lyme Art Association, Old Lyme, CT, 2011
The Firehouse Gallery, Damariscotta, ME, 2003-2009
Shaw Jewelry, Northeast Harbor, ME, 2001-2008
Élan Fine Art, Rockport, ME, 2007
George Marshall Store Gallery, ME, 2006
Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA, 2003
Clark House Gallery, Bangor, ME, 1998-2001
Argosy Gallery, Bar Harbor, ME, 1997-2000
McGrath Dunham Gallery, Castine, ME, 1996-2000
Between the Muse Gallery, Rockland, ME, 1997
Spring Street Gallery, Belfast, ME, 1997
June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Portland, ME, 1996
Frick Gallery, Belfast, ME, 1994



University of Maine Museum of Art, ME
Harlan Coben, Author. NJ
Susan and Rod Ward, Great Cranberry, ME
Rep. Chellie Pingree and Donald Sussman, North Haven, ME
Frederick Hauck and Susan Bruce, Falmouth, ME
George and Susan Schreiber, Naples, FL
Louis Vitali, Kennebunkport, ME
Neil Shister and Cait Clarke, Washington, DC
Peter and Suzy Kunhardt, NY
Acorn Capitol Management, Kennet Square, PA
Company C, Concord, NH
Dick Wolf, Dick Wolf Films. Universal City, CA



Castine Plein Air Festival, First Place Award, 2014
Heliker-LaHotan Foundation Residency Fellow, Great Cranberry Island, ME 2012
Good Idea Grant, Maine Arts Commission, Augusta, ME 2004



Mindful of every brush stroke, Maine painter Philip Frey finds solace in landscape, Emily Burnham. Bangor Daily News, 2016
Little, Carl, and David Little. Art of Acadia. Down East Books, 2016.
Kany, Daniel. “Greenhut’s Biennial ‘Portland Show’ Sets a Standard.” Portland Press Herald, 2016.
Kinghorn, George. "Regionalism and Contemporary Artists in Maine: Opportunities and Challenges.” Maine Policy Review 24.1, 2015.
Kadour, Ric Kasini. "Lavish Attention." exhibition catalog, Maine Art Gallery, 2015.
Little, Carl. "In the Moment.” Art New England, 2014.
Kany, Daniel. “The Cultural Space of Painting.” exhibition catalog, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, 2014.
Gettysburg Review, Fall 2012.
Little, Carl. “Fresh Ways.” exhibition catalog, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, 2011.
McAvoy, Suzette, “The Canvas.” Maine Home+Design, 2010.
Maine Home+Design, “One’s to Watch.” 2009.
Maine Home+Design, “Extraordinary Artists Whose Work Reflects Maine’s Timeless Mystique.” 2008.
Little, Carl and Arnold Skolnick. Paintings of Maine: A New Collection. Down East Books, 2006.
Little, Carl and Arnold Skolnick. The Art of Monhegan Island. Down East Books, 2004.


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