Artist-in-Residence

Will Sears

Will Sears was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1987, where he spent his formative years until going on to study painting at Syracuse University. He now lives and works in Portland, Maine where he splits his time between sign painting and fine art. Sears works primarily in assemblage, drawing upon the rich tradition of Maine assemblage artists such as Louise Nevelson and Bernard Langlais. His work utilizes imagery of hand-painted typography and abstract geometry. By cropping and rearranging the painted words, the viewer’s focus shifts from the associated message of words to the physical composition of the letters as form. Sears carefully selects materials for their meaning, using found wood and ephemera of daily life. Often the artwork samples a variety of unique cultural aesthetics, most commonly focusing on Americana.

Sears uses the visual chaos of deconstructed and rearranged signage, found materials, and painted elements to comment of the overwhelming nature of contemporary visual culture. His thoughtful compositions and restrained color palette are evidence of his desire to break up the daily barrage of sensory input and find beauty in the outcome.

Sears’ work is held in multiple private collections around the US, and he has shown nationally. He attended the Quimby Colony residence in Maine in 2010, and most recently the Hewnoaks residency, in 2014 and again in 2016. Sears received an Individual Artist grant through The Maine Arts Commission as well as a grant from the Warhol Foundation in early 2015 to start a mural initiative with his partner, Tessa Greene O’Brien, in Portland, Maine.