Michael J. Smith
Michael E. Vermette
A strong attachment to the art of an earlier Monhegan artist, James Fitzgerald (1899-1971) first drew Michael Vermette to the island.
“My residency on Monhegan became a time of deep spiritual connection to the painter in me. In the years leading up to the residency I became a close friend with Ann Hubert, the sole heir of the James Fitzgerald estate…The idea of the residency was to field test what Ann and I believed to be Fitzgerald’s methods of painting and work ethic . . . The residency was a divine life-changing appointment. I came to Monhegan Island as an artist-teacher, but left a painter, and that will stay with me all of my life.”
A 1980 graduate of the Portland School of Art (now the Maine College of Art), Vermette was the first art teacher at the Indian Island School on the Penobscot Reservation and he has taught workshops through MECA at the Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps in Millinocket.