As things grow and change around Maine Art, we are happy to welcome one of Kennebunk’s own into our family. Ingunn Milla Joergensen lives here in town and has found a special place in the community we all love dearly. Even though she is was not born here, she has chosen Maine to call home, or maybe it is more like Maine chose her.
“Growing up in the southern parts of Norway, I was that child who always spent time creating something, that is if I wasn’t wandering around in the woods picking wildflowers,” Ingunn shares. “I remember waking up thinking, ‘Today I will make a Masterpiece, unlike anything anyone has ever seen’ Then I’d venture off to my granddad’s wood workshop next door to hunt for treasures to use.”
All through her childhood and school, she was allowed to explore and create. “I am still grateful for all those teachers who let me go on with my ideas,” she remembers. “Frequently they were things other than what we were assigned to do. Maybe that is why I later became an art teacher myself.”
For many years Ingunn enjoyed teaching her students and still painting when she had the moments to steal. Then, ten years ago, she moved to Maine.
“What was supposed to be a two-year stay has now – a house, a huge garden, another dog and numerous chickens later – become more permanent.” For Ingunn, she was finally in a place where she could focus solely on her own work. “Quickly, I fell deeply in love with the place and it’s kind and friendly people,” she shares. “Each a little rugged, very resilient and so authentic.”
The beauty of the Maine landscape, the constantly changing elements, and the ocean are a never-ending source of inspiration for all of Joergensen’s art and design work. “It is the little things that catch my attention, a piece, a fragment, a texture, a thought, a word. Sometimes taking it all in is so much, it is almost overwhelming,” Igunn shares. “One little shell tells the story of the ocean. A piece of wood tells the story of lived life. Beauty is found in the most unexpected places.”
Joergensen has met and worked with many inspiring and talented people. Her road trips around the state in search of beautiful barns to paint has led her to the most interesting conversations. She tells the story of an older gentleman and his beautiful old horse farm
“Windows were broken, roofs were sagging, and he was having a hard time keeping up. The barn swallows were cheerfully flying around while rays of sunshine were streaming through the ceilings. He still had a few retired horses and a great deal of evidence of a proud life well lived. We spent hours chatting,” says Ingunn. “A few weeks later, I returned with an invitation to my show. He saw his barn on the cover of the invitation and started to cry.”
This and so many similar stories are what make Joergensen grateful to live and paint in Maine, yet her gratitude does not end there. She has a deep gratitude, profound thankfulness, and great humility, not only when it comes to her ability to paint, but also that paintings have found their “forever homes.” All across the United States, from San Diego to Seattle from Florida to Maine, Ingunn Joergensen’s work can found. She may be lucky to have this life, but her talent and hard work have brought her to the place she is now.
Joergensen’s work will be debuted in the 7th Annual Choice Show beginning on June 9 at Shows on Maine Art Hill. Gain a sneak peek on May 1 when voting begins.