News Feature

Originally published in Compass, July 17, 2014
Opera House plans screenings of Jon Imber’s Left Hand

Artists Jill Hoy and John Imber

Painters Jill Hoy and Jon Imber. Imber, who died earlier this year, is profiled in the Maine Masters series “John Imber’s Left Hand,” to premier at the Opera House on July 22 at 6 and 8 p.m. in Stonington, Maine.

Photo courtesy of Opera House Arts

Opera House Arts will host two screenings—at 6 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22—of the newest film in the Maine Masters series by Sedgwick director Richard Kane: Jon Imber’s Left Hand. This documentary about Imber and his wife, painter Jill Hoy, is also a film about ALS, the degenerative disease with which Imber was diagnosed in 2012, and the artistic process, according to a news release from Opera House Arts.

“The film exudes the artist’s credo,” wrote Daniel Kany in the Portland Press Herald. “To paint is to live.”

The film focuses heavily on Imber and Hoy’s summer of 2013 in Stonington, when Imber painted more than 100 portraits of friends and acquaintances who stopped by his studio daily. During this period, he lost the use of his right hand and began painting with his left, throwing off, as Hoy notes, “what was easy about painting…It was a struggle, but he conquered it and that brought its own sense of surprise and profundity.” While he becomes more and more a prisoner of his failing body, he leans increasingly on Hoy and the friends who surrounded him.

There will be a Talk Back after the 8 p.m. screening. Tickets are available in advance at