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Peter Bethanis / Award Winning Poet, Writer and Artist
Peter Bethanis was born in 1964 and raised in rural Maine. He took a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine and he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts. As a boy, his interest in nature, coupled with the woods and sea in Maine, provided ample subject matter for his early sketches. He became interested in art, when his father, an architect and artist, opened a gallery in Readfield, Maine, and Peter was introduced to a variety of works by local and national artists. As a boy, he sketched the Maine coastline in pencil and charcoal, and did pastels of the woods, streams, and barns by his boyhood home. 

Bethanis' early art was interrupted by an interest in writing, and he wrote poems and studied poetry at the University of Massachusetts. He went on to publish his poems in over fifty literary journals including Poetry, Tar River Poetry, Height-Asbury Literary Journal, Lullwater Review, Country Journal, and Cape Rock Review, among others. In 1996, he was selected by James Dickey as the winner of The Eve of St. Agnes Poetry Prize, and he has been a finalist in the National Poetry Series, among other contests. His essays have appeared in several places, including The Indianapolis Star and The Journal of Sports Literature. He has published short stories, and completed a play, The Forbidden Notebook, last summer. This fall, his book Dada and Surrealism for Beginners was published by Random House and is now available in bookstores.

Over the past ten years, Peter has returned to art, and recently, has begun to show his work again in Maine and Indiana. Not claiming any particular school, his influences range from prehistoric art to Fauvism. In the last five years, his art has progressed to a blend of abstract forms, primitive and contemporary themes, and a strict use of primary colors. His work is composed more from intuition and spontaneity than planned projects, yet he imbues primal images, animals, totems, and other subject matter into the process. One of his goals is to activate the picture surface by exploring the relationship between form, space, and color while also tapping into his own imaginative energy. With titles such as Awake, The Watchmen, and The Lost Ritual, Bethanis' paintings explore the primal forces of creativity. For him, art is simply a matter of painting, creating, experimenting, and eventually getting the right combination of images and colors mixed with a personal energy and touch at the right moment.

Peter Bethanis has taught at several universities which include Butler, IU Kokomo, and Bristle College. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English in Ball State's Writing Program, where he has taught for ten years.

6245 Allisonville Rd. • Indianapolis, IN 46220 • 317.202.0026 • Email: ptgalleryframing@gmail.com