top of page
  • MLCA

Maine Native Portrays the Daily Work of Lobstering

Artist Matt Barter grew up in a creative Bar Harbor family, headed by his father, the artist Philip Barter. As a young man, he worked as an apprentice in his father’s studio, learning the mechanics of painting, prepping canvas and art theory.

Heading out on his own, Barter worked for two years as a sternman for a South Gouldsboro lobsterman. As an artist he focuses not on lobstering at sea but on the more mundane tasks of preparing to lobster. “Most of the work for lobster fishing is on shore, tending and prepping equipment, not landing the lobster,” he said. “That hard work gets overlooked. I want to show the lobster industry from start to finish.” He works in oil, often on wooden boards, to portray a world of simple forms and vibrant colors. He also sculpts large figures inspired by space exploration, astronauts, and the late singer David Bowie. Barter’s work can be found at his gallery, the Barter Art House, in Brunswick, and at galleries in Blue Hill, Northeast Harbor, Boothbay, Sullivan, and Islesford. For more information, visit

Photos by M. Waterman, from an exhibit at the Camden Library in March.


bottom of page