Archive for Bangor

Zillman Art Museum announces new exhibitions

A piece by Roman Franc from the exhibition “Watch the Birdie!” Photo courtesy of Roman Franc.

The Zillman Art Museum, located at 40 Harlow St. in downtown Bangor, opened eight new exhibitions in September. ZAM’s fall shows opened to the public on Sept. 11. Admission to the Zillman Art Museum is free in 2021, thanks to the generosity of Birchbrook.

EMILY EVELETH: “FUTURE POSSESSIVE”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 30

The Zillman Art Museum is pleased to present “Future Possessive,” a solo-exhibition of works by Boston-based artist Emily Eveleth. Through the elusive nature of her compositional subjects and elegant, yet reserved palette, Eveleth opens many doors of inquiry for the viewer. Her dramatic scenes are rendered with strong directional lighting, confident manipulation of paint, and unexpected vantage points. The identities of Eveleth’s subjects are partially obscured by elements like gloved-hands, theatrical makeup, and her inventive use of cropping. As an essential element in constructing a narrative, the observer is encouraged to ponder the relationship of the figures.

The large-scale painting “Possessive Determiner,” created especially for the ZAM exhibition, is a three-paneled composition spanning over 15 feet. In this work, Eveleth has crafted a puzzling scene. A white-faced pantomime plays the role of a billiards referee and crouches down to inspect the actions of a player who is poised to forcefully send the cue ball across the table towards a mammoth globe. Are we playing an irreversible game with the state of the planet? When asked if there are plots to these paintings, Eveleth offers that “the answer lies in the idea of causality. The elements have a relationship to each other beyond simply temporal linearity.”

In the large painting, “Present Imperative,” Eveleth creates another intriguing scene that is ripe for questioning. Is the foreshortened tuxedoed figure reclining on the floor in distress, or even worse, deceased? The recumbent person brings to mind Édouard Manet’s 1864 painting, “The Dead Toreador.” The positioning of Manet’s heroic subject looks noble and staged, unlike what we would actually expect to witness in the aftermath of being gored by a bull. Like Manet’s composition, Eveleth’s model, donned in formal attire, is bathed in dramatic light as it lies on the floor with one hand placed gracefully on its torso. What role does the ominous silhouetted figure, with its gloved hand and world globe casually resting on its hip, play in this mysterious setting?

ROMAN FRANC: “WATCH THE BIRDIE!”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 30

“Watch the Birdie!” features over 40 black and white photographs by Roman Franc, who lives and works in Brno, Czech Republic. Franc explores both individual subjects in his work, such as a series of portraits of his brother at various ages, and images in which he orchestrates large groups of people.

Franc’s ability to harness the nuances of available light for his creative purposes, as well as his unwavering attention to find the perfect setting for his compositions, keep his portraits centered within the realm of fine art. His photographs of people, many of whom are personally known to the artist, range from the sensitive to the absurd, and from the humorous to the disconcerting. For instance, in “Portrait Series-Twins,” Franc has snapped an image of two young twin girls whose makeup-covered faces emerge from the darkness. The blank gazes of the girls and blackened circles around their eyes border on the macabre.

In several images, the artist enlists unclothed subjects who, when placed in the artist’s unique settings, evoke the absurd. These works bring to mind luminary Diane Arbus, whose frontally positioned subjects exude self-assurance in their nakedness. In “Memories,” Franc depicts two nude brothers with strikingly pronounced tan lines standing in what appears to be an unforgiving desert, yet they reflect a calm coolness despite their unfortunate condition of being severely sunburned.

Pictures such as these require the ability of the artist to create relationships with their subjects and garner trust at break-neck speeds. Franc’s affable nature and the passion that he exudes for his work instill a confidence in his subjects that allow them to reveal themselves with vulnerability and honesty.

SHONA MACDONALD: “tender land”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 16

The exhibition “tender land” features drawings and paintings by Massachusetts-based artist Shona Macdonald. In her “Sky on Ground” paintings, Macdonald depicts observations of nature and the built environment reflected in ground water including fragments of imagery that often lie unnoticed beneath our feet.

“Cropped by the edges of puddles, I noticed parts of the landscape were displaced creating truncated images of buildings, posts and trees looking back up at us,” she says.

In the diptych “Sky on Ground #17,” the pristineness of Macdonald’s reflected skyscapes — which seems to hover in a monochromatic gray expanse — is interrupted by the curved pattern of road markings.  

The artist’s “Ghosts” series is a group of delicately rendered drawings. In three works, including “Ghost Large #12,” the artist has used silverpoint, a transient medium whose tone changes over time, to depict an array of shrubs shrouded by transparent landscape cloth. The protective fabric obscures details of the plants and creates isolated, draped masses that seem to float on Macdonald’s polished white fields.

Sidney Russell’s exhibition “The Big Stitch” is on view at the Leonard Gallery.

SIDNEY RUSSELL: “THE BIG STITCH”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 30

“The Big Stitch” features a dramatic collection of larger-than-life creations by San Francisco-based artist Sidney Russell. Through her innovative use of materials, Russell combines hand painting with sewing to create works that are inspired by vintage designs. Russell fashions huge dresses, pants and shirts — some over nine feet tall — which challenge the viewer’s perception of scale. As visitors encounter these garments hanging from oversized hangers and hooks, they are compelled to view themselves in relation to the gargantuan objects.

According to the artist, the massive reproductions are of real articles of apparel worn by people from her past and remind her of significant events or of the individuals themselves. The replication of familiar, and sometimes secondhand clothing, evokes humor, nostalgia and bemusement.

Russell’s sewn creations bring to mind the works of Claes Oldenburg, a central artist of the pop art movement, who was known for his large replicas of everyday objects. Russell’s pieces share a similar lighthearted humor with Oldenburg’s soft sculptures which were made from materials such as vinyl and cloth. Both Russell and Oldenburg’s works are realized on a magnified scale that reverses the traditional relationship between viewer and object. Additionally, Russell’s sculptures emulate Oldenburg’s creative process in how they generate a bizarre and whimsical transformation, which can be both entertaining and imposing.

In “Hawaiian Shirt” (2016), Russell has painted bold tropical floral patterns onto large swaths of fabric and then stitched the pieces to form a colossal garment. The lifelessness of the clothing, exaggerated by the immense weight it sags under, hangs awkwardly on the wall. The artist’s attention to minute detail, captured in epic proportions, is apparent in the portrayal of scuff marks on the sleeves and hem.

Recent works “The Hiking Boot” and “Backpack” were created especially for the Zillman Art Museum exhibition and pay homage to Maine’s culture of outdoorsy adventures. “The Hiking Boot,” with its massive treads and bright red dangling laces, is a delight for viewers as they witness the radical shift in scale of a familiar utilitarian object. The functional yet sporty appearance of Backpack plays on the consumer obsession with practical, yet stylish, outdoor gear.

Throughout her career, Russell has remained dedicated to the counterculture movement that has defined San Francisco’s artistic legacy. The meticulous detail and epic proportions of her works depict personally important moments in her history. Just as memories can be layered, so too can garments spark memories of the wearer, time, and distinct places.

AMY STEIN: “DOMESTICATED”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 30

“Domesticated” features a selection of photographs by Los Angeles-based artist Amy Stein. The artist employs the contradictory nature of photography as a means to record factual evidence, as well as a medium for expressing fictional narratives. According to Stein, the images in this series are based on real stories from local newspapers, interviews, and oral histories gathered from 2005 to 2008 in and around Matamoras, Pa.

These photographs capture stories of intentional and random interactions between the residents of Matamoras, and the wildlife inhabiting neighboring state game lands. Stein’s attentively staged scenarios document these stories, presented as chance encounters that act as “modern dioramas of our new natural history.”

The scenes invite the viewer to consider the contradictions in humanity’s desire to connect with nature, alongside its resolve to tame it. The artist explores the incongruent notion that “humans choose to live on this border to experience that connection, but then practicality demands they build barriers to keep the wild away.” The expansion and construction of domestic spaces, as evidenced in Stein’s works, results in a loss of wildlife habitat.

“Struggle” (2008) captures an imposing bear seemingly wrestling to remove an opaque plastic bag from its head. The solitary creature, with its menacing teeth exposed, stands in an expansive field under overcast, dismal skies. The scene comments on the disposable nature of society and the impact of pollution on wildlife. The taxidermied bear becomes a symbol of an ecosystem in flux and on the edge of peril. Other images by Stein, including “Howl” (2007) and “New Homes” (2007), reiterate this theme in which animals are forced into a spectator’s role as the changing environment threatens their existence.

ZAM is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Learn more at https://zam.umaine.edu.

Peter Walls featured in the Sohns Gallery

Sohns Gallery

Sohns Gallery is exhibiting work by Peter Walls in its current show, “Retreat, Shape of Land, Shape of Water,” which runs through Nov. 7.

While there is no reception, Walls will be onsite at the Bangor Art Walk on Oct. 1.

In the artist’s own words:

This whole pandemic thing has me “awaiting the second shoe to drop,” and I know many of you also listen attentively for such sounds, too. The pandemic hit hard and fast, paralyzing millions while forcing us to rethink what and who we are, where we live, and how we relate to one another. One thing I did pay close attention to was the retreat from “hot spots,” from cities, from the fear of contracting an illness still not fully understood. Maine slowly filled with vehicles and the many, many passengers within, all looking to find space to breathe, locate their 6 feet of personal landscape.

I too retreated to these landscapes, sometimes by car but mostly by turning inward and drawing upon memory of landscape(s) and places I have been. Daily rituals of painting these landscapes in small watercolors eased my personal worries and allowed me to be able to spend time with ones I loved. This is and always has been my medicine.

Eventually these cerebral retreats to the landscape became larger and more intense with painting on scrap plywood, cutting away the detritus, shaping MY landscape. Each work began to have their own personalities and were obviously fragments of something larger in my mind.

As a graduate student at LSU in Baton Rouge, our print-workshop was delegated a small dark below grade space shared with the now underused, quite dusty, yet alluring Natural History Museum. I would spend countless hours in the museum drawing inspiration and creating artwork, escaping to my inner world. These memories inspired my current idea of putting together, curating, all of these pandemic fragments, not unlike the museum displays I remember so well. I offer up this exhibition as a glimpse into my Pandemic retreat and what it has taught me thus far.

Sohns Gallery is at 36 Central St., Bangor. Call 207-947-2205 for mored information.

Zillman Art Museum announces new exhibition

Living Windows

The Zillman Art Museum, located at 40 Harlow Street in downtown Bangor, opened a new exhibition on Oct. 27 that will run through May 1, 2021.

“LIVING WINDOWS: An Immersive Media Installation by Gene A. Felice & Kimathi Moore” is an immersive media installation that explores the forms and functions of micro and macro algae as sources of inspiration for art creation and digital storytelling. This project follows a narrative that journeys through the depths of aquatic ecosystems in California, Maine and North Carolina. The viewer explores rivers and watersheds over time as they flow into Earth’s oceanic waters.

ZAM is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. Admission to the Zillman Art Museum is free in 2020, thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

The Zillman has implemented safety procedures for visitors. Visit www.zam.umaine.edu for a detailed list of Covid-19 guidelines.

‘Maine Inspired: Art Luminaries at the Bicentennial’ on exhibit at Zillman Art Museum

WINSLOW HOMER (American, 1836-1910)
“Eight Bells,” 1887
Etching
Gift of Adeline F. & Caroline R. Wing

Throughout history, artists have been attracted to Maine for its striking landscape, quiet remoteness and resilient people. As we celebrate Maine’s Bicentennial in 2020 and the state’s rich artistic history, the Zillman Art Museum showcases artists who have not only contributed to the cultural fabric of Maine but whose works of art are lauded internationally.

“Maine Inspired: Art Luminaries at the Bicentennial” runs Aug. 4 through Dec. 23 and features an assortment of works from the ZAM collection, including two of Winslow Homer’s finest prints, “Eight Bells” and “Perils of the Sea.” John Marin, whose studio in Maine was on a picturesque point in Addison, is represented by two dynamic watercolors, “A Bit of Cape Split, Maine” and “A Bit of Stonington, Maine” — as well as a suite of etchings that attests to his skill in both representation and abstraction.

One of Maine’s most prominent artists, Andrew Wyeth is featured in two lovely watercolors gifted in 1948 by Bangor’s Wing Sisters, Adeline and Caroline. The exhibition also highlights three images by Berenice Abbott, one of photography’s greatest practitioners, who relocated permanently from New York City to Blanchard in the 1960s. Also included are contemporary works by Alex Katz, including “Ann Lauterbach” and “Swimmer” — two pieces that illustrate his distinctive, pared-down approach to portraiture.

The Zillman Art Museum, located at 40 Harlow St., Bangor, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. ZAM’s summer/fall shows open to the public on Aug. 4 and run through Dec. 23. Admission to the Zillman Art Museum is free in 2020, thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

Zillman Art Museum exhibits ‘Wood Nymphs” by JoAnne Carson

JOANNE CARSON (American, born 1953)
Detail of “Chlorophylia (For a World Without Color)”
Thermoplastic, apoxie clay, paper pulp
Courtesy of the artist

“Wood Nymphs,” on exhibit Aug. 4 through Dec. 23 at the Zillman Art Museum, features a selection of drawings and large-scale sculptures by JoAnne Carson.

Splitting her time her time between Brooklyn and rural Vermont, Carson is known for her quirky, serio-comic works in painting, sculpture and assemblage.

Carson’s sculpture “Chlorophylia (For a World Without Color),” that rises eight feet tall, is a focal point of the exhibition. The work is light-bleached and ghostly with its oversized, pale colored flowers and branches that stretch to the ceiling. Varied plant species — some resemble stylized hydrangea while others are textural enlarged roses — are assembled in a whimsical manner on a trunk-like base that is perched atop a circular disk.

“Chlorophylia (For a World Without Color)”
Thermoplastic, apoxie clay, paper pulp
Courtesy of the artist

“Wood Nymph,” 1999, represents a major work in Carson’s career; a multi-armed, female figure spins pies on the tip of her fingers as she emerges from a nine foot high trompe l’oeil log. The work is a tragic/comic comment on the gendered role of women as homemaker, muse and force of nature.

The work “Blue,” 2006, is a quirky three-dimensional piece that is reminiscent of the amped up colors and forms found in a Dr. Seuss book. The flattened, stylized leaves and pom-pom flowers emanate from a coiled electric-blue stalk whose origin is four curved legs that rest precariously on the plinth. Exhibited together these works orchestrate a chorus of invented forest creatures that aspire to transport viewers to a magical, imaginative woodland.

The Zillman Art Museum, located at 40 Harlow St. in downtown Bangor, opens three new exhibitions in August. ZAM is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. ZAM’s summer/fall shows open to the public on Aug. 4 and run through Dec. 23. Admission to the Zillman Art Museum is free in 2020, thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

Zillman Art Museum exhibits ‘Being Here’ solo exhibit by Marcie Jan Bronstein

MARCIE JAN BRONSTEIN (American, born 1965)
“Being Here, How it Feels”
Courtesy of the artist

“Being Here,” on exhibit Aug. 4 through Dec. 23 at the Zillman Art Museum, features a stunning selection of recent watercolor compositions by Maine-based artist Marcie Jan Bronstein. In this exhibition, Bronstein beautifully harnesses the unique qualities of watercolor, often thought of as a unforgiving medium that doesn’t lend itself to revisionist impulses, in images that are both subtle in one instance, and bold in another.

A focal point of the exhibition is a dramatic grid of nine works titled “Oasis.” Marks that suggest ropes or swaged, transparent drapery inhabit these works. One may also see subtle references to architecture, such as seemingly stylized stairways and open portals of expansive light. Seen as a unit or as individual panels, the calming monochromatic colors employed in “Oasis” — ranging from pale blues, lavender and buttery yellow — invite multiple interpretations for viewers.

In other compositions, Bronstein depicts crystalline forms as if the objects are mutating under a microscopic lens. One also sees the artist’s web-like strands that reference occurrences at the cellular level or stretched ovoid forms that are reminiscent of polished beach rocks, potatoes or pill-like capsules. Through Bronstein’s varied marks, blooms of transparent watercolor, and enigmatic forms, she creates rich opportunities for reflection and interpretation.

The Zillman Art Museum, located at 40 Harlow St. in downtown Bangor, opens three new exhibitions in August. ZAM is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. ZAM’s summer/fall shows open to the public on Aug. 4 and run through Dec. 23. Admission to the Zillman Art Museum is free in 2020, thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

The University of Maine Museum of Art announces: PATTERNS IN NATURE: ART & SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES

The University of Maine Museum of Art announces:

PATTERNS IN NATURE: ART & SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES

A panel discussion

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11 – 6-8 PM

Free and open to the public. RSVP required.

Please join UMMA for a panel discussion on patterns found in nature. Featured artist Deirdre Murphy will participate to discuss themes in her work that explore the connection between climate change and migratory bird patterns. Panelists include: Amber Roth, Assistant Professor of Forest Wildlife Management and Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology; Dr. Erik J. Blomberg, Associate Professor of Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology; Dr. Adrienne Leppold, Project Director of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; and George Jacobson, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Ecology, & Climate Change, will lend their perspectives on the subject through the lens of their research in the area of conservation biology and climate change. Deirdre Murphy’s exhibition Oculus with artist Scott White will be on display at UMMA through May 2.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and RSVP required. Please contact Kathryn Jovanelli at 207.581.3370 or email kathrynj@maine.edu to reserve your seat today.

The UMaine Museum of Art’s presents BrainyArt Trivia Night at the Museum

TUESDAY, February 11th, 2020 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Ages 21+, $5 Suggested donation

Join the University of Maine Museum of Art for Season 4 of BrainyArt! In this fun, quiz-based evening, participants have two chances to win big. A team that correctly answers the most trivia questions will win the Team Challenge, and be awarded a cash prize. An additional prize will be awarded to the participant who receives the most votes in the Individual Challenge. Light refreshments and adult beverages will be available. 21+, $5 suggested donation at the door.

UMaine Museum of Art announces Winter Exhibitions

MICHAEL P. MANHEIM Puck, from the series Rhythm From Within, 1999/2019 Archival ink jet print

The University of Maine Museum of Art, located at 40 Harlow Street in downtown Bangor, opens three new exhibitions in January 2020. UMMA is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. UMMA’s winter shows open to the public on January 10 and run through May 2, 2020. Admission to the Museum of Art is free in 2020 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

RHYTHM FROM WITHIN: PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL PHILIP MANHEIM

January 10 – May 2, 2020

This exhibition features a small portion of Michael Philip Manheim’s Rhythm From Within series, the impetus of which was his desire to expand the possibilities of still photography through a new approach to the nude in nature. Manheim created and perfected his own method of in-camera multiple exposures and sought out subjects—many of them professional dancers—not for their outward appearances, but for their ability to turn feelings into movement.  

Manheim scouted locations where participants would feel safe to delve into their vulnerability, and to physically express themselves. The photographer asked his subjects to meditate on their surroundings and move freely, making connections with each other and their environment. He trusted their intuition to reveal the complexities of the human condition through their spontaneous movements. As they moved, he layered many exposures on single frames inside his camera, forming the final pictures exhibited here.

 In these overlaid images, Manheim’s subjects metamorphose into unrecognizable, even sometimes mythical, beings as they blend in with their untamed woodland settings. “In following their instincts, my subjects viscerally encouraged the primordial to emerge,” says the artist. No matter how different the photographs are from each other, they all display a plethora of emotions, communicated through the universal language of the body. In one example, Gates of Hell, a grouping of female figures appear as a mass struggling to free itself from the psychological tormentor above. The photograph brings to mind French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s identically titled monumental bronze doorway portraying a scene from the Inferno, the first part of Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

Intricate meshings with nature…complex depths of expression…unpredictable effects and juxtapositions…Manheim’s dynamic photographs expand beyond a single moment to capture movement and moods over time.

Announcements from The University of Maine Museum of Art

The University of Maine Museum of Art announces the installation of its new sculptural sign on Hamlin Parkway and the extension of its Free Admission Policy for the public in 2020, thanks to a generous donation from Deighan Wealth Advisors. 

UMMA’s dynamic new sign is an abstract form consisting of triangular metal panels, in colors ranging from bright red to shades of blue, that are mounted to a faceted aluminum construction. A projecting aluminum blade-like fin feature bears the Museum’s name. 

“The look of the three-dimensional element on the sign is not unlike the type of abstract, contemporary art and sculptures that one might see in the Museum’s galleries.” states UMMA’s Executive Director and Curator, George Kinghorn. “Many of our visitors enter the Museum from the stream side parkway and this eye-catching sculptural sign greatly enhances UMMA’s visibility. Hamlin Parkway is a beautiful asset for downtown and it’s wonderful to have this colorful focal point for all to enjoy. With increased pedestrian traffic and tourists visiting downtown from around the country, it’s terrific that people can now easily spot the Museum.” says Kinghorn. 

The new sign was a project of the Museum of Art Alliance, a non-profit organization that supports UMMA, and made possible through the generosity of Don and Linda Zillman.

The sign was fabricated by NeoKraft Signs Inc, a Maine-based business located in Lewiston.

George Kinghorn expressed his appreciation for Deighan Wealth Advisors’ philanthropic gift to the University and community. “Deighan Wealth Advisors’ gift is vital in the effort to remove barriers that may prevent some members of the public from coming to the Museum and enjoying its changing contemporary exhibitions and art collection.” 

Lucie E. Estabrook, CTFA, Chief Executive Officer and Principal with Deighan Wealth Advisors states “Deighan Wealth Advisors is honored to sponsor free admission to the University of Maine Museum of Art for the fifth consecutive year. Our community is so fortunate to have this fine museum in our city, and we are pleased to make it accessible to all. Deighan Wealth Advisors is excited to be in a position to help make those exhibits available to everyone who wants to share the art experience.”

Deighan Wealth Advisors, a well-known wealth management firm, has a history of supporting the arts in the region and state of Maine. It is a longtime community partner that has supported UMMA’s education and exhibition programs.

The University of Maine Museum of Art is located in Norumbega Hall in downtown Bangor and is open year-round, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm.  The Museum has a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects. UMMA offers an array of changing exhibitions featuring nationally known contemporary artists in conjunction with integrative educational programs, gallery talks, lectures, and workshops. Visit UMMA’s website, umma.umaine.edu, for the latest listings of special events, community happenings, exhibition schedules, and ways to be involved with the UMaine Museum of Art.