At the University of Maine, students can choose from hundreds of different classes, majors and minors, clubs and organizations that center around the study and creation of art. The Lord Hall Art Gallery is one of the many places on campus which aims to showcase various types of art and bring culture to UMaine. Currently lining the gallery walls is an exhibit titled “From the Studio: Student Art Exhibition.” This exhibit will be on display through the remainder of this month, until the closing ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on May 3.
The art exhibit features student work from a variety of different art classes and levels. This allows the featured pieces to include a variety of materials including steel, plaster, ink, oil, metal, screenprint, clay, graphite and watercolor in the form of sculptures, paintings, photographs and drawings.
“I love being an artist because I am able to be creative and unique in the ways I convey messages to an audience,” Delaney Burns, second-year studio art and marketing student, said. “I think that art can bridge gaps to bring communities together and it is inspiring to be a part of that process.”
Some of the student artists who are showcased include Arthur Hubbard, Brianna Benedict, Heather Rae Buzzell, Tehya Boucher, Nathaniel Rawson, Burns, Raquel Garmony, Shelby Haskell and Sean Sadler. Burns chose to focus on printmaking and dealing with nature for the project that is on display in the exhibition.
“For ‘Yellowstone (in Sienna)’ my inspiration was from Yellowstone National Park. I am drawn to natural patterns and textures and how to portray them through printmaking,” Burns said. “My love for nature drives me to create art that can help others understand the importance of protecting our environment.”
Another one of the projects displayed is a piece by Gabrielle Bock titled “Smoke and Snow.” The photograph is an image of dry ice smoking in a glass jar on a bed of snow.
Other projects chosen for the gallery include Jennifer Allen’s “Growing Apart,” which is a sculpture of two steel flat bars interwoven, and an intricate piece by Tehya Boucher that deals with contrasting light and dark colors.
“I love art because it gives me courage to speak up for myself. It also allows me to reflect on my thoughts and emotions in a way I’m not normally able to do,” Tehya Boucher, third-year art student, said. “…The prompt for this piece was to create a shine to something. My first thoughts were about direction and the different paths we take in life, and we stumble around in the dark until we find something that guides us through. This was a way to remind myself that I can make my own light and navigate through any darkness that might come my way.”
New media student Arthur Hubbard created a zine that is displayed in the showcase. Zine pieces are small works comprised of photos, images and sometimes text. These pieces are usually self-published and copied with a photocopier.
“The piece I have in the show is a zine titled “En Masse” which I made for Graphic Design II, ART 350. This is the second zine I’ve made, the last one was created summer of 2018,” Hubbard said. “Making the type of art I do is essentially like having another limb. It’s very much a part of me.”
There are many spaces designated around campus where students can work on their art and sculptures, one being a studio art building located in the Collins Center for the Arts parking lot. The practice and study of art for students is often a therapeutic and important experience.
“I’m studying art because it’s already such a huge part of my life, I don’t know if I have time for another non-related discipline, as much as I love learning about many different topics. They all enrich each other,” Hubbard said.
One of the biggest sculptures in the gallery is an untitled piece by Caleb Harper and Daniel Smiley — a large green sculpture made of plaster. Many of the sculptures in the gallery stand on white pedestals around the room, leaving the space feeling open and inviting.
Not only are sculptures and paintings displayed in the gallery, but there are also art pieces that included found materials and collected items. “The rough guide to usa” is a collection of items in a trunk by Jules Mogul. This piece, like many others in the art gallery represents certain political messages and brings up cultural issues and aspects of American life.
The art gallery is free for UMaine students and is open from Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lord Hall is also the site of the faculty art exhibitions and many other events held throughout the semester. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences also hosts many art events and showings across campus in order to celebrate and showcase student artwork.