The Bangor Public Library’s current art exhibition, “Our Changing Landscapes” opened at the beginning of February and will be open until March 31. The exhibition aims to showcase the work of Maine artists that demonstrate their interpretation of the theme of ‘Changing Landscapes.’ The exhibition is held on the third floor of the library and is open to the public during the library’s regular hours.
Due to the pandemic, the Bangor Public Library briefly switched to an online virtual gallery so that they could continue to safely showcase the work of local artists, but they are excited to be able to bring their in-person exhibitions back to life.
Candis Joyce, the library’s adult program coordinator, helped put this event together.
“This was the first physical exhibit that we’ve had in the building [since the pandemic], and we worked with Kate Dickerson and our art committee to coordinate the theme with this year’s science festival, and the theme ‘Our Changing Landscapes’ came out of that,” Joyce said.
The exhibit features multiple artists and displayed a variety of different styles of art including several different types of paintings, a bas-relief carving, mixed media art and photography. With the theme being open to the artists’ interpretation, there is a lot of variation of works on display.
The exhibition features the work of Mary-Michael Billings, who has an acrylic oil painting being showcased titled “Empty Chairs.” Her artist statement explains that this painting represents ‘Changing Landscapes’ for her in two ways, the first one being that there is a physical change in the colors and lighting across the landscape in her paintings that depict the visual difference of the landscape at different times during the day.
“…The empty chairs have often been interpreted as representing the spiritual presence of a lost loved one,” said Billings in regard to the symbolism found in her painting. “Such a loss changes the tone and texture of our lives. Something is missing in the landscape. Someone once cherished is gone.”
Renate Klien’s “Growth and Production” is a painting made from watercolor on yupo that shows a different interpretation of the ‘Changing Landscapes’ theme.
“[Yupo] is a plastic material that does not absorb water. The water sits on the material and dries slowly, leaving the pigment behind,” said Klien. “In the drying process, the pigment can be moved around and natural forces like gravity, wind and melting ice participate in making the image.”
Klien’s artist statement also explained that “Growth and Production” was created during 2020 in which Klien’s work dealt with the complex topic and process of photosynthesis.
Right now, the art exhibitions at the Bangor Public Library do not see much participation from students at the University of Maine, but are excited to hopefully see more involvement and are open to art students inquiring about collaborating on an exhibit.
“I would love to get the word out… the more artists interested in applying for a show the better, and I think it would be great if some students wanted to pull together a collaborative show,” Joyce said.
The Bangor Public Library welcomes artists of all backgrounds and ages to submit their work. Artists being featured in “Our Changing Landscape” range from 12-year-old Izraelle Allen, who submitted the acrylic painting “Shifting Tides” to Eddie Harlow, a retired physician who has lived in Maine for 40 years and is showcasing bas-relief carving “Sandhill Cranes.”
Art exhibitions at the Bangor Public Library are ongoing. If you are interested in learning more about an exhibit or submitting your artwork you can visit www.bangorpubliclibrary.org/artist or reach out to Joyce directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.