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Local artists flock to spring Minifest in downtown Orono

The spring semester’s Orono Flow Minifest, or OFlow, at the Keith Anderson Community House in downtown Orono was a hit with students, with many of them stopping by throughout the night to watch the stage performance or listen to the live music. Even the artist tables that surrounded the room drew a lot of visitors.

OFlow has been attracting artists from Orono’s printmaking, sculpting, crafting and painting scenes for the past few semesters. The event serves as a networking opportunity between the artists and UMaine art students and serves as a great place to help sell some of their most creative works; each table has something completely different to offer.

“A lot of college students come here so you probably don’t want to bring your highest ticketed items,” studio art student Jessica Hardy said. “And so this is kind of an interesting way to show some of the smaller, less important works that you are doing, or some misprints of things, or prints are really easy to show here because you can put them in your portfolio and people can flip through.”

This was Hardy’s first OFlow event. She brought with her a collection of printmaking, monoprinting, abstract collages and copper-etched plate works, the most expensive of which was priced at $50. Currently, she has additional works featured in Lord Hall at the university as well as an art page on Facebook called Inner Dialogue Art, where you can reach her or check out her other works.

“As a student at UMaine, you take a lot of studio art classes and you end up with a lot of work that is kind of sitting around and this is a great way to get some of that out of your inventory,” Hardy said. “A lot of my friends have seen my prints, but most of the people here have never seen what I do so this is a good opportunity to check out what printmakers in the area are doing.”

On the other side of the room was Hannah Felker’s booth. Felker has been a participating member of OFlow since its earliest start. She was also among the very first to have a physical booth to sell from at the event. Her booth featured her handmade jewelry as well as plants she had grown herself.

“Within the first ten minutes, a big group came in and were like ‘give me eight shot glasses’ and I was really happy,” Felker said. “It is a really fun event. The other booths are really professional with their stamping and their paintings. It is definitely college-level art whereas ours is more of a craft.”

“OFlow, in general, is just a super welcoming place. That was the whole point from the get-go,” Felker said. “A place where people can come and express themselves no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“Where they can come express themselves without any judgment, as far as the physical arts go, we would like to have more artists,” Felker said. “People are going to buy stuff. Whether it is your work scanned off your computer or something you spent hours and hours making, you can really sell anything of any quality here, people are very receptive.”

Orono Flow’s Minifest is making its way up the ladder to being one of the larger student art collectives in the area. It is a must see event and a great way to support local artists.

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