On April 8, the University of Maine’s Lord Hall Gallery opened its new exhibition to the public. The Lord Hall Gallery will be hosting its annual “Department of Art Juried Exhibition,” featuring UMaine students’ artwork until April 29. There are over 150 pieces of artwork from students across all disciplines. This year, the exhibit includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, prints, photography, two and three-dimensional designs and ceramics.
All the works are from current students enrolled in art studio classes at UMaine. Susan Smith, interim director and curator of the Lord Hall Gallery, says there were over 300 submissions this year.
“I myself and Laurie Hicks look at the submissions and select the ones to go in the show,” Smith said, who is also the director of the Intermedia Program at UMaine. “The coolest part about this exhibit is that these are students from across curriculums — they can be engineering students, art students or they could be in sports medicine and their professor told them to submit work. There’s a lot of diversity in the student work.”
Caleb Harper, a fourth-year studio art student from Madison, Maine, has had several of his works selected for the exhibit.
“I was blessed that the jurors picked my pieces, and it’s uplifting, as I’m graduating knowing that people like my work,” Harper said.
Harper currently has multiple sculptures, paintings and drawings up in the gallery. One of his paintings depicts an idyllic Maine cabin, painted to feel as though you are sitting out in the cold spring air as the sun finally comes back over the horizon. He also has metal sculptures on display, which are both delicate and strong at the same time. The diversity of his art speaks volumes of him as an artist.
“This last year has been great to experiment with new techniques and different subject matter to help build a stronger visual vocabulary,” Harper said.
Harper is incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities the art department has given him, stating they’ve been nothing short of kind and gracious. However, Harper’s work has a deeper, personal meaning to it.
“For me, it’s a lifelong need to create and also form images that represent the beauty of God’s creation so the viewer can recognize the love that God has for us,” Harper said.
The Lord Hall Gallery’s juried exhibitions are a big step for art majors and students who take art classes. Having your art selected to be in an exhibition is an incredibly big deal.
Smith enjoys seeing the happiness on the students’ faces when they find out the good news.
“It’s so amazing to hear these kids come into the gallery and see their stuff hanging up, or that it was selected,” Smith said. “Hearing students call their parents saying they got in always makes me happy. It’s a great opportunity.”
The Lord Hall Gallery exhibition will be open until April 29. It is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is handicapped accessible.