Senior exhibit is a census of UMaine's leading student artists
Most University of Maine undergraduates
complete their final exams knowing that their test performance is a
matter between them and their professors.
Not so for studio art majors in one capstone course. Their final exam is
on display for the public to see.
In the senior studio seminar, the artists spend a semester planning and
preparing an exhibition of their works. The goal is to synthesize what
they've learned in previous coursework to demonstrate essential
professional practices in the visual arts.
The class is designed to "be a bridge from undergraduate study to the
real world," says Professor of Art James Linehan, who teaches the
This fall, 22 studio art majors were in charge of every aspect of
launching an exhibit on two floors in UMaine's Carnegie Hall — from
selecting the works to designing the lighting, orchestrating the
publicity and planning the opening reception.
The result: Sense Is, the senior exhibition showcasing works by some of
the leading young artists completing their studies at UMaine. It reveals
their talent and passion, vision, voice and visual vocabulary. As a
chapter in their lives nears an end, this exhibit invites final
The seven works featured here were selected to demonstrate the
diversity of media used by the artists.
By Margaret Nagle
Reflective Self Mask
Mixed Media, 2004
A Portrait of a Young Woman of the 1920's
Mixed Media, 2004
Oil Painting, 2004
Made with Love
Intaglio Print, 2004
Mixed Media Installation, 2004
Installation with metal, glass, leaves, dirt, 2004
Sarah Louise Peters
Video Installation, 2004
I am inspired and driven to make art by seeing it all around me.
Lauren Jellison, Bangor, Maine, a studio art major with a concentration
I have always had a fascination with masks, and this project began as an
exploration of self-identity. My intent was to create a series of
self-portrait masks that would be worn in various settings. During the
course of the semester, my idea evolved from focusing on the ways in
which each of us changes and adapts to different settings, to becoming a
statement about how my own self-consciousness causes me to change and
reflect the people with whom I surround myself; how my own self-image
reflects my surroundings.
I come from a family of women who have crafted all their lives. I
(lived) with my grandmother and learned the traditions that had been
passed down to her.
Celena Grover, Bangor, Maine, a studio art major with a concentration in
My Portrait of a Young Woman in the 1920s is of my great-grandmother
who, at that time, was the same age I am now. I am drawing a comparison
between women today and in the past, how the roles and views of women
have changed or remained the same. I also am exploring how we
romanticize the past and look back at the "good old days." It's
fascinating how some of these objects transcend time.
My inspiration is the fantastically mundane existence of everyday life.
Christopher Peary, Washburn, Maine, a double major in journalism and
studio art, with a concentration in drawing and painting
Microcosms exist in our relative space, (some) no more than four inches
square, but they are environments all their own — smaller subsets of the
larger whole of our macro world, which is itself a minor subset of a
greater existence. On a more personal level, this imagery seems to
reflect an inward state, my mind-set as I prepare to leave school to
face some sort of uncertain professional art career. The images and
subject matter are familiar yet foreboding. It is structured but
chaotic, for it cannot be determined in nature how this detritus is
going to accumulate. The space beyond is not quite visible.
The influence of my family's creativity has been my main inspiration.
Anne Shank, South Portland, Maine, a studio art major with a
concentration in photography
My piece is a self-portrait. The quilt is a homage to those who helped
to make me who I am, both literally and figuratively. I have always
considered myself to be one of the lucky ones who had two dads — my
biological dad and my stepdad. However, growing up, this always caused
confusion and frustration. In reality, the true story of how I came to
be had been untold. In Made with Love, both my fathers are shown,
because they both have played vital roles in my development as a person.
For the same reason, my stepdad's parents also are shown. I am in the
center square. It is amazing to think of how many people it takes to
make a single life.
I'm inspired by what I see around me, the main portion of which is pop
Sarah Holodick (aka "bug"), Smithtown, N.Y., a studio art major with a
concentration in sculpture
Two of my three pieces in the show were partially consumed on the first
night at the opening reception. Okashi(i)1 was a sushi meal made
entirely of mass-produced candies; Okashi(i)2 had a garden-meets-mandala
feel, inviting participants to consume and, in turn, destroy the cliché
images of a bonsai tree, a crane and Mt. Fuji, created out of gumballs.
The bronze work, Kitty-Chan: Mamorinuku, takes a highly recognized
(cultural) character and treats it as a god. In her circle, she protects
other anime characters that are lesser known or more destined to fade
away. This protective side of Kitty-Chan is not far from her origins.
I want to create a work of art that's so powerful and intense that the
viewer is speechless.
Morgan King, North Stonington, Conn., a studio art major with a
concentration in drawing and sculpture
This piece was created during my final semester at UMaine. The whole
realization that I would soon fully become an "adult" was terrifying and
it felt more like I was dying rather then moving forward with my life. I
created this sculpture to echo my thoughts and feelings about graduation
and what lies beyond. I didn't want to think about joining the real
world with everyone else. I don't want to fall and be washed away by the
rain like everyone else. I want to hold on to my branch as long as I
can. I want to be young forever.
Sarah Louise Peters
Art is as much about research and decision making as it is about object
Sarah Louise Peters, Bangor, Maine, a studio art major with a
concentration in sculpture
Sculpture is no longer limited to objects that are attached to a
building or a base; it has grown into video, installations and
performance, among other things. It also has laid claim to new materials
— sound, real time, the artist's own body, for example. This medium
gives me the chance to re-experience my life through a different lens of
truth. Because of the content of my video and audio pieces in the senior
show, I chose not to have an artist's statement. My intention was to
create an intense and deeply personal experience, which I hope will lead
to dialogue among the participants.
for more stories from this issue of UMaine Today Magazine.