The University of Maine at Fort Kent held a formal dedication of Developing, 1839, within the campus’ Powell Hall lower level lobby on Thursday, September 19.
Developing 1839 is the work of artist Shoshannah White of Portland, Maine. Ms. White’s work was developed and installed under the state’s Percent for Art program.
The installation includes two painted wall stencils and one wall mounted light box. Photographs were drawn from the native Fort Kent landscape. The photographs were created with a variety of techniques including historic photographic processes from the 1800’s and were produced with contemporary technology. The wall stencils were hand cut and painted directly on the wall, referencing the botanical cyanotypes of the 1800s.
“When researching for this project, I found that Fort Kent was founded in 1839, the same year the invention of photography was announced,” says the artist. “I began to think about the beginnings of a town and the beginnings of photography and how we use tools to capture, shape and harness what is important to us.”
Developing 1839 was commissioned for the University of Maine at Fort Kent and the citizens of Maine under the Maine Percent for Art Act administered by the Maine Arts Commission.
The Percent for Art program within Powell Hall is related to a $1.4 million renovation of the 48-year-old dormitory and learning center. The University completed the renovation in February 2010. The project incorporated many energy-savings components that helped the building achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification; the first public building in northern Maine to earn that designation.
For further information about the artwork dedication, please call 834-7527.