BANGOR, Maine — The University of Maine Museum of Art, 40 Harlow St., will open three new exhibitions along with a special selection from the museum’s permanent collection titled “Steve’s Picks.”
The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The winter exhibitions will open to the public on Jan. 18 through March 20. “Steve’s Picks” will be on display until March 8. Admission is free in 2013 thanks to the generosity of Penobscot Financial Advisors.
MICHAEL CROUSER: DOG RUN
Michael Crouser exhibits a selection of gelatin silver prints, some as large as 30 x 40 inches, in which he captures images of dogs as they have seldom been seen before. Over the course of several years the photographer documented the frenetic world
of urban dog parks, but in these images there’s no evidence of the pet’s owners. Within the chain-linked enclosures, dogs of all sizes and breeds cavort in an arena where codes of conduct are shed in a grand display of unharnessed energy.
Through his skillful camera angles, tight framing and atmospheric lighting, Crouser has created images of dogs that vacillate from the endearing and humorous to the uncanny and disturbing.
The resonance of the “Dog Run” images lies within Crouser’s unique ability to capture these contradictions — moments of domestication and the innate wildness of “man’s best friend.”
Crouser has taught at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Minneapolis Photo Center and the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. His book “Dog Run” was listed as a top 10 photography book of the year by the International Photography Awards, Photo District News and Communication Arts.
ROBERT RIVERS: THE PROMISED LAND
“The Promised Land” is a dramatic series of drawings rendered in graphite, red pencil, acrylic glazes, oil paint and other media. In Rivers’ enigmatic narratives serpents wind their way through the works, figures unwrap the cloth bandages of a mummy
(or is it the invisible man?) and wide-eyed cartoon-like humanoids stand awkwardly. A recurring nude seated woman (based on the character Atalanta from Greek mythology) gazes at all of the action. These assorted characters inhabit Rivers’
world—constructed spaces created with sharply drawn parallel lines that are, at times, punctuated with blackened voids which reference trap doors, portals or graves.
The dominant subject in most of the compositions is an array of mostly male figures pictured with shaved heads, wearing T-shirts and combat boots. The artist’s commentary on the perils facing frontline American soldiers engaged in the war in
Afghanistan is also infused with a myriad of historical art references ranging from paintings by Giotto to Giorgione.
Rivers received a masters degree in fine arts in printmaking from the University of Georgia and is a professor of art at the University of Central Florida. His art has been exhibited in numerous venues including the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
CANDICE IVY: Honey from the Belly of the Lion
Multi-media artist Candice Ivy presents a unique, site-specific installation in UMMA’s Zillman Gallery. In “Honey from the Belly of the Lion” the artist incorporates both video and sculptural elements to create an immersive, sensory experience for
Ivy lives in the Boston area and teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Wellesley College, where she is also the director of the Jewett Gallery. She received a bachelor’s degree from Coker College, Hartsville, S.C., and a master’s degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, Boston.
Ivy’s multi-media works have been shown both nationally and internationally including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC; and in the Sguardi Sonori Festival in Venice, Italy. In 2012, she constructed site-specific installations for the
McColl Center for Visual Art, Charlotte, NC; Urban Occupations Urbaines in Montreal, Canada; and for the Taipei Artist Village’s Barry Gallery, Taiwan.
Stephen Ringle, who has served as the museum’s registrar and preparator since 1984, will retire in mid-April after 29 years of service. “Steve has been such a wonderful steward of the collection and has done a superb job designing
and installing countless exhibitions over the years. He has played a considerable role in the evolution of the Museum and we shall truly miss his talents and expertise but most of all, Steve himself.” says Museum Director George Kinghorn.
On the occasion of his retirement, Ringle was invited to select works that will hang in the permanent collection gallery through March 8. Steve’s Picks are personal favorites selected for a variety of attributes.