June 21, 2018
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EMCC names an art gallery for area leader John Rohman

By Jessica Bloch, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Most of the buildings on the Eastern Maine Community College campus near Hogan Road bear the touch of WBRC Architects-Engineers, the Bangor-based firm led by Chief Executive Officer John Rohman.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Rohman’s name itself can be found inside the school, and in an appropriate place.

Rohman, the current chairman of the Maine Arts Commission and longtime supporter of the college, was on hand as the college named a wall in its library the John Rohman Art Gallery.

EMCC President Joyce Hedlund and Associate Dean of Library Services Janet Blood helped make the presentation in front of about 30 of Rohman’s friends, family and associates.

“I’m humbled,” Rohman said after a short ceremony. “To have something that will go beyond a one-event process … this is something that’s going to be in my name and that’s pretty humbling.”

The gallery is inside the school’s library in Katahdin Hall, a building Hedlund said was designed in the 1960s by the firm Crowell, Lancaster, Higgins and Webster, Baldwin — the predecessor of WBRC — and renovated about five years ago by WBRC. The hall was originally a dormitory and now serves as a campus center.

About 90 percent of the buildings on campus, Rohman estimated, were either designed or renovated by WBRC. Many of the firm’s computer-aided design operators are EMCC graduates, he added.

A former member of EMCC’s advisory council, Rohman is the national president of the board of directors of the National Assembly of States Arts Agencies, and serves on the board of the National Council for the Traditional Arts.

He is also a former mayor of Bangor and former executive director of the National Folk Festival in Bangor.

Hedlund said Rohman’s name was picked for the gallery not only because of his connections to the school and involvement with arts but also because of the impact he has had on the college’s mission.

“He came to mind because … more than anything I think it ties into some of our change [from Eastern Maine Technical College] to a community college where we need to focus on the arts more,” she said before the ceremony. “When we re-did this building, that art wall was really the result of some involvement from John, and him saying, ‘This is something you need in this building.’”

EMCC has increased its art offerings in the past three years, Hedlund added.

The John Rohman Gallery debuted with abstract oil paintings by EMCC adjunct faculty member Renate Carabello on the wall. Old Town artist Pam Dunphy’s mixed media work “Places of Beauty” will be on display Sept. 9-Oct. 30.

“I’m so busy with teaching, so it will be really good to exhibit here,” said Dunphy, who teaches art at Old Town Elementary School.

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