The new exhibits at the University of Maine Museum of Art are a feast for the eyes. Multidimensional pieces displayed on pedestals beg to be explored from different angles. Several brightly colored sculptures look almost edible.
But no touching, please.
The museum rotates exhibitions every three months. The current show will be on display until Sept. 19.
Visitors first are greeted by work from Japanese-born artist Niho Kozuru’s Inter/Dimension’s exhibit, which features vibrantly colored translucent cast-rubber sculptures. The large pillars and other two-dimensional pieces fill the lobby space of the museum and the Zillman Gallery room.
The brightly colored sculptures catch the light, giving them a gelatinous appearance that has elicited off-handed comments from viewers about wanting to eat them, according to museum Director and Curator George Kinghorn.
“Because of the vivid use of color, people either want to touch them or eat them,” he said.
Visitors are asked not to touch the pieces on display, but the museum has two sample pieces at the information desk for people to hold and feel.
Also happening right now an exhibit called “With Ties to Maine,” which features selections from the museum’s permanent collection. Kinghorn said each of the pieces selected was created by artists who have contributed to Maine’s “rich and diverse artistic history.”
A large photorealist painting by Richard Estes depicts the New York City skyline from the perspective of sitting inside a relatively clean subway car. While not a painting of Maine, Estes has strong ties to the Pine Tree State and has several works inspired by places such as Acadia National Park.
Other exhibition works include pieces by John Marin, Andrew Wyeth, Alex Katz, Beenice Abbott and Neil Welliver.
Also on display right now is an exhibit featuring the work of Anna Hepler of Eastport, whom Kinghorn calls one of Maine’s “most innovative contemporary artists.”
Her pieces at the museum include large and small wire sculptures that cast shadows on the wall and prints created by wood carved and scratched to resemble animal patterns, such as zebra or cheetah hides.
Hepler also is the artist behind the floating installation presently in the Kenduskeag Stream near the museum; however, Kinghorn said, that piece is not part of her collection in the museum.
The three exhibits will remain on display through Sept. 19. For more information about the museum, which is free to the public, visit umma.umaine.edu or call 207-561-3350.