The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Reed Art Gallery is proud to present In the Company of Things by Léo-Paul Cyr, from Friday, Sept. 16 through Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. The public is invited to view the exhibition throughout the show’s run and attend the Gallery Reception on Friday, Oct. 7 from 5-7 p.m., which is being held in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk. The event will include a Gallery Talk with the artist at 5:30 p.m.
In the Company of Things features 13 sculptures by Cyr, UMPI Professor Emeritus of Art Education. The show reveals the journey from the time a stone is about to be considered as a material for artistic expression to the moment when—with physical manipulation, unique thoughtfulness, fresh consideration for design, and sometimes the addition of another material—the stone no longer exists as an unnoticed object in nature, but stands as a vital part in a sculpture.
Cyr’s primary medium for sculpting is stone sometimes combined with wood and metal. His energy for creating comes from a strong belief that as human beings, we live amongst things and are things in the mist of things: “Our minds are fashioned as much by what things make of us as by what we make of them,” he said.
At the beginning of a long succession of experiences, Cyr meets a thing imbued with a potential to be charged with special energy and thereafter, to embody new meanings and symbolic functions. While creating, he mediates between the new and the acquired, intuition and imagination, conflict and coalition, doubt and certitude.
“Within this creative act, things then become an otherness speaking with a special resonance of culture, form, time, space, motion, and presence that is extremely rich. By paying attention to this multiplicity of voices things murmur, and by making that dialogue an invitation for divorcing ourselves from the sheltered, the obvious and the familiar, things push us to imagine a new world,” Cyr said.
Cyr lives in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. During his teaching career, he taught in the Public Schools of New Brunswick, Canada, at Columbia University, Teachers College in New York where he was awarded the “Outstanding Teacher Award” recognition in 2003, and retired from the teaching profession at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 2012. Cyr holds a Masters of Arts degree in Art Education from the Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design in Halifax, Canada, and a Doctorate in Art Education from Columbia University, Teachers College.
“Leo-Paul has had such a great influence on many students and artists,” Hyrum Benson, Reed Art Gallery Director, said. “He has helped and guided them in their development as artists. I was lucky to have him as a colleague and friend. As I look at his art, I can’t help but feel that I am in the company of the Artist. I am able to capture a glimpse of who Leo-Paul is. He was able to take something that seemed plain and ordinary and develop it into something grand.”
All are invited to view the show starting Sept. 16 and to come out to First Friday Art Walk on Oct. 7 and take part in the free reception. Light refreshments will be served. Please follow gallery happenings on the Reed Gallery Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ReedArtGallery.
The Reed Art Gallery is located in the Center for Innovative Learning. The gallery will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The gallery is closed during University holidays. For more information about this event, please contact Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org.