News & Events

UMPI’s Reed Fine Art Gallery presents special Bernard Langlais exhibit

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Reed Fine Art Gallery will present Bernard Langlais: The Man Behind the Owls, an exhibition of the acclaimed Maine sculptor, from May 2 through June 21, 2014. The public is invited to view the exhibition throughout the show’s run and attend the Opening Reception on May 2 from 5-7 p.m., which is being held in conjunction with the Presque Isle First Friday Art Walk. Curator of the collection and Reed Gallery Director Heather Sincavage will hold a Gallery Talk at 5:30 p.m.

This particular exhibit is closely connected to The Owls sculpture, which is iconic to the UMPI campus and recently underwent a substantial restoration. The Owls by Bernard “Blackie” Langlais was a result of a competitive commission contest, initiated in 1976, and would be Langlais’ last sculpture. It was installed in January 1978, just two weeks after Langlais’ sudden death from congestive heart failure.

Because the University has Langlais’ final artwork, it uniquely positions the campus in the rich and prolific legacy of the renowned sculptor. To honor the recent Owls restoration, Reed Gallery Director Heather Sincavage planned to assemble and curate an exhibition by borrowing artwork from existing collections. Throughout the process of locating notable artworks, the Kohler Foundation, Inc came forward to offer access to the Langlais estate.

Bernard Langlais: The Man Behind the Owls is an exhibition of recently acquired art works from the estate—totaling more than 800 pieces of artwork—gifted by the Kohler Foundation, Inc. This substantial acquisition, which includes sketches, sketchbooks, studies, and models, establishes the campus as a research facility for the artist.

The exhibition is arranged in a way to mimic the Langlais’ aesthetic. It shows his prolific range, his thought process, and who he was—someone who loved animals, material, and process. “I hope the public will come out to discover and appreciate a little bit more about ‘Blackie,'” Sincavage said. “Preparing this exhibition and accompanying catalog has given me such a wonderful insight into the man. He was worldly and knowledgeable with a wonderfully salty sense of humor!”

In addition to its First Friday reception on May 2, Bernard Langlais: The Man Behind the Owls will be open for the First Friday Art Walk on June 6 from 5-7 p.m. Please follow gallery happenings on the Reed Gallery Facebook page,www.facebook.com/ReedArtGallery. The public is encouraged to come out to First Friday and attend this free event. Light refreshments will be served.

The Reed Fine Art Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays and University holidays. For more information about this event, please contact Sincavage at 768-9442 or heather.sincavage@maine.edu.