During the entire month of April, the work of University of Maine at Presque Isle ceramics students will be on display in downtown Presque Isle in the Project Compass Ceramics Show. The 450 Main Street location, near the Northeastland Hotel, will showcase completed works made possible through a Project Compass mini-grant.
The students whose works are on display include: Joanna Dumond, Whitney Graham, Shelly Hanson, Judith Jeffery, Arelis Jimenez, Rebecca Kelley, Jenna Larochelle, Erick Martinez, Paige McEachern, Carleena Newman, Melody Sanborn, Erica Smith, Krista Stevens, Brittany Taylor, and Amanda Turmenne.
Renee Felini, Assistant Professor of Fine Art, secured the mini-grant and created the course framework in order to offer a unique learning experience for the students. As a result, students had access to materials that would not normally be available and learned an alternative ceramics technique. The process was not only an opportunity to learn the use of new materials, but also an exercise to promote further understanding of Native American history.
Each student chose a Native American tribe and story from their selected tribe, which they depicted on the surface of the ceramic vessels they created using the coiling technique. Some of the works narrate stories from tribes local to the region. The height and size requirements were decided upon by the 16 ceramics students. Class time was provided for meetings to discuss the aims of the show.
"Students sat in a circle and openly shared their ideas and stories with one another," Felini said. "Just as birth was given to the project in this way, the configuration of the display is also circular, representing the unity and teamwork necessary to execute such a project."
The stories narrated in a pictorial manner on each vessel are accompanied by a summarized written version in the show.
Those involved in the show would like to give their appreciation to Myrth Schwartz for being a constant support throughout the entire process, Brian Korhonen and Claude Boucher for building the display stands, Leah McEachern for all her hard work finish glazing and firing the pieces, Tim Bair for all his help editing statements and installing the show, S.W. Collins for donating show materials, and the Northeastland Hotel and the Hedrich family for donating the space.
The show will be on display from April 1-30, 2010. Viewings can be made by appointment. Please call Tim Bair at 540-6505 to set up a time to view the work. School groups are encouraged to attend. There will be a closing celebration on Friday, April 30 starting at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served and the event is open to the public.