Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle are pleased to announce a new art installation on campus as part of the State of Maine’s Percent for Art program.
The Geometric Foundations of Nature was created by Jude Valentine, a print maker, painter and University of Maine at Machias faculty member, and consists of four pieces from a 27-piece series of monoprints with digital overlays based on geometry in nature. Each piece is 36 ¼ inches high by 28 ¼ inches wide; the quartet of images have been installed on the second floor of Pullen Hall, one of the main classroom buildings on campus.
Valentine began the series in 2014 during a residency at South Dakota College of Mining and Technology. Much of Valentine’s inspiration for the prints came from a desire to combine science with art, two subjects that she sees as a natural fit.
“I’m really intrigued by plants and science museum displays and there were a lot of direct connections that could be made between these displays and the works I’d done because of the way they explore science and art,” Valentine said.
Enacted in 1979, the Maine Percent for Art law reserves one percent of the construction funds for all state-funded building projects for the acquisition of new works of art to be displayed in the public areas of these buildings. Recognizing the need to enhance culture and the arts and to encourage the development of artists, it was the intent of the Legislature to establish the Percent for Art Program to provide funds for and authorize the acquisition of artwork for the public spaces in public schools, community colleges, University of Maine facilities, and all state buildings. The Maine Arts Commission is the oversight organization for all Percent for Art projects.
Valentine has been a faculty member at UMM for 16 years and previously created 11 paintings for a Percent for Art project at the Washington County Courthouse in Machias in 2015. She submitted The Geometric Foundations of Nature to the Percent for Art committee one year ago and the prints went through a public call and jury process before being selected for the UMPI campus.
The artist calls her Percent for Art prints a culmination of a three-year process that began with her South Dakota residency and is excited for people to finally see her display at UMPI.
“It feels really great. When you make something, you don’t always think about where it’s going to go,” Valentine said. “I hope that people enjoy looking at the prints. Everyone sees something different, but I hope they’ll see the connections between art and science as almost two sides of the same coin.”
The public is invited to view the prints on the second floor of Pullen Hall, one of UMPI’s main classroom buildings. For more information, contact the Media Relations Office at 768-9452.