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Reed Art Gallery presents Jeanne Wells exhibit

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Reed Art Gallery will present Odes and Alliterations, photo-works 2003-2018 by Jeanne Wells, from Aug. 27 through Oct. 12, 2018. The public is invited to view the exhibition throughout the show’s run and attend the Gallery Reception on Friday, Sept. 7, from 5-7 p.m., which includes a talk with the artist at 5:30 p.m.; light refreshments will be served. This reception is being held in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk. The Reed Gallery is located on the second floor of the University’s Center for Innovative Learning.

Photographer Jeanne Wells was born and raised on the Maine coast, and lived there most of her life before moving to Aroostook County and founding Things of this World studio + press. Wells uses medium and large format cameras, and employs a range of antiquarian and alternative printing techniques such as wet plate collodion, photogravure, platinum, liquid silver emulsion and lith printing. Examples of many of these mediums will be on display during her fall show at the Reed Gallery.

“For the past thirteen years I have mainly used antiquarian and alternative methods: big cameras, film, tintypes, glass plates, and photogravures. I grind my own chemicals and mix them by hand. I flow emulsions onto glass and aluminum and apply pigments with brushes. In the case of The White Sutra, I have used the printmaker’s ink and tarletan, polymer plates, and an intaglio press,” Wells said of her work. “Why this difficult path in the age of technology? The perfection I seek is an emotional perfection rather than technical perfection. The real joy for me is in the work of the hands, in the craft and the process. I love to follow the image as it evolves and morphs and mingles with the mystery to find its own voice.”

Though Wells is mostly self-taught, she has studied wet collodion with Mark Osterman at The George Eastman House, and Keliy Anderson-Staley at the Bakery Photographic Collective. Wells learned the polymer photogravure process from artist Josephine Sacabo and her assistant, Meg Turner, at Sacabo’s studio in New Orleans; Clay Harmon at North Light Photographic Workshops; and master printer Paul Taylor at Renaissance Press.

Recent exhibitions include: The White Sutra, and Photogravures, Susan Maasch Fine Art, Portland Maine; Actinic, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland; The Antiquarian Image, St. Tammany Art Association, Covington, LA; Light Sensitive 2015 & 2016, Art Intersection, Gilbert  AZ; Alternative Processes, Center for Fine Art Photography, Christopher James, juror; Antiquarian & the New Alchemy, Serenbe Photography Center, curated by S. Gayle Stevens; The Things That Seem and Those That Are, Panopticon Gallery, Boston; and several solo and two person exhibitions at Galleri Form & Farg, Eskilstuna, Sweden.

Many of Wells’ collectors were introduced to her work through the Daily Print project, which she conceived of and ran from 2008-2011. The project consisted of one print each day, made in the darkroom and emailed to a list of subscribers. She has been represented by Unlimited Grain Gallery in Rotterdam, Millenium Images, LensModern in London, Arcangel Images in Spain, and Susan Maasch Fine Art, Portland, Maine. Her work is held in private collections around the world.

Wells has received the Merit Award from Black and White magazine; a special mention for her website in Black and White UK magazine; and was one of six women written about in a View Camera magazine piece entitled, “Women and Their Big Cameras.” Her work will be featured in the Polymer Photogravure volume of Routledge Press’s Contemporary Practices in Alternative Process Photography to be published in 2018.

All are invited to view Wells’ show between August and October and to come out to the First Friday Art Walk on Sept. 7 and take part in the free reception and artist’s talk at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. In addition, this show will be open during the First Friday Art Walk on Oct. 5 from 5-7 p.m. Please follow gallery happenings on the Reed Gallery Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ReedArtGallery.

The Reed Fine Art Gallery is located on the second floor of UMPI’s Center for Innovative Learning and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is closed Saturdays, Sundays, and University holidays. For more information about this event, please contact Reed Gallery Director Hyrum Benson at (207) 768-9441 or hyrum.benson@maine.edu.