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Reed Gallery presents Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Reed Fine Art Gallery presents the 2014 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition, featuring selected works created by five graduating UMPI art students, through August 17.

The Reed Fine Art Gallery has presented a Senior Thesis Exhibition each year for the last seven years as an opportunity for young and upcoming artists in northern Maine to showcase their work to the public and to provide a forum for them to discuss their art.

Artists in this year’s exhibition include: Mirandah Akeley, Matt Austin, Kati Christoffel, Rowena Forbes, and Ryan Van Buskirk. The works featured were selected from individual shows held by each artist during the Spring 2014 semester as part of the Fine Art Senior Thesis Exhibition course. Students in the course are required to prepare a body of work for solo exhibition, and defend it orally and in writing, in order to graduate.

Mirandah Akeley’s encaustic paintings are an intimate and personal view of divorce and familial relationships. Selections from her exhibit, “Family Portrait,” include artifacts of her childhood and photographs embedded in the wax medium. The work evokes the emotional strain she experienced through the divorce process. Akeley’s work was awarded the Wanbaugh Purchase Award for its merit.

The body of work, “Structures of Society,” features the use of portrait in combination with land and cityscape in various stages of development. The work of Matt Austin explores attitudes of our evolving civilization. Often depicting man’s curiosity in contrast with introspection of Self, Austin’s pieces utilize watercolor, acrylic paint, graphite, and pastel.

Kati Christoffel’s large scale watercolor paintings show the effects of man on the fragile environment. Her work, shown in diptych form, displays endangered ecosystems, such as the coral reef, in their natural beautiful form in contrast to how they will end up if man continues to ignore the danger they are in. Her work was inspired by her time working in a national park in upstate New York during the summer of 2013.

Rowena Forbes presents her abstract expressionist paintings from her exhibit, “Inner Necessity.” Based on the writings of Wassily Kandinsky, John Dewey, and Mark Rothko, Forbes’ work explores how we access emotional constitution through the process of painting. Her acrylic paintings use color, mark, and process in response to the spiritual disposition.

The work of Ryan Van Buskirk features his love for skateboarding but conveys it less as a hobby and more as a way of life. Van Buskirk’s graphite drawings explore the moments of joy and agony in the activity. His exhibit, “Concrete Kinetics,” reflected the texture and energy of skateboard culture.

The 2014 Senior Thesis Exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to view some of the cutting edge work at the University in the last year. A reception for the show was held on Aug. 1 in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk. Visitors can still view the show during gallery hours through Aug. 17.

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 Heather Sincavage at 768-9442, or heather.sincavage@maine.edu.