An educator and art collector who will receive an honorary degree during the University’s 100th commencement this May will present a selection of minimalist prints and drawings from his renowned collection this spring at the Reed Fine Art Gallery.
Bruce Brown, a Portland native and curator emeritus of the Center for Maine Contemporary Arts in Rockport, presents Next to Nothing is Everything between April 27 and May 23. A reception in the gallery will be held on Friday, May 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. Brown will present an informal talk and answer questions about the works from his collection. This event is free and open to the public.
Slated to be on display are works by Maine artists Clifton Boudman, Kendra Ferguson, Donald Voisine, Fred Lynch and Johnnie Ross, as well as works by internationally renowned artists Josef Albers, Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, and Martin Puryear, among others.
“Over time I have come to appreciate those artists who can strip away everything including recognizable subjects in favor of expressing beauty in a few lines or colors – the most basic elements of art itself,” Brown said. “The title for this show purposefully expresses a personal point of view which I hope will provoke a discussion about how differently art can speak to each of us.”
Brown has served for more than 35 years in the state as an educator and proponent of contemporary art. At the Center for Maine Contemporary Arts, he organized more than 200 exhibitions between 1987 and 2006. He did this while working as an educator at Freeport High School, where he served from 1972 to 2000. In 1984, he was the recipient of the first ever “Support of Arts Education in Maine Schools” Award by the Maine Arts Educators Association.
Since the 1970’s, Brown has been able to gather together an impressive collection of contemporary art, featuring American prints and Maine photography. Brown has lent works from his collection for several museum and gallery exhibitions.
Brown was recognized by Arts and Antiques Magazine in 2007 as one of America’s significant art collectors. Brown currently serves on committees at the Portland Museum of Art, the Maine Media Workshops, and PCA Great Performances. He was presented the “Leadership in the Visual Arts Award in Maine” by Maine College of Art in 2000.
Brown earned his Bachelor’s degree from Boston University in 1963 and his Master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine in 1972. Brown will be an honorary degree recipient at UMPI’s commencement ceremonies on May 16.
Light refreshments will be served as appetizers to the Senior Banquet, which will be occurring immediately following the reception at the Reed Gallery. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The gallery is closed Sundays and university holidays. For more information about this event, please contact Sandra Huck at 768-9611.