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UMPI Art Professor showcases work at ARTexchange in New York City

University of Maine at Presque Isle Assistant Professor of Fine Art Renee Felini travelled to New York City to share her artwork in the ARTexchange presented in conjunction with the College Art Association (CAA) 99th Annual Conference. The CAA celebrated the second year of the ARTexchange with a one-night event held on Feb. 11.

According to its website, CAA includes among its members those who by vocation or avocation are concerned about and/or committed to the practice of art, teaching, and research of and about the visual arts and humanities. Over 14,000 artists, art historians, scholars, curators, collectors, educators, art publishers, and other visual-arts professionals are individual members.

Professor Felini was selected as one of 50 participants to share her work in the CAA event. As with the PechaKucha night in Waterville, where Felini also shared her artwork during October 2010, the objective of the ARTexchange was to support a growing trend in the art world where art is recognized for its scholarly, cultural, and societal importance over its economic value.

No sale of artwork was permitted at the ARTexchange. It was open and free to the public. All artists were in attendance to present their work and engage in dialogue with the viewers. Participants had to develop innovative displays, as most were travelling long distances to reach the destination with the work they chose to share in the open forum. Additionally, each artist was provided just the space on, above, and beneath a six-foot table to exhibit their work, without access to any electrical outlets or specialized lighting.

Professor Felini welcomed the challenge, as it encouraged her to be creative and experiment with new ways to showcase her artwork. Both the PechaKucha Waterville and ARTexchange NYC events also allowed her to reach large audiences to share her ideas and life’s work.

“I garner a great deal of meaning and insight into my life with my artwork,” Felini said. “It is a pleasure to share the beauty of life I discover with others in the hope that we can engage with one another, learn from each other, and grow together. I long for true human interactions and a basic understanding of what it means to be an individual.”