Monday, July 16th, 2018

Artists in Action: Gorham exhibit encourages exploration of art beyond the classroom setting

Matthew Craig

Posted on February 25, 2017 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

Matthew Craig
Matthew Craig
Matthew Craig

By Matthew Craig

At USM’s Gorham campus art museum, there is a brand new exhibit amongst the many brilliant pieces of art. This exhibit, titled “Portals,” is a compilation of creative works by art educators from the state of Maine to encourage studio practice and to explore the process that takes place beyond their classrooms. The mission was for the art educators to create their own interpretations of the concept of a portal. A portal can be defined as an entrance, especially a large, detailed one.

The artists in the show teach at public and private schools, along with countless universities throughout the state. Additionally, the artists are all members of the Maine Art Education Association, which helps students by encouraging practices of learner-centered visual arts within classrooms and allows for the exchange of ideas and support among educators to ensure quality teaching programs. Asked to participate were just average art educators around the state, some of whom included high school art teachers, such as Joe McLaughlin from Windham High School. Ten alumni and one student teacher were also featured in the exhibit.

Carolyn Eyler, director of Exhibitions and Programs here at USM, paired up with Alison Price, exhibition curator, to co-organize this special exhibition. Eyler mentioned that this was her way of hosting a more in-depth show, considering the exhibition shows all forms of media that every particular artist used.

“It is our opportunity to work with a very important community group in Maine,” Eyler said. “It shows how teachers are also dedicated artists, and it shows the strengths and depths of the art of artists in Maine.”

Eyler also discussed the importance of being able to focus on both the artist’s studio times and teaching. This shows students and staff that they have the ability to learn while still pursuing what they love, as these artists did.

There was also an art workshop given to the art teachers taking place in this exposition in order to help professional development. The workshop was done using a paper and rubber mold, and students in the art major field were allowed to help the professors with this workshop. In addition to that, USM’s introduced the work at an opening ceremony back in January.

If you are interested in furthering your development of art, USM offers a strong program through a BFA major, where you are required more studio time to work on projects, with a community arts track. If you are intrigued by the exhibit, it is definitely worth checking out and will be available to do so until March 2. The art gallery in Gorham at 5 University Way, Gorham, is open Wednesday through Sunday. Wednesday and Thursday, it is open from 12 p.m. through 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday, it is open 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.

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