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The University of Maine Museum of Art Presents Three New Exhibitions January 20 – April 8, 2006

Contact: Kathryn Jovanelli 207.561.3352 kj@umit.maine.edu

Bangor, Maine – Three new exhibitions will be presented by The University of Maine Museum of Art during the winter season. Maine artist Michael Alpert’s photographs portray the often harsh, unadorned beauty of the state in Michael Alpert: Recent Photographs. Lauren Fensterstock features conceptual sculptures by this Portland artist and curator which uniquely twist nature with the manmade. Reminding us of distant summer days, Five Landscape Paintings brings welcome warmth to winter’s cold with this exhibition of large, summer landscape paintings by five acclaimed artists: Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, April Gornik, Vaino Kola and Neil Welliver.

Michael Alpert: Recent Photographs

Michael Alpert: Recent Photographs are black and white images which record an unvarnished Maine. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s dictum, “Pictures must not be too picturesque” has resonance in these spare, detailed photographs which are rendered with unsentimental precision.

Taken during the past two years, Alpert’s photographs often depict places people drive by daily, often without consideration. Frequently, Michael Alpert has been there as well, recording the built Maine environment for our closer inspection. His timeless images are less concerned with the natural beauty of the landscape but concentrate instead on the houses, barns, factories and monuments – portraying these signposts of our history with an awful, quiet beauty.

Michael Alpert is a Bangor resident. His work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in 2004, which also published a book of his photographs entitled, A Maine Portfolio.

Lauren Fensterstock

Lauren Fensterstock is a Portland artist and curator. She trained as a painter and jewelry maker at Parsons School of Design, New York City, and further refined her talents in graduate school at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her recent work embraces a perceived conflict, twisting nature with the manmade, the uncommon with common objects. Fensterstock’s influences range from 16th Century portraits of Anne Boleyn to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” Each of these delicate pieces is a conceptual inquiry into the relationship between aesthetics and morality. A menacing spider’s shadow is cast in tiny rubies: is it beautiful or lethal?

Five Landscape Paintings

Five Landscape Paintings will bring warmth to winter’s cold days by presenting large landscape paintings of summer. In these paintings, each of the five artists, Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, April Gornik, Vaino Kola, and Neil Welliver, is engaged in recording the landscape in a singular way.

Lois Dodd was born in Montclair, New Jersey in 1927. From 1945 to 1948 she attended The Cooper Union in New York. In 1952 she was one of five artists to establish the Tanager Gallery, where she exhibited until 1962. From 1971 to 1992 Dodd taught at Brooklyn College, and has, since 1980, served on the Board of Governors of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She is an elected member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and National Academy of Design.

Rackstraw Downes, a native of Kent, England, earned his BFA and MFA at Yale. He spent twelve years as a professor of painting at University of Pennsylvania, and in 1999 was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Downes lives and works in New York.

April Gornik, born in Cleveland in 1953, is a painter and printmaker currently living and working in New York. She has shown extensively, in one-person and group shows, in the United States and abroad. Her work is owned by many museums including the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Vaino Kola was born in Finland in 1937. He was educated in the US, receiving his BFA from MA College of Art and his MFA from Yale. His work has been shown extensively in the United States and in Europe. Kola retired from Wheaton College in 1994, Professor of Art, Emeritus. In 1995 he became a year-round resident of Deer Isle.

Neil Welliver (1929 – 2005), a Pennsylvania native, graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art (now part of the University of the Arts) and later received his MFA from Yale University, where he studied with the noted abstract artist Josef Albers. From 1956 to 1966 Welliver taught at Yale, and from 1966 to 1989 at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Art despite having moved to Lincolnville, Maine in 1970. A memorial exhibition was recently held at the Alexandre Gallery in New York City.

For additional information please call Kathryn Jovanelli at 561.3350.

Museum of Art
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.
Admission: $3.00 per person. No charge for Museum Members and UM students with Maine Card.

Directions
From the North
I-95, Exit 185 (formerly 48) – Broadway, (Bangor, Brewer)
Turn left at light onto Broadway, Rt. 15
At the 4th light (1.2 m), turn right onto State St., Rt. 2
At the light at the bottom of the hill (.1 m), turn right on to Harlow St. (a one-way street)
Merge into left lane, turn left into parking lot of Norumbega Hall.

From the South
I-95, Exit 185 (formerly 48) – Broadway, (Bangor, Brewer)
Turn left at light on to Broadway, Rt. 15
At the 3rd light (1.1 mi), turn right onto State St., Rt. 2
At the light at the bottom of the hill (.1 mi), turn right onto Harlow St. (a one-way street)
Merge into left lane, turn left into parking lot of Norumbega Hall.

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