Welcome to the Department of Art

The Department of Art at the University of Maine offers dynamic, interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs: the B.A. in Art History; B.A. in Art Education; B.A. & B.F.A. in Studio Art; M.A., M.F.A., & Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Intermedia; and minors in Art History, Graphic Design & Studio Art.

Our undergraduate, graduate, and gallery programming is at the forefront of contemporary concerns in art practices; art history, criticism, and theory; and art pedagogy. The department balances a need for a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences with intensive study of the visual arts. By researching, critiquing, producing, exhibiting, and teaching art, our students become informed and creative contributors to 21st-century global culture.

Read more about the Department of Art

Featured Student: Delaney Burns

Delany.Burns.PortraitDelaney Burns is among a talented group of seniors graduating in May 2022. Delaney is an Honors student from Gorham, Maine, pursuing a dual degree: a BFA in Studio Art, with a printmaking concentration, and a BS in Marketing. She is also minoring in Art History and Graphic Design. 

Delaney has taken advantage of many of the opportunities available to Department of Art students, including serving as a curatorial intern at the university’s Zillman Art Museum and as a Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center undergraduate fellow. At the Zillman, Delaney curated an exhibition of prints titled Against the Grain: Selections from the Collection, and as a humanities center fellow she researched and created a series of large wood block prints of ancient bristlecone pine trees. The Pinus longaeva series is also the focus of her honors thesis.

The department’s state-of-the-art printmaking studio has been an invaluable classroom and laboratory for Delaney, giving her the space and resources necessary to refine her techniques and aesthetic sensibilities. At UMaine she has combined her interests in art, art history, ecology, and science into an interdisciplinary research focus and creative practice, situating herself among other professional artists who work at the intersection of the imagination and our most pressing social and environmental crises. Delaney has a keen understanding of how art contributes to sustainability and biodiversity. Her large-scale prints of plants and trees are dramatic visualizations of nature’s elegance.

Bristlecone 1, woodcut, 30 x 20 inchesBristlecone 1, woodcut, 30 x 20 inches

Finding Common Threads, woodcut on waxed paper, 9 x 12 inchesFinding Common Threads, woodcut on waxed paper, 9 x 12 inches

Calçotada, woodcut, 12 x 27 inchesCalçotada, woodcut, 12 x 27 inches

Pinus longaeva, woodcut, 90 x 40 inches

Pinus longaeva, woodcut, 90 x 40 inches



2024 Student Exhibition

Lord Hall Gallery is pleased to host the Department of Art’s 2024 Student Exhibition featuring artwork made by undergraduate students at UMaine. This year’s juror is Amy Rahn. Rahn is an Assistant Professor of Art History and the Charles Danforth Gallery Director, University of Maine at Augusta.

In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus of Art Michael Lewis Passes Away

The University of Maine community and the art world are mourning the loss of longtime UMaine professor emeritus of art Michael H. Lewis, who passed away June 27 after a long illness. He was 79.

Lewis was 25 when he joined UMaine’s then three-member Art Department in 1966, led by founder Vincent Hartgen. Lewis, a Brooklyn, New York native, said in a 2016 interview prior to his retirement that he and his wife, May, came to Maine never intending to stay — they just never found a reason to leave.

Lewis was instrumental in helping set the foundation for UMaine’s professional Department of Art as a vigorous place to learn from artists and scholars. During his time at UMaine, Lewis not only taught painting and drawing courses, but also mentored students and faculty alike, and served as department chair and associate dean. 

As an artist, he created an innovative, ever-evolving body of paintings and drawings exhibited in Maine and beyond. His paintings, including those in his signature turpentine wash, are in private collections and museums across the country and in far corners of the world.

Personally and professionally, Lewis pursued greater understanding of mysticism and spirituality. He used landscapes as a medium to explore and enlighten, reflecting the effect of Maine on his subconscious.

Painting and teaching were Lewis’ parallel passions. He once described his role in the classroom for more than a half-century as that of a “provocateur,” empowering students to stretch their imaginations. His message to generations of students he taught and mentored: Do what you love. Believe that your work will inspire others. Support creativity and keep making art. 

He touched the hearts and minds of countless people through his art and teaching. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues, students and family.