UMPI

UMPI art student to show ceramics work

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Reed Art Gallery presents MOR-PHOL-O-GY, new sculptures by Brianna Gerrish, between Oct. 15 and Nov. 19.

Gerrish, who grew up in northern Maine, graduated magna cum laude from UMPI in 2020 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramic arts. At graduation, she was awarded the University’s Fine Art Talent Award and Art History Scholar Award. She was also awarded the Robert Wanbaugh Memorial Art Award, which allows for the purchase of a work of art by a graduating UMPI student that will become part of the University’s permanent art collection. The 22 sculptures in the exhibit are the culmination of Gerrish’s senior thesis work.

“The Reed Gallery doesn’t normally exhibit student work,” Gallery Director Frank Sullivan said, “but Brianna is an exceptional artist and the body of work that she produced is quite special and, in terms of both its form and content, shows an artistic maturity that far exceeds what one might expect from a BFA candidate. I wanted to share the work with as many people as possible and the Reed Gallery space allows for optimal viewing of the almost two dozen pieces.”

The ceramic sculptures in MOR-PHOL-O-LOGY explore the universal in nature via forms whose graceful and curvilinear shapes seem to be products of Nature herself, each with its own unique character, personality, and lifeblood. The sculptures are composed of a variety of earthy colors, both warm and cool, similar to those found in the natural world. Their surfaces, the product of the artist’s fearless embracing of the often-unpredictable nature of the glazing and firing process, proudly display irregularities and imperfections, which appear not as blemishes, but as scars of a courageous life subjected to the forces of the natural world and that belie each object’s inherent gracefulness and beauty. As Kahlil Gibran has said, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

“The work exemplifies my own unique language of form, inspired by nature and animism in a synthesis of spirituality and science. The sculptures evoke the dualities of chaos and order, pattern and variance, alien and familiar, real and imaginary, living and inanimate, as well as internal and external worlds. Balancing between each binary, the work captures the visual, material, and spiritual makeup that unite us all as one in nature,” said the artist.

MOR-PHOL-O-LOGY will be on display at the Reed Art Gallery through Nov. 19. Due to current University of Maine System mandates for COVID-19 safety, the Gallery, as all buildings on campus, will only be open to University students, faculty and staff. There will be a maximum of eight people allowed in the Gallery at any one time. Gallery hours are: Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Reed Art Gallery is located on the second floor of the Center for Innovative Learning. Because community members aren’t able to view the show in person, the gallery will post photos from the show on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/reedartgallery

For more information, please contact Reed Art Gallery Director Frank Sullivan at frank.sullivan@maine.edu or 207-694-1920.

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