Reed Gallery features 2023 Fine Art Senior Thesis Exhibition

10 months ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Reed Art Gallery presents the 2023 Fine Art Senior Thesis Exhibition, featuring the work of Aimee Beltran and Jordyn Gardner. The show opened on April 28 and will be displayed through May 26.

The public is invited to view the exhibition throughout the show’s run and meet the artists during the Presque Isle First Friday Art Walk on Friday, May 5 from 6-8 p.m. The Reed Gallery is located on the second floor of the University’s Center for Innovative Learning.

The Fine Art Senior Thesis Exhibition, a 6-credit, academic-year-long course, is a capstone to the BFA program. The rigorous course of study is unique to most statewide BFA programs. The Senior Show allows enrolled students to have an experience similar to a graduate school environment. Students are required to prepare a body of work for the solo exhibition and defend it orally and in writing, in order to graduate.

Jordyn Gardner’s exhibition “People You Don’t Know” consists of 10 portraits that she created using digital drawing software and an iPad. The pieces combine exploratory, gestural line drawing that simulates the appearance of traditional drawing media, with shapes of uniform, flat color that have the appearance of digitally created vector graphics. This creates a juxtaposition of solid, seemingly permanent visual forms with loose, more transient lines, all based on the dichotomy between memories of events and the actual events. It also creates juxtapositions between the solid, tangible physicality of a person and the intangible elements that we perceive, such as their personality and memories that we associate with them. Gardner utilizes color to depict her subjective perception of each subject’s unique personality. The images, which are based on family and friends from the artist’s inner circle, demonstrate the power of visual art to convey more than just visual information, while raising questions about objective reality in a world of individual, subjective perceptions.

Aimee Beltran’s body of work, entitled “Through My Eyes”, is based on her love of the beauty of the natural world as seen in specific elements found in nature — color harmony, texture, variety, contrast, and the balance between chaos and order. Her personal interpretation of and passion for these elements is made manifest through a variety of visual art media, including photography, drawing, painting, and collage. Beltran’s work, consisting of dozens of photographic prints and works on paper and canvas, addresses not only the ability of visual form to convey both factual information and subjective interpretation simultaneously, but also the ways in which various media might suggest different solutions to the same visual problems.

The shows will be open for the Presque Isle First Friday Art Walk on Friday, May 5 from 6-8 p.m. and both artists will be present to discuss their work. The public is invited to attend this free event. The 2023 Senior Thesis exhibitions will be on view through May 26.

The Reed Art Gallery is located on the upper floor of the Center for Innovative Learning in the heart of the UMPI campus at 181 Main St. in Presque Isle. Regular gallery hours during the academic year are Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 2-8 p.m. The Reed Art Gallery is closed on Saturdays and holidays. 

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