Breadth of newest faculty artwork on display in the Lower Jetté

Limestone carvings, oil paintings, pastel on sandpaper: these works of art and many others are currently on display in the faculty exhibit at the Colby College Museum of Art. “From the Studio: New Work by Faculty Artists” is a new exhibition that presents work from five art department faculty members: Assistant Professor of Art Bradley Borthwick, Professor of Art Bevin Engman, Associate Professor of Art Gary Green, Associate Professor of Art Garry Mitchell, and Associate Professor of Art Scott Reed.

For the show, each artist selected some of their most recent artworks. “The pieces in the faculty show represent a new direction in my work that has come together just since the start of the year,” Engman said. Engman is primarily an oil painter, but in the past has worked with acrylic, gouache, encaustic and tempera collage.  In the faculty exhibition, she will present works where she has applied to sandpaper. Those familiar with her previous work will find the constellations of pastel marks an exciting departure from some of the representative work she has worked on in the past.

Borthwick, on the other hand, will be presenting a return to limestone carving in which he casts his limestone work with urethan rubber to produce a mold for making copies. In the show, the copy is made of unfiltered beeswax. Other works will include an archival pigment print from original scanned documents by Green, Mitchell’s monotype alkyd on paper, and a piece by Reed titled Spanish Wine.

Putting on the show has required immense collaboration between the museum and the art department. “Everyone in the museum has been wonderful in helping the show come together. It’s been an immensely busy time for them with the opening of multiple other exhibits,” said Engman.  “I’m grateful to all my colleagues in the museum and thank them for their help,” she continued. Borthwick agreed, saying, “The museum staff are wonderful people. Curator Beth Finch is a true pleasure to work with—always available and timely in communicating throughout the process.”

Beyond the collaboration for this event, both professors are incredibly grateful to have the museum on campus. “I enjoy the sanctity of museum space—having such space down the hall is an important complement to the teaching studio,” Borthwick said. Engman added, “It’s wonderful having an art museum, the caliber of ours, on campus. Its collection has grown so much, and the loaned works they bring are truly amazing. Colby’s art majors, both in art history and in studio, interact with the collection, are inspired by it, and develop a hands-on, intimate relationship with art because of our Museum. Its presence makes teaching and learning a completely different experience.”

On October 1, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., Jessica May, Chief Curator at the Portland Museum of Art, will moderate a discussion with all participating artists in the Museum’s Lower Jetté Gallery. The exhibition is on display through October 25 in a gallery adjacent to the Landay Classroom on the lower level of the museum.

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