Senior artist profile series: Charlie Dupee ’15

Each year in May, The Colby Museum of Art hosts the Senior Art Show, an exhibition featuring works by senior students ranging a variety of mediums, including photography, sculpture, printmaking and painting. In the weeks leading up to the opening on May 7, the Echo will feature each artist, showcasing their work and speaking to them about their personal inspirations and processes.

Charlie Dupee ’15 is originally from Portland, ME and is majoring in New Media Aesthetics. The major, which he created through the independent studies program, is a “combination of computer science, art, and design.” He is the Community Advisor of Johnson dormitory and has been a member of the men’s soccer team since his first year at Colby, finishing up his final season this past Fall. Dupee has also been a part of several dance performances on campus. Recently, he performed in Sara Gibbons’s ’15 dance thesis Into the Frame of Us

As an artist, Dupee takes note of the people and places surrounding him as sources of inspiration. He said,  “life is literally so fast and there is always something happening; I think my art is a kind of way for me to slow down and try to organize the chaos in my head.” Despite its shortcomings, Dupee also looks at Maine and his experiences growing up here as being somewhat influential for him:“Maine isn’t the most diverse place, but Portland did its best to expose me to different types of people. I think it has taught me to not approach any situation from a single point of view.”

Currently, Dupee is taking courses in both painting and photography, and is exploring varied conceptual ideas in each medium. For the Senior Art Show, his paintings are abstract in style. To him they are “strangely difficult to define” and “are kind of quirky geometric shapes that live in a field of color, but I hope they are more than just that. In my head they are more than just that.”

Though certainly abstract, his paintings mark a unique departure from much of the other work generally seen from painting students.

His willingness to utilize different perspectives is evident in his most recent photographic project, which focuses on quotidian details that are often overlooked. He said, “I am doing a project dealing with the concept of contact and its different meanings. I am mostly taking photographs of things that I come in contact with in the everyday but don’t take the time to look at. I am printing them out quite small and mounting them on wood so they can be handled.”

Last semester, Dupee explored the way in which different people see and present themselves. “I did a photo project that dealt with people’s outward depiction of themselves and their inward contradicting voice. It involved people eating warheads. It was fun.”

Starting this September, Dupee will be taking his artistic talents to New York City, where he will be  working at DigitasLBI, a digital advertising agency.

Come see Dupee’s art alongside the works of the seven other artists who will be featured in the Senior Art Show, beginning on May 7 at the Museum.

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