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Blake Library Gallery to host exhibit by UMFK art students

December 14, 2012


UMFK's Blake Library Gallery will feature "Creativity Takes Courage," the work of students in Therese Provenzano's Art 200 Fundamentals of Art class. The exhibition derives its name from a statement by Henri Matisse, an influential French artist of the twentieth century. The student artworks will be on display through Wednesday, December 19.

Brenda LaCombe graphite drawing

The exhibition is comprised of drawings made from graphite, vine charcoal, alpha-charcoal or mixed-media. Paintings are made from watercolor or pastels. A monoprint made from watercolor and pastel is exhibited.

Students represented in the exhibition are: Kersti Ackley; Erica Allen; Bianca Babin; Keith Cimiano; Jordan Crone; Sean Doman; Brittany Duprey; Brenda LaCombe; Kate Laliberte; Angel Lewis; Tyler Madden; Mark Olson; Dylan Ouellette; Corey Paradis; Krystal Paradis; Carlee Pinette; Ivon Portellez; and Amanda Violette.

Angel Lewis watercolor painting

Art 200 Fundamentals of Art is a hands-on introductory studio course in the practical use of two-dimensional art and design. Students are given the opportunity to develop techniques and skills in a variety of wet and dry materials. The engagement with these materials allows students to develop a dialogue about visual elements and to form an appreciation for the art making process.

Visual Arts Instructor, Therese Provenzano states, "Perhaps, one would think the course is about playing around with materials. It is that and much more. Students actually gain technical skills in using various materials that they never used before while meeting the requirements for each assignment. The assignments are intended as a launch pad with the benefit of being much deeper. Fundamentals of Art affords our students the challenge of thinking outside the box by developing problem solving and critical thinking skills. There is not one clear cut answer to solve the problems put before them.”

Provenzano adds, “We are living in challenging times where becoming a creative thinker is a valuable skill to have for survival and as an employee in any field. The other aspect students gain is to develop a tolerance for diversity. The arts encourage students to develop their uniqueness with respect to others."

Student Artists' Statement:

Ivon Portellez expressed, "The funny thing is that most people believe they have to be able to draw well in order to create good artwork. I'm convinced that everyone has what it takes to create art. You just have to be courageous enough to try it. Most people are so convinced they can't do it that they don't even try. I don't create art because I think I'm good at it. I do it because I love it and because it is fun."

Kersti Ackley graphite drawing

Kersti Ackley shared, "I make art because I love the risk that art presents. There were many challenges I had to face and overcome. I have learned a lot about myself from making artwork. Following the parameters of the assignment made it a lot easier to learn about working with color and improved my understanding of using color."

Erica Allen stated, "I was surprised by the level of art that I could produce when taught properly. I also was also surprised by how much I liked creating art. My favorite materials were graphite and watercolors."

Dylan Ouellette expressed, "I would recommend this class, even to those who believe that they don't have very much artistic ability. Overall, this class has challenged me to be creative and daring enough to try new techniques with the mediums that were used. In order to be daring, you must put your whole art piece on the line; the results often are worth it."

Amanda Violette commented, "I have taken away so much from this class on a personal level and with learning techniques. Part of the projects that we do, are the entries we write in our journals reflecting back on our work. We are asked ‘what did we learn about ourselves from this project; and what can we reflect on that can help us in life.' I love how we are asked to do this because otherwise I would have never made these connections."

Mark Olson shared, "I really enjoyed being in Fundamentals of Art class this semester. I found that it was really relaxing to be able to go to the art room and work on an assignment for this class, while in the middle of having to write ten-page papers or taking a billion exams online. Just getting away from all that and clearing my head for a little while helped me cope with all the stresses of being a university student."

The exhibit may be viewed during UMFK's Blake Library hours. For more information, contact Sofia Birden, gallery curator, at (207) 834-7527.