"Wandering at Night" featured at UMFK's Blake Library Gallery
February 19, 2010
The University of Maine at Fort Kent will feature the exhibit entitled, “Wandering at Night” by local artist Michelle Richardson. The exhibition will be on display during the month of March.
An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Friday, March 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. The public is invited.
The exhibit will feature wildlife and fantasy subjects, depicted in clay engravings, drawings, and paintings completed over the last four years, while Michelle, a self taught artist, wrestled with a series of health issues.
The title of the exhibit represents the time of day Michelle spent working on the pieces featured in the show. “While convalescing, I was often unable to sleep, so I spent my evenings exploring art. I found that at 3 a.m. anything seems possible and everything probable. While most people think that my more fantastical pieces reflect those dark hours the best, I feel that the improbable level of detail in my wildlife pieces, with every filament in a cormorant’s feather represented or a whale made up of the ocean it swims through, reflect a subtle facet of reality that only dreamers experience,” noted Richardson.
She had just completed a Bachelor of University Studies at UMFK in 2007, when everything changed.
“I love science, particularly botany. I planned on pursuing it as my career. Who knew life would turn so quickly?” During the three major surgeries and a diagnosis of fibromyalgia that followed, Michelle rediscovered her passion for art. “At first, I began drawing simply because I needed something to do with my hands and mind. Art provide the outlet, both creative and mental, that I desperately craved. For a while I was physically unable to do much. My movements were really restricted. The pieces in the exhibit represent both a rediscovery of an old love and the salvation of my sanity,” said Richardson.
It is her hope that by sharing her art and experience with the public, that it will help others with similar experiences, and offer them a vehicle to express to what can be a very isolated and difficult time.
Richardson also adds, “I believe that art is not about how talented you are or how well trained. It’s about the drive to create, and the impetus to share what is one person’s unique experiences or point of view with others. There is a reason that the petro glyphs in the American Southwest and the cave paintings in Lascaux, France speak to us across the eons despite their simplistic nature and rough execution. Our ancestors are speaking to us across the eons through their art.”
Michelle currently is enrolled in a master degree program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and will graduate in July 2012 with a Master in Fine Arts in Writing Fiction. During the coming year, she will continue exploring her artistic voice, while pursuing a graduate degree in fiction writing. She plans on combining her art with her writing one day soon.
“Ultimately, what I would really like to do is teach. I love helping others find their voices, be it through art, writing, or both. Everyone has a story; they just need the right vehicle to share it,” replied Richardson.
The exhibit can be viewed during regular library hours. For more information, contact gallery curator Sophia Birden at (207) 834-7527.