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UMFK 125th Anniversary is topic of SAD 27 art contest

February 27, 2004


The University of Maine at Fort Kent's Blake Library Gallery will exhibit the winning art created by local students from SAD 27 who are joining in the celebration of UMFK's 125th anniversary with an art contest using that same theme. The exhibit will begin on March 22 and continue through April 1.

The contest was organized by Sofia Birden, gallery curator at UMFK's Blake Library. Birden enlisted the help of high school art teacher, Doug Clapp, and middle school art teacher, Mary Beth Jackson.

"I really could not have done this without their help," said Birden. "Both Doug Clapp and Mary Beth Jackson were vital to getting this project off the ground."

Birden used the occasion of the University's 125th anniversary to open a new chapter in cooperation between the local school district and campus community.

"I had wanted to bring the public school community into the gallery for a long time. I thought UMFK's 125th anniversary would be a great way to do this."

The contest is open to students in the fifth through twelfth grades in the SAD 27 school district. Entries will be organized primarily through the art classes taught at the high school and elementary schools by Clapp and Jackson. The grade levels have been separated into two groups: fifth through eighth grades and ninth through twelfth grades.

First prize in each group is a $50 gift certificate to the University bookstore, second prize is a $25 gift certificate, and third prize is a piece of UMFK 125th anniversary memorabilia.

Judges will award a single grand prize to the best piece of art from the combined divisions. The grand prize winner's artwork will be placed on display indefinitely and will be used in a UMFK publication.

Because the exhibit is celebrating UMFK's 125th anniversary, the students' work will reflect this theme, and judging criteria requires the students to display not only artistic ability but also thematic ability.

They have a number of thematic choices in and around UMFK's 125 years of existence. Criteria can be viewed and additional information obtained at

Judges for the contest are Therese Provanzano, UMFK art instructor and local artist; Priscilla Daigle, UMFK education instructor, local artist and entrepreneur; Scott Voisine, director of student services at UMFK and local artist; and Jason Parent, UMFK's university relations director and chairperson of the 125th anniversary committee.

"I am thankful for the judges' time and effort they are giving to this project," stated Birden.

Blake Library will host a reception and awards ceremony at the gallery located in the library on Tuesday, March 23 from 5:00 -6:30 p.m.

The exhibit may be viewed during regular library hours. For more information, contact Birden at 834-7527.