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New exhibition at UMMA

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New exhibition at UMMA a painting by Emily Trenholm

The UMMA gallery opened its doors for a new exhibit on June 21. The three new shows feature a variety of approaches to the oil paint medium. Paintings explore fictional and historic worlds, recreate and distort memory, capture the ebb and flow of nature and play with formalist principles. It is a show that will delight museum goers and is worth repeated trips.

Travel in My Borrowed Lives

A double exhibition, it features art by Rachelle Agundes and Sean Downey. Both hailing from the west coast, this landscape has inspired the backdrop of their work.

Sean Downey explores Pacific Northwest archetypes both fictional and real. Figures are distant. A thousand-yard stare drains each set of eyes. Not one of his characters connects with us; rather, they stare past, as though in self-preservation. They are burned out and exhausted, broken by unfulfilled promises and quashed dreams. His characters are were idealists, but in the face of a harsh world, they turned to intoxication and isolation.

Rachelle Agundes investigates the distorting, funhouse mirror of memory. Landscapes are fractured and distorted. Figures and foreign objects obstruct and become obstructed. Despite the prolonged meditation on memory - in particular, its failings at reproducing impressions - there is no melancholy. Rather, a playfulness and liveliness exudes from her work. It is an earnest project to better understand our relationship to time and space, memory and impression. Bold, lively colors, and unique, playful subjects cast away any lamentation.

Three Chords

Playful, in a word. Joanne Freeman's art invites us to read between the lines and let our imaginations explore. Lines curve and shoot up, crash against the canvas and fall back down. Other lines become tangled. The use of shaped canvas tells us almost immediately she is very much concerned with formal qualities of painting. Freeman's formalist aesthetic explores and shapes the boundaries of canvas. Most canvases are small in scale, while others provoke our senses in large-scale paintings.

Monhegan: A New Perspective

Transient. Effervescent. Ebullient. Energetic. Emily Trenholm captures the character of a dynamic and shifting nature. Light fades and strengthens with clouds. Water ceaselessly flows with the tide, formless and eternal. Like Rachelle Agundes, Trenholm captures a world subject to change; however, the perspective remains external, always faithfully trying to capture the scene: bubbling tides and churning foam and shifting light.

The show runs from June 21 to Sept. 21, 2013.

The UMMA gallery is located at 40 Harlow Street in historic Norumbega Hall in downtown Bangor along the Kenduskeag Stream. Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission this year is provided by a generous donation from Penobscot Financial Advisors. For more information, visit or call (207) 561-3350.


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