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UMF Art Gallery and regional arts community join in Water Bear Confabulum' seasonal arts festival, Oct. 31

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FARMINGTON The UMF Art Gallery, The Arts Institute of Western Maine, and the Farmington Downtown Business Association are pleased to present the first 'Water Bear Confabulum,' an annual alternative arts festival and series of events in Farmington, Maine, that celebrate diverse artistic and community voices. This collaborative arts festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 3 to 7 p.m., in the alleyways of downtown Farmington and from 4 to 6 p.m., on the 'Trick-or-Treat-Trail' in the alleyways and businesses along Main Street and Broadway.

The Water Bear Confabulum invites the re-imagining of everyday places in the town and its environs in surprising ways through art and performance. By subverting traditional functions and expectations of known places through the arts and by artistically invading overlooked and unconventional spaces, artmakers bring fresh attention to the fabric of the town and to the local conversation with social and community ideas.

This year's featured guest is 'Pigeon,' Bangor-based street artist and activist. In his work, Pigeon "creates community by confronting the customs, people, laws, institutions, attitudes and corporations that tell us that we are not at home in the place we live." The artist will install a temporary mural on the long outer wall of Java Joe's, an extension of his 'Mainers' project, a series of powerful portraits of Mainers who come from other countries. He will also run a wheat-paste workshop for children to hang their own drawings and paintings in the alleys and, later in the fall, present a public artist talk.

The usual November First-Friday events will instead take place on Halloween Saturday to coincide with the Water Bear Confabulum. There will be a Water Bear Trick-or-Treat Trail in the alleyways and in the shops and restaurants along Main Street and Broadway from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Water Bear (or tardigrade) is a unique and enduring animal living unseen among us, adapting to new environments, even to the extreme landscape of outer space. A confabulum combines the meanings of confabulation: first, to simply engage in conversation, and second, the psychological meaning--the brain's compulsion to generate fictions to fill absences in memory.

For more information or to participate in the Water Bear Confabulum as an artist or performer, please contact Sarah Maline at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 778-1062 and see the Water Bear Confabulum page at artgalleryumf.org.

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