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  • Bigelow Laboratory and Colby College collaborate with Tiny Giants exhibit

    Marine microbes produce half the oxygen we breathe. They are the base of the food chain, and without them the food source for billions of people would be threatened. Microbes also offer the potential for discoveries of new pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements and fuel sources and the potential to mitigate the effects of climate change.

    They also are stunningly beautiful.

    The invisible world of marine microbes will be revealed through a photographic art exhibit at Colby College throughout the fall semester from Sept. 17-Dec. 17.

    Eighteen large images (up to five feet by four feet) make the invisible microscopic marine organisms visible, helping to tell the stories of the critical roles these tiny creatures play in planetary health and balance.

    “Our idea behind the Tiny Giants images was to pique people’s imaginations about the invisible creatures that we study that are vital to our very existence,” said Dr. Benjamin Twining, director of research and education at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, where the exhibit was created. “Their visual depiction provides the opportunity for people to also learn about marine microbes. We are delighted that Colby College decided to take this a step further and explore microbes from a variety of vantage points, from using them as a muse for sculptural inspiration to examining how microbial knowledge might be used to help guide policy positions.”

    Colby professors in biology, environmental science, the humanities, art, theater and dance will use the exhibit as a launching point in their fall courses as they integrate the concept of invisible marine microbes into their respective disciplines.

    “We’re excited to show the images in the Tiny Giants exhibition on campus this fall” said Colby Provost and Dean of Faculty Lori G. Kletzer. “Colby’s strategic partnership with Bigelow Laboratory provides world-class opportunities in marine science and climate science for our students—we knew that. And now the unique aesthetic for examining the natural microbial world through these photos completely reinforces the interdisciplinary approach that both our institutions value so highly.”

    The Tiny Giants exhibit will formally opened with a reception in Miller Library on Colby’s campus on Thursday, Sept. 17th.

    Photographs will be on view at three campus locations through Dec. 17: at the Miller Library, Olin Science Library and the Davis Curricular Gallery in the Colby College Museum of Art.

    Participating Colby faculty members who will incorporate Tiny Giants into semester activities include the Julian D. Taylor Associate Professor of Classics and Director of Colby’s Center for the Arts and Humanities Kerill O’Neill, Professor of Science, Technology, and Society James R. Fleming, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Denise A. Bruesewitz, Assistant Professor of Art Bradley A. Borthwick, Associate Professor of Art Tanya R. Sheehan, Associate Professor of Biology Catherine R. Bevier, and Technical Director in Theater and Dance John E. Ervin.

    The art and science educational collaboration will conclude with an event in early December that will showcase students’ work inspired by Tiny Giants.

    The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours and when the museum is open, and it offers an unprecedented opportunity to see the invisible—and the beauty and wonder of these diminutive creatures that play such an important role in keeping the planet balanced. The photos represent the technological and scientific achievement of capturing microscopic marine microbes that are invisible to the naked eye. Scientists at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences took the photographs at three different scales, using three different types of microscopes.

    Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, an independent not-for-profit research institution on the coast of Maine, conducts research ranging from microbial oceanography to large-scale ocean processes that affect the global environment. Recognized as a leader in Maine’s emerging innovation economy, the Laboratory’s research, education, and technology transfer programs are spurring significant economic growth in the state.

  • October is ARTober in Bangor, Maine, a local celebration of arts and culture

    Downtown Bangor, Maine. Photo by Ramona du Houx

    Planned by the Bangor City Council Commission on Cultural Development, the art celebration will showcase more than 80 events and exhibitions, including live performances, art exhibits, lectures and workshops at 30 venues.

    A complete listing of events is available on the city’s website athttp://www.bangormaine.gov/artober.

    Venues for ARTober include the University of Maine Museum of Art, the Bangor Opera House, Bangor International Airport, Bangor Mall, Bangor Public Library, public parks and numerous local businesses.

    Most ARTober events will be free and open to the public. The variety of events was developed by reaching out to numerous arts and cultural organizations in Bangor.

    Last June, the cultural commission received a $10,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation for support and programming related to ARTober. That doubles the commission’s annual budget allocation from the City Council of $10,000.

    ARTober coincides with National Arts & Humanities Month, a nationwide recognition of the importance of culture in America.

  • “Art” Pianos in Bangor’s parks this fall

    wDSC_2307

    Photo by Ramona du Houx

    Launchpad, a non-profit, in Bangor wants to put pianos in public parks this fall.

    As part of the city’s month-long “Artober” cultural event, the organization is collecting donated pianos and asking local artists to help redesign them. And Launchpad is raising money for the Queen City Piano Project. Organizers intend to schedule events around them when they find their homes in different parks.

    “(Visitors) could just go and play spontaneously, or watch a quartet play, or see piano lessons in action,” said Meg Shorette, Launchpad’s Executive Director.

    The pianos will eventually be donated to local schools and music education programs at the end of October.

  • Bangor arts nonprofit, Launchpad, raises funds for program for high school students

    By Ramona du Houx 

    The first major project for Launchpad, an art gallery and event space located at 89 Central St., is called Forward, which is a program designed to help high school students interested in pursuing the arts as a career.

    “It’s designed to directly engage high school juniors and seniors in Maine to find their voice through creativity, and to view the arts as a feasible and realistic career path,” said Meg Shorette, Launchpad founder. “Students who seek further counseling in post-secondary education options will receive it through Forward’s artist mentorship program, which pairs them with professionals working in various arts or other creative fields.”

    Forward also will work with student artists from lower income families, assisting them financially with college application fees and other educational support.

    To fund Forward, Shorette has launched an effort in the form of a 100×100 fundraising campaign, in which Launchpad will collect donated artwork in any medium and sell them in an online auction. They hope to bring in $100 per art piece, thereby raising $10,000. The auction will run from March 15 through April 14 at wearelaunchpad.org.

    Launchpad is an organization built as a support network for young, up-and-coming Maine artists. The nonprofit intends to provide support for artists in the form of education, mentorship and use of studio space. It’s creator, Shorette, hopes it will launch art careers in Maine. 

    “At its core, Launchpad is a nonprofit arts incubator that seeks to build creative connections in Maine and beyond, through artist residencies, arts education and artist-led projects and events,” Shorette said. “Every program and initiative was created through open conversations with creatives, designers and makers to find out what they need to be successful and continue to create.”

     

     

  • The Coast & the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America at the Portland Art Museum

    The Coast & the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America at the Portland Art Mueseum runs from January 30, 2015 to April 26, 2015

    From the Portland Museum of Art:

    The United States of America, relatively speaking, is still a young country. Its story continues to be written and its future reimagined with each new generation. Since its founding, however, this story has largely centered around ideas of optimism, hard work, and promise. We know this narrative as Americans—one of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—and have even gone so far as to put it into our first national proclamation: The Declaration of Independence.
    That this ideology came from an era when the country was inextricably tied to the sea is no coincidence. Indeed, throughout history the sea has represented humanity’s spirit of hope and possibility, while simultaneously the potential for danger and ruin. In the context of a hard fought for and newly established nation, the sea represented both of these realities, while framing a collective vision for the people of the United States of America.
     The Coast & the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America captures these initial moments of a country looking to define itself and provide an ethos for its people. The artworks, largely painted between 1750 and 1904, are significant in that they themselves helped create the American Dream. This exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society.
  • The Constellation Gallery, home of the Maine Artist Collective, puts out a “Call for Art”

    By Ramona du Houx - October 29th, 2014 ·

    Summer Stroll, is an example of an 11x14 print for sale at the gallery

    The Constellation Gallery, home of the Maine Artist Collective (MAC), has put out a “Call for Art” throughout the great state of Maine for the upcoming Miniatures Show from November 21st to January 27th.

    Artists will have the opportunity to show downtown Portland from November until January, during two art walks with receptions — one on December 5th and the other on January 2nd.

    The “Miniatures Show” comes during the holiday season making affordable art the perfect gift to enhance any home.

    “Mini art pieces make great gifts for the holidays and the Constellation Gallery will feature artist with works 11×14 or smaller,” said David Marshall, MAC’s President and Portland City Councilor. “We’re exciting about reviewing all they new artwork that will be submitted.”

    Maine based artist can submit their creations, in any media, as long as the work measures 11 x 14 inches or smaller, including any frame used.

    The state has thousands of artists but there are not enough venues for them to display their work. The call for art from MAC is an opportunity for any artist who submits to be shown in Maine’s major city. Artists are asked to send in a $5 entry free for each submission.

    The art submissions should be sent in via email to: gallery@constellationart.com. They should be good quality photographs that represent the art. The photos can be JPG’s or Tiff’s.

    The photo submission file names should be formatted like this: artist_title_size_medium_price.jpg.

    For example: Vincent Van Gogh_ Sunflowers_Oil painting_$10 mill.jpg

    All submissions need to be sent in for review by October 28th.

    The jury will make the selection for the exhibit by October 31st. The artists will be notified by November 1st if their works have been chosen or not.

    All the art selected must be delivered to the Constellation Gallery by November 18th ready to hang.

    The mission of the Maine Artist Collective is to connect the public with Maine artists and support development by providing exhibition and studio space, education, and professional workshops.

    The Constellation Gallery located at 511 Congress Street is open Monday 12-4 pm, Wednesday 1-5 pm, Friday 12-4 pm and Sunday 10-2 pm. The Gallery is also by appointment. Please call 409.6617.