FARMINGTON — The multimedia art exhibit Spiral made its debut as one of the early exhibits to be displayed at the Emery Community Arts Center when the show opened last week.
Artist Dona Seegers of Mount Vernon said she was delighted that both floors of the exhibition space were packed with people viewing the art during the opening reception.
“I kept asking people ‘Can you believe this is in Farmington, Maine?’ We’ve never had a venue like this before,” she said.
The center, which opened September 2011, was built from a $5 million anonymous donation to the University of Maine at Farmington. The donor had stipulated the money fund an arts center for the community, not just students.
Curator Mary McFarland said she began working on the aptly named spiral-themed exhibit shortly after the center opened.
As an artist in Farmington, she said when she saw the new space she knew she wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Not wasting any time, she asked four other local artists if they would be interested in putting together an exhibit and they agreed to begin working on the project. The effort quickly gained momentum the exhibit contains work from 18 artists and 5 poets who have displayed their metal work, oil paintings, poetry and topiary at the gallery.
McFarland said they chose the spiral theme for the exhibit during early brainstorming after a suggestion from one artist, Jan Royall.
Most of the art was created specifically for the exhibit but a handful of pieces were previously created and displayed at the exhibit because of their spiral theme, McFarland said.
She said her goal was to create an exhibit that showed a variety of different artistic media, and was a beautiful and aesthetically clean display.
Looking around the gallery, she said the exhibit had turned out better than she had hoped for.
Seegers was also pleased with the way her spiral-themed sculpture, Spirit Dance, turned out.
Seegers said in order to make the sculpture, one of the largest pieces in the exhibit, she took heavy watercolor paper, curled the edges into cascading spirals and hung them from a metal pole she had shaped into a spiral base. The base of the sculpture had been hung from the ceiling, looking like a colorful, spiral shaped willow tree.
“I’ve always liked to work large,” she said.
McFarland said she was also proud to display the work of a Farmington artist, Gayle Barigar, who had had died in 2010. Her son had agreed to loan a handful of her spiral theme pieces to the exhibit, including a large oil painting of the moon.
The exhibit is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Feb. 10.
Group members paid for the exhibition expenses themselves. They helped fund most of their efforts by selling a calendar with 12 examples of their spiral art work as the cover art.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252