FARMINGTON — Water Bear Confabulum, an annual alternative arts festival and series of events, will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 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 UMF Art Gallery, The Arts Institute of Western Maine, and the Farmington Downtown Business Association will present the event that celebrates diverse artistic and community voices. 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 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.

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, contact Sarah Maline at [email protected] or 778-1062 or visit artgalleryumf.org.


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