The spectacle of the sculptural and performance art of American artist John Umphlett will be on display as the inaugural spring semester exhibit at the University of Maine at Farmington’s Emery Community Arts Center.

Umphlett’s latest exhibit “Elements of Degradation,” will be showcased Jan. 31 through March 8 at the Emery Flex Space Gallery, Main Street in Farmington. The exhibition presents kinetic and performative large-scale sculptural works that explore themes of life, time, systems, service, mechanism, offspring, cravings, currency, blood and nourishment.

A free opening reception is set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, a live performance by the artist is scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and an artist talk is set for 11:45 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1.

Umphlett’s performance becomes a test of endurance for both artist and viewer as previous works have had the artist dangling over cars, somersaulting through the air or physically connected to a large, electrically charged platter.

Umphlett uses his art to explore the limits of bodily endurance or take the viewer on a meditative journey. Through the practice of trial and error, he often expresses parallel relationships between material and color, idea and images, and concepts and objects. This process further challenges his creativity and novel approach in developing a body of work.

Umphlett has shown his sculptural and performance works throughout the U.S. from residencies at sculpture parks to elementary schools, including at Contemporary Art Center in Massachusetts, North Bennington Outdoor Exhibition in Vermont, Greatest American Hero at Salem Art Works in New York, Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota and more.

For more information, email Jesse Potts, UMF associate professor of art, at [email protected]

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