“Creatures of the Fire” by Paula Wilson. Submitted photo

Light, playfulness, and the beauty of nature will enliven the Colby Museum’s first offerings in its soon-to-open downtown gallery

Waterville, MAINE, December 5, 2022—

The Colby College Museum of Art will welcome the first visitors to its new Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art at the Paul J. Schupf Art Center on Saturday, Dec. 17, when the center, which began construction in the spring of 2021, opens to the public.

“Central Maine and the Waterville community have always nurtured local artists, makers, and craftspeople,” said Jacqueline Terrassa, Carolyn Muzzy director of the Colby Museum, according to.a news release from the museum.

“As part of the Colby Museum, the Schmaltz Gallery represents a new opportunity within this long-standing culture of creativity to forge connections with art and artists, with place, and with each other.”

Inaugurating the museum’s new gallery at the downtown art center is the exhibition “Light on Main Street,” which will run from Dec. 17, through Jan. 23. It features video installations and a site-responsive sculpture in resonance with the creativity and natural beauty of central Maine.

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Jennifer Steinkamp’s “Judy Crook 5” simulates the change of seasons at an exaggerated pace, as a tree blooms and drops its leaves within the span of a few minutes. Titled in honor of the professor that taught the artist about color theory, the video belongs to an ongoing series of animated trees named for teachers who had a profound effect on Steinkamp’s life.

A sense of calm prevails in “XC on Brushstrokes by Paul Kos,” evoking the meditative quality of being by oneself outdoors.

In “Lake,” artist Erin Johnson’s single-channel video installation, fluttering kicks and windmilling arms disrupt the glassy surface of Skowhegan Lake. Shot via camera drone while Johnson was in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, also located in central Maine, the video’s aerial vantage point presents an expansive view of her fellow artists at play.

Rounding out the exhibition is “Topia Terrace,” a functional artwork by sculptor Barbara Gallucci.

The opening of Light on Main Street coincides with the 5th annual Waterville Creates Joy to the Ville holiday celebration, which, this year, also serves as the public opening of the Paul J. Schupf Art Center.

The museum’s second downtown exhibition, Ashley Bryan / Paula Wilson: “Take the World into Your Arms,” on view Feb. 17 through July 31, will bring together two extraordinary artists, Ashley Bryan and Paula Wilson, whose passionate and open embrace of the world unites their multifaceted creative endeavors.

Both exhibitions will be accompanied by a range of opportunities for engagement through public and educational programs for audiences of all ages.

The Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art is free and open to all. Operating hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The gallery will be closed on Tuesdays and select holidays. The Paul J. Schupf Art Center is located at 93 Main St. in downtown Waterville.

“Dahlias” by Ashley Bryan. Submitted photo

 

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