The Outbreak Project
April 6 - May 6, 2021
The Outbreak Project at UMA is a collaboration with the Plunkett Poetry Festival, a much-anticipated annual event that interlinks UMA’s communities through the written word. Building on UMA’s 2020-2021 academic theme “outbreak,” considered not only in its epidemiological sense but also in relation to outbreaks of creativity and of activism, The Outbreak Project in the Danforth Gallery explores how ideas of outbreak in our time find expression in the visual arts.
In media ranging from painting to video to collage to installation/performance, and created by artists from the Maine community, high school students, and UMA students, the exhibition stages a variety of compelling “outbreak” dualities. Confinement and escape, hard geometry and organic entropy, and particularly nature’s expansiveness and the architectural isolations of quarantine are but some of the visual and conceptual contrasts the exhibition brings into dialogue.
Juried by a team of art experts from community arts organizations and the University of Maine system, the exhibition includes works by fourteen Maine artists, including UMA Lecturer of Art Patricia Brace, whose large plywood and lumber sculpture “Stage” occupies the center of the gallery. A series of four virtual/livestreamed performances choreographed and performed by performance artists by will take place in “Stage” on April 9 at 6 p.m. A performance by Patricia Brace and a Q&A with all four performers will take place April 30 at 2:45 p.m. as part of the Plunkett Poetry Festival. Click this link to join the Plunkett Poetry Festival.
In drawing together visual artists and performers addressing a range of themes, approaches, and visual narratives relevant to our moment of outbreak, The Outbreak Project can be conceived as an associative map of the constraints and possibilities that have suffused our Covid-19 pandemic moment. Opening almost exactly a year since the Covid outbreak began, and as spring coincides with an accelerating vaccine rollout, the exhibition offers a lived, human, connecting picture of the ways “outbreak” has made its way into Maine artists’ experiences and studios. Like the dualities it frames, the exhibition itself is a paradox: it is an exhibition of artworks made largely in isolation that, as art so often does, connects us to each other.
2:45 Performance by Patricia Brace followed by Q&A with performance artists
4:00 Outbreak Project Exhibition Awards
The Danforth Gallery Thanks:
Ellen M. Taylor
Maine College of Art
Office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
The Plunkett Poetry Festival
All-Around Helpful Folks