FARMINGTON — The Emery Community Arts Center on the University of Maine at Farmington campus is excited to announce that it will kick off its 10th anniversary season with two art exhibition openings and a festive celebration of Emery’s 10 years of fostering community and the arts.

The featured exhibits will include “Reimagining the Real,” a thematic exhibition that launches the New Commons Project’s exploration of “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth, and “Palette of the Forest,” an exhibition of fiber art, weavings and prints featuring a group of artists local to Franklin County.

Opening receptions for the exhibitions will take place at Emery on Thursday, Sept. 2 from 4-7 p.m., with live music by Alden Robinson, Chris “Junior” Stevens and Owen Marshall beginning at 4:30 p.m. and commemorative remarks by UMF President Edward Serna at 5:30 p.m.

Refreshments and a cash bar will be available. Music and reception will take place outdoors in Emery’s front courtyard. If there is inclement weather, a rain date is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 3. A rain date announcement will be posted on Emery’s website homepage.

“Reimagining the Real” presents a broad survey of artworks by local and nationally-recognized artists engaging the legacy of realism in the 21st century, continuing, complicating or contesting this tradition.

Curators Ann Bartges, UMF assistant professor of Visual Arts and Emery director, and Kristen Case, UMF professor of English and co-director of the New Commons Project, hope the show will spark conversations about what “realistic” means as well as how aesthetic conventions and representations of “the real” affect our ways of perceiving the internal and external realities in which we live. 

The show features representations of landscape and ecological processes, familiar objects presented in new contexts, expanded notions of portraiture, and depictions of reality as mediated by the internet and news media.

Many of the artworks engage the charged tension between objective and subjective experience, while others explore myths and narratives held within the body and the landscape. This selection of works includes oil paintings, video, photography, drawing, sculpture and textiles. This exhibit will be on display from Sept. 2 to Oct. 21. Gallery open hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Participating Artists include: Ann Arbor, K. Johnson Bowles, Michael Burd, Peter Christenson, Bailey DeBiase, Chao Ding, Hannah Duggan, Diane Fitch, Niloofar Gholamrezaei, Pato Hebert, Jang soon Im, Tom Jessen, Andrew Ellis Johnson, Juliet Karelsen, Iris M. Kirkwood, Heidi Kumao, Hui Chi Lee, Justin Levesque, Mary McFarland, Susan McPherran, Lake Roberson Newton, Phil Poirier, Jesse Potts, Jennifer Seo, Kendra Stenger, Jude Valentine, Nelda Warkentin, Raphael H. Warshaw, and Holden Willard.

“Palette of the Forest” presents a stunning selection of fiber arts, weavings and prints inspired by the landscapes of Maine. This exhibition proudly features a group of artists local to Franklin County, including Juliet Karelsen, Mary McFarland, Ellen Roberts, Jan Royall, Dona Seegers, Cheriese Shanti, and Nelda Warkentin.

The artworks on view showcase the intricate techniques of embroidery, quilting, weaving, felting, textile painting and printmaking. Together, these works build a visual dialogue revealing close observations of the textures, hues and delicate ecologies of the natural world while also engaging the larger experiences of natural phenomena and the sublime. “Palette of the Forest” will be on view throughout Emery Community Art Center from Aug. 30 to Oct. 8.

Masks are required when viewing the artwork inside the Emery Arts Center building. Please check Emery’s website,, before your visit for updated hours or unexpected closures due to the pandemic.

All visitors will be screened for COVID symptoms before entering and will be required to register with name and contact info (either phone number or email address). This information will only be used if the university needs to conduct contact tracing in the event of confirmed exposure to the coronavirus. 

Christina’s World, painted in 1948, depicts Christina Olson, a friend and frequent subject of the painter, crawling toward her farmhouse home in Cushing, Maine. (Christina Olson was disabled, but refused to use a wheelchair.) The painting, nominated by Mike Wilson of Rockland, has long been considered a staple of mid-20th-century realism. Wyeth himself contested this categorization, however, pointing to the intensely inward and psychological aspects of his paintings.