“Scavenger,” a Tyrannosaurus Rex made by Mike Libby from over 400 miniature manmade objects, scaled in relation to the size of the dinosaur. (Courtesy photo)

FARMINGTON — The UMF Art Gallery will be presenting “Agreeable Nonsense,” by multi-disciplinary artist Mike Libby as its next featured exhibit. The exhibit runs from Oct. 18 to Nov. 20 and is free and open to the public. A public reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 20 from 5-7 p.m.

Through whimsy and an acute sensitivity to both strange and mundane materials, artist Mike Libby turns his lens on the consumerist role of materials in ecological, architectural, and topiary forms. He studies the off-center and perpendicular relationships between nature, culture, matter, artifice, and autobiography through his idiosyncratic approaches to sculpture, drawing, and collage.

With such abundance and variety of materials in the world, Libby selects ingredients from both public and personal sources and experiences (hikes, street debris, flotsam and jetsam) for their raw immediacy. Specific materials, altered with calculated detail and process, underscore the meaning beyond the form alone.

Libby revels in the process of making, whether it be adapting one thing into another, or building from scratch; he believes the work itself is interested in what it can be. The materials he chooses and the process of their transformation, orbit, catalyze and support each work’s starting impulse. The materials and process inform the reading of the work as much as the physical thing does, and they need not be synchronous for this to occur. In fact, Libby asserts, the less they have in common, the more interesting things seem to become.

Libby graduated with a degree in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1999 and has attended the Vermont Studio Center. He was an artist-in-residence at the University of Maine and enjoys presenting at PechaKucha events and schools.

He has collaborated with authors, publishers, members of the science fiction community, curators of galleries and museums, and designers. Since 1999, Libby has maintained INSECT LAB, an ongoing project using preserved insects customized with mechanical components to explore science-fiction, science-fact, education, literacy and storytelling. Originally from central Maine, Mike Libby currently resides and works in South Portland with his rescue dog.


The UMF Art Gallery is dedicated to bringing contemporary art to the campus and regional communities. The gallery is located at 246 Main Street, behind the Admissions Office. Gallery hours are Tuesdays to Sundays 12-4 p.m., and by appointment. Please contact Sarah at maline@maine.edu  or 207-778-1062 for more information or to make an appointment.