Macro Flower by Adjunct Associate Professor of Art Susan Camp, University of Maine. (Courtesy photo)

AUGUSTA — In celebration of the publication of Duet, a collaboration between University of Maine at Augusta English professor and poet Kay Retzlaff and artist Susan Camp, UMA is hosting an exhibit of pictures and poetry at the Richmond Gallery, Handley Hall, 331 Water Street The exhibit is free and open to the public. Please contact Emily Pettengill with any questions or to gain access at 207-621-3582.

The exhibit will be in the Richmond Gallery through January. The Richmond Gallery is named after Professor Emeritus Roger Richmond who founded the UMA Architecture program in 1987. It serves the current bachelor of architecture program, Maine’s only professionally accredited architecture degree, as a gallery, pin-up, and presentation space.

Duet is a collection of poems and photographs looking at rural life. Camp is a Winterport-based sculptor whose works use plants she grows or gathers.

“Each of us brought our own rural upbringing to the table and played with ways of intertwining the visual and literary notes,” Camp says.

“In the Duet poems, I looked closely at the family and cultural stories I grew up with in an evangelical German Lutheran enclave in Nebraska,” Retzlaff says. “I looked at how those stories and beliefs were fueled by the books we read. These poems look at the limited roles women were allowed to fill in that place at that time, and how women struggled against those restraints.

“Susan and I could connect with our experiences of rural living. Her work showed me that everything in nature leaves a mark, just as humans mark or are marked by one another,” Retzlaff says. “I found myself applying my own lens to some of the ‘story’ we have handed down. Maybe Susan would call that the fungi of the Western literary tradition, such as the story of Eve in the Garden of Eden, or Plato’s Dialogues, stories about America’s founding fathers, or even pop culture music.”

In addition to the exhibit, a poetry reading is scheduled for mid-January. Date and time TBD.  Please contact Pettengill with any questions or to gain access at 207-621-3582.

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