Courtney Harmon, Detail view: "Reiterated Memory," 24" x 24", 3D sculpture mixed medium, 2023

AUGUSTA — The University of Maine at Augusta is proud to present the 2023 UMA Senior Thesis Exhibition: Ouroboros and Ostinato featuring student artists Tayla Knapp and Courtney Harmon.  The opening reception begins May 6 with a noontime reception immediately following UMA’s Commencement ceremony, and explores the processes of the body and the mind in both psychological and physical processes of change.

Knapp’s portion of the exhibition, Ouroboros, centers metamorphosis through fluent line that bridges anatomical studies with graphic storytelling, while Harmon’s Ostinato translates the creative influence of music on the mind and psyche into three-dimensional paintings that bridge musical and visual experience through form and metaphor.

Knapp is a liberal studies major and art minor student at UMA with a passion for finding the beauty in the macabre through illustration. Her work for Ouroboros includes 15 drawings and paintings exploring the process of transformation using the body and its metamorphosis through cycles of life and death.

Harmon is an art major at UMA who’s passionate about changing the face of therapy in Maine. Hoping to pursue a career in art therapy, her work for Ostinato includes six sculptural painting installations focused on and influenced by the affects of music on the mind and creative process. The themes of these pieces reflect current and ongoing issues of the human condition including consumerism, addiction, and mental health.

With these two artists together, the exhibition Ouroboros and Ostinato reflects the circular themes of music and the body. Knapp’s work addresses the outward surreal metamorphosis of the body through life to death, while Harmon’s opens onto the creative interior workings of the mind during embodied experiences of music. Knapp’s graphic and illustrative approach, and Harmon’s circular canvases and multimedia 3D sculptural elements play on the beauty in the sometimes macabre or imperfect cycles that, in the space of the gallery, open onto the nearly limitless creative possibilities through which our bodies and minds circulate.

The exhibition is on display from May 6-26, and the public is welcome to visit the gallery in Jewett Hall, which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The UMA community and the general public are invited to the opening reception on Saturday, May 6 from 12-2 p.m., immediately following the University of Maine at Augusta’s commencement ceremonies. Refreshments will be served, and the artists will offer brief comments on their work.  

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