THURSDAY 6 A.M. POST: Collage, Sculpture, Composition to Star at UMMA's Upcoming Exhibitions

By ShelHartin | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), January 13, 2016 | Go to article overview

THURSDAY 6 A.M. POST: Collage, Sculpture, Composition to Star at UMMA's Upcoming Exhibitions


ShelHartin, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


On a sidewalk in Philadelphia, Jon Davis found new direction.

A suitcase full of old photographs lay outside a house in a rich neighborhood, tossed away like trash. Davis picked them up. What he found -- a family's life journey recorded through pictures -- helped create his now defining artform, which combines images with layers of glass and light to create exploratory work inviting the viewer to take a peek inside.

"It was this whole family's history from 1908 through the '50s. This whole series of artwork started out with these photos," Davis said, motioning around the gallery space of the University of Maine Museum of Art.

For artist Richard Whitten, what began with model planes he constructed when he was young eventually led to imagined machines within Renaissance style architecture. Wooden panels painted to create 3-D experiences began not with a degree in painting but one in economics.

Each artist has a story. Often it is fraught with challenges.

Davis worked for years in construction and revived his interest in art after the chance meeting with a box full of photos. Whitten's mother was a painter from Hong Kong, but she wanted to him to be a businessman because she knew what the life of an artist was like.

"I was being groomed to go to [the University of Chicago], get my doctorate, come back to Yale, be a professor there. It wasn't that great a challenge," Whitten said. "Painting was."

The work of both artists tells tales of their lives. It is a combination of their experiences and a testament to their resolve, and it will be on display at an upcoming winter exhibitions at UMMA, from Jan. 15 to April 30.

When patrons enter the gallery space, they'll be met by an exhibition titled "Three-Sided Dream," featuring Davis's work. He's a resident of Miami, Florida, and his collage compositions incorporate images from throughout art history. …

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