University of Maine at Presque Isle

02/26/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/27/2024 05:09

Reed Gallery presents New Acquisitions

The University of Maine at Presque Isle's Reed Art Gallery will present New Acquisitions: Recent Additions to the University Art Collection through March 22, 2024. The public is invited to view the exhibition throughout the show's run and attend the Opening Reception on Friday, March 1, from 6-8 p.m. Reed Gallery Director Frank Sullivan will be on hand to discuss these works. This reception is being held in conjunction with the Presque Isle First Friday Art Walk. The Reed Gallery is located on the second floor of the University's Center for Innovative Learning.

Many of the works in the new exhibition are part of the Carl and Alice (Graves) Hitchcock Collection, a collection of more than 400 works of art that have been on long-term loan to UMPI since 1995 through the generosity of avid art collector David Hitchcock, who was raised in Mars Hill and now resides in Portland.

"Since assuming my role as director of the Reed Gallery and University Collections, I have had the pleasure of getting to know David Hitchcock," Sullivan said. "His passion for art is unmistakable. He has a remarkable knowledge of modern art and many important artists, many of whom he knows or has known personally."

According to Sullivan, the Hitchcock Collection is a veritable treasure trove of modern art and features works in a wide range of media, including paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture, rendered in styles ranging from academic realism to Abstract Expressionism. Many of the artists represented in the Hitchcock Collection have a strong connection to Maine.

"Mr. Hitchcock has recently added some spectacular new pieces by important Maine artists to the Collection, including several oil paintings and watercolors by Michael Vermette, an original screen print by Alex Katz, portraits by Thomas Nadeau, a watercolor by John Swan, and an oil painting by Thomas Higgins," Sullivan said. "Other important American artists such as Robert Longo, Leon Golub, Andy Warhol, and Jack Beal, are also represented, along with many important European artists such as Amedeo Modigliani, Gaston LaChaise, and Maurice Sterne. Mr. Hitchcock's intent is that the collection of artworks be shared with the University of Maine at Presque Isle community as well as residents of and visitors to Aroostook County."

New Acquisitions includes paintings, drawings, mixed media, lithographs, and sculpture. In addition to works from the Hitchcock Collection, the exhibition also features an oil painting by renowned portrait artist and Aroostook County native, Lucy Hayward Barker. Barker was born in Portage Lake in 1872 and attended Saint John's Academy in Presque Isle before moving to Boston to study painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She returned to Presque Isle in 1906 after her marriage to Roy Barker to raise a family. She resumed her art career in 1929 and had great success working in an Impressionist style. The new exhibition features a portrait of Elizabeth (Hanson) Swopes of Presque Isle, who was Barker's niece. The painting was bequeathed to the University Collection by Lucy Swopes Yarian, herself an accomplished artist and author, and the daughter of the subject of the painting.

Roger Morin was an accomplished and versatile painter and chess master, who operated a studio in Houlton for almost 20 years. Morin passed away in 2019, leaving a large collection of paintings in his studio. Sadly, his wife Lois followed less than a year later. The executors of the Morin estate reached out to Sullivan, a friend of Roger Morin, to find a home for some of the many paintings that Morin left behind. Included in the current exhibition are several of Morin's self-portraits, painted at various times throughout his life, including an unfinished self-portrait painted just before he passed, on the back of which he wrote a heartfelt thank you to many of his friends and loved ones.

"Roger had a great love for painting and he and I shared a mutual respect for the artists Rembrandt and Vincent Van Gogh. We shared many lengthy discussions about painting technique and materials over the years. It is an honor to share some of his work with the University community," Sullivan said.

New Acquisitions: Recent Additions to the University Art Collection will be on display at the Reed Art Gallery through March 22, 2024.

Gallery hours are:
Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fridays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 2-10 p.m.

The Reed Art Gallery is located on the second floor of the Center for Innovative Learning.

For further information, please contact Reed Art Gallery Director, Frank Sullivan at [email protected] or (207) 694-1920.