FARMINGTON — William Wegman, pioneering video artist, conceptualist, photographer, painter and writer, will be the main speaker at the University of Maine at Farmington’s commencement ceremony to be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 18.

Wegman is noted by the New York Times as “one of the most important artists to emerge from the heady experiments of the 1970s.”

He is best known for the photographs and videos of his beloved Weimaraner dogs. Over the course of his career, Wegman has had what he describes as a “long and fruitful collaboration” with his canine partners, beginning with Man Ray, known throughout the art world for his endearing deadpan presence.

Since the late 1970s, Wegman’s photography has received international acclaim and is in permanent collections in many museums. He has received numerous awards and grants from some of the most prestigious art institutions in the country. His works have been exhibited in the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Whitney Museum of Art in New York, F.R.A.C. Limousine in France, The Museum of Natural Art in New York and many more.

In addition, he has created film and video works for “Saturday Night Live,” Nickelodeon, “Sesame Street,” and most recently, “The Colbert Report.” His film, “The Hardly Boys” was screened at the Sundance Film festival in 1995. Wegman is also the author of numerous books, including the New York Times best seller, “Puppies.” Wegman’s latest book, “Flo & Wendell,” a picture book featuring his trademark style and wit, will be published in the fall of 2013.

The university will award honorary degrees of doctor of humane letters to Wegman and Barbara W. Woodlee, recently retired president of Kennebec Valley Community College and current chief academic officer for the Maine Community College System. Woodlee is the first woman to serve as president of a vocational institute/technical college in Maine. She is the immediate past chairwoman of the UMF Board of Visitors and a 1974 UMF graduate.

The outdoor ceremony will be held behind the UMF Olsen Student Center and is free and open to the public. However, in case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside the UMF Fitness & Recreation Center. Admission to the indoor ceremony will be limited to those who have already received “Fitness and Recreation Center” tickets.

The ceremony will be webcast live at and broadcast live on Mount Blue TV community access Channel 11, whether the ceremony is held indoors or outdoors.

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