FARMINGTON —The UMF Art Gallery opens to new academic year with two eloquent, overlapping exhibits by local artists Tom Jessen and Nelda Warkentin. Exhibits will be on display at the UMF Art Gallery on the University of Maine at Farmington campus and are free and open to the public.

Maine minimalist artist Tom Jessen brings new work to the gallery with an exhibition of meticulously worked panel drawings. At first appearing simple and straightforward, Jessen’s work draws viewers into increasing complexity as they explore the surfaces, discovering the artist’s process as well as surprising spatial illusions. Even though this work is mostly not site-specific, it engages the idiosyncratic architectural geometry of the gallery in subtly playful ways.

The “Tom Jessen: Drawings” exhibit is on display Sept. 10–Oct. 11, with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10.

Quilter/fiber artist Nelda Warkentin’s lyrical, abstracted nature-based paintings on silk defy easy description. While the artist usually refers to herself as a quilter, her process of rich layering and stitching, expressionist color and brushwork, as well as her intense, almost cubist approach to space and form places the work well within the tradition of modernist painting.

This exhibition of Warkentin’s vibrant paintings overlaps with Tom Jessen’s cooler minimalist drawings, inviting conversation about process, color, form and space.

The “Nelda Warkentin: Paintings” exhibit is on display Sept. 24–Oct. 11, with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24.

As a complement to the joint exhibition, the two artists will join in an artist’s talk, “In Conversation: Nelda Warkentin and Tom Jessen,” at the Warkentin opening reception at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24.

This UMF Art Gallery exhibition is sponsored by the Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry. The gallery is located at 246 Main St., behind the Admissions Office. Gallery hours are Tuesdays–Sundays, 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, or to make an appointment please contact Sarah Maline at [email protected] or 207-778-1062.

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