FARMINGTON — The UMF Art Gallery is inviting the public to its second annual Water Bear Confabulum, an alternative arts festival and series of events in that celebrate diverse artistic and community voices. This year’s collaborative arts festival will take place from 3-7 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 29, in the alleys between Broadway and Maine Street. This event is free and open to the public.

Special guest artists include Veronica Cross and Joshua DeMello videoists; Pamela Johnson and Nicole Phillips artists; Katrazyna Randall, UMF associate professor of art, and Wally Warren with combined-media sculptures and gamelans; and Steven Pane, UMF professor of music, with a piano performance of Chopin beamed over from University of Maine at Farmington’s Nordica Auditorium.

Their work will be staged in the main alleys, with video screening areas behind the 3D Games and Kjus USA Skiwear business locations. Community artists and musicians are welcome to add their work to the exhibitions in the alleyways.

A Trick-or-Treat Trail will be held from 3-5 p.m. on Broadway and Main St., a Children’s Wheat Paste Workshop from 3-5 p.m. in the alley next to The Homestead, and a Mainer’s photo project from 3-6 p.m. on Java Joe’s north wall. 

Drawing materials will be supplied for anyone wanting to wheat paste their creations onto the Homestead wall–everyone is also welcome to bring paintings and drawings from home.

The gathering invites the re-imagining of everyday places in the town and its environs in surprising ways through art and performance. By subverting traditional functions and expectations of known places through the arts, and by artistically invading overlooked and unconventional spaces, artmakers bring fresh attention to the fabric of the town and to the local conversation with global ideas.

The Water Bear (or tardigrade) is a unique and enduring animal living unseen among us, adapting to new environments, even to the extreme landscape of outer space. A confabulum combines the meanings of confabulation: first, to simply engage in conversation, and second, the psychological meaning–the brain’s compulsion to generate fictions to fill absences in memory.

Please contact Sarah Maline, director of UMF Art Gallery, at [email protected] for more information. For schedule updates of performances and a list of participating artists, please check out the Waterbearos Facebook page and

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