FARMINGTON — An anonymous and mysterious England-based street artist, political activist and international icon, Banksy and his work are the subject of the next New Commons Project events at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Selected by “Time” magazine for its 2010 list of the world’s 100 most influential people, Banksy has baffled the world with his outlaw art. Since 1990, the graffiti master has circumvented the traditional pathways to artistic success advocating a direct connection with his audience. His work features striking, often humorous, images with anti-establishment messages. He maintains, “This is the first time the essentially bourgeois world of art has belonged to the people. We need to make it count.”

UMF’s New Commons October events include explorations of Banksy’s work and their contemporary context, philosophy and impact on today’s world.

October events include:

“Banksy in Context” — Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 11:45 a.m.; second floor, UMF Mantor Library. Sarah Maline, UMF associate professor art history, explores the social, political, and artistic context of the radical graffiti of Banksy. 

Screening of film “Exit Through The Gift Shop” — Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m.; UMF Emery Community Arts Center. The New Commons Film Series Presents a 2010 Academy Award nominated documentary film directed by Banksy about a French immigrant in the United States who becomes increasingly obsessed with street art. 


Keynote event: “Pardon the Interruption: Art as an Agent of Change in the Civic Sphere” — Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 11:45 a.m.; UMF Emery Community Arts Center. Join Nick Tobier, artist and professor in the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, as he explains his unique artistic vision of being a participant-observer of street life and the social life of public places. 

Water Bear Confabulum 2018 — Saturday, Oct. 27, throughout the day; downtown Farmington. The Water Bear Confabulum is an annual alternative arts festival and series of events in Farmington that celebrate diverse artistic and community voices. This year’s installment includes art alleys in downtown, an art walk and a 5K trail run.

UMF’s New Commons Project is building a contemporary cultural commons of 24 works of art, literature and ideas that are submitted by members of the Maine community. Twelve will be shared this year through a number of unique events, public discussions, talks and community engagement projects. These 12 works have been selected from more than 150 submissions by community members from a dozen Maine counties.

The New Commons Project is a public humanities initiative of the University of Maine at Farmington, Maine’s public liberal arts college, in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council. It is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To learn more about the New Commons Project, or to submit a nomination for the next round of selections to be announced in 2019, visit the website at


Graffiti art done by Banksy

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