“Killer M(orca)roni and Cheese” by Peter Morgan.

FARMINGTON — The Emery Community Arts Center on the University of Maine at Farmington campus has announced “Myth & Mirth,” its first Flex Space Gallery exhibit of the academic year. The exhibition will be on display from Monday, Aug. 26, to Friday, Nov. 8. It is free and open to the public and will feature a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

Exhibit curator Jesse Potts will give a free and open-to-the-public gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8.

“Myth and Mirth” is an exhibition of four artists whose methods combine playful uses of humor, material and storytelling to create works filled with mythical and historical elements and quasi-cultural artifacts. The collection of sculptural works is filled with absurd visual representations of creatures and cultural references, puns and pseudo-recognizable objects whose combined effect reveals the curious, the bizarre, unforetold narratives and future myths.

“Mummy Bag” by Leslie Rogers.

Andrew Brehm’s “Tusk” combines a Dr. Seuss inspired beast pelt with a shag bathmat, creating an object that feels eerily familiar to one’s inner child, but is void of a specific time and place. In “Mummy Bag,” Leslie Rogers mixes traditional quilting techniques and historical modes of mummification. She states, “The domestic interior, in all of its comfort and nostalgia, is haunted with obscured, overlooked or un-favored narratives and explanations.” She hopes that “these quilt works will embody the ethnographies of their traditional form.”

Ryan Kelly blends cultural references and conflates language in his paper-mache “Self-portrait as Bearskin Rug.” For Kelly, “this piece is also a self-portrait; an object; the likeness of the flayed outer skin that I wear, that other people regard me through. It is my comical step back to examine myself as a hairy gay man, a “bear” in the queer community.”

Peter Morgan’s ceramic sculptures, such as “Killer M(orca)roni and Cheese,” present humorous mashups of food, landscape and animals, including those extinct and imagined, that illustrate absurd scenarios and mixed metaphors. Morgan states that “these ceramic sculptures transform everyday food items into vast landscapes, while conversely shifting massive objects into toy-sized replicas. Through its macro/micro shift, this series seeks to morph the familiar into the grandiose, while bringing into question the viewer’s position within the universe.”

More on the featured artists:

Andrew Brehm is an artist and educator who’s work is primarily 3D and video-based. He works in many mediums and most recently has focused on pulping paper for use as a casting and sculpting medium. He currently manages the fine art workshops at Columbia University and has a sculpture studio in Beacon, New York. He received his master of fine arts in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ryan W. Kelly’s work ranges from performance and video to object-based installations. He draws inspiration from American mythology, historical inaccuracies and the curious story telling that finds its way into material culture and decorative arts. He was hired in fall 2016 by Western Washington University to head the ceramics program. Kelly holds a bachelor of fine arts in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute and his master of fine arts from Ohio State University.

Peter Morgan was a resident artist at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia for four years, and was the 2012 Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship recipient. In 2016, he was selected as one of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Emerging Artist awardees and recipient of the 2016 Victor Spinski Award. He is a founding member of an artist-run space in Philadelphia called Practice, which focuses on performance, participation and experimentation. He has a master of fine arts in ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and has exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Leslie Rogers is a sculptor, performance artist and puppeteer living in Detroit. Her background is in puppetry and quilting. She has shown or performed at the Hammer Museum and Human Resources in LA, Threewalls, Links Hall, and ACRE TV in Chicago, the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit as part of ESPTV, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. She has a bachelor of fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her master of fine arts from the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Sculpture & Extended Media Program.

The Emery Community Arts Center is on Academy Street between Main and High streets in downtown Farmington. The gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Leslie Rogers

Ryan Kelly

Peter Morgan

Andrew Brehm


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