The University of Maine at Farmington New Commons Project, in partnership with the Emery Community Arts Center, invites artists to submit their work for consideration for a fall exhibit, “Reimagining the Real.”

This thematic exhibition is to be the opening event for the New Commons Project’s exploration this September of “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth, and will mark the opening of Emery’s 10th anniversary season, as well as its reopening to the public.

“Reimagining the Real” presents an opportunity to exhibit an expanded survey of contemporary artworks that engage the legacy of realism in the 21st century — continuing, complicating or contesting this tradition.

Curators Ann Bartges, UMF assistant professor of Visual Arts and Emery director, and Kristen Case, UMF professor of English, say they hope the show will spark conversations about what realistic means as well as how aesthetic conventions and representations of “the real” affect people’s ways of perceiving the internal and external realities in which they live.

The exhibition is to be on view from Sept. 2 to Oct. 21 in Emery Community Art Center’s Flex Space Gallery, University of Maine at Farmington.

Christina’s World, painted in 1948, depicts Christina Olson, a friend and frequent subject of the painter, crawling toward her farmhouse home in Cushing. Olson was disabled, but refused to use a wheelchair.

The painting, nominated by Mike Wilson of Rockland, has long been considered a staple of mid-20th-century realism. But Wyeth himself contested this categorization, pointing to the intensely inward and psychological aspects of his paintings.

For more information about the open call, or to submit artwork, visit Submissions are due July 18.


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