Photo courtesy Anna Helper
This Thursday, November 14, University of Maine visiting artist Anna Helper will give a free lecture at Burnham Hall on the USM Gorham campus. Helper’s recent works are gigantic inflatable plastic sculptures that slowly deflate. The deflated sculptures serve as a basis for prints and drawings.
Helper is “intrigued by the transitions of states and the convergence of opposites.” These large-scale works are perfect exemplifications of that idea, as the three-dimensional sculptures transform to two-dimensional drawings.
The lecture will take place from noon to 1:30 PM.
On view now until December 8 at the USM Art Gallery is “Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran,” an exhibition of 58 works that are divided between the USM Art Gallery and the AREA Gallery on the USM Portland campus.
This is a beautiful exhibition. Art is a wonderful way to expose oneself to different perspectives, to learn something important about another person or culture.
“This beautifully haunting exhibition brings us face-to-face with informative expressions of a misunderstood culture through the intimate experience of art,” said Carolyn Eyler, director of Exhibitions and Programs at USM.
Many of the works in the exhibition juxtapose obscurity and exposure, past and present, contemporary and traditional. Today’s Iran is seen through the eyes of these artists, who use their personal experiences to examine such ideas.
“In Islamic societies the act of making representations can be controversial, even dangerous,” said Robert Silberman, USM Art Department visiting scholar and associate professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota, in his essay for the exhibition’s catalog. “In contemporary Iran there is relative freedom of artistic expression. Nevertheless, one way that the common culture does appear in ‘Persian Visions’ is in the preoccupation with representation, and the issue of what can and cannot be shown.”
“Persian Visions” was developed by Hamid Severi for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran, and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.
For more information on the lecture or “Persian Visions,” call 780-5008 or visit http://www.usm.maine.edu/gallery.