Tucked away deep into the Northeast Coast of the United States lies a small town called Presque Isle, Maine. Many people call this town their home. Presque Isle used to be a booming little place, filled with life. After the closing of the Loring Air Force Base, however, things began to get quiet for the people of Presque Isle.
This town is overflowing with the beauty of nature. Forests, streams, lakes, fields and mountains are spread throughout. Despite this, there are not many attractions. Many people, especially those attending college in Presque Isle, know this all too well. For the people who are searching for a bit of culture in their everyday lives, there is a saving grace. The University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) art department. Here local students and local artists alike are able to create and present beautiful works of art, worthy to be seen.
According to Michelle Mishaan and Frank Sullivan, talented, enthusiastic, instructors of art at UMPI, there are numerous degrees that students can pursue in the field of art. The most popular is a four year Fine Arts degree. In this degree, students in their senior year can create and display their own art exhibit in the art gallery. Also, Frank and Michelle want their students to “walk away from their classes with more confidence than when they started on creating successful works of art.” In her classes, Michelle says that students work on the tools needed to make the work and how to think about it within the planning phases of creating art.
Whatever their major, Michelle and Frank believe that all students should take an art class to expand their thinking. That will “surprise themselves on what art can be to appreciate how art is made and why it is important.”
According to Michelle, “Art helps students think outside the box and think creatively to problem-solve a variety of issues. Students walk away from art classes with increased self-confidence and self-understanding, enhanced communication skills and improved cognition.”
Frank said, “The ability to communicate with visual imagery has always been an important aspect of the human experience. I believe that anyone can learn the fundamentals of visual language, whether through drawing, painting, sculpture, design or any other modality. Fluency in the language of visual form will enrich anyone’s life by increasing their ability to communicate and express themselves….”
Art is a form of expression that can help people look within themselves to express themselves in a variety of different ways. UMPI students will be able to walk away from an art class with skills they can use forever in their lifetime.
But what if the student life is not for you? Or you already have a career and still wish to view art? UMPI has multiple art galleries the public can view as well! There is art all around campus!
“The University has an extensive collection of original art. The Reed Art Gallery on the upper level of the Center for Innovative Learning hosts a number of exhibitions throughout the year, featuring work from a variety of artists as well as pieces from the university’s collections. There are numerous pieces of art on display throughout the campus in classrooms, hallways, meeting rooms, offices, etc. The Pullen Gallery, on the third floor of Pullen Hall, regularly displays work by UMPI students.”
Frank said that starting in April, the seniors will have their art exhibits on display, each with their own unique style and techniques used in their work.