Campus News

Five Bowdoin Students Selected for Victoria Mansion's Juried Art Show

Story posted May 09, 2003

The artwork of five Bowdoin College students has been selected to be part of Victoria Mansion's juried student art show Domestic Revival: Victoria Mansion Through the Eyes of Contemporary Artists, which opened May 2 in Portland.

Abbie Klein '03, John Karsten Moran '05, Michelle Platt '03, Amber Reed '03, and Micah Roberge '03 are among the 17 Maine college students whose work will be on view in the Carriage House adjacent to the Mansion through July 12.

Contemporary art is traditionally something visitors do not expect to see when visiting a historic house museum. However, Victoria Mansion (Morse-Libby House), 1858-1860, plans to change that with this exhibition.

While the house was closed to visitors over the winter, it was filled with college students from throughout the state of Maine who responded to a unique opportunity: to explore Victoria Mansion from top to bottom, over the ropes and behind the scenes.

Students were asked to create an original artwork in any media that responded in some way to Victoria Mansion's architecture, grounds, interiors, or collections. Work was then submitted in slide format to a jury.

The jury reviewed 34 applications, all submitted from students attending Maine's top colleges and universities, including Bowdoin, Bates, MECA, the University of Maine-Orono, and the University of Southern Maine-Gorham. Seventeen artists were chosen to be part of Victoria Mansion's contemporary art exhibition.

Abbie Klein's artwork is a desk lamp. Abbie had taken a series of photographs of the head of one of the mansion's statues. The photos, combined, offered a 360-degree view of the subject. She was intrigued by the effect of projecting light through the resulting color prints. This inspired her to create a lampshade from the prints. Abbie's lamp was one of three artworks winning the third-place jury prize.

Michelle Platt's piece is titled "Sofa Series." It comprises three images (in the series) of a Victorian sofa that were printed on watercolor paper and then painted with water while the ink was still wet. The result is an image that plays with color and manipulates what one considers to be photographic.

Karsten Moran's work is a Hockney-esque photomontage of the third floor of the Victoria Mansion. The piece was executed with Photoshop and a digital camera, and printed 13"x19".

Micah Roberge's piece is a 9"x9" black-and-white photo of the Victoria Mansion's smoking room. The overall tone of the photo is dark, as Micah intended the viewer to sense feelings of quiet relaxation and meditative contemplation. The photo features a pair of couches, a window reflecting the silhouette of a statue appearing to gaze out onto Portland's west end, and a shuttered window emitting a narrow blade of light.

Amber Reedís piece is a silver gelatin print of a dark doorway opening onto a checkered floor.

Domestic Revival presents 18 works and includes prints, drawings, fabric work, photography, mixed media, and metal work.

Victoria Mansion is located at 109 Danforth Street in Portland. For more information on the Mansion, its hours of operation, or admission prices, visit http://www.victoriamansion.org/

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