A vibrant solo exhibit by visual artist Hélène Farrar launches the UMF Emery Community Arts Center’s spring schedule. The show, “What We Carry,” runs from Jan. 17 to March 19, and features an opening reception from 5-7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
“Balance” by Hélène Farrar
Farrar’s exhibit, “What We Carry” shows that we are more complicated than we think we are. We are even more complicated than even the stories we tell. We can’t see that someone next to us might be carrying with them an entire room or an elephant-sized amount of trauma, an isolating living situation or viewpoint, anger, a deep (dis)connection to others, and a personal or familial history of significance.
But revealing or attempting to engage with others about the depth of our human nature collectively and individually can place us into vulnerability. Through layers of mark, textures, patterns, humor and “stuff” these works hope to begin a conversation about our duality while also exploring larger themes including migration, human relationships, differences in perspective, political and social climate and personal search.
This exhibit consists of twenty plus paintings in encaustic (molten beeswax paint) and sculptures of various scale, including a 3 by 6 foot carved wooden elephant. Heat is used throughout the encaustic process, from melting the beeswax and varnish to fusing the layers of wax. The medium can be used alone for its transparency or adhesive qualities or used pigmented.
Farmington native Farrar teaches and makes her work just down the road in Manchester. Both her mother, also an artist, and her stepfather, taught at UMF. She has fond first memories as a child of Farmington and UMF’s Alumni Theater and art studios.
“Having my first Farmington exhibit at UMF’s Emery Community Arts Center is incredibly emotional for me,” said Farrar. “It feels very much like coming home.”
An artist and art educator, she has taught and worked in the visual arts for twenty years while actively teaching and exhibiting in commercial, nonprofit and universities in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Italy and England. Farrar was most recently featured in a summer exhibition “Vision + Verse” curated by Anne Zills at the University of New England.
Her paintings have been accepted into curated exhibits at the Creative Arts Workshop of New Haven, the Saco Museum, the University of New England and Twiggs Gallery in New Hampshire. Farrar is represented by the Stable Gallery in Damariscotta, Archipelago Fine Arts in Rockland, the Eastport Breakwater Gallery and the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner.
Farrar has a BA in Studio Art from the University of Maine and a Masters of Fine Art Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College in Vermont.
She currently owns and operates her own private art school in Maine out of her “Farmhouse” studio, where she holds varied workshops and classes. Hélène is a great lover of people, dogs, culture, music, podcasts, and birds. She can be often found enjoying the Maine outdoors skiing, biking, or walking her dog. She lives and works in Manchester with her ten-year-old daughter Olympia, engineer husband Stan and dog Buddy.
This exhibit is sponsored by the UMF Emery Community Arts Center.