By Grace Leathers-Pouliot, Contributing Writer
UMF students participating in the Modernisms and Manifestos co-lab have collaborated to put together the fifth annual surrealist salon, which will be open to the public in late April at the Emery Art Center.
The co-lab is composed of three courses taught respectively by professors Elizabeth Olbert, Michael Johnson, and Steven Pane, and all feature auditory, literary, and visual components.
Johnson’s class, The Splendid Drunken Twenties, comprises the literary component of the Surrealist Salon. Johnson explained, “The movement was launched in the 1920s, which was one of many artistic movements associated with modernism that emphasized experimentation, shock value, and breaking away from conventions.”
This provides opportunities for his students to become involved with learning about surrealism. The Surrealist Salon will have a guest appearance. Angel Dionne is a graduate of the University of Maine in Fort Kent and Southern New Hampshire University. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton. Dionne is the founder and editor of the online surrealist journal “Peculiar Mormyrid,” which she will be reading from at the salon. Dionne will also be engaging the audience in word games to give the spectators an idea of how surrealism works.
Pearl Wilson, who is taking contemporary surrealism in Painting I, will also be contributing a few pieces in the salon. Wilson and her classmates are creating paintings that embody contemporary surrealism. Wilson said, “I love seeing the projects that everyone else is doing, everyone has such different and cool ideas, so it is going to be fun to see it come all together.” Wilson will be doing a collaborative project with a fellow classmate. They will be creating masks and costumes for those who are participating with a backdrop full of creepy creatures and beautiful goddesses.
“We thought this goes along with surrealism well because it is like turning things on their head and looking at things differently,” Wilson said.
Elizabeth Olbert, an Art Professor here at UMF, is intrigued by 20th century surrealism, “I love the feeling of surrealism, I’m really glad that students here are able to do something that surrealists would have liked.”
Olbert and Johnson are hoping to have a turnout of about 100 people or so, but the more the better. There will be hors d’oeuvres and drinks for those who are attending.