By Emily Mokler – Contributing Writer
UMF students gathered in the alleyways of downtown Farmington to create and perform art as part of the Water Bear Confabulum, an alternative arts festival hosted by the UMF Art Gallery.
The event included a 5k run, with proceeds benefitting local high school students attending UMF who have an interest in both the arts and the environment.
Visitors saw the downtown change with art unfolding from UMF students and professionals. Students in a Drawing class drew each other in chalk, an exercise known as blind contouring. Abby Sanborn, a freshman Creative Writing, and Art major was one of the students drawing in the alleyway next to Renys with chalk. Each figure had distinct blocks of color.
“The point of the exercise is to draw what our eyes see, not what our mind sees,” Sanborn said as she rubbed the chalk into the wall, building up the vibrant color.
Following the sound of drums led to students dressed as animals, and statues of animals dressed like humans. AJ Mae, a freshman, wore a gown made of trash bags and set up an installation using reflective, everyday objects ranging from party masks to CDs.
“Different people see themselves in different places and in different ways,” said Mae. According to Mae, the installation was inspired by how “the media frames how we see ourselves, and distorts our expectations.”
Another alley had large charcoal drawings of landscapes, and visitors were asked to smudge the original work into whatever they wanted with bread. A volunteer spoke about exhibits in Bonney Woods. There were interactive installations about asking for phrases