UMF Art Gallery presents the exhibition “Agreeable Nonsense” by artist Mike Libby

FARMINGTON — The UMF Art Gallery will present “Agreeable Nonsense,” by multidisciplinary artist Mike Libby, as part of its upcoming featured exhibition. The exhibition runs from October 18 to November 20 and is free and open to the public. A public reception will be held on Thursday, October 20 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Through fantasy and a keen sensitivity to strange and mundane materials, artist Mike Libby turns his lens to the consumerist role of materials in ecological, architectural and topiary forms. He studies the off-center and perpendicular relationships between nature, culture, matter, artifice and autobiography through his idiosyncratic approaches to sculpture, drawing and collage.

With such an abundance and variety of material in the world, Libby selects ingredients from public and personal sources and experiences (hiking, street debris, shipwrecks and jetsam) for their raw immediacy. Specific materials, modified with calculated detail and process, emphasize meaning beyond form alone.

Libby revels in the manufacturing process, whether adapting one thing to another or building from scratch; he believes that the work itself is interested in what it can be. The materials he chooses and the process of their transformation orbit, catalyze and support the initial impulse of each work. The materials and the process inform the reading of the work as much as the physical thing, and they don’t need to be in sync for that to happen. In fact, Libby claims, the less they have in common, the more interesting things seem to get.

Libby graduated with a sculpture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1999 and attended the Vermont Studio Center. He was artist-in-residence at the University of Maine and enjoys presenting at PechaKucha events and schools.

He has collaborated with authors, publishers, members of the science fiction community, gallery and museum curators, and designers. Since 1999 Libby has maintained INSECT LAB, an ongoing project using custom preserved insects with mechanical components to explore science fiction, science fact, education, literacy and storytelling. Originally from central Maine, Mike Libby currently resides and works in South Portland with his rescue dog.

The UMF Art Gallery is dedicated to bringing contemporary art to campus and regional communities. The gallery is located at 246 Main Street, behind the admissions office. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Please contact Sarah at maline@maine.edu or 207-778-1062 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

William E. Bennett