Bring to Light

Ruby Merritt, If We Are All Worms, Try To Be A Glow Worm, 2015, glass, acrylic, microfilament, cork, LB agar, Green Fluorescent Protein, microorganism, dimensions variable

Bring to Light

Feb 8, 2015 - Apr 26, 2015


Featuring regional and international artists, Bring to Light utilized a computer controlled lighting program that fluctuates between incandescent and ultra-violet light in 3-minute intervals. The impact of this lighting informed the theme developed by exhibition co-curators Kurt Von Voetsch, Gallery Manager and Michael Beam, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections.

To Kurt von Voetsch, ultra violet lighting creates an altered state of vision or spiritual sensitivity. Von Voetsch likens the effect to how we visually experience Niagara Falls differently in daytime and nighttime. The falls, during the day, with gleaming water roaring over the precipice, reads as an action. However, at night, with theatrical lighting and the evening sky devoid of natural light, the falls appear as an object.  

From the perspective of Michael Beam, this exhibition was inspired, in part, by two unique works in the CAM collection—Anders Knutsson’s Bring To Light, a 1982 acrylic and phosphorus on canvas and Barbara Bloom’s 1998 self-illuminated Watermark Papers. These works anchor the exhibition to the museum collection, and serve as Beam’s litmus test for the inclusion of other works.

The duel viewing experience offers what Charles Shepard, Director of the University of Maine Museum of Art describes as, “a metaphor for the binary relationships that surround us—night/day, good/bad, success/failure—and for the invisible and incomprehensible forces that connect the two, that make one impossible without the other.” 

With distractions such as structural references (floors, walls and ceilings) minimized, this viewing experience offers fundamental changes in both our sensory perception of the artwork as well as our relationship to it. The works featured in Bring to Light embodied emotive qualities, from meditative luminosity to in-your-face saccharine sweet neon-glare, radiating their own life force. 

Participating Artists Included: Bruce Adams, Dianne Baker, Barbara Bloom, Yael Brotman, Tricia Butski, Giorgio Cole, Kyle-Lynn Esposit, Joe Grenga, Anders Knutsson, Craig Kosinski, Ruby Merritt, Brenda Molloy, Tommy Nguyen, Gary Spearin, John Parascak, Kate Stapleton Parzych, Rich Tomasello, and Dana M. Tyrrell.

Click here to access a digital copy of the exhibit catalog.