New UMF Emery exhibit features the sculptural and performance art of American artist John Umphlett

FARMINGTON, ME  (January 17, 2019)—The spectacle of the sculptural and performance art of American artist John Umphlett will be on display as the inaugural spring semester exhibit at the University of Maine at Farmington’s Emery Community Arts Center.

Umphlett’s latest exhibit “elements of degradation,” will be showcased at the Emery Flex Space Gallery from Jan. 31–March 8, 2019. The exhibition presents kinetic and performative large-scale sculptural works that explore themes of life, time, systems, service, mechanism, offspring, cravings, currency, blood and nourishment.


The public is invited to a free opening reception Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5-7 p.m., a live performance by the artist the public won’t want to miss from 5:30-6:30 p.m., and an artist talk Friday, Feb. 1 at 11:45 a.m.

Umphlett’s performance becomes a test of endurance for both artist and viewer as previous works have had the artist dangling over cars, somersaulting through the air or physically connected to a large, electrically charged platter.

John Umphlett
John Umphlett

An innovative and inquisitive thinker, Umphlett uses his art to explore the limits of bodily endurance or take the viewer on a meditative journey. Through the practice of trial and error, he often expresses parallel relationships between material and color, idea and images, and concepts and objects. This process further challenges his creativity and novel approach in developing a body of work.

Umphlett has shown his sculptural and performance works throughout the United States from residencies at sculpture parks to elementary schools, including at Contemporary Art Center in Massachusetts, North Bennington Outdoor Exhibition in Vermont, Greatest American Hero at Salem Art Works in New York,  Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota and many more.

He has been commissioned to make office furnishings and cubicles for rising businesses in New York, such as Sunshine Suites in New York City and is establishing his own fabricating company.

He received the Jerome fellowship for Franconia Sculpture Park in 2002 and since has received grants from the Vermont Arts Exchange in 2003 and 2004.

In his role as interdisciplinary arts technician at Bennington College, he has supervised the installation and lighting of numerous exhibitions and served as an inventor and problem-solver for student projects across the Visual Arts disciplines from designing cameras in photography to fabricating revolving projection installations for live performances.

He teaches courses at Bennington College in the technical aspects of sculpture as well as more conceptual courses in an interdisciplinary style where he has been the technical instructor in Visual Arts since 2000.

# # #

Media Contact: Jesse Potts, UMF associate professor of art,

Image: RP189-027A
Photo Caption: IDA
Photo Credit: Submitted Image

Image: RP189-027B
Photo Caption: John Umphlett
Photo Credit: Submitted Image

April Mulherin
UMF Associate Director for Media Relations
office: 207-778-7081
cell: 207-491-0064

Share on