Unity College presents the work of artist Janice Kasper with a show entitled “Forever Wild, Twenty Years of Painting Wildlife in Maine” at the Leonard Craig Memorial Gallery, Founders Hall South, 90 Quaker Road, Unity, ME. The Public is invited to an Opening Reception to meet the artist and view this current collection on Wednesday September 21 from 5-7 PM. The show runs through October 21. The Painting by Kasper at right is entitled What Animals Dream.

Kasper’s work is inspired by the Maine landscape with its ever present wildlife inhabits. Through her art she exposes the dangers of rapid development of the land and the effects this development has on wildlife populations.

The artist has long time connection to Unity College. She studied with artist Leonard Craig from 1977 to 1979 while he was conducting art classes at Unity. Kasper explains that, “meeting Leonard in 1977 was a pivotal event in my development as an artist. I was looking for someone to do post graduate work with and at that time a MFA program did not exist in Maine. Craig formed an independent study group that met once a week to critique their work. These critiques were invaluable and it was not uncommon for these sessions to last 4-6 hours. Craig was one of the most skilled teachers I have known; his knowledge of art and his sensibilities to student’s needs was extraordinary.” Kasper’s work with Craig led to her first one-person show in 1979 at the gallery in Unity that is now named for Leonard Craig.

Her artistic and personal life is directly linked to one another. She received two artist-in-residence positions , one at Denali National Park in Alaska and the other at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. Kasper has stated “Being able to experience and work in other wilderness settings has not only deepened my love of wild places but also afforded me the opportunity to compare Maine to other locations.”

D. Dominic Lombardi in a New York Times review for an exhibit at the Katonah Art Museum in Katonah, New York stated that she was “Georgia O’Keefe with a cause…”

Besides Katonah, her work has been exhibited throughout Maine, in Boston and in New York City. Paintings are included in the collection of the Portland Museum of Art, The Farnsworth Art Museum and the University of Maine along with numerous private collections. She is on the board and one of the founding members of the organization The Wildlife Alliance of Maine and has served as a member of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife’s, Moose Working Group. Janice Kasper’s work is represented by Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, Maine.

Kasper’s work is on view through October 21. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 1-5 pm. Forever Wild, Twenty Years of Painting Wildlife in Maine” at the Leonard Craig Memorial Gallery, Founders Hall South, 90 Quaker Road, Unity, Maine.

Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education which emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

In 2010, Unity College was named to the top 30 of the Washington Monthly college rankings, and was one of eighteen U.S. colleges and universities named to The Princeton Review’s Green Rating Honor Roll.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011