June 22, 2018
On June 21, the University of New England honored Anne Zill, who recently retired from her position as the director of UNE’s Portland Campus Art Gallery after 20 years of service. The event was held at the Art Gallery, which flourished under Zill’s two-decade direction and achieved recognition as being among the best galleries in the state.
Zill, who lived in Washington, D.C. for many years before coming to UNE, spent her earlier years working on behalf of women, minorities and oppressed people through legal, philanthropic and other channels. In fact, what drew Zill to UNE was a position as the president of the Women’s Center for Ethics in Action, created in 1996. However, she found that the gallery was the perfect vehicle through which she could fuse her interest in arts with her passion for advocacy. Among the 200 world-class exhibits that she curated and organized, many demonstrated her commitment to promoting Maine artists and women artists, specifically.
Maintaining her eye toward global affairs, Zill joined forces with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on a 2001 women’s exhibition at the United Nations. She also went to Paris in 2011 to curate a Women’s History Month photography exhibition that showcased works by American women artists.
At the reception honoring Zill, UNE President James Herbert spoke of her service to the University. “Anne built UNE’s collection into a strong and cohesive body of works representing Maine and national artists, photographers, printmakers and sculptors. But more than just transforming UNE’s Gallery into one of the best small galleries in the region, Anne served as an ambassador for UNE, representing the University with eloquence, grace and characteristic generosity of spirit in her interactions with various constituents.”
Zill, who is now writing a memoir, reflected on her past. “My life is a big picture, with swell chapters and blessed by strong personality parents and lots of adventures along the way,” she said. “Good luck and artfulness have helped, as have the many wonderful people in our region who’ve shaped my understanding and love for art as a transformative instrument in human consciousness. The University of New England has hugely enriched my experience!”
To learn more about the UNE Art Gallery, visit www.une.edu/artgallery
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions