UNE exhibit presents artistic response to new twist on Persephone myth

Works from “Persephone in the Late Anthropocene”
Work by Hannah Secord Wade (left) and Patrick Corrigan (center and right) in “Persephone in the Late Anthropocene,” co-curated by Megan Grumbling and Jenna Crowder

The University of New England’s Biddeford Campus Ketchum Library Art Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition titled Persephone in the Late Anthropocene,” which will be on display through May 14.

Co-curated by critic Jenna Crowder of the online arts journal The Chart and Megan Grumbling, M.A., a developmental writing specialist at UNE’s Student Academic Success Center, the exhibit features artwork by Hannah Secord Wade and Patrick Corrigan, musical scores by Denis Nye, and text by Grumbling from her recently published book of poetry “Persephone in the Late Anthropocene” (Acre Books), which presents a sequel to the Greek myth of Persephone and sets it in the age of climate crisis.

The exhibit showcases artists’ responses to Grumbling’s poetry by reflecting on the imagery and experience of climate crisis and exploring how, as a community, we might understand our roles in this era through a diversity of modes -- including art, poetics, performance, narrative, and the sciences – in order to better meet its challenges together.

The show boasts ample opportunity for audience engagement, with QR codes that enable viewers to enjoy an interactive relationship with the works and a dedicated website that allows for commentary through viewer submissions.

According to Gallery and Exhibitions Director Hilary Irons, the exhibition also embodies UNE’s commitment across academic fields to environmental health. “‘Persephone in the Late Anthropocene’ is a visually beautiful show, with connections to environmental science, music, and literature,” said Irons. “It also ties into the larger mission of the University. In particular, the exhibit’s interdisciplinary nature intersects with UNE’s current commitment to reducing investment in high carbon-footprint industries. The narrative presented by this exhibit amplifies UNE’s dedication to actively addressing environmental concerns, while asking viewers to imagine the personal impacts of climate change.”

UNE’s Ketchum Library Art Gallery is located on the University’s Biddeford Campus at 11 Hills Beach Road. Hours are Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m. The UNE Art Gallery in the Ketchum Library is open to the UNE community only until further notice; please stay tuned and contact Hilary Irons for information on the upcoming remote tour and possible expansion to public hours. Keep up-to-date via Instagram, at @uneartgalleries 

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