UNE Art Gallery in Portland presents ‘An Evening with Irises’ on Jan. 18

A mixed-media art piece
John Sundling. “Irises and Tubes for Vincent and John.” Irises, glass tubes, metal, wood, joint compound, and spray paint. 2023.

The Art Gallery at the University of New England in Portland will welcome artist-florist John Sundling and the University’s own archivist Cathleen Miller on Thursday, Jan. 18, for an evening of reflections on art, transformation, and resonance.

The event, “An Evening with Irises,” will be held in the Art Gallery on UNE’s Portland Campus for the Health Sciences from 5 to 8 p.m. The talk is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

Sundling and Miller, M.A., M.L.S., education and outreach archivist for the University, will examine the power of vision to shape experience, together looking at Sundling’s site-specific piece, “Irises and Tubes for Vincent and John,” as well as Vincent van Gogh's 1889 painting, “Irises,” as a starting place for uplifting conversation about the nature of beauty and memory.

The artist talk will be followed by a closing reception for the gallery’s fall exhibition, “Seeking Light: Plants from Shoreline to Canopy in the Arts and Sciences.” The dual-gallery exhibit, with showings at both UNE’s Portland and Biddeford campuses, highlights the role of plants in the environment and in the creative imagination.

The exhibition is on display through Jan. 21 and features, in Portland, artists Jennifer Brou, Chip Barchilon, Breehan James, Luke Davulis, John Knight, Jocelyn Lee, Jim Mullen, Tessa Greene O’Brien, Christopher Patch, Matthew Pittsley, and John Sundling.

The UNE Art Gallery in Portland is located at 716 Stevens Ave. and is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment.