New Fleming exhibit puts focus on UVM faculty

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 4:02 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The University of Vermont’s Fleming Museum of Art is turning its gaze to UVM faculty in a new exhibit.

For Jaimes Mayhew, working with the LGBTQIA+ community to create art is a form of solidarity.

“A lot of the participants and collaborators in this project have said that these maps give them hope,” Mayhew said. The UVM lecturer and artist creates utopias to honor the desires of LGBTQIA+ folks. One work, “Planet Rooted,” is a world for Black queer and trans people. And a group of older queer people inspired “Elder Pride Island.”

“It’s a really nice way to be able to kind of envision what you need -- and maybe what you’re not getting in the present -- and then also as a way to sort of form community,” said Mayhew, one of 15 teaching artists at UVM with work featured in the exhibit, Praxis.

Fleming Museum director Sonja Lunde says it’s the first-ever group faculty exhibit since UVM’s studio art program was established in 1924. “We thought, what a wonderful opportunity to bring together this group of artists in this inaugural exhibition here at the Fleming,” she said.

Alongside Mayhew’s digital collages are paintings, pottery, prints, drawings, photography, and even a functioning barbershop. Lunde hopes visitors -- and students in particular -- are inspired by the creations. “There are themes of identity, social and environmental justice. I think it’s really important for students to take stock of what contemporary artists are challenging themselves with,” she said

“I hope that they learn something or, you know, feel a sense of belonging,” Mayhew said.

Praxis is on display until December 8.