Once again, the elk, wolf, caribou, and catamount are leaving the region. This time, the exodus takes the form of the closing of Wendy Klemperer’s sculpture installation “Re-Imagined” at College of the Atlantic. To say farewell, on Friday, October 19, COA will hold a reception for the sculptures and the artist from 4 to 5 p.m. at the shrine on the college’s North Lawn, near the catamount. If the weather is unpleasant, the gathering will be in Deering Common Campus Center, at the south entrance to campus.
Klemperer fashions bands of recycled steel—the detritus of civilization—into massive sculptures of animals lost to the region. For more than a year, the elk, wolf, caribou, and catamount have returned to Mount Desert Island, calmly grazing on the COA campus in the exhibit curated by June LaCombe of Pownal, Maine Their next destination is a public location in Portland.
“These wonderful animals have become a part of campus,” said Darron Collins, COA president. “We are sad to see them leave the island.” He notes that they do remain for sale.
A herd of Klemperer animals, welded from recycled reinforcement rods, spikes, and nails, have recently been donated to the Portland International Jetport. Others of her larger-than-life sculptures are in private and public collections throughout the country.
Born in 1958, Klemperer attended Maine’s Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1984, after receiving her BFA in sculpture from Pratt Institute. She holds a BA from Harvard-Radcliffe in biochemistry.
Says LaCombe, “These mammals are re-imagined by the artist, taking on mythic qualities and proportions. They are larger than life; the predators have grown in ferocity, the racks are abstracted, all reflecting the place the wild holds in our imaginations. The recycled materials, pulled from industrial salvage piles, give the animals a rough visceral quality while bringing those materials to life.”
The reception, between 4 and 5 p.m. on Friday, October 19, will be at the shrine on the college’s north lawn, near the catamount. In case of inclement weather, it will be in Deering Common Campus Center (south entrance of campus). The reception is free and open to all. For more information contact June LaCombe, www.junelacombesculpture.com, 207-688-4468, or the college at 207-288-5015, www.coa.edu, or firstname.lastname@example.org.