Exhibitions - Currents Currents
The Currents series presents solo exhibitions by artists with connections to the state of Maine. Accompanied by a publication and public lecture by the artist, each Currents exhibition provides a unique opportunity to view cutting-edge art by some of today’s most exciting emerging artists. In an effort to broaden the exposure of our audiences to artists pushing the boundaries of traditional art forms, special attention is given, but not limited to, artists working in art forms such as video, installation, performance, and site-specific works.



Gina Siepel in collaboration with Mònika Sziládi

Portrait of the Artist as "The Trapper", 2010

From the "After Winslow Homer series." Archival inkjet print, 26 1/4 x 39 1/2 inches

Courtesy of the artist

currents6: Gina Siepel

November 4, 2010 - February 13, 2011


The currents series provides solo exhibition opportunities for emerging artists with connections to Maine. currents 6 presents process- and performance-based works by Gina Siepel, including the artist's hand-built river workboat based on the traditional bateau and video documentation of her trips along the Kennebec River with a series of "guides"—individuals invited by the artist to share their expertise and personal reflections on the river. The exhibition also features Siepel's photographic restagings of Winslow Homer's iconic images of wilderness guides and videos exploring often overlooked historic markers and their surrounding environments. Commissioned by the Colby Museum, the installation by Siepel—a graduate of the Maine College of Art and alumna of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture—reconsiders the artist's role in society and creates what she describes as "living links" to the past.


t s Beall

Landing Sequence from Predator UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), Iraq, 2004

Video still

Currents5: t s Beall

October 9, 2008 - February 1, 2009


In the fifth installment of currents, an annual solo exhibition dedicated to the work of an emerging artist with connections to Maine, the Colby College Museum of Art presents Here Be Dragons (2008), a new video installation by t s Beall, an American artist living in Glasgow who attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2003. The exhibition consists of a single watchtower surmounted by a rotating platform outfitted with video projectors. From it, circular, scope-like video sequences of landscape imagery drawn from desolate outposts and contested areas are projected onto the walls of the gallery.

Watch a video of the installation here


Amy Stacey Curtis

sort II (detail), 2007

10,080 acrylic-painted wooden circles, 18 receptacles, 16 color keys, Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm, instructions, tape, audience, 45 x 14'. Photo: Alan LaVallee

currents4: Amy Stacey Curtis

December 15, 2007 - April 13, 2008


Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

The fourth installment of the Museum's annual emerging- artist exhibition, currents, presents work by Maine-based installation artist Amy Stacey Curtis. Curtis, who has been working in abandoned industrial sites throughout the state for the past seven years, creates interactive works that examine our interconnectedness through themes of chaos, order, and repetition. For currents4, Curtis invites viewers to perceive, manipulate, and perpetuate her exploration of light and color.


Lihua Lei

Phantom Pain (detail), 2006

Installation in three parts. Photo: Alan LaVallee

currents3: Lihua Lei

November 16, 2006 - February 4, 2007


Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator and Gregory Williams, Assistant Director for Operations

Lihua Lei's work explores the sense of bounty and loss inherent to our bodily condition. Working in the gap between the figurative and the abstract, Lei uses diverse materials to allude to the body: a pool of carnelian colored thread suggests blood; a tube of cloth winds through the landscape like an esophagus or a birthing canal; a tree's knotty irregularities imply scars, burns, or tumors upon a torso. For currents3, Lei explores memory as a bodily phenomenon, exemplified by the phantom limb. How does our body remember, or feel, what it has lost? Lei's installation invites the viewer to reflect upon the vulnerabilities and transformations of the body.

Exhibition catalogue available.


Sam Van Aken

01:15:39:22, 2005, 2005

Multimedia installation, variable dimensions

currents2: Sam Van Aken

November 20, 2005 - February 12, 2006


Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

In Colby's second annual emerging artist exhibition, currents2, installation artist and University of Maine Professor of Art Sam Van Aken creates a multimedia installation exploring his personal and artistic engagement with the 1977 Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.


Julianne Swartz

Higher View, 2004

PVC pipe, plexiglass, mirror, hardware, 33 x 7 x 32"

currents1: Julianne Swartz

October 28, 2004 - February 6, 2005


Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

Julianne Swartz, a New York-based artist whose work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, uses light and sound to explore the thresholds of perception. Her installations challenge the viewer to see and hear elements in the environment that previously may have gone unnoticed.