Founded in 1959 and now containing more than 27,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Colby College Museum of Art
has built a significant permanent collection that specializes in American and contemporary art but includes a range of works such as European art and Oriental ceramics. Central to its mission is the museum’s role as a teaching resource.
The Lunder Wing presents 13 galleries of works that trace the development of American art from the 18th to the early-20th century. The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz is one of only a handful of museum wings dedicated to the work of a living artist. Major outdoor sculptures include 4-5-6
by Richard Serra and Seven Walls
, a 12- by 68-foot sculpture designed by Sol LeWitt. Colby also is a repository for more than 500 artist lectures that make up the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s Lecture Archive.
Musical activities are concentrated in the Bixler Art and Music Center, which contains the 350-seat Given Auditorium, a small chamber recital space, and numerous practice rooms. Larger concerts are usually presented in Lorimer Chapel. The College’s principal vocal groups include the Colby College Chorale and Collegium Musicum (an early music ensemble). Student groups include Colby Sounds of Gospel, and a cappella singing groups: The Colbyettes, The Sirens, and Ethnic Vocal Ensemble (EVE) for women; The Colby Eight and The Blue Lights for men; and The Megalomaniacs, a coed group. Each semester students put on a Broadway Musical Revue. Students who play instruments are invited to join the Colby Symphony Orchestra (a 65-piece semi-professional ensemble comprising both students and local professionals and amateurs), the Colby Jazz Band, or the Colby Wind Ensemble. Another opportunity for all students is the Colby Handbell Chior, a group of students who play English handbells for special occasions on campus, such as the Festival of Carols and Lights. The Music Department also sponsors numerous chamber music groups.