A Walk Around the Olin Arts Center

Art, in any form, is a great way to release your mind from the stress of negative energies and the to-do lists that tend to pile up and consume our weeks here at Bates. The Olin Arts Center offers a peaceful, quiet, and grounding experience and a wide variety of paintings, sculptures, and other art pieces to learn about and admire. Currently, there are two main exhibitions: DeWitt Hardy: Master of Watercolor, and Uncovered: Selected works from the collection. I went for a walk around the museum, and was awed by how captivating these pieces can be.

In full disclosure, I am by no means an art critic or an art student. I simply enjoy looking and learning from those who are incredibly talented – like the artists whose art is currently displayed in Olin. I also appreciate the process, hard work, and creative eye that it takes to make pieces of art that have the ability to express so much.

The exhibit upstairs features entrance doors labeled, “Uncovered”, and includes contemporary art. The collection is diverse in media and artists, and includes some of the museum’s permanent collection as well as other pieces. The exhibit that really captivated my attention was DeWitt Hardy: Master of Watercolor. His pieces were intricately detailed. As the exhibit said, “the watercolor medium is probably the most difficult form of graphic art to master.” Hardy was an accomplished artist in other mediums, but he excelled at watercolors. Many of his paintings located in the downstairs of the museum, are of scenes outside; very “Maine.” He painted the woods, camping scenes, flowers, rustic cabins, and quintessential Maine homes. While walking around, I was fascinated by the extreme attention to detail. Some of the final products showed signs of the process; pencil lines that were not erased and two pieces that were started, and not yet finished before he passed away in 2017.

Water coloring is one of those art forms that we learn in our elementary school classes. A skill that we can all enjoy, but one that takes incredible attention to detail to master. The Hardy exhibit is awe-inspiring and refreshing to walk around.

Art is a wonderful way to de-stress and take a break from all the work that we put into our classes, sports, clubs, and other commitments here at Bates. The Olin Arts Museum offers just that. It serves as an educational opportunity through visual media and an opportunity to enjoy the impressive talents of others. I would highly recommend a walk through the peaceful, talent-filled rooms if you find yourself needing a break.