art gallery made by UMF professors

Points North.
(Courtesy of Chloe Watson and Jason Irla)

By Abbey Randall,  Staff Writer


Two professors at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) have created their own art gallery right from their home, and are welcoming artists along with community members to show their work.
“Well, I have always known that I wanted to do art, and that I wanted to be an artist,” said Watson. After high school she realized that she wanted to have a career as an artist and saw teaching as an outlet to help young artists follow their desires to become professionals.
“I feel like I have been making [art] for so long now that I don’t really know any better,” said Irla. Since being in Maine, Irla has published a magazine named, Maine’s Got Game: A Collection of Blaze Orange Practice Targets. Both Watson and Irla use their location as inspiration for their art and being in Maine has created a new perspective on rural landscape and culture.
Watson and Irla entered the UMF campus in the Fall of 2012 as new professors and as new residents of Maine. Moving into an old farm house, the two found that they had a lot of extra space that could be used for underrepresented artists to show their work.
After applying for a joint application from UMF, the couple are now current professors in the art department. Meeting in graduate school, Chloe Watson and Jason Irla both attended Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.
“We feel as though we are about as North as we can get now,” said Watson about the name Points North. Watson and Irla look for high quality, contemporary, fresh, and experimental work to be displayed in their gallery.
Currently the two decide what artists they invite to their gallery, and both hope to start taking artist’s applications in the future. It is free of charge for the artists to show their work at Points North and the artwork gets shipped to the gallery through the mail.
The two felt the main purpose for creating their own gallery was to, “give artists an opportunity to have their work up here and hopefully be seen by an audience who would not see it otherwise,” said Watson. The gallery will be open to the public in the Spring of 2013.
Jonathan Stonely will be the next artist showcasing at Points North from March 1st until March 31st. Stonely will be showing his series of small paintings inspired by his father, who recently passed away. There will be a welcoming reception for Stonely on March 1st from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Another exhibit coming to Points North is an art piece inspired by the comment made by Mitt Romney in the 2012 U.S. election. Binderful is a three ring binder full of work from many artists that focus on topics of equality and gender.  Binderful is traveling to many different states and will be shown at Points North from April 12th until April 27th.
The couple hopes to sustain the gallery and have it grow into something that can support them financially. “I would like to start establishing some sort of small footprint here,” said Watson, who plans to start showing her own work in Maine.
Points North is located at 161 Croswell Road in Farmington Falls, only 4.5 miles from the UMF campus. For more information about Points North feel free to visit their website at