On Thursday, April 15, Perimeter Gallery will open a new show of two- and three-dimensional mixed media work by Maine artist Paul Oberst titled “Ceremonial Array: Blankets, Emissaries, Arrangements and Devices.” The public is invited to meet the artist during a reception that evening from 6 to 8 p.m.

For nearly 30 years, Paul Oberst has explored the idea of the temple in his artwork.

“For me, the temple is a locus or passage for the human spirit. The temple functions as a machine for transporting the viewer metaphorically or metaphysically to realms of consciousness beyond the every day,” he said.

At the heart of Oberst’s artistic practice is the conviction that art is shamanic in nature. Its practice involves examining our cultures and working to heal them or bring them into balance. It is also about tapping into mystery.

“For me, art is about reaching out into unknowable areas and attempting to bring back an aspect of that reach,” he said.

For the exhibition at Perimeter Gallery, Oberst has created artworks that evoke the ceremonial array one might find inside of a temple – objects available to those seeking passage. He describes his ceremonial Blankets as “wraps for journeying souls … the two Emissaries, guides for the transcendent traveler. The Arrangements are sculptural compositions that form a focus for meditation, and the Devices are ‘machines’ that serve mysterious ceremonial purposes within the temple realm.”

Since childhood, Oberst has had a love for making objects of contemplation from whatever was at hand and, as an art student, he pushed the boundaries of accepted or typical materials and practice, all the while absorbing the traditions and ideas that came before him. His work today, constructed of humble materials in unexpected yet simple and resonant combination, bears the mark of fearless reach as well as contemplative intake of an array of cultural and artistic traditions.

“Ceremonial Array: Blankets, Emissaries, Arrangements and Devices” will be on view through May 30. Perimeter Gallery is located at Chase’s Daily, 96 Main St. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.