Portland, Maine

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Robert Sullivan

My work is with paint as much as it is with the creative minds of Maine's foremost art students.

Job Artist / Educator / Maine College of Art

Lives In Nason's Corner

Born and raised in NYC.

Trained in Painting and Illustration at the School of Visual Arts: BFA 1993.

Freelanced as an illustrator in the publishing/advertising arena for over a decade.

Began gallery career with representation in Portland (Jameson Gallery) in 2003.

Began Assistant Professorship at the Maine College of Art in 2009.

Received Master's in Studio Art and Critical Theory at The Art Institute of Boston in 2012.

 

Why did you choose Portland? It is possibly the most artful community per capita in New England. It is truly a creative center for all forms of artistic endeavor - and it is thriving thanks to the openness of the artists that have decided to make this place their home.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? Scott Nash has created such a successful, yet super-fun art and design business at Nashbox. He is also responsible for bringing an amazing show of Edward Gorey's work to the public this past fall. Julia Einstein at the Portland Museum of Art does wonderful work, bringing the beauty of Maine's great art - past and present - to the children and families of Portland and beyond. Tim Wilson is a real painter's painter - uncompromising and full of bravado in his discipline. He's always working, always getting shows and residencies.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? Three primary things: 1 - A visit to the Portland Museum. 2 - A stroll along the breathtaking Eastern Promenade. 3 - Dinner (or lunch, or both, depending) at one of Portland' s incredible restaurants (far too many to mention).

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? There is a spot along the Eastern Promenade down by the water, just past the bend in the trail, where I can find a nice, flat spot to either sit and contemplate... or set up my easel and paint. Either way, I'm happy there.

What's the most surprising thing about this city? There is so much variety in its shops, its food, its drink, and its art/music ... and it's all within walking distance from everything else! Not to mention the quiet, contemplative spaces nestled in between.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? A cone of Belgian-style frites with a side of truffle ketchup at Duckfat on Middle Street. Pair that with an Allagash White on a warm afternoon, and that's pure delight.

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? It's not totally unsung, but the Portland Trails system is one of the best greenbelt/walking trails I've seen in any urban area. I'm often alone in many sections of it. I can't recommend it enough.

Describe your perfect night—and the following morning—in Portland. Drinks at LFK, live music at One Longfellow Square, and late dinner/ drinks at Boda. They are literally steps from one another, and two blocks from my West End studio. The next morning, breakfast at Hot Suppa!

Do you have a serendipity spot? Where do you always bump into good people? Since I work at the Maine College of Art, and MECA is kind of a locus for the creative scene, I run into almost every artist I know right in front of the school's doors. This is usually how studio visits get arranged for me!

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