In the mid-80s, the city of Portland woke up to its identity as an artists’ town, and the infrastructure and support for the creative community has continued to grow ever since. Whether you’re a working artist or simply need art in your life, the following resources are here to connect you to the community, keep you in the loop, and help you make great work happen. This directory is for artists, advocates, and audience members alike.
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Art/Design Studio Buildings
A Gathering of Stitches is a maker space for fiber and textile artists, 54 Cove Street, East Bayside. We have 11 full time studios and four short term rental stations. Equipment available for rent includes: sergers; sewing machines; knitting machines; industrial leather and canvas sewing machines; irons/ironing boards; dress forms; die cutter; dyeing facilties (hot-plates, pots, respirator, drying racks) and screen printing facilities (exposure unit, darkroom, printing stations, washdown unit). Workshops at all levels in sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, dyeing, screen printing, embroidery, and more. For more information contact Samantha Lindgren at 207 747 5015, or email@example.com.
The Bakery Studios are located at 61 Pleasant St. The building is home to White Dog Arts, Peregrine Press, Wolfe Editions, Art House Picture Frames, and 16 studio spaces. Practices include poetry, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, bookmaking, video, and other media. Artemisia Cafe is located in the front of the building. For information call 207-761-1902 or 207-838-7899, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Casco Bay Technology Hub is a Danforth Street space for Maine technology companies “to unite and inspire entrepreneurship and business growth through tech-centered events and business collaboration.”
Engine Room is a creative collaborative space where entrepreneurs, innovators, and collaborators come together to make it happen. In a building over 100 years old, this modern, open-concept space allows professionals to share their stimulating ideas with one another in an upbeat environment on York Street, near Portland's Old Port. (207) 831-5500.
Grime Studios offers affordable band rehearsal space and art studios with 24 hour access. It exists for bands and artists of any craft to create whatever they want, as loud as they want, whenever they want. Grime is located at 27 Thompson's Point Road. For more information, call (207) 831-3621.
The Open Bench Project at 1 Thompson Point is a shared learn/work facility, cultivating a community of makers by providing access to a studio/work space, tools, and resources. The 6,000 square foot facility includes a wood shop, metal shop, lab for 3D printing, and a hack lab. For information on affordable, flexible membership, call (207) 329-8606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peloton Labs is a community workspace on Congress Street in Portland, designed as a co-working space for independent and creative business and civic professionals.
Phoenix Studio, at 630 Forest Avenue, has classes in stained glass, glass fusing, mosaics, studio drawing, and painting for beginners and seasoned craftsmen alike. The studio carries a wide selection of supplies and glass and offers discounts on their retail items when you're taking a class. For more information, call (207) 774-4154.
Running With Scissors, at 250 Anderson Street, is a multi-disciplinary creative work space with over 50 private studios of various sizes, features, rates and amenities, plus common work space, various equipment for print making, wood working, computer and design work, an exhibition hall, classroom, lounge, and more. For more information contact Kate Anker at (207) 831-5682 or email@example.com. The facility also houses the Bayside Clay Center, a community committed to providing affordable space to serious clay artists. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ThinkTank Portland is a co-working space on Congress Street for freelance writers, journalists, grad students, bloggers, architects, developers, graphic designers, and digital photographers.
Wycwah is a website dedicated to exploring the concept of co-working. It describes itself as a collaborative space for digital creatives: web designers, programmers, writers, videographers—anyone who uses bits and bytes to make something happen.
Classes + Supplies
A Gathering of Stitches is a workshop studio for fiber and textile artists in East Bayside. In addition to offering classes and workshops on sewing, knitting, quilting, dyeing, and silk screen printing to students at all levels, they also rent time on various pieces of specialized equipment and offer business development to small craftspeople.
The Art Mart, located across Congress Street from the Maine College of Art, is open seven days a week and has supplies for hobbyists, students, and professionals alike.
Creatives across the country know Artist & Craftsman Supply stores as a one-stop shop for materials, tools, and presentation accessories, as well as framing services. The original opened in Yarmouth, Maine in 1985, and now the Portland store on Deering Avenue carries on the legacy.
Atelier Stitch is a sewing lounge and creative workspace with a small selection of specialty fabrics and notions. There are a variety of classes and workshops, including budget-friendly options, and occasional free crafting classes.
The Bakery Photo Collective is a nonprofit self-service darkroom facility in nearby Westbrook. The twenty commercial and fine-art photographers who make up the collective run the facility, which is open to the public four days a week for digital studio and darkroom rentals. They also host workshops and classes in photographic arts, as well as youth programs, a lecture series hosting local and nationally recognized photographers, and an artist residency program offering darkroom time for visiting photographers.
Casco Bay Movers is a dance studio for everyone from beginners to repertory performers in a wide variety of styles, including jazz, tap, hiphop, and freestyle.
Grapheteria offers custom framing, fine art and photo digital printing, economy poster printing, art and object photography, and mounting and laminating services for artists, business owners, and the general public.
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international craft school in Deer Isle, Maine about three hours from Portland. The school offers intensive studio-based workshops and residencies in a variety of craft media including clay, glass, metals, paper, blacksmithing, weaving, woodworking, and more. Anyone may participate, from beginners to advanced professionals.
Maine Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is about an hour and forty-five minutes from Portland, in Rockport, Maine. Their woodworking courses range from weekend workshops to twelve-week intensives and a nine-month comprehensive.
Maine College of Art isn't just for undergrads. MECA's Continuing Studies division offers workshops, courses, and professional development programs in subjects including book arts, culinary arts, graphic design, and jewelry.
Maine Media Workshops + College is almost two hours from Portland in Rockport, Maine, but worthy of a mention because of the quality of instruction (and caliber of fellow students) in photography, multimedia, filmmaking, and print design. They recently added an MFA program.
Maine Photo Works on High Street specializes in fine art printing, scanning, and framing. Hours are by appointment only.
Paca Naturals carries what they call "farm-to-main street" items, including a colorful selection of alpaca yarns from several different local farms. Their yarn is spun and dyed in Maine as well.
Phoenix Studio on Forest Avenue has classes in stained glass, glass fusing, mosaics, studio drawing, and painting for beginners and seasoned craftsmen alike. The studio carries a wide selection of supplies and glass and offers discounts on their retail items when you're taking a class.
Photo Market on Forest Avenue is the largest professional, independent camera store in the state. They offer processing and digital services, as well as occasional photography workshops.
Portland Adult Education's catalog includes classes in crafts, dance, fine arts, photography, and music, among others.
Portland Pottery offers supplies, classes, and a community for potters, jewelers, and glassworkers. They’re friendly to those who want to browse or learn.
The University of New England hosts 8-week creative writing workshops in poetry and fiction at the Portland campus on Stevens Avenue.
Z Fabrics carries the kinds of prints you won’t find at chain stores—from unique Japanese cottons to designer fabrics like Lotta Jansdotter—along with trims, patterns, books, and machines. Classes cater to everyone from beginners to professionals.
Arts + Design Organizations
Add Verb Productions is a nonprofit program of the University of New England that provides health and wellness education through provocative theatre performances with the goal of building stronger, healthier communities.
Creative Portland Corporation is a nonprofit organization established by the City to support economic development efforts that capitalize and grow Portland’s creative economy, create employment opportunities, and foster arts district development.
Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides legal council for artists and organizations with limited financial resources. MEVLA also does broad outreach and eudcation about arts-related business and legal issues.
Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance is a thirty-five year old nonprofit whose mission is to enrich the cultural life of Maine by supporting writers and the literary arts.
Mayo Street Arts is a nonprofit community arts center with a gallery, artist studios, music and theater performances, and classes.
MENSK‘s mission is to inspire and support personal, local, and regional action for the development of creative and sustainable communities.
Portland Music Foundation‘s mission is to organize, support, nurture, and promote the thriving music scene in Portland. They are genre-agnostic and work with kids and adults.
Portland Society for Architecture's membership includes architects, engineers, landscape architects, design professionals, and individuals committed to the protection and enhancement of those aspects of urban design which contribute to Portland’s economic activity and cultural identity. Their work includes advocacy and educational programming open to everyone.
Portland's Downtown District is a nonprofit committed to the economic vitality of Portland’s downtown. Their website features guides to events, tours, arts, dining, and shopping in Portland.
Portland Public Art Committee is an all-volunteer subcommittee of the Portland City Council that commissions and maintains the public art collection of the City of Portland.
The Society for East End Arts (SEA) is s a Munjoy Hill-based organization of artists that seeks to promote awareness of the arts in Portland's East End through networking and community.
St. Lawrence Arts Center is a nonprofit community arts space featuring theater, dance, music, film, and workshops.
The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young Portland-area writers ages 6 to 18, Telling Room programs build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for students’ stories.
Creative Economy Conferences/Events
Architalx hosts periodic lectures and discussions about architectural topics. This non-profit is dedicated to broadening the awareness and understanding of architecture, landscape architecture, and design through activities which foster evocative and creative dialogue within the design community and with the general public.
PechaKucha Portland is part of the global network/phenomenon where locals present their creative work in 20 slides before a live audience of their peers. Ten to eleven presenters get six minutes and 40 seconds each (20 seconds per slide.)
The PopTech Conference in Camden, Maine, is the annual gathering of global innovators exploring the social impact of new technologies and a source of support and funding for cutting-edge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
TEDxDirigo is an independent, locally-organized version of the TED experience. In the spirit of the state motto, these events, held at different locations across the state, showcase ideas from Maine’s brightest innovators and change-makers.
Blogs + Publications
The Arts and Economic Prosperity IV (PDF) report illustrates the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences in the City of Portland.
The Bollard is a monthly independent news and arts publication, featuring news, reviews, and music and theater listings.
The Guide to Portland Street Artists Rules and Regulations (PDF) is a helpful resource for street artists in the City of Portland. The official rules and regulations by the City for street performers and vendors are available here (PDF).
Maine Art Scene promotes Maine art and culture. The online magazine features a large arts directory and also includes events, opportunities, interviews, artist webpages, and juried online exhibitions.
Maine Home + Design, the sister publication of Maine magazine, has everything you’d want in a local “shelter” magazine: beautifully photographed homes from around the state and resources for finding architects, interior designers, builders, and decorative artists.
Maine magazine covers the whole state from its home base in Portland including food, recreation, travel, music, art, style, and notable people.
The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum blog provides the latest in railroad news and special events.
Old Port Magazine is the latest publication by Maine magazine, published quarterly and covering the heart and soul of Portland, including food, drinks, music, art, style, history, and wellness.
Portland Daily Photo posts almost-daily photos from in and around Portland by photographer Corey Templeton.
Portland Magazine is our glossy “city” magazine featuring personality profiles, arts news, food and local flavor, reviews, events listings, and original fiction.
Providing a glimpse behind the scenes at the museum, the Portland Museum of Art Blog includes news, events, insights, and the history of permanent and visiting collections.
The Portland Phoenix has its finger on the cultural pulse of Portland, with articles, reviews, and editorials about the latest news, music, movies, art, and places to eat and drink. Each year they hold a “best of” contest.
The Strange Maine blog is a nexus for "Maine's unique strangeness," including history, mysteries, legends, current events, cryptozoology, and more. Curated by Michelle Souliere, owner of The Green Hand, an eclectic used book shop in Portland.
Unseen Portland is another Portland photo blog, describing itself as “Portland, Maine, stripped of pretense.” This blog documents unromantic and unexpected slices of Portland life.
Museums + Galleries
As 1 Gallery showcases the work of emerging Maine-based artists. A number of handcrafted items, jewelry, mosaics, and furniture are also on display.
Bridge Gallery is both a gallery and the working studio of artists Rhonda Pearle and Gary Perlmutter.
The Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine features a wide variety of interactive exhibits and performances for kids.
Daunis Fine Handmade Jewelry and Gallery is a jewelry studio and gallery where guests can tour the space and see what the artists are currently working on.
George Anderson Gallery features contemporary nautically themed acrylic paintings by George Anderson and Scott Tubby.
Güven Gallery features Anatolian ceramics with designs influenced by contemporary, Hittite, and Ottoman art, as well as a selection of Persian and Turkish carpets.
The Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow House is the historic home of the Portland-born nineteenth-century poet.
Heron Point Glass Gallery features the work of a local Maine glass artist and visual artists in rotating shows.
Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA features exhibitions of student work and showcases new perspectives and trends in contemporary art.
Cryptozoology is the study of hidden, legendary, non-existent or fictitious creatures (depending on how you look at it), and the International Cryptozoology Museum here in Portland features many one-of-a-kind cryptozoological artifacts, including a life-sized Bigfoot model.
June Fitzpatrick Gallery at MECA exhibits drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture by established artists and selected newcomers.
The Maine Historical Society museum collection includes more than 15,000 artifacts from five centuries of Maine living.
Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. has a museum dedicated to the railroad’s history and offers rides on the historic railroad.
Mayo Street Arts is a nonprofit community gallery, music venue, and performance space that also hosts artist studios.
The Museum of African Culture’s permanent collection includes an expansive display of African masks, some dating back to 1600 AD, as well as cast figures and utilitarian objects.
Portland Art Gallery represents the work of Maine artists and is dedicated to highlighting superb curated artwork from across the state.
The Portland Museum of Art showcases fine and decorative arts from the 18th century to the present. Its permanent collection includes the work of artists from Pierre-Auguste Renoir to Pablo Picasso and Wassily Kandinsky. In 2012, the museum finished restoration of the Winslow Homer Studio on Prout’s Neck in Scarborough, and now the former home of the artist is available for tours.
Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery features a wide variety of art exhibitions on a monthly basis.
R.N. Cohen Studio-Gallery features original watercolors, oils, and limited editions of the Old Port, Portland, and coastal Maine.
Richard Boyd Art Gallery is an owner-operated gallery on Peaks Island representing established and emerging artists working in the media of painting, sculpture, ceramic art, and glass.
Roux & Cyr International Fine Art Gallery offers courses and workshops in oil painting, as well as exhibitng paintings and photography by artists from Maine and around the world.
Salt Institute for Documentary Studies hosts monthly and bi-monthly exhibits by Salt students, graduates, and others.
Sarajo features antique textiles, costumes, furniture, tribal art, and jewelry from around the world.
SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit contemporary arts space featuring visual arts, live music and performance, lectures, films, and more.
The pre-Revolutionary Tate House, with its period furnishings, beautiful grounds and herb gardens, and unique architecture, offers a glimpse of 18th century life in Colonial Maine.
The University of New England Art Gallery mounts six exhibitions annually, ranging from contemporary fine art to photography, to international themes, to works by women and Maine artists. The gallery also houses a permanent collection of paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures by nationally and internationally known artists.
Besides a 12-lane bowling alley, Bayside Bowl features Bayside Stage, with local and national bands and DJs playing most weekends and special annual events.
Blue presents an array of live music, including jazz, celtic, Middle Eastern, blues, bluegrass, old time, and folk, and dedicates every Saturday night to Jazz at the Blue.
Empire is a 250-person capacity club presenting a range of happenings from live music to private functions, film, and regularly scheduled events.
Geno's is a small, no-frills rock club and bar that books independent local, east coast, and national bands.
Mayo Street Arts is a nonprofit gallery, music venue, and performance space that also hosts artist studios.
One Longfellow Square features live musical performances, film screenings, theater and dance productions, and community events.
PMA Movies offers an arthouse alternative to the multiplex with some of the best foreign, classic, and independent films available at the Portland Museum of Art.
Port City Music Hall is the frequent host of well-known and lesser-known, I-saw-them-when musical acts.
Portland Ballet houses both a ballet school and a professional dance company, performing both classical and contemporary works.
Portland Stage is a top-notch professional theater company that produces a range of programming, from its Mainstage season of seven shows to new, experimental theater productions in the 70-seat Studio Theater.
Saint Lawrence Arts Center is a nonprofit community arts space featuring theater, dance, music, film, and workshops.
SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit contemporary arts venue and gallery featuring visual arts, live music and performance, lectures, films, and more.
The State Theatre is a 1,680-seat performing arts venue in downtown Portland. The historic Art Deco theater building is the setting for a variety of nationally known acts and occasional local events.
The Bollard is a monthly independent news and arts publication, featuring news, reviews, and music and theater listings.
Maine Art Scene has listings for exhibits, performances, classes, lectures, and concerts across the state.
Portland Ovations features a variety of performances including classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater, spoken word, and Broadway.
Portland's Downtown District‘s events calendar provides a comprehensive list of goings-on downtown, from Portland Stage and Portland Symphony Orchestra performances to job fairs, book groups, and food-related events.
Maine College of Art (MECA) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, a Master of Arts in Teaching, and Continuing Studies for adults and kids, including a Pre-College intensive for high school students.
The Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation--Project MEAC is a non-profit, fine art conservation lab-studio. Project MEAC is committed to preserving art from Maine's museums and historical societies and conserving artworks belonging to Maine people.
Oak Street Studios is an art institute for young people in Portland. Their "College for Kids" curriculum introduces students to methods and materials inspired by college courses and taught by practicing artists. They also run a First Friday Art Walk drop-off: Kids stay to do art projects, while adults enjoy the walk.
Salt Institute for Documentary Studies offers intensive fifteen-week programs in documentary writing, radio, and photography for undergraduate and graduate students.