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Art & Design Resources

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 someone who simply needs art in their 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

131 Washington Avenue located at 131 Washington ave. The studio is home to 5 private/locking spaces, 3 with large sunny windows, and a large utility sink. For more information contact Alex Launi at 610- 291-1773.

50 Cove Street, features Portland Fiber Gallery and Weaving Studio, and Jennifer Nielsen hand-crafted jewelry, Portland, (207) 772-3822

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 4 short term rental stations. Equipment on site and 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 info@agatheringofstitches.com.

The Bakery studios is located at 61 Pleasant St. Included in the building are White Dog Art inc., Peregrine Press with 30 members, Wolfe Editions, Art House Frame shop, and 16 studio spaces. Practices range from 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 alisonderbyhildreth@gmail.com or kweslien@mac.com.

Basecamp Studios located on Presumpscot street in a warehouse. This spaces houses 12+ artists. For more information please contact Will Sears at williamcsears@gmail.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 talented 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 right on the fringe of Portland's Old Port.

Mayo Street Arts at 10 Mayo Street offers affordable artist studios, dance and theater space, and exhibition space, housed in an historic church. Contact Blainor McGough, (207) 615-3609, for more information.

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 on Forest Ave. 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. 

Running With Scissors, located at 250 Anderson St., is a diverse multi-disciplinary creative work space with 55 resident members in private studios and 12-24 associate members with storage spaces.  All members have 24/7 access to a secure building, equipment in the wood shop, print shop, computer area. For more information contact Kate Anker at 207-831-5682 or via email at scissorsart@gwi.net. The facility also houses the Bayside Clay Center at RWS, a space and community dedicated to clay where 11 resident members and 12 associate members share common wheels and clay equipment. For info about the clay center email baysideclay@gmail.com.

The Artist Studio Building at 536 Congress Street has workspaces on three floors above SPACE Gallery and down the block from the Maine College of Art. Contact Christopher Campbell, (207) 874-0455, for more information.

The Congress Building at 142 High Street, is the home to the State Theatre, ground floor retail spaces and five floors of offices for small businesses and artist’s studios. Go to suite 320 at 142 High Street or call (207) 772-1540 for more information.

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 the Bayside area of Portland. 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.

Creatives across the country know Artist & Craftsman Supply stores as a one-stop shops 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 Ave 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.

Bomb Diggity Arts Program is one of five five community-support programs of Momentum, Incorporated, providing innovative and individualized services for adults with intellectual disabilities. Bomb Diggity Arts provides programming in the visual arts, culinary arts, multi-media arts, and agricultural arts. 

Casco Bay Movers is a dance studio for everyone form the novice to repertory performers in a wide variety of styles. 

Grapheteria offers custom framing, fine art and photo digital printing along with economy poster printing, art and object photography, plus mounting and laminating services, whether you're an artist, a business, or someone who just wants what you put on your walls to look good.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international craft school in Deer Isle, Maine about three hours from Portland. The school offers intensive (facilities are open 24 hours a day) studio-based workshops 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 courses range from weekend workshops to twelve-week intensives, and a nine-month comprehensive.

Maine Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is about an hour and forty-five minutes from Portland in Rockport, Maine. Their 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, intensives, and summer camps, as well as professional development programs. 

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.

Phoenix Studio on Forest Ave. 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 Ave. is the largest professional (and independent) camera/photo store in the state. They offer processing and digital services, as well as occasional workshops.

Portland Adult Education's catalogue includes crafts, dance, fine arts, photography, and music categories.

Portland Photo Works on Congress Street specializes in printing, scanning, digital imaging, restoration, and framing.

Portland Pottery & Metalsmithing Studio offers supplies, classes and a community for potters, jewelers, and glassworkers. They’re friendly to those who want to browse or learn. 

The Alpaca Shed carries what they call "farm-to-main street" items, including a colorful selection of alpaca yarns from several different producers.

The Art Mart, located next door to the Maine College of Art, is open seven days a week and has supplies for hobbyists, students, and professionals alike.

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 (plus interns) 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.

The University of New England hosts several creative writing workshops at the Portland campus on Stevens Ave.

Z Fabric 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.

AIGA Maine, Maine’s chapter of the design community’s professional networking group, has a robust chapter based in Portland. The organization hosts regular events for members and non-members.

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 Arts Commission is Maine’s state-run arts and cultural agency. They keep a comprehensive directory of Maine artists, arts organizations, collectives and associations. Groups and individuals are invited to self-subscribe.

Maine Humanities Council promotes literature, history, philosophy, and the arts in Maine.

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 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 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 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 of Architects’ 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 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. 

St. Lawrence Arts Center is a nonprofit community arts space featuring theater, dance, music, film, and workshops.

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 the East End of Portland through networking and community.

The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young 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.

Pecha-Kucha 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 6 minutes and 40 seconds a piece (20 seconds per slide.)

The Pop!Tech 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 showcase ideas from Maine’s brightest innovators and change-makers, held at different locations across the state.

The Juice Conference in Camden, Maine, is sponsored by Midcoast Magnet as part of the State’s creative economy development efforts.

Blogs + Publications

Art Maine is Maine magazine’s facebook hub for all things art-related in Maine.

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 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 Architecture is a blog focusing on town planning and architecture in Maine.

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 College of Art student blog has photographs of in-progress student work and musings on current projects.

Maine Home + Design, the sister publication of Maine magazine, has everything you’d want in a local “shelter” magazine, beautifully photographed homes from all 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.

Portland Daily Photo posts almost-daily photos from in and around Portland.

Portland Magazine is our glossy “city” magazine featuring personality profiles, arts news, food and local flavor, reviews, events listings, and original fiction.

Seth and the City is a Bangor Daily News blog about Greater Portland by writer Seth Koenig.

The Bollard is a monthly independent news and arts publication, featuring news, reviews, and music and theater listings.

The Maine Arts Commission blog has the latest news on grant opportunities and programs sponsored by the organization, such as Poetry Out Loud.

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 Salt Institute for Documentary Studies’ student blog features student work and reflections on documenting Maine people and places.

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.

WaryMeyers is the blog of Portland-based artists, designers, and yard-salers John and Linda Meyers.

Museums + Galleries

Aucocisco Galleries is a contemporary fine art gallery in the Old Port.

Bridge Gallery is both a gallery and the working studio of artists Rhonda Pearle and Gary Perlmutter.

Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine features a wide variety of interactive exhibits.

Daunis Fine Handmade Jewelry and Gallery is an active working studio where guests can tour the space and see what the artists are currently working on and then visit the showroom to view the finished jewelry and sculpture that is designed and created on-site.

Fore River Gallery features metalsmithing, jewelry, ceramics, and paintings.

Fore Street Gallery features original works of fine art, photography, and  limited edition prints.

Foundry Lane is a contemporary crafts and jewelry gallery.

George Anderson Gallery features contemporary nautically themed acrylic paintings by George Anderson and Scott Tubby.

Gleason Fine Art features 19th century through contemporary paintings, sculpture, and photography, with a Maine emphasis.

Greenhut Galleries exhibits contemporary art and sculpture by Maine artists.

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.

Holly Ready Gallery is run by Maine landscape artist Holly Ready.

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 lifesize Bigfoot model.

June Fitzpatrick Gallery at MECA exhibits drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture by established artists and selected newcomers.

Maine Art Scene features a list of museums in Portland and across the state.

Maine Gallery + Studio Guide has a directory of galleries across the state and a calendar with gallery openings and other arts events. Check out their blog, Cafe des Artistes, for the latest Maine art news and information.

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 gallery, music venue, 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.

PhoPa Gallery shows photography and works on paper. The gallery is co-directed by Bruce Brown and Jon Edwards of Maine Media Workshops + College.

Portland Fiber Gallery & Weaving Studio offers classes and a community for fiber lovers as well as supplies and handmade wares.

Portland Harbor Museum features exhibits and events on the maritime history of the Portland harbor.

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 / Exchange Street Gallery features original watercolors, oils, and limited editions of the Old Port, Portland, and coastal Maine.

Richard Boyd Art Gallery is an independent, owner-operated gallery representing artists working primarily in the media of painting, sculpture, ceramic art and glass. The gallery, which is located on Peaks Island, exhibits original 20th and 21st century works of art created by established and emerging artists with connections to the state of Maine.

Running With Scissors, located at 250 Anderson St., is a diverse multi-disciplinary creative work space with 55 resident members in private studios and 12-24 associate members with storage spaces.  All members have 24/7 access to a secure building, equipment in the wood shop, print shop, computer area. For more information contact Kate Anker at 207-831-5682 or via email at scissorsart@gwi.net. The facility also houses the Bayside Clay Center at RWS, a space and community dedicated to clay where 11 resident members and 12 associate members share common wheels and clay equipment. For info about the clay center email baysideclay@gmail.com.

Salt Institute for Documentary Studies offers intensive fifteen-week programs in documentary writing, radio, and photography for undergraduate and graduate students.

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.

Susan Maasch Fine Art features prints, photography, paintings, sculpture, and ceramics.

Sylvia Kania Gallery is an artist-run cooperative, focused on culture, outreach and conversation.

Two Paths Gallery features photography by Jeff Swanson and the Mainely Labs Studio, original paintings of Labradors by Jim Williams.

Whitney Art Works features contemporary art from emerging and established artists in all media.

Zero Station is a framing, printing, and lamination studio that hosts photography shows and other events.

Performance Venues

Mayo Street Arts is a nonprofit gallery, music venue, performance space that also hosts artist studios.

The Nickelodeon is a six-screen movie theater located in the heart of the downtown.

One Longfellow Square features live musical performances, film screenings, theater and dance productions, and community events.

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 Ovations features a variety of performances including classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater, and Broadway in Merrill Auditorium.

Portland Stage is a top-notch professional theater with recent productions ranging from David Sedaris’ The SantaLand Diaries to Julius Caesar.

Portland Symphony Orchestra, in Merrill Auditorium, is the largest performing arts organization in Maine, and is regarded as one of the top symphony orchestras of its size in the country.

Saint Lawrence Arts Center is a nonprofit community arts space featuring theater, dance, music, film, and workshops.

SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit contemporary arts space featuring visual arts, live music and performance, lectures, films, and more.

Event Calendars

Maine Art Scene‘s events calendar has listings for exhibits, performances, classes, lectures, and concerts across the state.

Maine Gallery + Studio Guide has a calendar with gallery openings and other arts events in Portland and beyond.

Guide to current and upcoming movies playing at the Nickelodeon.

One Longfellow Square events calendar, featuring live musical performances, film screenings, theater and dance productions, and community events.

Portland Downtown District‘s events calendar provides a comprehensive list of goings-on in downtown, from Portland Stage and Portland Symphony Orchestra performances, to job fairs and Preble Street benefit events.

Portland Ovations features a variety of performances including classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater, and Broadway, all listed on their homepage.

Upcoming performances calendar for Portland Stage, the city’s leading professional theater.

Portland Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming performances calendar, and online video library showcasing past and future performances.

SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit, multidisciplinary gallery and performance space. Check out upcoming events here, and the archive here.

The Bollard is a monthly independent news and arts publication, featuring news, reviews, and music and theater listings.

The Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine calendar of events includes story hours and science challenges for the younger set, and a guide to current exhibits.

The Portland Buzz provides a very comprehensive listing of arts and community events one their event calendar.

The Portland Phoenix has listings for movies, concerts, bands, and music performances around town.

Art Institutions

Maine College of Art (MECA) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, a Post-Baccalaureate in Art Education, as well as 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. 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.