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On the first Friday evening of every month, the city’s artists, galleries, and arts venues open up their doors for Portland’s thriving First Friday Art Walk.

Upcoming First Friday Art Walk

Friday, May 7, 2021

Portland Museum of Art

Earlier in the year, more than 60 poets wrote and submitted poems inspired by various artworks at the Portland Museum of Art. On April 13 and April 21 at 7 p.m., 25 of these poets will present their poems in two hour-long free, digital programs that remind us how poems and visual art speak to each other.    ARTWORD was created in collaboration with beloved poet, teacher, activist, and MWPA co-founder Lee Sharkey (1945-2020), and this program continues in her honor. Learn more

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Center for Maine Contemporary Art

April 22 | 6pm | Zoom | Join CMCA on Earth Day for an engaging conversation between Biennial artists whose work, concepts, or processes consider the environment, moderated by Julie Poitras Santos. Learn More

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Maine College of Art

Fri, May 7, 2021 | 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT.  MECA's Annual Fashion Show returns via Livestream! The MECA 2021 FASHION SHOW will showcase the senior thesis work of the Textile & Fashion Design majors from the class of 2021! A donation at any level will unlock entry to the virtual livestream event. The link will be sent prior to May 7. More info

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Maine College of Art

April 16th - May 2nd | MECA is pleased to introduce the MECA Made Spring Sale, a joyful celebration of renewal. MECA Made is a new online sales platform designed to showcase and promote student, alumni, faculty, and staff artwork. This sale will feature a curated selection of pieces that evoke the hope and growth of the new season, while demonstrating the inspiring perseverance of MECA community artists during uncertain times. 

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Maine Jewish Museum
267 Congress St

March 25, 2021 through May 7, 2021;    Artist: Michelle Hauser;    Meeting Hall Maine records for posterity the documentation of hundreds of meeting halls found throughout the state. This photographic project began in collaboration with Hauser’s late husband, Andrew S. Flamm (1967-2018).  Hauser has continued on with their shared vision to adhere to centered compositions of frontal, side or back views and to sequence the typology of structures into groups. Grids and pairings invite comparison and also create an abstraction of architectural forms.  At some sites, three-quarter views of the halls were captured to evoke the experience of place. The exhibition also includes work that appropriates signifiers used in ritual activities taking place inside the meeting halls.   In 1981, Hauser forged lasting ties to Maine at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, leading her to return to Maine to paint, using a former Odd Fellows Hall in Mount Vernon.  The hall served as an inspiration. Extending her studio time there was the catalyst for winning a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.  It was where she and Andrew Flamm first met. They went on to open Odd Fellows Art and Antiques that specialized in vernacular photography and the Material Culture of American Fraternal Organizations which in turn sparked their idea for Meeting Hall Maine. (Meeting Hall Maine is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn more about the museum.     Michelle Hauser South Sangerville Grange no. 335 Archival Digital Print. 

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Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art
522 Congress Street

On view from March 24 – April 30, 2021  |   The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at Maine College of Art (MECA) is pleased to announce the opening of Sorry We Missed You, an exhibition of works by fifteen 2020 alumni artists from the Maine College of Art MFA program whose thesis exhibitions were postponed due to the pandemic. Learn more here.  ARTISTS: Chip Barchilon, Oscar Chacon, Jessica Parker Foley, Elyse Grams, Frances Hildreth, Will Jacks, EJ, Dasha Kalisz, Steven Kelly, J Love, Liz Rhaney, Brian Smith, kt coleman, John Quigley, Anna Valenti. Image: John Quigley,______, 83” x 54”, Acrylic Paint and Spray Paint on canvas, 2020

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Maine Jewish Museum
267 Congress St

March 25, 2021 through May 7, 2021 |  Artist: Gerry Holzman - Artist in Wood;    In the late 1990’s, while conducting a personal and intellectual exploration of my long-neglected Eastern European roots, I came across the photographs of Roman Vishniac, a chronicler of Jewish life in pre-World War II Europe. The powerful and provocative photographs in Vishniac’s book, A VANISHED WORLD, affected me profoundly. I was particularly impressed by the portraits of the various artisans--the blacksmiths, the cobblers, the carpenters--and by the bearded scholars with their long flowing coats and their omnipresent books.   For the past twenty years, I have been recording my response to this extraordinary experience.  My responses in wood are unlike anything seen before. In some carvings, I have faithfully copied the individuals portrayed in the various photographic records but have placed them in an entirely different setting. In others, I have extracted the figures from within the raw walnut logs where they have dwelt for centuries.  In a few pieces, I have simply presented the viewer with the vague outline of a provocative notion.   While these carvings present a window into a world that disappeared in the 20th century, I like to think my work in the 21st century offers vivid proof of Roman Vishniac’s conviction that this vanished world was definitely not a vanquished one. And perhaps, it reinforces an even more important message—“We’re still here.” Learn more about the museum

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Portland Museum of Art

FEBRUARY 12 – MAY 31, 2021 |  At the PMA, we strive to understand the world through the lens of artworks, and we’re deeply curious about the ways in which the events of this year are affecting our artistic communities. When we work together and listen to one another, we create opportunities for change, but how is that change manifesting itself through the art we are making? This year has impacted us all in powerful and distinct ways, and as we navigate these historically challenging and remarkable times, we ask ourselves: how is art defining the moment? Untitled, 2020: Art From Maine In A _______ Time seeks to unpack this question by highlighting artworks created in Maine during 2020 and showcasing how artists in the region are responding in the wake of generational events.  

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Maine Jewish Museum
267 Congress St

Preview Starts: Sunday, April 18, 2021. Auction Bidding Opens: April 25th until May 9, 2021. The Maine Jewish Museum's first ever online art auction is generously curated by the founders of Barridoff Galleries, Annette and Rob Elowitch.  Rob and Annette are back and better than ever and have gathered a varied and exciting roster of many of Maine's finest artists. Proceeds from the MJM Art Auction will help financially support the museum’s mission of celebrating and honoring the contributions and diversity of Maine’s Jewish community. Through exhibits, programming, and dialogue the Museum seeks to build bridges of appreciation and understanding with people of all backgrounds.   Pictured: “Off Mackworth Island Portland”, oil on canvas 16x20”, Henry Isaacs

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