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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, June 7, 2019

Mechanics' Hall
Take a journey through nature with Maine Author Lolisa Monroe and her camera. Follow the stories of flora and fauna she creates to inspire children of all ages. Come chat with the author during June Art Walk in the Mechanics' Hall Library. Stop by anytime from 5-8pm. Refreshments provided, free and open to all. Elevator access, 2nd floor. Website: https://www.lolisamonroe.com/publications
Artist(s):
Lolisa Monroe
Medium:
Photography/Children's writer
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Shop local! Shop small! While drinking delicious BEER! Three to five Fork Food Lab members set up to sell their goodies. Every week will have a large variety of member goods for sale. Both ready to eat and packaged goods available.
Artist(s):
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Maine Historical Society
Holding up the Sky explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine. Wabanaki advisors guided the exhibition, interpreting 17th century colonial treaties, photographs, heritage items, and contemporary artworks—everything from ash baskets to haute couture fashion. Wabanaki voices provide context for the present-day relevance and repercussions of 400 years of shared histories between Wabanaki people and immigrants to their region. In addition to items from Maine Historical Society collections and newly-commissioned pieces from Wabanaki artists, the exhibition will feature artifacts generously loaned by many individuals and organizations, including: Abbe Museum, Hudson Museum, Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Museum, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Maine State Museum, Nova Scotia Museum, and Bangor Historical Society. Holding Up the Sky was developed in collaboration with a team of advisors, including Lisa Brooks (Abenaki), James Francis (Penobscot), Suzanne Greenlaw (Maliseet), Darren Ranco (Penobscot), Theresa Secord (Penobscot), Ashley Smith (Wabanaki descent), and Donald Soctomah (Passamaquoddy). We also invite First Friday Art Walk visitors to view Power of Potential: Photographs of the 1925 National Business and Professional Women’s Convention. The National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NFBPWC) - which was established eight months before the 19th Amendment - hosted over 2,000 working women from around the country during their seventh annual convention in Portland in 1925. This exhibition features images from Evening Express’ coverage of this convention, which are part of the Portland Press Herald glass negative collection at Maine Historical Society.
Artist(s):
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Portland Public Art Committe
The Jewel Box Bus Shelter was designed by Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, a Seattle-based public arts team. It was installed in December 2004 after a two year process of review and planning. The goal for the bus shelter was to create focus and energy on Congress Street. The structure is an icon of Portland’s vibrant present and future, and acts as a counterpoint to the traditional architecture of the area. The name of the shelter was chosen because all the surfaces of the shelter are faceted, like a jewel. The walls bend slightly every 3 feet, giving the panes of glass a variety of reflective angles to pick up light. The shelter’s other faceted surfaces are abstracted from features of Maine’s marine environment. The form of the canopy, made of overlapping panels of golden anodized aluminum, is derived from a lobster shell. The lower walls are cast iron with a pattern of pyramids, evocative of barnacles. The wall at the west end has individual panes of angled glass joined together like ocean waves. Some of that glass is blue, and some of it has a holographic film that picks up both sunlight and electric light in the way the light scintillates across the surface of Casco Bay. The materials for the shelter were chosen for the naturalness of their color tones. The Jewel Box Bus Shelter replaced a blighted shelter and a mushroom shaped phone kiosk in Monument Square. It was part of a larger renaissance in downtown Portland that continues to today with the renovations to the Maine Historical Society and the Portland Public Library, and the influx of new restaurants and storefronts along Congress Street.
Artist(s):
Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan
Medium:
Cast iron, glass, and anodized aluminum
Post Office Park
Ready. Set. Laugh! Join Fresnel Theater for comedy improv in cozy Post Office Park (by Black Cow on Exchange Street). The jokes and scenes will be made up on the spot, thanks to *your* participation and creativity. The more belly laughs, the better! This performance is part of Portland Downtown's annual Square Hop, which features 4 free shows in 4 downtown parks from 6-8pm. "Hop" from square to square to enjoy a variety of local music & entertainment! Square Hop locations & performers include: Fresnel Theater Comedy Improv in Post Office Park; Maine Marimba Ensemble in Monument Square; Sea Level & The Memorial Skylight in Congress Square Park; and Palaver Strings Trio in Longfellow Square.
Artist(s):
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Monument Square
Enjoy traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music on handcrafted marimbas. The percussive rhythms never fail to get crowds moving – so get ready for dancing in Monument Square! This performance is part of Portland Downtown's annual Square Hop, which features 4 free shows in 4 downtown parks from 6-8pm. "Hop" from square to square to enjoy a variety of local music & entertainment! Square Hop locations & performers include: Fresnel Theater Comedy Improv in Post Office Park; Maine Marimba Ensemble in Monument Square; Sea Level & The Memorial Skylight in Congress Square Park; and Palaver Strings Trio in Longfellow Square.
Artist(s):
Medium:
Longfellow Square
The intimate Longfellow Square provides a perfect setting for Palaver Strings, a musician-led string ensemble and nonprofit organization founded in Boston in 2014. Now in its fifth season, Palaver has established itself as a forward-thinking ensemble whose mission is rooted in community and creative programming. This performance is part of Portland Downtown's annual Square Hop, which features 4 free shows in 4 downtown parks from 6-8pm. "Hop" from square to square to enjoy a variety of local music & entertainment! Square Hop locations & performers include: Fresnel Theater Comedy Improv in Post Office Park; Maine Marimba Ensemble in Monument Square; Sea Level & The Memorial Skylight in Congress Square Park; and Palaver Strings Trio in Longfellow Square
Artist(s):
Medium:
Congress Square Park
On June 7 from 6-8pm, Sea Level & The Memorial Skylight will present a full park sound installation in Congress Square Park – a living moving three dimensional soundscape. As visitors navigate the park, they’ll experience in-the-moment individualized and collective musical compositions that are responsive to natural parameters like sunset, humidity, and the activity of people, animals, and insects. The performance will include various musical guests as well as live shadow art accompaniment directed by Ian Bannon of Figures Of Speech Theater. Sea Level & The Memorial Skylight is the pseudonym of musician/conceptual artist Dan Capaldi. The essence of Sea Level & The Memorial Skylight is a fusion of sampled material/field recordings and tight orchestral compositions, formatted/performed live as a three dimensional sound installation with conscious attention to the evolving trends in human attention and perceived value. Dan studied Drum performance and Film scoring at Berklee College of Music and since has composed music for all varieties of film and live art installations, as well as frequently touring the United States and Europe with various groups and as a solo artist. This event is part of Square Hop, hosted in collaboration with Portland Downtown. From 6-8pm on June 7, you can stroll — or dance, should the mood strike — from square to square to experience some of Portland’s best & most unique local entertainment. Whether it’s a toe-tapping musical act, a dance extravaganza, or an interactive theater show — there’s fun for the whole family at each stop. Square Hop locations include Congress Square Park, Longfellow Square, Monument Square and Post Office Park.
Artist(s):
Sea Level & The Memorial Skylight
Medium:
Music & Puppetry
Mechanics' Hall
TJ Whitmore Photography Exhibit and Book Launch Mechanics' Hall - Portland, Maine Whitmore is a travel and real estate photographer from Portland, ME. The Push/Shove exhibition is a collection of photos spanning from 2013 to 2019. The exhibit showcases the architecture of London as well as the natural beauty of Iceland and Maine. The gallery coincides with the release of the artist's photo book by the same title. Exhibit runs from June 7-13th, 2019. Gallery admission is free and most of the artworks will be available for sale. Other times to see the show are during Mechanics’ Hall library hours. Opening reception: 1st Friday, June 7th. FREE and open to the public. 5:00-8:00PM. Elevator access to second floor gallery. There will be a live acoustic performance by Chris Whitmore during the opening.
Artist(s):
TJ Whitmore
Medium:
Photography
Mechanics' Hall
Mechanics’ Hall is pleased to announce a Spring & Summer First Friday variety show. May thru July, 2019 will showcase five acts and be formatted in the spirit of the art walk such that guests can come and go or stay for the entire hour. Set in the Grand Ballroom, Various! will increase exposure for Maine’s many talented performing artists while providing members of the public with a new art walk destination. June 7th, 2019 Performers: The Maine Squeeze Accordion Ensemble will play the usual crowd favorites and audience members will be invited to sing along. 2 Sheets Theater group offers an alien in human skin who gives a lecture on how to blend in on Earth. Up and coming Maine Pop-folk artist Jeanette Villanueva presents two original songs. Gay Goes Solo: Gay Pearson’s new work is inspired by the last movement of Prokofiev’s 7th piano sonata. Gay will play two piano compositions from the eight vignettes of "Mussel Cove Suite" inspired by leaving Falmouth Foreside at the end of spring. Final Act TBD This program is generously supported by the Warren Memorial Foundation.
Artist(s):
Medium:
Dockfore
336 Fore St
Google 'women titles in music' and you will find hundreds of songs from Sarah McLachlan's Adia to Walk Away Renee by The Left Banke. It seems as though the 60s, 70s and 80s were flooded with these epic 'she' titles. We hope you enjoy our art inspired by these songs and learning the stories behind these iconic women in rock.
Artist(s):
Teresa Lagrange & Dominic White
Medium:
Illustrations and paintings
Mayo Street Arts
10 Mayo Street
Exhibit Opening Reception on Thursday, June 6th from 6-8pm Exhibit stands until August 15 Zoo Cain is a professional Portland, Maine based artist known for making colorful kaleidoscope abstract paintings and slicing up old license plates to use the numbers and letters for creative statements. Zoo is a prominent member in the recovery community having changed his life from one of drugs and alcohol to dedicating himself to art and mentorship for others through their own recovery. Zoo is a beloved local persona and his art can often be seen on the streets of Portland as he drives around town in his colorfully painted truck. Sadly, much of Cain's work was destroyed in a fire in Portland in 2018. He is also the subject of a documentary, "Peace, Love and Zoo," by Reginald Groff. Please join us for this opening reception of paintings by Zoo Cain. "Peace, Love and Zoo" Trailer: https://vimeo.com/155850963
Artist(s):
Zoo Cain
Medium:
Abstract Paintings, Cut Up License Plates

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