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Nat May

I like meeting people with new ideas.

Job Executive Director / SPACE Gallery

Lives In South Portland

I grew up in Cape Elizabeth, went to Davidson College where I studied religion then lived in Taiwan for a few years. I never imagined myself back in Portland but it's great to be here and working on creating the kind of community I want to live in.

Early jobs in Portland had me writing, editing, doing digital photo production, and even bookkeeping peppered with some paralegal-type clerical work.

My first experiences with the art community in Portland were through photography, and I was a founding member of the Bakery Photo Collective. That experience helped connect me to SPACE where I've been the Executive Director since 2004.

 

Why did you choose Portland? I was born here, and I wanted to come back here after living and traveling abroad for about 4 years.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? Cyrus and Patty Hagge have been huge champions for our work at SPACE, and their generosity is matched only by their curiosity and enthusiasm for the artists and ideas we're exploring.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? I like to mix up some of my favorite downtown spots - say, a bar or restaurant where I know we'll find people I like and know - with a visit to someplace grand, beautiful and quiet, like Scarborough Beach or Two Lights.

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? It's hard to beat the Eastern Prom.

What's the most surprising thing about this city? Everything is closer than you think, and you really can walk most places you want to go.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? I go for the Tokyo abura soba at Pai Men Miyake.

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? The Portland Public Library. There's no excuse for boredom if you build the library into your routine.

Describe your perfect night—and the following morning—in Portland. I like attending events at SPACE and chatting with the mix of folks, followed by a smaller gathering of friends at a house or out somewhere quiet. If I had time every morning I would walk around the Willard Beach neighborhood where I live in South Portland.

Do you have a serendipity spot? Where do you always bump into good people? I can't walk down Congress Street without seeing someone I'm glad to bump into. Sometimes I think I get more projects initiated during a walk to the post office than I could ever do at my desk.

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