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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

Creative Portland
84 Free Street

July 1, 2020 -  July 1, 2021 | Artists responded to the theme 2020 Vision by sharing a personal interpretation of a moment in Maine’s history. They reflected on how we are changing, where have we come from, what have we learned or accomplished, and most importantly -- where do we want to go? View the virtual exhibition featuring 12 local artists and art for sale  here.

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Online

Visit 240 Strings events page to see upcoming livestream shows featuring local artists.

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Portland Ovations

MAY 25, 2021 | 4:00 PM |   The Abbe Museum’s Project: In Bar Harbor, ME participating as a partner in the creation of a staging of Wabanaki Stories for Maine school and family audiences. Founded in 1926 as a small trailside museum privately operated within Acadia National Park, the Abbe is an exciting contemporary museum which in 2013 became the first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in Maine. Learn more and register.   “First Looks” is comprised of five virtual, 60-minute, work-in-progress performances and discussions with the commissioned artists. Each week you will have a chance to experience an excerpt of one of these five new performances in development and be in conversation with the artists. Register one time for FREE and attend as many First Looks as you like.

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Cove Street Arts

February 25 - April 24, 2021 |    Nature, by definition, is not abstract.  Abstraction is a human construct, derived from Latin roots meaning "to draw away from."  However, abstraction does not "draw away from" the essence of a subject.  To the contrary, it is the process of removing characteristics from a subject to explore such essence; to limit or manipulate what is experienced to feel the greater whole.   This exhibition, curated by Bruce Brown, features the work of five artists who, through the focus of their cameras or manipulation of their images, present the natural world in beautiful and unexpected ways.  Although the viewer may not immediately recognize the natural world in any given image, she will feel nature throughout the show. Learn more here.  Image: Boothbay Ripples, CE Morse

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Print: A Bookstore

Tuesday, May 4, 6:30PM | Hosted via Zoom Webinar. 
Join Middle Grade fantasy authors Ellen Booraem, Leah Cypess and Deva Fagan for a chat about what goes into building the magical worlds and characters of their stories. Learn how they weave magic into everyday life, reinterpret traditional fairy tales, and question the traditional definitions of who gets to be a hero. Register here

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Portland Ovations

MAY 11, 2021 | 4:00 PM |    dee’s Project: Ms. Clarke’s stage drama  The Last Girl  is based on her 2014 testimony to the Maine Human Rights Commission of her personal experiences of being sexually trafficked as a child.  Ms. Clarke is the founder of SurvivorSpeakUSA, an organization working to end sex trafficking and exploitation through elevating the voices of survivors, and bringing their stories to leadership positions where they can most affect change. Learn more and register.   “First Looks” is comprised of five virtual, 60-minute, work-in-progress performances and discussions with the commissioned artists. Each week you will have a chance to experience an excerpt of one of these five new performances in development and be in conversation with the artists. Register one time for FREE and attend as many First Looks as you like.

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Print: A Bookstore

Wednesday, April 28, 7PM | Co-hosted by the Portland Public Library as part of the Spotlight Series! Eleanor Morse's Margreete’s Harbor begins with a fire: a fiercely-independent, thrice-widowed woman living on her own in a rambling house near the Maine coast forgets a hot pan on the stovetop, and nearly burns her place down. When Margreete Bright calls her daughter Liddie to confess, Liddie realizes that her mother can no longer live alone. She, her husband Harry, and their children Eva and Bernie move from a settled life in Michigan across the country to Margreete’s isolated home, and begin a new life. Margreete’s Harbor tells the story of ten years in the history of a family: a novel of small moments, intimate betrayals, arrivals and disappearances that coincide with America during the late 1950s through the turbulent 1960s. Liddie, a professional cellist, struggles to find space for her music in a marriage that increasingly confines her; Harry’s critical approach to the growing war in Vietnam endangers his new position as a high school history teacher; Bernie and Eva begin to find their own identities as young adults; and Margreete slowly descends into a private world of memories, even as she comes to find a larger purpose in them. This beautiful novel—attuned to the seasons of nature, the internal dynamics of a family, and a nation torn by its contradicting ideals—reveals the largest meanings in the smallest and most secret moments of life. Readers of Elizabeth Strout, Alice Munro, and Anne Tyler will find themselves at home in Margreete’s Harbor. Learn more and register.

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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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Cove Street Arts

Through May 15 | The installation is a part of a wonderful group exhibition curated by Portland, ME master printer David Wolfe and resides at Cove St Arts' pristine new space in Portland. The show titled, Gargantua & Lilliputian, features a breadth of contemporary print-based artists working mostly in Maine, but throughout the country and internationally as well, who emerge from a multifaceted trend in tiny and giant prints. Im very honored to have work included in this show amongst such talent and would love to share it with you. The installation (images attached) is the culmination of five years or research, development and production exploring the ubiquity of “fractal-like” patterns throughout nature and our perception of it. It’s composed of over 300 individually printed, brightly colored viscosity monotypes (a process I reverse engineered from an accident at the etching press five years ago). Each monotype is a unique impression of a dizzyingly detailed, branching imagery resembling everything from ice crystals, river deltas, plant growths, mycelium to dendrites and veins.
Photo by Joel Tsui

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Portland Ovations

MAY 18, 2021 | 4:00 PM| Kerem & Andy’s Project: Musical Theater, for their project “The Immigrants—A Story.” The epic story of two immigrants, one first generation and the other second-generation, who find themselves in the US and over the course of a life lived make it their home. It is a life of separation and loss with the frustrations of confronting societal hurdles of ignorance and hate. The main characters define their self-identity and find love in the midst of turbulence, joy and revelation. Mr. Durdag is currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of GWI, a leading broadband carrier in Maine. He has deep roots in theater and poetry, having translated Urdu and Turkish poetry while having his original poems published and having the good fortune of reading and performing in public. Andy Happel is a concert violinist and fiddler who has shared the stage with symphonies, pop stars, and country music luminaries alike and leads the acclaimed student group, Scarborough Strings, and maintains a private teaching studio. Learn more and register.     “First Looks” is comprised of five virtual, 60-minute, work-in-progress performances and discussions with the commissioned artists. Each week you will have a chance to experience an excerpt of one of these five new performances in development and be in conversation with the artists. Register one time for FREE and attend as many First Looks as you like. 

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Online

THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2021 | 7:00 PM  8:00 PM | 
Please join the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance and Kelly’s Books to Go for a reading from Lee Sharkey’s new book of poems, I Will Not Name It Except to Say (Tupelo, 2021). This will be the reading that Lee herself might have given if she was still with us. Poet and friend Martha Collins will talk a little about Lee’s process of putting the manuscript together in the last weeks of her life. Lee’s poems will be read by friends and colleagues including Agnes Bushell, Philip Carlsen, Kirun Kapur, Stuart Kestenbaum, Natasha Mayers, Cathleen Miller, Glenn Morazzini, Betsy Sholl, Jeri Theriault, and and Margaret Yocum. Learn more.

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LumenARRT!

On May 7th from 8-9 pm, you might notice huge videos of people kneeling on the buildings in Monument Square, Portland. This is the result of LumenARRT! joining forces with the Kneeling Art Photography Project under the direction of Titi deBaccarat. This community social justice/art project explores the meaning and evolution of the Take-A-Knee gesture by having Maine photographers turn their cameras on diverse Mainers who express why they are kneeling. This project will culminate in a series of art exhibitions throughout the state, as well as the publication of a book.
 
West African drumming from Portland-based New Moon Ensemble will take place from 8:00 to 8:45 pm and the Ideal Maine Social Aid and Sanctuary Band will play the Blues from 8:45 to 9:30 pm for this community art event.

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Online

Thanks to everyone who has already sent us work to include on the MFA's Made in Maine collection on Vimeo! Check out your colleagues' music videos, documentary shorts, feature films and their trailers, commercials, narrative films of all lengths – you name it – at vimeo.com/showcase/madeinmaine. Have a made-in-Maine film/video/commercial you'd like us to include? Upload your work that was made in Maine to VIMEO and send the link to info@mainefilm.org.

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Print: A Bookstore

Monday, April 26, 7PM | Hosted via Zoom! When their only child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at the age of two, Maryanne O’Hara and her husband were told that Caitlin could live a long life or be dead in a matter of months. Thirty-one years later, Caitlin lost her battle with this devastating disease following an excruciating two-year wait on the transplant list and a last-minute race to locate a pair of healthy lungs. The sudden spiral of events left Maryanne in an existential crisis, searching to find an answer to the eternal question: Why we are here? During her final years, Caitlin had become a source of wisdom and comfort for her mother—the partner with whom she shared a deep spiritual quest to understand what it meant to have a soul. After Caitlin’s passing, Maryanne began to notice signs—poignant, persistent synchronicities that seemed to lean toward proof of Caitlin’s enduring presence. Weaving together a series of interconnected meditations with illuminating glimpses of life rendered via text messages, e-mails, and journal entries, Little Matches is a profound reflection on life and death, motherhood, the pain of chronic uncertainty, and finding inspiration in the unexpected sparks that light our way through the darkness. Learn more and register

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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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Classical Uprising

Mondays, April 5–May 3 (no meeting April 19)  7:00pm | $30 | Visiting instructor Patia Maule is an accomplished and experienced educator and performer across a wide range of genres. Patia studied Caribbean music at Oberlin and taught at North Yarmouth Academy for 14 years, and is the recipient of MAMM's 2020 Music Educator Community Rock Star Award. This class will explore unifying themes such as where and when music is played, how music is taught, and what instrument families are found around the world. In the final week, we will examine African and European throughlines in the Americas across a wide range of genres. Learn more

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Online

The Portland Conservatory of Music hosts an ongoing Noonday Concert Series feauturing local musicians. Visit the link to learn more about individual performances. 

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Blue
650 Congress Street

Learn more about the "Out of the Blue Livestream Series" and other virtual concerts that occur nightly at Port City Blue!

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Richard Boyd Art Gallery
15 Epps Street

May 1st through May 30th | Stop in the gallery during the month of May to see the fourth annual exhibit of original oil paintings opening Saturday, May 1st at 10:00 a.m. Whether you’re drawn to traditional landscapes or contemporary abstracts, the exhibit includes over 25 paintings created en plein air and in studio by artists’ Patricia Chandler, Carrin Culotta, Kevin Daley, Jen Pagnini, HM Saffer II, Roy Perkinson, and Felicity Sidwell.
 
Although, each artist has their own style and approach to using the medium they are joined by a passion – painting with oils. The exhibit is open free of charge from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily through May 30th, 2021.
 
For more information about the exhibit contact the gallery by phone (207)-712-1097, email info@richardboydartgallery.com or visit the gallery’s website.
 
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Image: Roy Perkinson, ‘Interior Landscape’ Oil on Canvas 18” x 24” Retail $1650.

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Mayo Street Arts
10 Mayo Street

April 1- 24, 2021 | MSA is thrilled to announce the third exhibition at the MSA Pop-Up Gallery featuring work by painter Patt Franklin! Learn more here! Location: 67 Washington Ave Portland (former Nissen Bakery Building);    MSA Pop-Up Gallery Hours: Wed – Sat, 12pm – 5pm

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Portland Ovations

MAY 4, 2021 | 4:00 PM | Riley’s Project – In Collaboration with Heather Stewart/little house dance:    Hour Wolf (working title) is a collaborative project between dance artist Riley Watts and choreographer Heather Stewart/little house dance. Hour Wolf is a full length solo contemporary dance performance which explores mental illness and the physical mind. This work features music that was arranged by French composer Marc Bartissol, aka dull, shortly before his suicide in 2019.  Hour Wolf is dedicated to Marc. Learn more and register.   “First Looks” is comprised of five virtual, 60-minute, work-in-progress performances and discussions with the commissioned artists. Each week you will have a chance to experience an excerpt of one of these five new performances in development and be in conversation with the artists. Register one time for FREE and attend as many First Looks as you like.

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Portland Ovations

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 4PM EST | “First Looks” is comprised of five virtual, 60-minute, work-in-progress performances and discussions with the commissioned artists. Each week you will have a chance to experience an excerpt of one of these five new performances in development and be in conversation with the artists. Register one time for FREE and attend as many First Looks as you like. Samuel’s Project: A song cycle in which this award-winning songwriter and blues and roots guitarist delves into his family history, connection to Maine, and his relationship to home.    About Samuel James: A roots musician, Mr. James is known as a modern guitar master and is an award-winning songwriter. Learn more about Samuel James' First Look performance.   

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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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State Theatre

Visit https://statetheatreportland.com/ to view upcoming livestreams. 

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Grant Wahlquist Gallery

Grant Wahlquist Gallery is pleased to announce “Eyes of,” Tad Beck’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. The show will run from March 12 through May 1, 2021. Digital public programming will be announced at a later date. “Eyes of” marks the debut of a new body of photographs with the same title, each of which is an abstract portrait of an artist whose vision has shaped or inspired Beck’s own. “Eyes of” continues Beck’s signature strategy of “re-photography”—creating images that are the product of an iterative process of taking pictures of pictures. For the initial exposure, Beck takes a still-life photograph of eyeglasses lent by the portrait’s subject against a checkerboard backdrop. He then prints out the still-life and rephotographs it through the glasses’ lenses and creates a new print. Beck repeats the process until the glasses are barely or not at all legible, each time experimenting with the lenses’ orientation and their distance from the camera’s lens. The resulting works are the largest abstract works Beck has made to date. While they clearly draw on a number of photographic precedents, from the multi-focus images of Jean-Luc Mylane to the abstractions of Thomas Ruff and Eileen Quinlan, their soft, hazy shapes and washes of iridescent blues, greens, golds, and fuchsia reveal Beck to have a color field painter’s sensibility. The gallery is located at 30 City Center, Portland, Maine. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm, and by appointment. For more information, visit http://grantwahlquist.com, call 207.245.5732, or email info@grantwahlquist.com

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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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Maine Craft Portland

Through May 1 | Maine Craft Portland is proud to present the enameled jewelry & wall works of TS Mastro! "The new normal created by the pandemic allows more time and space to process thoughts and emotions generated from memories, events and interactions. So much time to think can create more anxiety as well as clarity and ease. In this series of paintings I set out to create visual diagrams of what equates to journal entries; rumination, ideas, mediation practice, rants… I use vitreous enamel on copper primarily in my jewelry making and have carried that medium over to my painting practice. Building up multiple layers, sifted enamel is applied and kiln fired before the next layer is applied. Interspersed in these layers are various forms of enamel, some bleeding through to the surface and others revealing something beneath the surface. These bits and pieces are symbolic of various thoughts, feelings and ideas floating around and connecting or bouncing off one another. The finished piece is chemically etched and hand polished to give the surface a dreamy matte finish." -Tracy Mastro.  After May 1, the exhibition will then be traveling to the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner.

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Able Baker Contemporary

March 12 - April 24 |   Curated by Veronica Perez. Artists:  M. Albertson;  Hannah Boone;  Heather Flor Cron;  Alejandra Cuadra;  Jay Katelansky;  Jak King;  Athena Lynch;  Veronica Perez;  Kendra Sanborn;  Golaleh Yazdani.   image: Jay Katelansky.    The show will open on Friday, March 12 from 3pm - 7pm, and will be open Fridays & Saturdays 3-5:30 pm through April 24. Learn more.

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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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