A Show of Support — Able Baker's 'Selvedge' Sees Painting Through a Totally Different Grain

In a show that feels both formally radical and historically reverent, Selvedge — on view now at Able Baker Contemporary — grapples with the practice of painting through a new lens. The nine women’s works shown in this exhibition — including Portland painter and muralist Tessa Greene O’Brien, who began curating it last November — share in their effort to sublimate the process of painting through methods and practices associated with textile-making. This allows an…

8 Days A Week: Distant Clams, Tough Stories, and a Sprinkling of Wes Anderson

THURSDAY 20   ART BRINGETH TOGETHER | If you haven't driven by the cheerfully Lego-tastic sculpture adjacent the Portland Museum of Art along High Street, God bless you. It's the work of Ogunquit-based Jonathan Borofsky (who'd surely be annoyed I called his work Lego-tastic, but how do you describe art to the amorphous and indifferent masses?) The piece is a lovely meditation on the interconnectedness of society, and the Boston-raised Borofsky himself is a master…

Chekhov in the Park — Fenix Finely Forgoes Shakespeare for Elegant 'Three Sisters'

How many times have you watched Midsummer in a summer park? With all due respect to the Bard, do you ever yearn to enjoy your picnic with some other master of language and the human condition? This summer, Fenix Theatre Company takes a blessed break from Shakespeare to bring Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece Three Sisters to the Deering Oaks band shell.  Now, if Chekhov intimidates you, or if his name conjures only grey Russian misery, rest assured that this excellent Fenix show, directed by Tess Van…

8 Days: Arctic Activism, Drum Therapy, Jungle Quests, and Exploding Heads

THURSDAY 13   The cover of Miho Aida's book which features the work of several photographers documenting the lives of Indigenous peoples in the Arctic.   ARCTIC ACTION | You should get familiar with Miho Aida. She’s a Japanese activist and filmmaker who’s devoted most of her career to amplifying the voices of women of color in environmentalism, a field where they typically don’t get a lot of recognition. Aida’s biking from Washington DC to…

Art & Nomenclature — A Room Full of White Dudes at Speedwell Projects

With Speedwell Projects’ current exhibition The Loved Ones, photographs by Smith Galtney of Maine and Matthew Papa of New York City, I wondered whether I could write an objective review. Smith is a friend and I love his work. But not every relationship is perfect and some of the issues I have with ours offered perspective. For this review, I decided to let go of objectivity. Speedwell Projects is a new gallery on outer Forest…

8 Days a Week: MTV Criticism, Comedy Duos, and Kurosawa Classics

THURSDAY 6 EVERYTHING IS COMPLICATED | Among the many forums the world needs is one where sensible, woke-ass people can talk in person about how bizarre, amazing, and fucked up pop music videos can be. Wait, we got that. This evening, journalist Nadia Prupis and art critic Jenna Crowder (of the Maine arts journal The Chart) return with their series MTV Crits!, dissecting videos by Mykke Blanco, Grace Jones, Jenny Lewis, and Double Duchess, this…

Out to Win — MSMT's 'Guys and Dolls' Spins American Myths

The quintessential American musical Guys and Dolls, based on stories by New York writer Damon Runyon, plays like a kind of Dickensian comic book of America. It’s a New York peopled by two vying types, the gambler versus the evangelical — a standoff between those who want to be left to their vices and those who want to save you. Any of this sound familiar? Maine State Music Theatre presents a bright and snazzy production of this…

Optical Inclusion — Alia Ali's Immersive Installation at SPACE Gallery

+/-, a site-specific multimedia installation currently on view at SPACE Gallery, deploys artist Alia Ali’s unique blend of portrait photography, performance, and textiles to engage audiences in a visual conversation about identity and belonging. Ali, a Yemeni-Bosnian-American artist who has traveled to over 63 countries and lived in seven, utilized mathematical symbols for the exhibition’s title to serve the work’s larger, universal intentions: to explore how individuals define both self and other and how those…

Theater of the Transformative — TEoC's Original 'Lived Experiences' in Congress Square Park

What is it like to walk through a day in Portland as a person of color? Lived Experiences, the first original devised piece of the Theater Ensemble of Color, offers revealing insights into everyday racism and discrimination. After workshop productions this past weekend at Mayo Street Arts, TEoC will perform Lived Experiences in Congress Square Park the evenings of July 5 and 6. The first iteration of the script that became Lived Experiences began in May…

Maine's Ghostly History on YouTube: HauntME Launches 4th Season

With long, bright summer days in full swing, most of us aren’t thinking about themes typically associated with autumn, like haunted houses and spirits. But as one local team of paranormal investigators recognize, ghosts don’t take vacations. A team of young Mainers — Ash Brooks, Carol Cleveland, Tyler Gowen, and Katie Webb — recently launched Season Four of a YouTube series called Haunt ME, which has them exploring what they've identified as historically haunted sites…
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