Art (40)

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…

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…

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…

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…

Three Art Shows You Have to See This Summer

If your love of Maine art goes deeper than First Friday hangout sessions, check these compelling art shows on view while they're hot. 1. Selvedge at Able Baker Contemporary Curated by muralist and painter Tessa Greene O'Brien, Selvedge is a dynamic group exhibition of artists playing with the fundamental methods of making paintings, substituting new techniques and processes to the fundamental stapes of medium, support, and surface to create avenues that expand the history and…

John Sundling's 'Ghost Fence' Conjures Portland Past and Future

The first of a series of temporary public art installations throughout the city assembled by TEMPOart Portland, Ghost Fence has by now caught your attention. It's not likely the assemblage of flagging tape, wooden poles, and plastic sheeting in the grassy knoll along Franklin Arterial would be mistaken for a civic beautification project, but it's surely prompting questions.   The work of Portland-based artist and designer John Sundling, Ghost Fence is up for the month…

MFA Thesis Exhibition Shines a Light in Dark, Dumb Times

If we can’t count on art students to liberate us from mass political confusion, then we’re in trouble. Luckily, the Maine College of Art’s annual MFA Thesis Exhibition—first of the Trump era—finds the state's most supple art minds up to the task. With video, installation, performance and multimedia work, these nine MFA students not only confront the stultifying, oppressive, and boring-ass norms of American cultural life, they also embrace the avenues by which identity and…

'Being Human' with David Driskell's Renewal and Form

David Driskell explores a distinct creative freedom that Maine affords him, as stated in a quote displayed on one of the object labels of Renewal and Form, his new exhibition at Rockland's Center for Maine Contemporary Art. “I came to Maine not because I expected to have wide acceptance, but to work independently as I wanted to, to be left alone without having to answer all kinds of questions about my race. Maine has a…

The Old Masters at Work: Michael Wilson's Woodsmen at the Press Hotel

Before the advent of the lumbersexual, before the stereotype of the L.L.Bean boyfriend, Maine's first sawmill opened in South Berwick in 1634. By the end of the 17th century, the state added 50 more. Lumbering was one of the first ways Mainers were put to work, and the mystique of the Maine woodsman has endured just as long.  In an inspired new gallery setting in the lower level of the Old Port's Press Hotel, Maine…

Risk, Bravery, Desire: Derek Jackson's 'Ladyboy' at Border Patrol

Ladyboy is a solo exhibition featuring new works by Derek Jackson. It's the second exhibition at the new Border Patrol gallery, a studio of three modestly sized rooms in the State Theatre building, whose curator-proprietors (Elizabeth Spavento and Jared Haug) describe its mission as exploring the notions of government agency and the intersections of contemporary art and corporate aesthetics. Put another way, it's a converted office space on the third floor of an old and…
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