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 tradition of the form. With works from Elizabeth Fram, Cassie Jones, Beth Kleene, Erica Licea-Kane, Susan Metrican, Maria Molteni, Tessa Greene O'Brien, Isabelle O'Donnell, and Martha Tuttle, this colorful and adventurous show at the fresh Able Baker looks like one of the most exciting contemporary art exhibits the city has seen in years.
Through August 5 | Able Baker Contemporary | 29 Forest Ave., Portland | Thurs-Sat 1-5:30 pm | www.ablebakercontemporary.com
2. The Loved Ones, photography by Smith Galtney and Matthew Papa at SPEEDWELL Projects
At this new gallery on the edge of town, see a fine dual show between acclaimed Maine shooter Smith Galtney and New York's Matthew Papa, two gay, middle-aged, married men who met while studying at the International Center of Photography. With two distinct styles, The Loved Ones explores identity, family, desire and domesticity, as well as love and partnership during the time of AIDS. As you may recall, Galtney was commissioned by the Frannie Peabody Center in 2014 for a photo series called SeeingME: Profiles of Resilience, highlighting the diverse set of individuals representing the HIV/AIDS community in Maine.
July 1-Sep 1 | SPEEDWELL Projects | 630 Forest Ave., Porttland | Thurs-Sat 2-6 pm | https://www.speedwellprojects.com/
3. '+/-', multimedia installation by Alia Ali at SPACE Gallery
If you haven't already seen how Alia Ali transformed this dark showroom and venue, prepare to be wowed. The Yemeni-Bosnian-American multimedia artist speaks beautifully about the blur between cultural vocabulary in this dizzyingly interesting show. A child of linguists, Alia Ali's displayed works as well as the environmental detail she's rendered onto SPACE examines the in-between space between poetics and politics in ways deeper and richer than any modern cultural think piece.
Through July 29 | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | Wed-Sat noon-6 pm | www.space538.org