Portland, Maine

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Art + Design Resources

In the mid-80s, the city of Portland woke up to its identity as an artists’ town, and the infrastructure and support for the creative community has continued to grow ever since. Whether you’re a working artist or simply need art in your life, the following resources are here to connect you to the community, keep you in the loop, and help you make great work happen. This directory is for artists, advocates, and audience members alike.

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Art/Design Studio Buildings

50 Cove Street features PortFiber, offering classes, events, and supplies for fiber artists. Contact Casey Ryder at (207) 780-1345.

A Gathering of Stitches is a maker space for fiber and textile artists at 54 Cove Street, East Bayside, with 11 full time studios and four short term rental stations. Equipment available for rent includes: sergers; sewing machines; knitting machines; industrial leather and canvas sewing machines; irons/ironing boards; dress forms; die cutter; dyeing facilties; and screen printing facilities. They offer workshops at all levels in sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, dyeing, screen printing, embroidery, and more. For more information contact Samantha Lindgren at (207) 747-5015, or info@agatheringofstitches.com.

The SPACE Studios, at 536 Congress Street, are home to Pickwick Independent Press and have workspaces on three floors above SPACE Gallery and down the block from the Maine College of Art. Contact Henry Wolyniec at henry@spacestudios.org for more information. Applications are available on the website: http://www.spacestudios.org.

The Bakery Studios are located at 61 Pleasant Street. The building is home to White Dog Arts, Peregrine Press, Wolfe Editions, Art House Picture Frames, and 16 studio spaces. Practices include poetry, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, bookmaking, video, and other media. Artemisia Cafe is located in the front of the building. For information email info@thebakerystudios.org.

Base Camp Studios is located at 193 Presumpscot street in a warehouse. This spaces houses 12+ artists. For more information, contact Will Sears at williamcsears@gmail.com.

Casco Bay Technology Hub is a Danforth Street space for Maine technology companies “to unite and inspire entrepreneurship and business growth through tech-centered events and business collaboration.”

Engine Room is a creative collaborative space where entrepreneurs, innovators, and collaborators come together to make it happen. In a building over 100 years old, this modern, open-concept space allows professionals to share their stimulating ideas with one another in an upbeat environment on York Street, near Portland's Old Port. Contact Engine Room here for more information.

Grime Studios offers affordable band rehearsal space and art studios with 24 hour access. It exists for bands and artists of any craft to create whatever they want, as loud as they want, whenever they want. Grime is located at 299 Presumpscot Street. For more information, call (207) 831-3621 or email grimestudiosportland@gmail.com.

Mayo Street Arts at 10 Mayo Street offers affordable artist studios, dance and theater space, and exhibition space, housed in a historic church. Contact Blainor McGough, (207) 615-3609, or email director@mayostreetarts.org for more information.

The Open Bench Project at 1 Thompson's Point is a shared learn/work facility, cultivating a community of makers by providing access to a studio/work space, tools, and resources. The 6,000 square foot facility includes a wood shop, metal shop, lab for 3D printing, and a hack lab. For information on affordable, flexible membership, call (207) 329-8606 or email support@obportland.org.

Peloton Labs is a community workspace on Congress Street in Portland, designed as a co-working space for independent and creative business and civic professionals.

Phoenix Studio, at 630 Forest Avenue, has classes in stained glass, glass fusing, mosaics, studio drawing, and painting for beginners and seasoned craftsmen alike. The studio carries a wide selection of supplies and glass and offers discounts on their retail items when you're taking a class. For more information, call (207) 774-4154.

Running With Scissors, at 250 Anderson Street, is a multi-disciplinary creative work space with over 50 private studios of various sizes, features, rates, and amenities, plus common work space, various equipment for print making, wood working, computer and design work, an exhibition hall, classroom, lounge, and more. For more information contact Kate Anker at (207) 831-5682  or scissorsart@gwi.net. The facility also houses the Bayside Clay Center, a community committed to providing affordable space to serious clay artists. To learn more, email baysideclay@gmail.com.

The State Theatre Building, at 142 High Street, is the home to the State Theatre, ground floor retail spaces, and five floors of pet-friendly offices for small businesses and artist studios. Call 207-776-4598 for more information.

ThinkTank Portland is a co-working space on Congress Street for freelance writers, journalists, grad students, bloggers, architects, developers, graphic designers, and digital photographers.

Classes + Supplies

A Gathering of Stitches is a workshop studio for fiber and textile artists in East Bayside. They offer classes and workshops on sewing, knitting, quilting, dyeing, and silk screen printing to students at all levels, and they also rent time on various pieces of specialized equipment and offer business development to small craftspeople.

The Art Mart, located across Congress Street from the Maine College of Art, is open seven days a week and has supplies for hobbyists, students, and professionals alike.

Creatives across the country know Artist & Craftsman Supply stores as a one-stop shop for materials, tools, and presentation accessories, as well as framing services. The original opened in Yarmouth, Maine in 1985, and now the Portland store on Deering Avenue carries on the legacy.

Atelier Stitch is a sewing lounge and creative workspace with a small selection of specialty fabrics and notions. There is a variety of classes and workshops, including budget-friendly options, and occasional free crafting classes.

The Bakery Photo Collective is a nonprofit self-service darkroom facility in nearby Westbrook. The twenty commercial and fine-art photographers who make up the collective run the facility, which is open to the public four days a week for digital studio and darkroom rentals. They also host photography workshops and classes, youth programs, a lecture series hosting local and nationally recognized photographers, and an artist residency program offering darkroom time for visiting photographers.

Bomb Diggity Arts is one of five community-support programs of Momentum, Incorporated, providing innovative and individualized services for adults with intellectual disabilities. Bomb Diggity Arts provides programming in the visual arts, culinary arts, multi-media arts, and agricultural arts. 

Casco Bay Movers is a dance studio for everyone from beginners to repertory performers in a wide variety of styles, including jazz, tap, hiphop, and freestyle. 

The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is about an hour and forty-five minutes from Portland, in Rockport, Maine. Their woodworking courses range from weekend workshops to twelve-week intensives and a nine-month comprehensive.

Grapheteria offers custom framing, fine art and photo digital printing, economy poster printing, art and object photography, and mounting and laminating services for artists, business owners, and the general public.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international craft school in Deer Isle, Maine, about three hours from Portland. The school offers intensive studio-based workshops and residencies in a variety of craft media including clay, glass, metals, paper, blacksmithing, weaving, woodworking, and more. Anyone may participate, from beginners to advanced professionals. 

Maine College of Art isn't just for undergrads. MECA's Continuing Studies division offers workshops, courses, and professional development programs in subjects including book arts, culinary arts, graphic design, and jewelry. 

Maine Media Workshops + College is almost two hours from Portland in Rockport, Maine, but worthy of a mention because of the quality of instruction in photography, multimedia, filmmaking, and print design. They recently added an MFA program.

Maine Photo Works on High Street specializes in fine art printing, scanning, and framing. Hours are by appointment only.

Paca Naturals carries what they call "farm-to-main street" items, including a colorful selection of alpaca yarns from several different local farms. Their yarn is spun and dyed in Maine as well.

Phoenix Studio on Forest Avenue has classes in stained glass, glass fusing, mosaics, studio drawing, and painting for beginners and seasoned craftsmen alike. The studio carries a wide selection of supplies and glass and offers discounts on their retail items when you're taking a class. 

Photo Market on Forest Avenue is the largest professional, independent camera store in the state. They offer processing and digital services, as well as occasional photography workshops.

Portland Adult Education's catalog includes classes in crafts, dance, fine arts, photography, and music, among others.

Portland Pottery offers supplies, classes, and a community for potters, jewelers, and glassworkers. They’re friendly to those who want to browse or learn. 

The University of New England hosts eight-week creative writing workshops in poetry and fiction at the Portland campus on Stevens Avenue.

Z Fabrics carries the kinds of prints you won’t find at chain stores—from unique Japanese cottons to designer fabrics like Lotta Jansdotter—along with trims, patterns, books, and machines. Classes cater to everyone from beginners to professionals.

Arts + Design Organizations

Add Verb Productions is a nonprofit program at the University of New England that provides health and wellness education through provocative theatre performances with the goal of building stronger, healthier communities.

AIGA Maine, Maine’s chapter of the design community’s professional networking group, has a robust chapter based in Portland. The organization hosts regular events for members and non-members.

Creative Portland Corporation is a nonprofit organization established by the City to support economic development efforts that capitalize on and grow Portland’s creative economy, create employment opportunities, and foster arts district development.

CSArt Maine is a community-supported art share program that offers a subscription-based service for locally produced art. Similar to a CSA farm share, subscribers receive a seasonal portion of art produced by local artists. CSArt Maine's goal is to function as an alternative avenue for local artists to disseminate work outside of the traditional gallery model and break down the walls between artist and collector. 

The Maine Arts Commission is Maine’s state-run arts and cultural agency. They keep a comprehensive directory of Maine artists, arts organizations, collectives, and associations. Groups and individuals are invited to subscribe.

The Maine Humanities Council promotes literature, history, philosophy, and the arts in Maine.

Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides legal council for artists and organizations with limited financial resources. MEVLA also does broad outreach and education about arts-related business and legal issues.

Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance is a thirty-five year old nonprofit whose mission is to enrich the cultural life of Maine by supporting writers and the literary arts.

Mayo Street Arts is a nonprofit community arts center with a gallery, artist studios, music and theater performances, and classes.

MENSK‘s mission is to inspire and support personal, local, and regional action for the development of creative and sustainable communities.

Portland Music Foundation‘s mission is to organize, support, nurture, and promote the thriving music scene in Portland. They are genre-agnostic and work with kids and adults.

Portland Society for Architecture's membership includes architects, engineers, landscape architects, design professionals, and individuals committed to the protection and enhancement of those aspects of urban design which contribute to Portland’s economic activity and cultural identity. Their work includes advocacy and educational programming open to everyone.

Portland's Downtown District is a nonprofit committed to the economic vitality of Portland’s downtown. Their website features guides to events, tours, arts, dining, and shopping in Portland.

Portland Public Art Committee is an all-volunteer subcommittee of the Portland City Council that commissions and maintains the public art collection of the City of Portland. 

Rosemont Artists Guild of Maine is a group of fine and craft artists living and working in the Rosemont neighborhood of Portland, Maine.

The Society for East End Arts (SEA) is s a Munjoy Hill-based organization of artists that seeks to promote awareness of the arts in Portland's East End through networking and community.

St. Lawrence Arts Center is a nonprofit community arts space featuring theater, dance, music, film, and workshops.

The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young Portland-area writers ages six to 18, Telling Room programs build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for students’ stories.

Creative Economy Conferences + Events

Architalx hosts periodic lectures and discussions about architecture. This nonprofit is dedicated to broadening the awareness and understanding of architecture, landscape architecture, and design through activities which foster evocative and creative dialogue within the design community and with the general public. 

The Juice Conference in Rockland, Maine, is sponsored by Midcoast Magnet as part of the State’s creative economy development efforts.

PechaKucha Portland is a fast-paced, friendly social hour where people of all ages meet, show their work, and share their stories, presenting their creative work in 20 slides, at 20 seconds per slide, before a live audience of their peers. 

The PopTech Conference in Camden, Maine, is an annual gathering of global innovators exploring the social impact of new technologies and a source of support and funding for cutting-edge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

TEDxDirigo is an independent, locally-organized version of the TED experience. In the spirit of the state motto, these events, held at different locations across the state, showcase ideas from Maine’s brightest innovators and change-makers.

Blogs + Publications

Art Maine is Maine Home + Design magazine’s Facebook hub for all things art-related in Maine.

The Arts and Economic Prosperity report illustrates the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences in the City of Portland.

The Bollard is a monthly independent news and arts publication, featuring news, reviews, and music and theater listings.

Cafe des Artistes is a blog associated with the Maine Gallery + Studio Guide. It is a weekly roundup of Maine art news, openings, and shows.

The Guide to Portland Street Artists Rules and Regulations is a helpful resource for street artists in the City of Portland. The official rules and regulations by the City for street performers and vendors are available here.

Maine Architecture is a blog focusing on town planning and architecture in Maine.

Maine Art Scene promotes Maine art and culture. The online magazine features a large arts directory and also includes events, opportunities, interviews, artist webpages, and juried online exhibitions.

Maine Home + Design, the sister publication of Maine magazine, has everything you’d want in a local “shelter” magazine: beautifully photographed homes from around the state and resources for finding architects, interior designers, builders, and decorative artists.

Maine magazine covers the whole state from its home base in Portland including food, recreation, travel, music, art, style, and notable people.

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum blog provides the latest in railroad news and special events.

Old Port Magazine is the latest publication by Maine magazine, published quarterly and covering the heart and soul of Portland, including food, drinks, music, art, style, history, and wellness. 

Portland Daily Photo posts almost-daily photos from in and around Portland by photographer Corey Templeton.

Portland Monthly is our glossy “city” magazine featuring personality profiles, arts news, food and local flavor, reviews, events listings, and original fiction.

Providing a glimpse behind the scenes at the museum, the Portland Museum of Art blog includes news, events, insights, and the history of permanent and visiting collections.

The Portland Phoenix has its finger on the cultural pulse of Portland, with articles, reviews, and editorials about the latest news, music, movies, art, and places to eat and drink. Each year they hold a “best of” contest.

Sea Fantasy is the blog of Portland designer Angela Adams, providing a glimpse into the people and places that inspire her.

Seth and the City is a Bangor Daily News blog about Greater Portland by writer Seth Koenig.

The Strange Maine blog is a nexus for "Maine's unique strangeness," including history, mysteries, legends, current events, cryptozoology, and more. Curated by Michelle Souliere, owner of The Green Hand, an eclectic used book shop in Portland.

Unseen Portland is another Portland photo blog, describing itself as “Portland, Maine, stripped of pretense.” This blog documents unromantic and unexpected slices of Portland life.

Museums + Galleries

As 1 Gallery showcases the work of emerging Maine-based artists. A number of handcrafted items, jewelry, mosaics, and furniture are also on display.

Bridge Gallery is both a gallery and the working studio of artists Rhonda Pearle and Gary Perlmutter.

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine features a wide variety of interactive exhibits and performances for kids.

Constellation Gallery is home to the Maine Artists Collective, a diverse group of artists working in painting, print, photography, assemblage, and digital media.

Daunis Fine Handmade Jewelry and Gallery is a jewelry studio and gallery where guests can tour the space and see what the artists are currently working on.

Fore River Gallery features the work of artists Liz Marks, Mike M. Marks, Elizabeth Prior, and T.J. McDermott.

Fore Street Gallery features original works of fine art, photography, and  limited edition prints.

Foundry Lane is an online and by-appointment contemporary crafts and jewelry gallery.

George Anderson Gallery features contemporary nautically themed acrylic paintings by George Anderson and Scott Tubby.

Greenhut Galleries exhibits contemporary art and sculpture by Maine artists.

Güven Gallery features Anatolian ceramics with designs influenced by contemporary, Hittite, and Ottoman art, as well as a selection of Persian and Turkish carpets.

The Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow House is the historic home of the Portland-born nineteenth-century poet.

Heron Point Glass Gallery features the work of a local Maine glass artist and visual artists in rotating shows.

Holly Ready Gallery is run by Maine landscape artist Holly Ready.

Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA features exhibitions of student work and showcases new perspectives and trends in contemporary art.

Cryptozoology is the study of hidden, legendary, non-existent, or fictitious creatures (depending on how you look at it), and the International Cryptozoology Museum here in Portland features many one-of-a-kind cryptozoological artifacts, including a life-sized Bigfoot model.

June Fitzpatrick Gallery at MECA exhibits drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture by established artists and selected newcomers.

Maine Gallery + Studio Guide has a directory of galleries across the state and a calendar of gallery openings and other arts events. 

The Maine Historical Society museum collection includes more than 15,000 artifacts from five centuries of Maine living.

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. has a museum dedicated to the railroad’s history and offers rides on the historic railroad.

Mayo Street Arts is a nonprofit community gallery, music venue, and performance space that also hosts artist studios.

The Museum of African Culture’s permanent collection includes an expansive display of African masks, some dating back to 1600 AD, as well as cast figures and utilitarian objects.

PhoPa Gallery exhibits photography and works on paper, with a focus on emerging Maine artists. The gallery is co-directed by Bruce Brown and Jon Edwards, with Maine Media Workshops + College.

Portland Art Gallery represents the work of Maine artists and is dedicated to highlighting superb curated artwork from across the state.

With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art  (PMA) is the cultural heart of Portland, Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich  artistic tradition of the state and its artists. The museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming. From special member-only events and to family activities, from Free School Tours to PMA Movies,  and from curator talks to exclusive tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.

Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery features a wide variety of art exhibitions on a monthly basis.

R.N. Cohen Studio-Gallery features original watercolors, oils, and limited editions of the Old Port, Portland, and coastal Maine.

Richard Boyd Art Gallery is an owner-operated gallery on Peaks Island representing established and emerging artists working in the media of painting, sculpture, ceramic art, and glass.

Roux & Cyr International Fine Art Gallery offers courses and workshops in oil painting, as well as exhibitng paintings and photography by artists from Maine and around the world.

Salt Institute for Documentary Studies hosts monthly and bi-monthly exhibits by Salt students, graduates, and others.

Sarajo features antique textiles, costumes, furniture, tribal art, and jewelry from around the world.

SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit contemporary arts space featuring visual arts, live music and performance, lectures, films, and more.

Susan Maasch Fine Art features prints, photography, paintings, sculpture, and ceramics.

The pre-Revolutionary Tate House, with its period furnishings, beautiful grounds and herb gardens, and unique architecture, offers a glimpse of 18th century life in Colonial Maine.

The University of New England Art Gallery mounts six exhibitions annually, ranging from contemporary fine art to photography, to international themes, to works by women and Maine artists. The gallery also houses a permanent collection of paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures by nationally and internationally known artists.

Zero Station is a framing, printing, and lamination studio that hosts photography shows and other events.

Performance Venues

Besides a 12-lane bowling alley, Bayside Bowl features Bayside Stage, with local and national bands and DJs playing most weekends and special annual events.

Blue presents an array of live music, including jazz, celtic, Middle Eastern, blues, bluegrass, old time, and folk, and dedicates every Saturday night to Jazz at the Blue.

Empire is a 250-person capacity club located upstairs from Empire Chinese Kitchen that presents a range of happenings from live music to private functions, film, and regularly scheduled events.

Geno's is a small, no-frills rock club and bar that books independent local, east coast, and national bands.

The Maine Charitable Mechanics Hall is a Portland landmark, historic, multi-use building with a performance hall (occupancy: 160) and studios for rent with elevator access in the heart of Portland's Arts District on Congress Street.

Mayo Street Arts is a nonprofit gallery, music venue, and performance space that also hosts artist studios.

The Nickelodeon is a six-screen movie theater located in the heart of the Old Port.

One Longfellow Square features live musical performances, film screenings, theater and dance productions, and community events.

PMA Movies offers an arthouse alternative to the multiplex with some of the best foreign, classic, and independent films available at the Portland Museum of Art.

Port City Music Hall is the frequent host of well-known and lesser-known, I-saw-them-when musical acts.

Portland Ballet houses a ballet school and a professional dance company, performing both classical and contemporary works.

Portland Ovations hosts a variety of performances including classical, jazz, opera, dance, theater, and Broadway at Merrill Auditorium.

Portland Stage is a top-notch professional theater company that produces a range of programming, from its Mainstage season of seven shows to new, experimental theater productions in the 70-seat Studio Theater.

Portland Symphony Orchestra, at Merrill Auditorium, is the largest performing arts organization in Maine, and is regarded as one of the top symphony orchestras of its size in the country.

SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit contemporary arts venue and gallery featuring visual arts, live music and performance, lectures, films, and more.

St. Lawrence Arts Center is a nonprofit community arts space featuring theater, dance, music, film, and workshops.

The State Theatre is a 1,680-seat performing arts venue in downtown Portland. The historic Art Deco theater building is the setting for a variety of nationally known acts and occasional local events.

Event Calendars

The Bollard is a monthly independent news and arts publication, featuring news, reviews, and music and theater listings.

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine calendar of events includes story hours and science challenges for the younger set, and a guide to current exhibits.

Maine Art Scene has listings for exhibits, performances, classes, lectures, and concerts across the state.

The Maine College of Art (MECA) site offers news and event listings, upcoming visiting artists, and a schedule of current and upcoming exhibitions.

Maine Gallery + Studio Guide has a calendar with gallery openings and other arts events in Portland and beyond.

One Longfellow Square's events calendar features live musical performances, film screenings, theater and dance productions, and community events.

The Portland Buzz provides a very comprehensive listing of arts and community events one their event calendar.

See the Portland Museum of Art’s current and upcoming events and exhibitions, as well as the schedule of PMA movies.

Portland Ovations features a variety of performances including classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater, spoken word, and Broadway.

The Portland Phoenix has listings for movies, arts events, films, concerts, bands, spoken word performances, and more.

Upcoming performances calendar for Portland Stage, the city’s leading professional theater.

Portland Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming performances calendar and online video library showcasing past and future performances.

Portland's Downtown District‘s events calendar provides a comprehensive list of goings-on downtown, from Portland Stage and Portland Symphony Orchestra performances to job fairs, book groups, and food-related events.

The University of Southern Maine's Southworth Planetarium has a monthly events calendar of laser and educational star shows.

SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit, multidisciplinary gallery and performance space. Check out upcoming events here, and the archive here.

Art Institutions

Maine College of Art (MECA) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, a Master of Arts in Teaching, and Continuing Studies for adults and kids, including a Pre-College intensive for high school students.

The Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation, or Project MEAC, is a non-profit, fine art conservation lab-studio. Project MEAC is committed to preserving art from Maine's museums and historical societies and conserving artworks belonging to Maine people. 

Oak Street Studios is an art institute for young people in Portland. Their "College for Kids" curriculum introduces students to methods and materials inspired by college courses and taught by practicing artists. 

Salt Institute for Documentary Studies offers intensive fifteen-week programs in documentary writing, radio, and photography for undergraduate and graduate students.