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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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.
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.
Museums + Galleries
The Bob Crewe Gallery at Maine College of Art hosts works by Bob Crewe, a genre-crossing creative who combined careers in music and visual arts.
Bridge Gallery is both a gallery and the working studio of artists Rhonda Pearle and Gary Perlmutter.
Casco Bay Artisans is an international eclectic fine art gallery representing 53 artists from around the world, with a focus here in Maine. CBA showcases many artistic mediums to include: oil; watercolor; acrylic; pastel and pallet knife paintings; marble; steel; found art object; soap stone and paper sculptures; art jewelry; pewter; porcelain; glass and stained glass; designer textile wears; and handmade fine art wooden chairs.
The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine features a wide variety of interactive exhibits and performances for kids.
Congress Square Gallery features work in oils, watercolor, acrylics, and giclée prints by R.N. Cohen and Stan Leiberman.
Creative Portland is the official arts agency for the city of Portland and hosts bi-annual exhibits of works by local Maine artists.
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.
DigitaLiteracy provides services that include high resolution imaging, fine art reproduction (giclée prints) on multiple choices of media, banner printing and GIS services for digital mapping/plotting. Their gallery showcases local, national, and international artists.
The Dorothea & Leo Rabkin Foundation was created to house and share Leo Rabkin’s work and do charitable giving in the visual arts. His portfolio includes works in watercolor, wood, canvas, rope, wire, constructed paper, box assemblage and plexiglass created between 1950 and 2015.
George Anderson Gallery features contemporary nautically themed acrylic paintings by George Anderson and Scott Tubby.
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.
The Institute of American Art is a small project-based museum dedicated to showing art and helping artists realize research.
Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA features innovative exhibitions and public programs that showcase new perspectives and trends in contemporary art.
The International Cryptozoology Museum here in Portland features many one-of-a-kind cryptozoological artifacts, including a life-sized Bigfoot model. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden, legendary, non-existent, or fictitious creatures (depending on how you look at it).
The Maine Historical Society museum collection includes more than 15,000 artifacts from five centuries of Maine living.
The Maine Jewish Museum contains gallery space, historic exhibits, and a main sanctuary in the renovated Etz Chaim Synagogue, a turn-of-the-century immigrant era house of worship.
Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. has a museum dedicated to the railroad’s history and offers rides on the historic railroad.
The Maine Potters Market displays both practical and decorative pieces created by their member potters, each with their own distinctive style.
Mainely Maps, Frames & Gallery specializes in rare, original maps and prints from the 16th to 20th century while also representing several local Maine artists.
Mayo Street Arts is a nonprofit community gallery, music venue, and performance space that also hosts artist studios.
Portland Art Gallery represents the work of Maine artists and is dedicated to highlighting superb curated artwork from across the state.
The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is the cultural heart of Portland, Maine, with an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibits. 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.
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.
SPACE Gallery is a nonprofit contemporary arts space featuring visual arts, live music and performance, lectures, films, and more.
St. Lawrence Arts, located in the historic St. Lawrence Church, is an affordable and accessible venue for a diverse offerings of arts including but not limited to theater, dance, music, film, visual arts, and workshops.
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.
Vestibule 594 is a street-level gallery dedicated to giving Portland, Maine-based artists visibility.
Built in the 1850s, Victoria Mansion is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of the Italian Villa style in America and contains over 90% of its original interiors.
Zero Station is a framing, printing, and lamination studio that hosts photography shows and other events.
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.
Creative Portland 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.
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 Downtown 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
Art/Design Studio Buildings
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 email@example.com.
Cloudport, located on Federal Street in the East End, is a multi faceted co-working space designed to provide a state-of-the-art space for businesses, entrepreneurs, and creatives alike to thrive. Equipped with glass front private offices, multi functional work space, meticulously designed conference rooms, spacious event venues, and a modernly designed kitchen and bar area. For information on membership, call (207) 651-RENT (7368) or email cloudportME@gmail.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Open Bench Project at 10 Thompson's Point is a shared learn/work facility, cultivating a community of makers by providing access to studio/work space, tools, and resources. The 7,500 square foot facility includes a wood shop, metal shop, lab for 3D printing, screen printing zone, and a hack lab. For information on affordable, flexible membership, call (207) 329-8606 or email email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The facility also houses the Bayside Clay Center, a community committed to providing affordable space to serious clay artists. To learn more, email email@example.com.
SPACE Studios, at 536 Congress Street and just down the street from the Maine College of Art, are home to Pickwick Independent Press and have workspaces on three floors above SPACE Gallery. Contact Henry Wolyniec at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Applications are available on the website: http://www.spacestudios.org.
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.
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.
One Longfellow Square features live musical performances, film screenings, theater and dance productions, and community events.
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 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.
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.
The Bollard is a monthly independent news and arts publication, featuring news, reviews, and music and theater listings.
Maine Art Scene has listings for exhibits, performances, classes, lectures, and concerts across the state.
Portland Ovations features a variety of performances including classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater, spoken word, and Broadway.
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.
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.