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On the first Friday evening of every month, the city’s artists, galleries, and arts venues open up their doors for Portland’s thriving First Friday Art Walk.

Upcoming First Friday Art Walk

Friday, May 3, 2019

Congress Square Park
ARE WE GREAT YET? is a FREE circus performance with Circus Olé And Feast of Fools on Friday, May 3, from 6-8pm in Congress Square Park. Circus Ole presents the 2019 Extravaganza featuring an in depth look at Politics + Circus! The greatest show! Epic contrasts! Giant puppets, tiny people, live music, dance, and so much more! ARE WE GREAT YET? *Immigration Follies *Contemporary Climate Change *#InstaTigers *Color my Border *Everything Extravaganza Live music provided by Eddy Dyer, songsmith based out of Lowell, MA. Dyer continues to secure his reputation as an edgy, unpredictable, and rewarding artist! Jon Mathieu brings his accordion and heartfelt busking talents from Westbrook via the streets of Lubliajna, Brooklyn, and beyond! Dubbed as “The Human Variety Show,” Showtime Steve is a one-of-a-kind variety performer, harnessing his signature off-the-cuff comedy and show-stopping stunts to create a high-energy show unlike any other! We can’t wait to show you how GREAT we are!
Artist(s):
Circus Olé
Medium:
Performance
Mechanics' Hall
To spring forward, or not to spring forward? That is the question. It’s that time when April mud season brings in Maine flowers, so why not?! Experience and enjoy an art exhibition of still life by Flintown artist & Maine Resident C.T. RASMUSS – featuring his unique pastels, oil & acrylic paintings, mixed media, ceramics, and a live demo by the artist as well as an interactive scavenger art hunt. The exhibit runs from May 1-30th, 2019. Gallery admission is free and most of the artworks will be available for sale. Other times to see the show are during Mechanics’ Hall library hours: Tu-Thu 10-3, Fri 4-7, & Sat 10-1. Opening reception: 1st Friday, May 3rd. FREE and open to the public. 5:00-8:00PM. Elevator access to second floor gallery
Artist(s):
C. T. Rasmuss
Medium:
Oil & Acrylic
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Shop local! Shop small! While drinking delicious BEER! Ten different Fork Food Lab members will have tables and be selling their delicious treats. Every week will have a large variety of member goods for sale. Both ready to eat and packaged goods available. Participating Members: Resurgam Hot Sauce, Mill Cove Baking Co, Mama Mo's, Suga Suga, Niyat Catering, Joyful Spirit, Hi Bar Bakery, Silver Child Confectionaries, Empanada Club
Artist(s):
Medium:
Maine Historical Society
Holding up the Sky explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine. Wabanaki advisors guided the exhibition, interpreting 17th century colonial treaties, photographs, heritage items, and contemporary artworks—everything from ash baskets to haute couture fashion. Wabanaki voices provide context for the present-day relevance and repercussions of 400 years of shared histories between Wabanaki people and immigrants to their region. In addition to items from Maine Historical Society collections and newly-commissioned pieces from Wabanaki artists, the exhibition will feature artifacts generously loaned by many individuals and organizations, including: Abbe Museum, Hudson Museum, Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Museum, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Maine State Museum, Nova Scotia Museum, and Bangor Historical Society. Holding Up the Sky was developed in collaboration with a team of advisors, including Lisa Brooks (Abenaki), James Francis (Penobscot), Suzanne Greenlaw (Maliseet), Darren Ranco (Penobscot), Theresa Secord (Penobscot), Ashley Smith (Wabanaki descent), and Donald Soctomah (Passamaquoddy). We also invite First Friday Art Walk visitors to view Power of Potential: Photographs of the 1925 National Business and Professional Women’s Convention. The National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NFBPWC) - which was established eight months before the 19th Amendment - hosted over 2,000 working women from around the country during their seventh annual convention in Portland in 1925. This exhibition features images from Evening Express’ coverage of this convention, which are part of the Portland Press Herald glass negative collection at Maine Historical Society.
Artist(s):
Medium:
The Press Hotel
Book paper and steel are placed in different contexts in our lives. The book is appreciated as an object of education, growth, and escape. Whereas steel is often invisible, even though it is a primary structure of our constructed environment. I strive to level the playing field between these disparate perceptions and materials. I search for harmony between paper and steel that in so many ways possess similar attributes: flexibility, history, mass, and density. Unbound blocks of text lose their original meaning when I cut the pages from their bindings. This allows me to respond to the shape and texture of the paper and give new meaning. Introducing metal to the process gives structure and support to the loose pages, and elevates the steel - a familiar material in industry and architecture - to the level of the book - an object for contemplation. Alongside the paper, the steel becomes graceful, its subtle colors and surface heightened. Bound together, the pages and steel become something new and unified. No longer a book on a shelf, but a unique object with its own strength and story. Opening Reception is Thursday May 2nd, 2019 6:00pm to 8:00pm open to the public On View: Until June 23rd
Artist(s):
Andrew Hayes
Medium:
Portland Public Art Committe
The Stone Dragon, a sculpture by Maine artist Carole Hanson, sited outside the East End Community School, was originally called The Serpent. The sculpture was commissioned by Maine Arts Inc. in 1996 for Congress Square Park, as part of a new plaza created for music and other events held there. It was designed to line the walkway from the hotel’s entrance to the back of the park, and it served a dual purpose as art and seating - an arrangement of seven squared boulders spaced to suggest a sort of sea serpent, with head and tail stones carved in detail while the rest was left to the imagination. Originally conceived as a temporary installation, The Serpent remained in place until 2008. Nancy Davidson, who had a gallery fronting the park, spearheaded the fundraising effort for the original piece. One of her clients, Tim Nason, made the first donation, followed by the Friends of Kay Hartt. School children, music lovers, tourists, and the resident vagrants enjoyed it. It was never defaced and seemed to be a point of pride to users of the park. In 2008, the City of Portland transferred ownership of the sculpture to the East End Community School. The piece was moved in October of that year to its new site on the Eastern Promenade. Portland Trails was instrumental in the installation. Landscape Architect Sashie Misner designed plantings for the setting. Additional stones, making the total ten, were carved in 2013 to transform Serpent to Dragon. A “wing-stone” and front-and-hind-quarters of the “body” were added. Why a dragon? Dragons are popular, children love dragons, and Hanson got behind the spirit of the changes, with the feeling that it would expand the sculpture. She contributed much of the carving time toward this transformation. The City provided $5,000 in community art funds in 2012, matched by the school and community. The Serpent became The Stone Dragon in 2013.
Artist(s):
Carole Hanson
Medium:
Maine Granite
Mechanics' Hall
MECHANICS’ HALL TO BEGIN FIRST FRIDAY PERFORMANCE SERIES IN MAY Each month will feature 5 performers from a variety of genres in an hour-long show. Mechanics’ Hall is pleased to announce a new First Friday performance series called Various! which will be formatted in the spirit of the art walk such that guests can come and go or stay for the entire hour. Set in the Grand Ballroom, Various! will increase exposure for Maine’s many talented performers while providing members of the public with a new art walk destination. “We are overjoyed to begin this series which highlights our mission to support creativity in our spaces,” says Hall Superintendent Tom Blackburn, “Performing artists support our economy immensely and Various! is just the beginning of a new creative programming initiative at Mechanics’ Hall.” In 1815, the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association was the fellowship for Portland’s creative community: the blacksmiths, coopers, carpenters, and more. Today, the Hall is working to connect that rich history to the modern makers movement with its mission to inspire and enrich the community by promoting ingenuity, creativity, innovation, and the diffusion of useful knowledge. May 3rd, 2019 Performers: The Shank Painters will present Sea Shanties from the High Seas featuring several traditional sea shanties from seafaring culture here and beyond. The Painters are a pirate-themed folk music trio based in Portland, Maine. Ballet Bloom Project offers The Shape of Relativity, a contemporary ballet duet performed to recorded berimbau music and choreographed by Rose Hutchins. The Good Guys perform four of their original tunes to make you laugh, dance, and sing along. This duo hails from Rockland, Maine. Janoah Bailin’s juggling and performance acts are always inventive with props and very attentive to the audience. Bailin performs variety arts and unicycling for festivals, parades and on stages all over New England, leaving behind a wake of tumbled juggling props! Brie Hinman’s Mourning Glory is an other-worldly modern-contemporary piece, performed by 16 dancers, which will explore the relationship between dreaming and memory. EVENT DETAILS What: Various! A First Friday variety show When: Friday, May 3rd at 6pm Where: Mechanics’ Hall, 519 Congress St. Portland How Much: Free with a $10 suggested donation Press Inquiries: Mike Levine - firstfriday@mainemechanics.org Website: www.mainemechanics.org
Artist(s):
Medium:
Dockfore
336 Fore St
Join us for a stroll through time with more than thirty years of the official works of the Kentucky Derby. Famous artists such as Neiman, Williams, Maxx and Tony Bennett to name just a few. Join us on First Friday for the Kentucky Oaks and watch the Fillies run for the lilies! The art will surely set the tone for what awaits the next day: our annual Derby party, the best this side of Churchill Downs. Get dressed up and wear your best hat, as we will have a prize for the best Derby hat. Lots of contests too.
Artist(s):
Numerous
Medium:
Official prints

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