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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

Lewis Gallery @ Portland Public Library
Biodiversity Research Institute has collaborated with artists from across the country to bring two art exhibits to Portland, Maine: Conserve the Call and A Critical Balance. Both exhibits will be on display at the Portland Public Library Lewis Gallery, April 5th - May 25th, 2019. Funds raised during the event will be contributed towards conservation efforts. Conserve the Call - Our Conserve the Call exhibit features five species of loons that will be at the center of the 2020 International Loon/Diver Symposium. The artwork will be paired alongside information on current research and ongoing conservation efforts. A Critical Balance - Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird, and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65 million years ago. Today many of the creatures that are familiar to us are at a critical balancing point. They might not be here for future generations to experience. Ten New England artists have gathered to paint and exhibit a selection of species that are listed as endangered on the IUCN’s red list. As artists that have a dedication to the natural world, they have a unique opportunity to share their observations and use their art to convey both the beauty of these endangered species and the need to protect them. The intent of this exhibit is to use art to inspire and educate in ways that will reach beyond statistics, policy, and politics. The exhibit will include approximately 23 pieces of art painted to life-size and a catalog of the work. All work will be available for sale and a percentage of proceeds will be donated to the conservation of endangered or threatened species. Featured artists: Adelaide Tyrol Nick Mayer Nissa Kauppila Michael Boardman Heidi Broner Gabriel Tempesta Linda Mirabile Susan Parmenter Suzanne Stryk Shearon Murphy
Artist(s):
Biodiversity Research Institute
Medium:
mixed
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
Congress Square Gallery
Recent painting and prints of coastal Maine by Portland artists RN Cohen and Stan Leiberman.
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SPACE
538 Congress Street
SPACE is pleased to fly Rose Nestler's Athena Pennant Flag on the flagpole from April 15 - June 30, 2019. Nestler's artworks pull from the iconography and structures of the ancient Greco-Roman Gymnasium, while also utilizing the familiar aesthetics and materials of contemporary sportswear. She explores the correlation among athleticism, spirituality, gender, and power through illustrating sports, ceremonies and rewards that sustain the oppressive regime of toxic masculinity within American culture. As a project-based, interdisciplinary artist, Rose Nestler uses fabric because of its links to clothing — our second skin — further illuminating how clothing can denote power and profession. She often adapts ancient subject matter with contemporary materials and reimagines iconic patriarchal institutions as feminine spaces, chipping away at the entanglement of gender and history. This exhibition is visible on our flagpole located outside our gallery at 534 Congress Street.
Artist(s):
Rose Nestler
Medium:
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
Bridge Gallery
568 Congress Street
Meet the artists at Bridge Gallery, the working studio/gallery of Rhonda Pearle and Gary Perlmutter. Gary is a classical realist painter, creating beautiful realistic still lifes. Rhonda is an expressive painter, using brilliant colors and moving paint strokes to convey feeling. See where they work, how they work, and how these two very different styles compliment each other!
Artist(s):
Rhonda Pearle
Medium:
oil and acrylic on canvas
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:
Coffee By Design, Congress St.
Beautiful new works by Lori Austill as well as some older favorite images reproduced as high quality prints on wood panels. Lori Austill's beeswax paintings are about the beauty of our planet and created through reaching through the unknown for the joy and hope that noticing beauty deeply can bring. In this time of urgent need for our planet's care, noticing the magic that exists can be a significant path for propelling us forward.
Artist(s):
Lori Austill
Medium:
New Encaustics and Pigment Ink Prints
SPACE
538 Congress Street
SPACE is pleased to present HOTLINE, an interactive group show featuring soundworks by artists, musicians, scholars, performers and poets. As the name suggests, the exhibition features eight listening stations where visitors can hear songs, artworks and readings on custom-built payphones designed by Smooth Technology, a New York City-based team of artist engineers. Each payphone is programmed with a distinct set of recordings that automatically play when the hook switch is released for a choose-your-own-audio-adventure experience. No two listening stations are alike. The works in HOTLINE range from the fancifully dulcet and intellectually stimulating to funkier versions of hold music and hard-to-listen-to noise. A limited edition vinyl record printed at the conclusion of the exhibition will serve as an archive and commemorative object for the project. Performances by featured artists are scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition. Support for HOTLINE is provided by Smooth Technology, Richardson Allen, Pickwick Independent Press, Big Blood and by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Hotline image credit: Joel Tsui
Artist(s):
Medium:
Creative Portland
84 Free Street
Join Creative Portland for the public opening of our fourth juried show, Immersion, during May's First Friday Art Walk. Eighteen artists have been selected for Creative Portland’s upcoming juried art exhibition, Immersion, which will open with a private reception on April 24, 2019. The group art show, representing established and emerging artists from Greater Portland, will feature paintings, photography, prints, drawings, and mixed-media work. The eclectic group of exhibitors range from emerging artists in their 20s to more established artists. The final list of artists will be revealed at the opening and will include the following: Peg Becksvoort, Lydia Jane Brown, CeCe Camacho, Anita Clearfield, Rebecca Cote, Andy Curran, Anna Dibble, Amy Hagberg, Rob Hammond, Reggie Burrows Hodges, Maryjane Johnston, Cliff Kucine, Sarah McCullough, Olga Merrill, Jack Montgomery, Jenny Scheu, Carter Shappy, and TJ Whitmore. Executive Director Dinah Minot assembled a volunteer curatorial team of artists and arts administrators, including: Kate Anker, Running With Scissors; Nelson Bruns, artist; Titi De Baccarat, artist; Annie Lloyd Witte, artist; Alice Spencer, TEMPOart; Stephen Walsh, University of Southern Maine; and Jay York, photographer. The exhibition will run through October 2019, Monday through Friday, from 10am-4pm. The Creative Portland Gallery is located at 84 Free Street, directly across from the back entrance of Maine College of Art.
Artist(s):
group show
Medium:
UMVA Gallery at Portland Media Center
516 Congress Street
"Into the Nation" - paintings, pastels and drawings by Norajean Ferris Opening Reception - First Friday Art Walk, 5-8pm Open 5/3 - 5/31/19
Artist(s):
Norajean Ferris
Medium:
Finn Teach Mini-Gallery
645 Congress Street
Check out Finn's landscape paintings! Locations include Monhegan, Bar Harbor, Portland, Vinalhaven, and more.
Artist(s):
Finn Teach
Medium:
Oil on Canvas
Mainely Frames & Gallery
541 Congress Street
Friday, May 3rd, Mainely Frames and Gallery will be featuring original antique maps of Maine as well as a tremendous display of historic United States and World Maps. Rare maps include large schoolhouse maps, original maps of local areas as well as historical maps from around the world. See modern map prints created by artists who paint on maps. Our experienced staff can share information about the care and framing of antique maps and prints. Gallery Information: Mainely Frames & Gallery displays art from many famous local artists and provides professional framing services. Antique maps originated in the 19th and 20th Centuries are also available. Contact Information: Mainely Frames & Gallery Leo Pelletier at 207-828-0031 541 Congress Street, Portland, ME Hours: M-F 10-7, Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 Mainelyart@mainelyart.com http://www.mainelyart.com
Artist(s):
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Maine College of Art
522 Congress Street
MECAmorphosis consists of two events: The 2019 BFA Thesis Exhibition and The Fashion Show. Held in conjunction with Portland's First Friday Art Walk, the 2019 Thesis Exhibition opens Friday, May 3 from 5-8pm. Featuring interactive art on four floors of the College's historic Porteous Building, the annual Thesis Exhibition is not to be missed. Free and open to the public. Taking place simultaneously, The Fashion Show premiers the collections of our majors in Textile & Fashion Design. It will take place in the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and is a ticketed event.
Artist(s):
Medium:
Maine Craft Portland
Maine Craft Portland unveils an alternative bridal show not to be missed! Over 20 craft artists have created one-of-a-kind ceremonial adornment, accessories, and jewelry that embody new ideas to present bridal with a twist! This 2-month long exhibit will showcase unique offerings for the discerning contemporary looking to get hitched in distinctive true to you style. How about matching hand stamped leather belts, lovers' knot bracelets, or a silk skived unisex Kurta? These dazzling, ready to wear pieces, like all offerings at the Maine Craft Portland retail gallery were handcrafted by talented Maine-based craft artists. We open this show on First Friday Art Walk with the romantic talents of the lovely jazz pianist, Sonja Florman, at Maine Craft Portland, 5-8pm. Also join us on our Custom Design Jewelry Consultation Day where you can meet with select Maine fine craft jewelers to create your own exclusive design. This event is one day only, May 11th, 12pm-4pm. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to reset your treasured stones into something new just in time for wedding season and summer festivities! Email Maria@mainecrafts.org to reserve your spot for this free consultation!
Artist(s):
Medium:
Oak Street Studios and Side X Side
Opening Minds Through Art (OMA) is an intergenerational art program for people with dementia. The exhibition features collaborative work of Elder Teachers from The Cedars Retirement Community whom are affected by dementia and their counterparts, university students from UNE and USM, who work together one-on-one creating contemporary art. The mission is to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art. This year, Oak Street Studios' young artists, ranging in age from 4-13, are collaborating with the OMA program to create a contemporary installation
Artist(s):
Medium:
DOROTHEA and LEO RABKIN FOUNDATION
A festival of delightful and playful works made with paper, on paper, from paper, and about paper. Come and see what paper can be and do!
Artist(s):
Leo Rabkin
Medium:
Paper and Other Materials
Pinecone+Chickadee
6 Free St.
Please join us during the First Friday Art Walk for the opening reception of Primordial Stew, an art installation by Zach Johnsen. Primordial Stew is the bubbling, rolling broth that has simmered to the perfect temperature and consistency to finally spill forth life from its core. It is the origins of the flowers and mushrooms and mud and dust and fish and frogs and people that we have come to know and love. It includes the cycles of nature and the myths of man that have come to define our understanding of life today.
Artist(s):
Zach Johnsen
Medium:
Portland Museum of Art
Closing May 5, 2019. Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago calls attention to a region of the Americas that is difficult to categorize and often overlooked: the island nations of the Caribbean. Image: Juana Valdes, (Cuba / United States, born 1963), El Mundo desde abajo / Under View of the World, 2015–16, cyanotype panel, 30 x 40 x 2 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Juana Valdes
Artist(s):
Medium:
Portland Museum of Art
This exhibition showcases 12 photographic portraits and three triptychs of celebrated individuals by the iconic American photographer Richard Avedon (1923-2004). Primarily a fashion photographer whose images played an influential role in defining America’s image of style, beauty, and culture, these portraits suggest his disillusionment with commercial work and his quest to portray the likeness of the sitter.
Artist(s):
Richard Avedon
Medium:
Photography
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:
Wellness Connection
685 Congress Street (Behind Local 188)
Curious about the benefits of medical cannabis and CBD? Come tour our newly remodeled Portland dispensary. We cultivate pesticide-free cannabis and test our products for purity and consistency. We have proudly served medical patients in the Portland community for over 7 years. No medical card needed to enter or for the purchase of pure CBD products. Currently showcasing local Maine artists on a rotating basis.
Artist(s):
Michael Heinitz
Medium:
Hand Hammered Fine Copper Art

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