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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 7, 2021

Print: A Bookstore

Tuesday, April 20, 7PM | Co-hosted by Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance via Zoom!   As her stultifying marriage is unravelling, and in the midst of mourning the loss of her creative self, Caro Tanner has a nightmare about Peter, an old love whom she hasn't seen in twenty years. She takes this as a sign he still needs her. With her three children safely off to summer camp, Caro embarks on a pre-Facebook, pre-cell phone road trip to recapture who she once was and what she thinks she once had. Set in the sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll '60s in Tucson, Arizona--when Caro and Peter were kooky, colorful, and inseparable drama students--and in the suburban '80s, when Caro's creative spark has been quenched to serve the needs of her husband and children, So Happy Together explores the conundrum of love and sexual attraction, creativity and family responsibilities, and what happens when they are out of sync. It is a story of missed opportunities, the tantalizing possibility of second chances, and what we leave behind, carry forward, and settle for when we choose. It sits in that raw, messy, confounding, beautiful place where love resides. Learn more and register.

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Print: A Bookstore

Wednesday, April 28, 7PM | Co-hosted by the Portland Public Library as part of the Spotlight Series! Eleanor Morse's Margreete’s Harbor begins with a fire: a fiercely-independent, thrice-widowed woman living on her own in a rambling house near the Maine coast forgets a hot pan on the stovetop, and nearly burns her place down. When Margreete Bright calls her daughter Liddie to confess, Liddie realizes that her mother can no longer live alone. She, her husband Harry, and their children Eva and Bernie move from a settled life in Michigan across the country to Margreete’s isolated home, and begin a new life. Margreete’s Harbor tells the story of ten years in the history of a family: a novel of small moments, intimate betrayals, arrivals and disappearances that coincide with America during the late 1950s through the turbulent 1960s. Liddie, a professional cellist, struggles to find space for her music in a marriage that increasingly confines her; Harry’s critical approach to the growing war in Vietnam endangers his new position as a high school history teacher; Bernie and Eva begin to find their own identities as young adults; and Margreete slowly descends into a private world of memories, even as she comes to find a larger purpose in them. This beautiful novel—attuned to the seasons of nature, the internal dynamics of a family, and a nation torn by its contradicting ideals—reveals the largest meanings in the smallest and most secret moments of life. Readers of Elizabeth Strout, Alice Munro, and Anne Tyler will find themselves at home in Margreete’s Harbor. Learn more and register.

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Print: A Bookstore

Monday, April 19, 7PM | Hosted via Zoom  Desperate to find respite from the knowledge of her father's infidelities, his verbal abuse, and her step-mother's psychological torment, Gina spent hours doing Jane Fonda’s workouts, smoked cigarettes instead of eating food, and became obsessed with her thinness... with the notion of fading away. She found solace in restlessness—drinking hallucinogenic mushroom tea and inhaling crushed pills and powders—perching herself on the periphery of danger again and again. Gina finally glimpsed a better life for herself when her grandfather, a man who was a surrogate father to her, became terminally ill. She fell in love with John, a stranger who was utterly familiar, but who was addicted to heroin. She moved from New Hampshire to California, crossing the country in an attempt to alleviate her self-destructive tendencies, but found herself pulled back to New Hampshire, to John, a man with whom, despite his struggle, she could not deny the sense of home she felt. But what would it cost for a girl to run wildly and recklessly into womanhood, making instant, temporary homes? Learn more and register.

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Print: A Bookstore

Wednesday, April 21, 7PM | Hosted via Zoom! Esther is a middle child, in her own mind a pale reflection of siblings who are bright, shining stars. Her mother doesn't show the slightest bit of interest, no matter what Esther does. Still, she's content to go back to school, do her best, hang out with her friends, and let others take care of things. But her best friends aren't AT school when she gets there. Why didn't they tell her they wouldn't be coming back? Why were they silent all summer? But stuff like that happens. And it's bad luck that her new teacher makes Esther the butt of all kinds of jokes. Mrs. Pollock is rumored to be an ogre—and maybe she IS one. Could be. Then things go from unfortunate to outright dangerous. The mountains surrounding the school—usually sparkling with glaciers and lakes, alive with Faeries, and sheltering a quaint town with really great bakeries—are now crowded with Shadow Mages, casting a noticeable pall, and clearly—to Esther—signifying something very dark and threatening. As the people she might have depended on to help are either strangely absent or in hiding, it's left to ordinary, middle-child Esther ("just Esther") to act. But she'll have to burst out of the box of mediocrity she's been but in, and do something absolutely extraordinary. Learn more and register!

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Print: A Bookstore

Monday, April 26, 7PM | Hosted via Zoom! When their only child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at the age of two, Maryanne O’Hara and her husband were told that Caitlin could live a long life or be dead in a matter of months. Thirty-one years later, Caitlin lost her battle with this devastating disease following an excruciating two-year wait on the transplant list and a last-minute race to locate a pair of healthy lungs. The sudden spiral of events left Maryanne in an existential crisis, searching to find an answer to the eternal question: Why we are here? During her final years, Caitlin had become a source of wisdom and comfort for her mother—the partner with whom she shared a deep spiritual quest to understand what it meant to have a soul. After Caitlin’s passing, Maryanne began to notice signs—poignant, persistent synchronicities that seemed to lean toward proof of Caitlin’s enduring presence. Weaving together a series of interconnected meditations with illuminating glimpses of life rendered via text messages, e-mails, and journal entries, Little Matches is a profound reflection on life and death, motherhood, the pain of chronic uncertainty, and finding inspiration in the unexpected sparks that light our way through the darkness. Learn more and register

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Maine Jewish Museum
267 Congress St

March 25, 2021 through May 7, 2021;    Artist: Michelle Hauser;    Meeting Hall Maine records for posterity the documentation of hundreds of meeting halls found throughout the state. This photographic project began in collaboration with Hauser’s late husband, Andrew S. Flamm (1967-2018).  Hauser has continued on with their shared vision to adhere to centered compositions of frontal, side or back views and to sequence the typology of structures into groups. Grids and pairings invite comparison and also create an abstraction of architectural forms.  At some sites, three-quarter views of the halls were captured to evoke the experience of place. The exhibition also includes work that appropriates signifiers used in ritual activities taking place inside the meeting halls.   In 1981, Hauser forged lasting ties to Maine at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, leading her to return to Maine to paint, using a former Odd Fellows Hall in Mount Vernon.  The hall served as an inspiration. Extending her studio time there was the catalyst for winning a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.  It was where she and Andrew Flamm first met. They went on to open Odd Fellows Art and Antiques that specialized in vernacular photography and the Material Culture of American Fraternal Organizations which in turn sparked their idea for Meeting Hall Maine. (Meeting Hall Maine is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn more about the museum.     Michelle Hauser South Sangerville Grange no. 335 Archival Digital Print. 

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Blue
650 Congress Street

Learn more about the "Out of the Blue Livestream Series" and other virtual concerts that occur nightly at Port City Blue!

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Maine Jewish Museum
267 Congress St

March 25, 2021 through May 7, 2021 |  Artist: Gerry Holzman - Artist in Wood;    In the late 1990’s, while conducting a personal and intellectual exploration of my long-neglected Eastern European roots, I came across the photographs of Roman Vishniac, a chronicler of Jewish life in pre-World War II Europe. The powerful and provocative photographs in Vishniac’s book, A VANISHED WORLD, affected me profoundly. I was particularly impressed by the portraits of the various artisans--the blacksmiths, the cobblers, the carpenters--and by the bearded scholars with their long flowing coats and their omnipresent books.   For the past twenty years, I have been recording my response to this extraordinary experience.  My responses in wood are unlike anything seen before. In some carvings, I have faithfully copied the individuals portrayed in the various photographic records but have placed them in an entirely different setting. In others, I have extracted the figures from within the raw walnut logs where they have dwelt for centuries.  In a few pieces, I have simply presented the viewer with the vague outline of a provocative notion.   While these carvings present a window into a world that disappeared in the 20th century, I like to think my work in the 21st century offers vivid proof of Roman Vishniac’s conviction that this vanished world was definitely not a vanquished one. And perhaps, it reinforces an even more important message—“We’re still here.” Learn more about the museum

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Maine Jewish Museum
267 Congress St

Preview Starts: Sunday, April 18, 2021. Auction Bidding Opens: April 25th until May 9, 2021. The Maine Jewish Museum's first ever online art auction is generously curated by the founders of Barridoff Galleries, Annette and Rob Elowitch.  Rob and Annette are back and better than ever and have gathered a varied and exciting roster of many of Maine's finest artists. Proceeds from the MJM Art Auction will help financially support the museum’s mission of celebrating and honoring the contributions and diversity of Maine’s Jewish community. Through exhibits, programming, and dialogue the Museum seeks to build bridges of appreciation and understanding with people of all backgrounds.   Pictured: “Off Mackworth Island Portland”, oil on canvas 16x20”, Henry Isaacs

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