UMVA Lewiston Auburn Winter 2019 Update

UMVA-LA  has had an exciting few months! Our Annual Harvest Masquerade Ball was wonderful as always and the new owners of the Agora Grand Event Center offered a magnificent venue.  We have hope that this event will continue to grow and be a staple for the community’s October events.

Harvest Masquerade 2018, Gary Stallsworth photo

Many of us finished up the Art Walk LA season and are now planning For The Love Of Art event on Saturday February 9th. Follow us on FB to keep updated.

The Sunday Indie Market is still happening but has moved indoors for the winter.  It is held at Quiet City Books and Bear Bones Brewery on the third Sunday of the month from 12-4pm.  Soon the Curio will be an added venue, and we are excited for them to join our community.

UMVA-LA is now curating the Art and Ale window at Gritty’s in Auburn. This month is a winter wonderland theme by UMVA-LA chapter artists.  For submissions email 

Art and Ale, Gary Stallsworth photo

We are in the process of evaluating our capacity, what we want to continue doing, and what is not important to our mission, as well as sustainable without burnout for the current organizers.  We are still holding monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of the month, but are also using the meetings as a way of sharing experiences, how we balance art, work, life, family, etc.  It has been wonderful learning from one another and growing as a community of artists supporting one another.  We believe this is an important and vital part of our work: honoring ourselves while we work to create, grow, support, and sustain our own artist community!

Grayling Cunningham

UMVA Portland Chapter Winter 2019 Update, Call for Submissions, and Exhibition Schedule

On the morning of December 22nd, in the spirit of celebrating light at the winter solstice, a small crew of UMVA Portland members prepared and painted the walls of the UMVA Gallery at the Portland Media Center. The group included Gregg Harper, Jen Joaquin, Arthur Nichols, Janice Moore, William Hessian and John Ripton. A new color idea was added. To attract attention to the spaces in the Gallery, the front window corner (to the left from the outside), the middle hallway wall on the left, and the back wall in the interior room were painted “museum red.” Cream-colored lettering reading “The Union of Maine Visual Artists presents …[exhibit title]…” will now be pressed on the middle hallway wall and, if the artists/curators wish, in the corner walls of the front window, these walls now painted museum red. The new color draws eyes inward to the Gallery. See photographs below.
The UMVA Gallery will be opening the New Year and 2019 booked season of gallery shows with photographers Jesse MacDonald (Gray) and Jules Mogul (Orono), mounting their first show in Portland at the UMVA Gallery: “The Passage of Time.” UMVA Portland welcomes these talented young photographers as they launch promising artistic careers!

UMVA Portland Gallery 516 Congress St

2019 Exhibition Schedule

January – Passages of Time: Jules Mogul and Jesse MacDonald

February – The Way Life Is: Maine Working Families and Communities, Group Exhibit Curated by John Ripton

March – Ours is a Life of Lights and Shadows – Semi-Curated Open UMVA Show – Harper/Hessian

April – Title TBA: Bob Riemann and Rabee Kiwan

May – Into the Nation: Norajean Ferris

June – First UMVA Open Members’ Show

July – Go Figure: Group Show with Joaquin, Rose, Wade, Kelly

August – Julia Durgee”s Illustrations and Paint-cations

September – Visible Discourse from Maine’s Western Foothills: Group show with Schneider, Arcadipone, Best, Millonzi

October – Imposition & Yielding: Travail en Cire – Group Show with Tracy, Strout, Deutsch

November – Second UMVA Open Members’ Show

December – Holiday Event


The Way Life Is – Maine Working Families And Communities

is an exhibit planned for February 2019 at the UMVA Gallery on Congress Street in Portland. Two- and three-dimensional work of any media (paintings, wood block prints, photographs,sculptures, fabric, etc.) will be considered for exhibition. Artists around Maine, from Kittery to Fort Kent and from Rangeley to Eastport, are encouraged to submit up to three pieces (see submission requirements below) to this juried exhibit (juror TBA soon). Artists are asked to respond to the curator’s statement:

            Maine is often seen as two states. There are coastal communities dependent on wealthy summer residents and several million tourists. Amidst the extraordinary wealth often found on its coast, though, there is another Maine. Most Maine people, from the Atlantic to the interior, are involved in wage employment that provides the production and services on which all of us in the state depend.

            Across Maine hard-working people are employed in logging, factories, construction, fishing, agriculture, restaurants, area supermarkets, area nursing homes and clinics, hospitals, automobile gas-and-repair stations and more. Periods of unemployment and underemployment are common since these enterprises are especially vulnerable to national and global markets and government policies. Substandard housing is common. Many children qualify for subsidized school lunches and opiate-addiction affects hundreds of young people. College education and training for the trades are often out of reach.

            Even in Maine’s larger towns and cities it remains difficult for many people to find living-wage work. While abandoned factory buildings are repurposed as apartments and condominiums, restaurants and breweries, and farmers’ markets and art galleries, these investments create relatively few long-term good-paying jobs. Less money in the hands of wage-earners to drive and improve the economic vitality of Maine communities threatens a way of life.

            “The Way Life Is” is an opportunity for artists throughout Maine to produce critical work addressing the loss of many living-wage jobs and the lagging recovery from the Great Recession (2008-2012) that continues to make it extremely difficult for most Maine people to achieve their full potential. In our efforts and work we must also find ways to celebrate their lives and work, revealing the dignity of people and families making a living and producing culture despite the challenges. 

            Thoughtful, provocative and respectful portrayals of “The Way Life Is” provides a positive message and becomes part of an essential and vital popular platform for progressive political voices and forces dedicated to making policy changes that benefit all Maine’s people. In trying times, artists are called to play a constructive role for social change.  – – John Ripton, Curator

Submission Requirements (please read curator statement above first):

  1. Submit up to three images of work in any medium (images must be 1500 pixels on the smaller side) by January 4 (2019) at midnight.
  2. Label the images with title, artist name, medium/a, dimensions, year, price or NFS (eg. paleolithic workplace/Fred Flintstone/ gelatin silver photographic print/18”x24” framed/2018
  3.  NFS – or price in $). Please enter labels in the space for naming the image.
  4. Send an artist bio (up to 250 word-processed words) with the images to be included in a binder for the visitors to the exhibit .
  5. Submit an artist statement (no more than 150 word-processed words) to be included in an exhibit binder as well.

Artists will be notified of selections by January 14. The exhibition will open on February 1 and close on February 22. Delivery of selected works of art with paper copies (8.5×11 paper size) of artist bio and statement to the UMVA Gallery, 516 Congress Street in Portland will be Jan. 26,10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Artists must pick up art on Feb. 23, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

UMVA Portland Chapter Report

Portland UMVA has had a great summer of gallery shows including its 2018 summer members’ show in July, painter/mixed media artist Matt Demers’ fabulous exhibition of new abstract paintings titled “Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me” in August, and the always engaging Addison Woolley collective of visual artists in September.

In October, artist and curator Janice L. Moore will present a juried show of various media titled “Some Reliable Truths About Chairs.” Robyn Holman, retired art curator, Atrium Art Gallery at USM’s Lewiston Campus will assist Janice as a guest juror. The exhibit promises to be a provocative encounter with “chairs” on many levels. It opens October 5th and runs through November 3rd. The artists’ reception will be Friday, October 5th, 5-8 p.m.

The “UMVA Fall Members’ Open Exhibition” opens on Friday, November 9th, with an artists’ reception at 5-7 p.m. The show runs through Friday, December 7th, with a closing artists’ reception at 5-8 p.m. All UMVA members are encouraged to participate by sending jpeg images to by midnight October 21st. Curator Gregg Harper notes that “Artworks in most media (except performance and installation) will be accepted. Though there is room in the front window to exhibit 2 or 3-free-standing sculptures (enter early), because of Fire Code regulations at the Portland Media Center, sculpture will have to be wall-mounted or small enough to be exhibited on a plinth against the gallery wall (bring your own plinth if you can). Artists may submit one 2D piece 16”x 20” or larger or up to two 2D pieces that are each smaller than 16”x 20”.” With submissions provide Title, Date, Medium, Size and Selling Price (if applicable). Also, on the drop-off day (Saturday, November 3, Noon – 4 p.m.) bring an Artist Statement and/or Bio that includes an image of your submitted work, which will  be included in the exhibition deskbook.

The UMVA 2018 Holiday Art Sale will be held 11 a.m – 5 p.m. on December 15th and 16th at the UMVA Gallery at Portland Media Center. All members are welcome to apply for participation, though there is limited space. More information will be emailed to UMVA members several weeks prior to the show. Participation will based on the order in which application requests are made and will be open until the space is filled (there is room for approximately 15 members).

UMVA Portland has already accepted several shows for the upcoming 2019 year. These include “Ours is a Life of Lights and Shadows,” organized for March by Gregg Harper and William Hessian; “Go Figure,” a group show in July with painters Jen Joaquin, Roland Salazar Rose and Jim Kelly with photographer Dave Wade; an as yet untitled show by artist Julia Durgee in August; “Visible Discourse from Maine’s Western Foothills,” a group show of artists Schneider, Arcadipone, Best and Millonzi; and “Imposition & Yielding: Travail en Cire,” a group show with artists Ann Tracy, Anne Strout and Ann Deutsch in October. The two UMVA members’ exhibitions are planned for June and November with the Holiday Art Sale in December. Applications for other months are being accepted for consideration at the October UMVA Portland meeting on October 15th. All artists are welcome to apply by visiting the UMVA Portland webpage and downloading, preparing. and returning an application form. You can also contact Gregg Harper for an application at

UMVA Portland Chapter meeting in-process planning.

Among other projects being considered by UMVA Portland include updating the website, possible collaboration with PMC on shows related to the gallery and painting the back wall of the gallery to bring attention to the back room.


UMVA-LA Chapter Report

UMVA-LA has had a wonderful summer season starting with our annual exhibit  “Pride:  What brings pride to your life?” at Kimball Street Studio. This exhibit included works from artists who take pride in what they do.

We also enjoyed sharing works with our community, through heading up and assisting Build Maine in having Internationally-recognized artist, Arlin Graff, create an amazingly beautiful huge mural of a zebra on the side of the Centerville Parking lot.  The meaning behind the Zebra is “Community”. Zebras are rarely alone and live and work in community.  It represents the coming together of the growing immigrant community with a community of mostly white natives.  It is the beginning of our hopes to have more large-scale displays of public art.

Arlin Graff, Zebra Mural

Our recent UMVA-LA meetings have had inspiring artist talks, Kate Katomski spoke about her current projects around historic mining, and Sheri Withers Hollenbeck about her  community arts projects. Grayling Cunningham hosted the last talk with an interactive discussion about balancing art, work, home, family, and life.  It was wonderful sharing with one another and all who attended  benefited from the open discussion.  We will be changing our meeting format to include important topics and conversation on a bi-monthly basis.  Our next meeting will be held at The Studio located at 291 Lisbon street where guest speaker Alex Hood will share her journey as an artist and programming and opportunities at Bates College’s Olin Arts Center.

The Sunday Indie Market, sponsored by the Downtown Lewiston Arts District and UMVA-LA., has been gathering artists, artisans, culinarians, musicians, and vintage dealers for the only market of its kind in the Lewiston-Auburn area. On the 3rd Sunday of every month, we are outdoors in Lewiston’s Dufresne Plaza, on downtown Lisbon Street across from the courthouse. November through April, we are indoors at The Curio Art & Alehouse, 110 Lisbon Street

Upcoming Events: 3rd Annual Harvest Masquerade Ball is scheduled for Saturday October 20th 8pm-12am at the Agora Grand Event Center, formerly St. Patrick’s Church. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year that continues to grow and become something special.  We have DJ Alex Merrill again playing amazing tunes and we are hoping to add some live music, Halloween inspired art, tours of the crypt, a photo booth, costume contests (costume contest details are below) and a silent horror film on the giant projection screen.
FB Event Page



UMVA Lewiston / Auburn Chapter Report

eARTh Day 2018

Was a great success with many groups all over Lewiston and Auburn giving back to the earth and cleaning up the city as well as beautifying by installing new public art projects.  Our public art projects are growing and evolving our wonderful community in so many ways.


I Am Tree

UMVA-LA assisted Tree Street Youth  (a program that serves and supports the immigrant and refugee youth of our community) with their annual fundraiser by arranging a call to artists, collecting and setting up art for the fundraiser, advocating for artists getting a commission for the works of art as well as recognition for participating.  The event was well attended.  We hope to collaborate in future projects, introducing them to many forms of art.  If you would like to be a part of this contact us at

June Meeting Artist Talk was with Kate Katomski

Katomski is a multi-media artist based in Portland, ME, whose recent work (sculpture and printed works on paper) focuses on the post-industrial landscape, including the history and culture surrounding marble quarries in the US.  She is interested in the stories of the quarry workers and their families, European immigrants and African-Americans, and how their labor was the foundation of an industry that provided raw and finished materials for many of our country’s architectural masterpieces.

GoFundMe Page for Two Story Mural by Jeanelle Demers

We have a gofund page up. Trying to raise money to pay local artist Jeanelle Demers to paint a mural on the Isaacson & Raymond building on Park Street. FMI or to make a donation

Wheat Paste Project with Build Maine

The UMVA-LA is working with Build Maine on their 5th conference in LA. We are also working with Kerstin Gilg from Artdogs in Gardiner to do education and installation on a wheat paste project to be installed for Build Maine.

Closing Reception for The Body Show Benefiting Amy Stacey Curtis

The Hive Artisan Co-op located at 178 Lisbon st (second floor) had a closing reception the body show benefiting Amy Stacey Curtis.


Sunday Indie Market

Many UMVA-LA members create an outdoor indie marketplace featuring: artists, live music, vintage dealers, handmade artisans, food trucks, music, beer, and much, much more! The Sunday Indie Market happens on the third Sunday of every month from 12-4pm at Dufresne Plaza located on Lisbon Street across from the Lewiston District Court.

Instagram: @sundayindiemarket

A Walk In the Garden At Wicked Illustrations

The summer exhibition at Wicked Illustrations Studio and Gallery located at 140 Canal St Lewiston is entitled, “A Walk in the Garden, ” features our newest UMVA – LA member Jelisa Hamilton along with five other artists; Mae Billington, DuForge Studio, and UMVA – LA members Kate Cargile, Melanie Therrien and Corinna Tancrede. Enjoy beautiful garden-themed art from local artists: paintings, sculpture, origami, interactive art, assemblage art and glow in the dark art.

Work will be up June-August. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. Free on site parking.  FMI

Public Arts Project

UMVA-LA member Melanie Therrien of Wicked Illustrations Studio and Gallery helped to kick off our spring Public Art Initiative and our Annual Earth Day event with a painted Fire Hydrant by the Public Theatre in Lewiston. (Photo Attached) Photo Credit Gary Stallsworth.  If you are interested in submitting a creative crosswalk idea, or inspired to work with our community murals project or even painting a fire hydrant or large city electrical box contact

LA Marketplace

UMVA-LA along with the Downtown Lewiston Art District and Artists from Wicked Illustrations was represented at the LA Metro Marketplace on Thursday, June 7 from 9:30-6:30 at the Bates Mill on Canal St. in Lewiston. The Marketplace highlights our region and all it has to offer.


Beacons of Light for the Dempsey Center

A private fund-raising effort for the Dempsey Center by twenty local Maine artists. This is not a UMVA-LA specific event but we know and appreciate the efforts these incredible artists are sharing and are in full support of our community of artists doing good things!  Each artist created a stained glass lamp and donated their creation to a silent auction, all proceeds of which will go to the Center, an amazing support system for people whose lives have been touched by cancer. All twenty can be viewed on line at  or at Maine Art Glass Studio 51 Main Street Lisbon Falls. The artists ask that you share this link with anyone you think would appreciate the uniqueness of this project. This is actually a tremendous opportunity to bid on valuable functional art at steeply discounted prices.


UMVA Lewiston / Auburn Chapter Report

above: UMVA Lewiston/Auburn event; Gary Stallsworth photo

Public Art Informational was held on March 20th at the Lewiston Public Library with members of the Union of Maine Visual Artists- Lewiston/ Auburn Chapter and our Fall semester interns from Bates College. The students showed their presentation of what Lewiston already has for public art and talked about the website they created documenting their findings. We found out what projects are currently in the works and how we can help.

Do you have an idea but are not an artist? We can partner you up with an artist. All ideas must be voted on by the UMVA Lewiston Auburn to be considered for a space.

Invite your friends!

Our March 14th meeting at Kimball Street Studio was with Jonah Fertig- Burd founder of Local Sprouts Cooperative,  Jonah is a man of many talents and is constantly involved in building community!

UMVA Lewiston/Auburn event; Gary Stallsworth photo

UMVA-Lewiston Auburn celebrated the language of love with our 3rd annual For the Love of Art event, inviting couples and loved ones to experience an afternoon of awakening all the senses with a walking tour of local studios and galleries that offered live music, edible art, body work, locally made  products, as well as art of varying themes through out this journey.

Upcoming Events  

Downtown Lewiston eARTh Day 2018

Sunday April 22 10am – 2pm.  We are in the process of creating and organizing different work groups and business sponsors. Last year we had 4 different community groups working in various parts of Lewiston cleaning up litter and trash, restoring natural beauty.  We also had many public art installations such as sidewalk murals, painted fire hydrants and our first creative crosswalk! Please check the Facebook event page often for updated info.

This year there will be several different area clean ups, painting of side walk murals, fire hydrants, studio & public art tours, local music and a buy local cash mob.

I Am Tree Fundraiser for Tree Street Youth Program

Tree Street Youth serves 120-150 at-risk and immigrant refugee youth everyday at its center in downtown Lewiston. Programs include after school enrichment classes, academic tutoring, leadership development, college prep, and workforce development.  Each year, Tree Street holds a fundraiser called I am Tree. This year’s theme is “I am the Future.” UMVA-LA will be assisting in putting out a call for artists to create a piece of art (in whatever medium they like to work in) to reflect their interpretation of the theme. We would like these pieces to be donated to Tree Street Youth so that we can auction them off at the fundraiser on April 26, 2018 at the Bates Mill Atrium.  Artists will receive a 50% commission from the sale of any work.  We also anticipate displaying the art before and after the event at public spaces such as L/A Arts, the Lewiston Public Library and/or USM. Artists will be given the opportunity to be on site at the fundraising event to meet the (250+) guests . The art will also be featured in the evening’s Commemorative Playbill and on theTree Street website. If you are interested in submitting work to the I Am Tree Event, email for more details.

Our UMVA-LA meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month from 7-9pm. The location of the meetings change from month to month.   If you would like to be added to our email list email

Grayling Cunningham

Union of Maine Visual Artists Lewiston Auburn


UMVA Portland Chapter – Minutes

S.Smith, BotanyofSacrifice

November UMVA Portland Minutes
Scroll down for December minutes directly after

(Annotated version for the Journal)—11/20/17

Janice made a UMVA website report. She discussed the challenge with having a gatekeeper structure and the difficulty keeping something current and accurate with that system. She discussed that there were multiple sites for UMVA and the Maine Arts Journal and the newsletter, etc and that it was very confusing to try to track down who does what. Matt Stacey is still the gatekeeper for the main site and Cathy Weinberg is doing the journal site and facebook updates. The group discussed other options for a new page, or something that would be easier to access month to month. It was agreed this is becoming one of the most important next steps for our chapter to increase exposure, information and memberships. (see note at bottom).

Current CTN Open Hours   (Gallery is always open during these times)

Monday—12pm – 5pm
Tuesday—10am – 5pm
Wednesday—12pm – 5pm
Thursday—10am – 5pm

Remodel Update
Leslie reported that the donated carpet for the back room is here, but they are just waiting for laborers to install. There are also plans to repaint the front of the building and get new signage up with the change of CTN to the new name. The UMVA banner was praised as looking really good from the street and even had passersby taking photos of it.

It was discussed that at the December meeting we will do an overview of 2017 and also a visioning discussion for our hopes and dreams for UMVA in 2018 and beyond.

Update: William uploaded all Curator & Press Documents here:


We have a full UMVA Gallery planned for 2018!!!

umvaportland chapter,schedule for shows

Jan– Gregg Harper/ Mixed Media
Feb– Susan Smith/ sculpture- mixed media
March– Berrang/ Witte
April – Migration Experience/ UMVA Journal/ John Ripton
May– Mark Barnette/ photography
June–  Art & Abstract Truth/ Jim Kelly
July– UMVA Open Show  (needs curator)
Aug– Matt Demers /painting
Sept–  The Eclectic Vision/ Addison Woolley
Oct– The Chair Considered / Janice Moore
Nov–  UMVA Open Show  (needs curator)
Dec– Holiday Sale

Janice reminds the group that the show she is curating in October is for Chair-themed artwork and she wanted UMVA members to consider making chair-themed work to prepare for that show.

Who does what:
—All inquiries and listings should still be sent to: <>
—There is is still a gatekeeper/tech head for the UMVA main site. He updates members’ images, and will help with tech problems on the site, but no longer formats listings for this site.
 —There is a person currently formatting and uploading listings for the Maine Arts Journal— the current location of the online News/Events and UMVA Newsletter, the former UMVA Blog page.

S.Smith, Bundles


UMVA Portland Meeting Notes
December 2017

—Report Back by John R: Holiday Sale
—Idea presented: to create a calendar for UMVA events for print and online.
—Email from Janice was read regarding the website update and trying to make progress on having a UMVA portland site that we can manage.
—Gregg H handed out bookmarks for his show in January . He reported all the place he has put the show info and the newspapers that were running info about the show. He met with Bob Keyes/ good media timing. Gregg will be sitting for the show every Friday through Sunday for the entire month of the show.
— John R reported on the April show. Focus on immigrants. 12 artists currently in the works. Performances etc/ Building community. Titi DeBaccarrat/ Kifa Abdullah are involved in organizing the show with John. The show info will be in 5 languages and will display mixed media pieces also.
—Jess M discussed our mailing list and how to maximize our membership. Jess asked some questions about our press materials and the process we are using to market shows. A discussion followed about best practices.
—Gregg reported on the curator file for each curator. Jackie’s e-mail should be added for contact for all curators to be able to access the membership lists and mailing lists.

—Holiday Show 2018/ Next Year: Idea for a “50 for $50 idea.” Each artist makes a small piece for the show and could submit addition works. Have a donation aspect of the show to raise money for a cause.  Jess proposed having a holiday show with 3 rooms each with a different price point.
—Can we increase sales in the gallery?  Discussion -Make it attractive to come to the openings/-Bartending help for the opening.  Gallery Hours / consistent

UMVA Visioning for 2018 and beyond:
-website  (
-classes from members to share their skills/ raise money/ make money
-each member should tell people and try to help grow the umva membership this year
-UMVA marketing materials
-Another Draw-A-Thon?  Political activist art. ARRT. Bring our war dollars home.
-Kids events classes. Provide to the community
-Model drawing classes?
-Set gallery intentions – How do decide how we want to give out shows/ 1 person? 2 person shows? member shows? Which is the priority?
-What is the purpose of the gallery?  Can we bring in outside artists and curators? Bring in out of state shows?
-William invited the UMVA members to Hidden Ladder Art Nights that happen each Sunday night to collaborate with artists in the city. Contact him if interested.
-Funding: maybe be able to award artists grants down the road.

Thanks for a great 2017 and we discussed highlights from the last year.


UMVA-LA Chapter Report

Harvest Masquerade Costume Ball. UMVA-Lewiston Auburn.

UMVA-LA has had a great fall season, full of events that create wonderful memories for all. 


Our Harvest Masquerade Ball fundraiser was a great success!  Our event grew by 50+ attendees who all had an amazing evening . We look forward to next year  .  Our winners were Penny Wise and Louie, Scary dead mother, and Bob Ross.

Harvest Masquerade Costume Ball. UMVA-Lewiston Auburn.

UMVA-LA member, Sheri Withers, worked with three Environmental Studies students from Bates College on a semester-long project called “Mapping Downtown Art”, for their junior and senior capstone class.  They have been working closely with her to create a database and map for public art displays in Lewiston and Auburn. The goal of this project is to make information about public art more accessible to community members and visitors in the community, to create a way for people to find and contact both artists and galleries in the community, and to write a report that discusses the value of public art in communities and how it can create a positive culture and promote positive change.  Website address is

UMVA-LA is currently working on our third “For The Love Of Art” tour.  We use this event as an experience to awaken all the senses around Valentine’s Day.  We create a multi-gallery/studio exhibit for folks to add to their romantic evening out.  This involves edible art, scented art, visual art, touchable art, massage and or Reiki therapists and much more! 

For the love of art 2017. UMVA-LA.

This year we will be partnering with L/A Arts and local musician Elijah True to also create an after party that has live Maine-based musicians to add to the experience.


We at UMVA-LA look forward to mapping out our goals and events for the new year in this coming month.  Opportunities for growth are looking positive and we have high hopes for the upcoming year! 

Photo Credit Gary Stallsworth

UMVA Portland Exhibit—Migration Experience April 2018

Ebenezer Akakpo is a jeweler and fine metalworker, originally from Ghana, now resides in South Portland. He incorporates indigenous designs and symbols into his work.

UMVA Gallery at CTN (Portland Media Center)

In April the Union of Maine Visual Artists Portland Chapter will open its Gallery to the creative voices of more than a dozen immigrant artists living in greater Portland.

These artists have collaborated with curators Kifah Abdulla (poet and painter from Iraq), Titi De Baccarat (sculptor and painter from Gabon) and John Ripton (photographer, writer and historian) to create work that reflects the essence of their experience as immigrants to Maine.

Each invited artist – painter, sculptor, photographer, poet and performance artist – will express a moment in their migration experience that fundamentally changed their lives. Their work will be exhibited in the UMVA Gallery at CTN throughout the month of April.

Titi de Baccarat, Black, White and Yellow painting, with shoe

Greater Portland is home to thousands of immigrants whose life stories demonstrate the will to overcome lack of opportunity and education, political repression and violence and poverty.  Some immigrants are fortunate to have escaped such violations of human rights and their work will be represented in the exhibit. The artists’ collective stories, whether here with documents or without, is the continuing story of the United States.

As with earlier immigrants, the newer immigrants are building their lives here and revitalizing Portland, its economy and its culture. The artists will share their desires and dreams as well as their reflections on how they arrived in Maine and the challenges they continue to face. The exhibition of their work will speak directly to the world in which we live.

Kifah Abdulla. Peace

The artists and curators conceive this exhibit as a timely and essential project. In a time when differences among peoples are being exploited at the highest levels of government, this creative project strives to cross the borders and walls separating people.

The artists and curators intend, to emphasize our common humanity. In this effort they plan to reach out to Portland area schools, colleges and universities to offer the exhibit for display, to allow teachers the opportunity to bring the art and stories into their classes.

The Opening of the exhibit will be on First Friday’s Art Walk on April 6th (5-8 p.m.) at the UMVA Gallery at 516 Congress Street in Portland. It will feature poets, dancers, drummers and other performance artists. It promises to be a celebration of Greater Portland’s immigrant communities, an exciting opportunity to reaffirm the enduring struggle to share this world and this city with each other.
The public is enthusiastically welcome.

UMVA Lewiston/Auburn Chapter Report

above: Julia Muzyka Public Art, Gary Stallsworth photo

UMVA-LA has had a great summer filled with so much creativity blossoming all around us!  Our Inaugural Art exhibit “Then and Now” was hosted by Kimball Street Studio, showcasing both early and recent work by the artists.

Then and Now exhibit, Gary Stallsworth photo

The exhibit opened at July’s Art Walk and closed with our August meeting where we held a Pecha-Kucha formatted artist talk with all the exhibiting artists.  It was inspiring hearing the journeys of so many wonderful artists. Stay updated by following us on FaceBook

We had an artist talk by Grayling Cunningham, owner of The Studio (shared artist space in Lewiston), co-founder of Art Walk L-A, chair of the UMVA-LA Chapter, advisory board president of Outright L-A, and wearer of many hats in the community. We also had the honor of hearing Jody Dube ceramicist and educator at Lewiston High School and all around amazing and inspiring person! Jody shared his journey, his work in schools as well as being a long time member of the Maine arts community.

Jody Artist Talk, Gary Stallsworth photo

We have installed more public art, including one crosswalk that is about to be installed, more fire hydrants, murals, and have much more planned!  The Hive Artist co-op also hosted a public art talk to help inspire folks to get involved and also let them know what opportunities are available.

Art Walk Lewiston Auburn season is in full swing and is being extended until December.  AWLA is held on the third Friday of the month from 5-8pm.  We will be creating more of a shop local, shop small artisan and crafter culture through the November and December Art Walks.  FMI

Sunday Indie Market is held the third Sunday of every month from 12-4 at Dufresne Plaza located on Lisbon Street in Lewiston.  UMVA-LA is collaborating with the Downtown Lewiston Arts District to create a monthly event with local art, artisans, vintage wares, live music, a beer and wine garden, and food trucks.  FMI

Harvest Masquerade Ball 2016, Gary Stallsworth photo

The UMVA Lewiston Auburn and Downtown Lewiston Art District would like to invite you to join us for our second annual Harvest Masquerade costume ball Saturday Oct 28th 8pm -12am at the Agora Grand Event Center 228 Bates St Lewiston. This is a fundraiser for our UMVA-LA chapter, for our continued work with public art projects, and for our work with the local arts community.

Celebrate the season with a night of dancing, to our fabulous DJ from last year’s event and our amazing live music The Youngerbloods!!!! Halloween-inspired art, tours of the crypt, costume contests and a silent horror film on the giant projection screen.

Tickets can be purchased at

We would really love for folks to get in the spirit and have Costume Ball Attire. Couples who dress together in Ball Attire will be entered to be named King and Queen (or King and King or Queen and Queen) Prizes will also be awarded for our Dungeon Master (Scary Costume) and Jester (Funny Costume) of the Ball!

FMI  Invite your friends!

Submitted by: Grayling Cunningham  He, His, Him

Union of Maine Visual Artists Lewiston Auburn

Portland UMVA Chapter Report


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slide show of openings at UMVA/CTN Gallery 516 Congress St, Portland

UMVA/CTN Gallery exhibit poster, “Grit Grime and Grace”


2017 Gallery Schedule for UMVA’s CTN Gallery, 516 Congress St., Portland:

June: “Grit, Grime and Grace” Photography show curated by Dave Wade


Bud Swenson, “Barbed Wire Sphere”, 2017

UMVA Members’ Summer Show curated by Mark Barnette, Bob Riemann, Anne Strout and John Ripton at the UMVA Gallery. The Opening of the exhibit is July 7th (5-8 p.m.) during Portland’s First Friday ArtWalk. The show will run through July 27th.

Artists and curators are welcome to propose individual and collective art shows. Contact for an application.

Regular gallery hours are Monday and Wednesday 10am-5pm, Tuesday and Thursday 12-5pm, and by appointment. For an appointment, contact

August: Bridget McAlonan Solo painting show

Sept: Addison Wooley Group

Oct:  Maine Arts Journal: UMVA Quarterly Theme Show: REGIONALISM; MAINE ART and ARTIST  click for submission guidelines

Nov: Group Member Show

Dec: Holiday Sale

UMVA L/A Chapter Report

eARTh  Day L/A April 22 was a little rainy but truly wonderful and inspiring.  It included a downtown clean-up, public art and studio tours, live music, art making, an art drop (where art was left all over the community for folks to find and take home to enjoy), and many amazing volunteers who tirelessly cleaned up and beautified the city  Our event spread into Sunday when sidewalk murals and fire hydrants were painted. We also inspired 3 other city wide clean-ups in local parks, waterfront, and Mill #5.

2nd Annual Harvest Masquerade Ball   On Saturday October 28th Join UMVA-LA, the Downtown Lewiston Arts District, and the Agora Centerfor an amazing Masquerade Ball. This fundraiser for UMVA-LA has dancing,art, tours of the crypt, a costume contest, and silent horror movies on the big screen



Art Walk Lewiston Auburn  is on the third Friday of each month, May-December, from 5-8pm.  Many of our UMVA-LA members have studios and galleries along the route.

Then And Now”  UMVA-LA First Juried Exhibit!  Kimball Street Studio is hosting and collaborating with UMVA-LA members in our first juried exhibit.   “Then And Now” will showcase 2 works of art from each artist, one from their youth and one recent work.  The exhibit will openfor  the July 21st art walk with a reception on August 2nd for our scheduled monthly meeting.  The reception will start at 6 with mingling & light hors d’oeuvres, Artist talks with artists showing works will begin at 6:30pm. Kimball Street Studios is located at 191 Lisbon Street Lewiston.  Submissions deadline is July 7th, acceptance confirmation July 10th, works collected by July 14th.All submissions will be considered, including sculpture & other 2D works.  For submissions email

 Public Art   UMVA-LA has obtained 5 new crosswalks to add to our creative crosswalks project, 3 new fire hydrants, and 5 new sidewalk mural spaces!  Members of UMVA-LA  have also been working on murals throughout downtown adding vibrancy & color to our beautiful city.  We hope to continue this trend as our community loves it!

Stay up to date with UMVA-LA events and happenings by following us on Facebook!

Spring 2017: UMVA Updates, L/A Chapter Report

Union of Maine Visual Artists Lewiston/Auburn Chapter Report

UMVA-LA Chapter had a wonderful event this past February 18th.  “For the Love of Art” had something to awaken all the senses. We had 5 studios/galleries participate with 5 themes: Kimball Street Studios (Remember),  The Hive Artist Co-op  (Sweetness), L/A Arts  (Love L/A), Wicked Illustrations Studio and Gallery (Petals), and The Studio (Pleasure).  Each space had a Reiki or massage therapist, edible art, visual art, touchable art, floral arrangements and so much more!  Photos are by Gary Stallsworth

Our next event is on April 22,.It’s an Earth Day Downtown clean up with public art installations including painted hydrants, more creative crosswalks, murals, guided tours of historic downtown Lewiston and our arts district, a Trashion Show involving local breweries, Androscoggin Fallen Angels Roller Derby Girls, and much more!

Art Scoundrels:  Our group continues to meet monthly (generally every second Tuesday of the month at 5:30, though interested artists should reach out to confirm the date and location for that month). We’re beginning a series where each month a different member showcases representative samples of his / her work from the past through the present, and it’s up to the other artists to engage with the artist about his / her craft, methodology, working theory, etc. and to ultimately create an artwork in response to the experience of the spotlighted artist’s presentation. We look forward to seeing the collective body of work that develops from this series.

Union of Maine Visual Artists Lewiston Auburn