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

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 Lewiston Auburn Winter 2019 Update

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-LA Chapter Report

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 Portland Chapter Report

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 Lewiston / Auburn Chapter Report

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

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