ARRT! and LumenARRT!

The Artists’ Rapid Response Team! is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists, and receives additional help from the Broad Reach Fund at the Maine Community Foundation. ARRT! works to give a visual voice to progressive organizations, schools and community groups to educate, confront, or to start a conversation about issues of importance.

ARRT! painting session, November, 2018

ARRTists are UMVA members who communicate with organizations, listen to their goals, research their issues, and design images to visually express the essence of their message. It is an open group, always welcoming new members!

Below are some of the projects from this last quarter of 2018, including some shots of banners put to use by organizations throughout the state.

“Restorative Justice Institute” banner

One project of the Restorative Justice Institute is working with a group of men who are incarcerated at Maine State Prison to improve the culture and potential for healing inside the Prison. ARRT! will be working with them in the coming month. The banner above was just completed in December.

“We Remember the Longest Night of Homelessness” banner

The banner above was created for Portland’s Homeless Persons Annual Memorial Vigil On the Winter Solstice. The group states that:

The Longest Night of Homelessness is an event that belongs to the full community. This banner honors the event and the people we’ve lost.

ARRT! painting session, October 2018 with Cony HS crew

Often groups will join ARRT! to paint the images with the help of ARRTists. At times they become so involved that they keep returning to work on other issues or work in their own communities to create images for change.

Common Ground Fair with ARRT! banner
Photo taken outside of the Nordic Aqua’HARMS’ office December 13, 2018
“Overdose Prevention Sites” banner at an “Opioid Drop” for “They Talk We Die” campaign, November 23, 2018.
“Overdose Prevention Sites” banner at an “Opioid Drop” November 23, 2018.
“Heart of Biddeford, Our time is Now” banner

The Heart of Biddeford banner supports their mission highlighting the immigrant history of the city and the current focus on inclusion, equity and justice.

Prior to the tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony, Biddeford 2018
“Maine AllCare; Imagine Health Care for ALL” banner

Maine AllCare works to educate Maine citizens and bring healthcare to all Mainers.

For more information on ARRT! click here or go to

LumenARRT! is a branch of the Artists Rapid Response Team! that uses large-scale video projection to call attention to the work of progressive non-profits and highlight issues of concern to the people of Maine.

LumenARRT! video projection for the Community Celebration in City Square, Biddeford, 10-20-18. To get out the vote for restoring Biddeford’s clocktower, LumenARRT! projected a celebration of inclusivity about the immigrants that historically and currently contribute to make Biddeford a vibrant community.

LumenARRT! was honored to be included in the Center of Maine Contemporary Art’s 2018 Biennial exhibit. The installation will be on view until March 2019. Click here for information on the CMCA exhibit.

LumenARRT! installs its juried selection to the CMCA 2018 Biennial. A pun on “projection,” a video of “projected” water imagery washes away common words “projected” onto women’s bodies. Titled, “Free Fall(t): Projection-cleansing for Women,” the anthropomorphic shapes made of wire, papier maché and muslin fabric are installed 16 ft. above the gallery floor.
LumenARRT projected all along the Main Street at Biddeford’s River Jam Fringe Festival this fall using the innovative roving projection system.
Resistance Starts Here – LumenARRT! Maine Statehouse virtual projection on the eve of the 2018 elections.

For more information on LumenARRT! click here or go to

Robert Shetterly — UMVA Request

Dear Friends and Members of the UMVA:

Money is not an easy thing for me to ask for.  But if the UMVA is going to carry on doing all the important things we do (see below) we need you to JOIN or RENEW your MEMBERSHIP today.  Go to  and you’ll see the JOIN/RENEW  button at the bottom of the page.  Or mail your check for our sliding scale membership ($45 to $25), whatever you can afford, to: UMVA, c/o Jackie Bennett, Treasurer, PO Box 51, Walpole, ME  04573.

I’m also announcing that we have a NEW PRESIDENT.  I was the head of the UMVA for more than 20 years; Thankfully, WILLIAM HESSIAN has stepped in to lead us. He has got everything it takes: energy, ideas, creativity, attitude…. and youth! He has been a remarkable member of the board and has led the Portland Chapter for quite a while now.  I will stay on the board as Emeritus and lend my experience wherever it is needed.

The UMVA has been connecting, supporting, and inspiring Maine artists since 1975. The time has come for Maine’s longest running  grassroots arts organization to ask for help.

The great American playwright, Arthur Miller, said, “… the job of the artist is to remind people of what they have chosen to forget.”  

I don’t know of another arts organization in the state that takes that quote more seriously than the UMVA. Our mission is to remind people of their essential humanity, their obligations to community, and the beneficence of beauty.  And, particularly today, we remind people that truth remains the central aspiration of the artist.

Here are some of our ongoing projects and programs:

The Maine Arts  Journal: UMVA Quarterly has produced one spectacular issue after another every quarter. There is no other visual or editorial art journal like it in the state in terms of ambition or quality. And subscriptions are free! But it costs US to keep it going. So PLEASE RENEW or JOIN to keep the Maine Arts Journal going.

The Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) has produced hundreds of banners and posters  for an enormous range of causes and events, giving those causes immediate visual identification and support.  Enthusiastic UMVA members paint the banners and can always use more help.

LumenARRT! has delighted and informed thousands of passersby with their nighttime urban projections on urgent topics ranging from Climate Change to Immigration. Some of their work has become interactive so that audiences can become part of the projections. Their savvy social media presence extends their work to a national audience.

The Maine Masters Project has released three new, award winning documentaries in the past few years on Jon Imber, Ashley Bryan and Fred Woell. They have been shown at film festivals, major museums, and theaters all over the US and in many places around the world.  New members get a free streaming.

The two UMVA chapters in Portland and Lewiston/Auburn are going strong. The successful UMVA Gallery on Congress St. has already planned exhibits for the entirety of 2019.  Money is needed for rent and curator stipends.

We want two things from you. First, we want you to join us. BECOME A MEMBER. Bring your energy and ideas to these projects.  Second we hope you will give an additional donation. The UMVA is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit so your gift is tax deductible.

We do a lot, but we could do a lot more with your help because we are you. Thank you,

Robert Shetterly

Former President, UMVA

William Hessian — UMVA News

Dear Members of the UMVA, 

I am proud and honored to be named the interim President of the Union of Maine Visual Artists. President Robert Shetterly‘s skilled leadership and excellence in the position has been a huge inspiration to me and my work within the UMVA. I hold this place temporarily until Rob wishes to retake the position, or until another interested party is voted in. I have been continuously inspired by the board members of the UMVA, and I am passionate about continuing to grow the UMVA across the state. My role over the last four years on the board has been to re-establish the Portland branch of the UMVA; and to establish a UMVA Gallery on Congress Street in Portland. With the help of many incredible artists and uncountable efforts those goals are well underway. One of the conditions under which I would accept the interim President role was for the board to consider my list of potential board members, all of whom have been crucial parts of the success of the Portland Chapter. I am excited to announce that Janice Moore, John Ripton and Gregg Harper  have been accepted and announced as new UMVA Board Members. In addition, artist David Estey, whose work proceeds him, has also been nominated to the board of the UMVA and I am very honored and excited to have him on the board as well. The current board members: Natasha Mayers (Vice President), Jackie Bennett (Treasurer), Richard Kane (Secretary), Mary Laury, and Cynthia Hyde, have all done incredible work for artists in this state. With the current board members combined with the four new ones, I am confident that the UMVA will continue to grow and thrive towards the goals of the mission statement: 

The UMVA mission is to uphold the dignity of artists and to support a vital contemporary Maine arts community. UMVA members value what can be achieved through collective efforts. The UMVA encourages the ideal of art as a spiritual and aesthetic communication beyond commerce.   

 Thank you for the opportunity.

William Hessian

ARRT! Artists’ Rapid Response Team! Update

The images created by ARRTists  become vibrant components of communities throughout the state and over time find many uses, often framing important messages and bringing groups together. As a project of the UMVA, ARRT! creates images for progressive non-profits throughout the state, and on occasion, for special requests for out-of-Maine organizations. ARRT! provides a visual voice for groups which need assistance getting their messages out. The photos featured below offer a glimpse into the vibrant lives the images live and what they offer to Maine citizens.

ARRT! banners, placards and props can often be found at  Whitefield Maine’s Fourth of July parade.

Much of ARRT!’s work consists of large original hand-painted banners, but new media and applications are popping up all the time. All of ARRT’s work is done in collaboration, with the belief and proven practice, that our best work emerges through our shared skills, ideas and the lively process of group critique we have developed. See more at

Friends School banner


LumenARRT! is a project of the Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!).  Working through the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA), LumenARRT! creates video projections illuminating messages, like electronic graffiti, to bring awareness to issues of social, political and environmental justice.

LumenARRT’s  projection on 6/29/18 was in front of Susan Collins’ office in support of the “Keep Families Together” rally the next day.

CLICK on the animation below to see a video of the actual projection:

LumenARRT! projection 6/29 was in front of Susan Collins’ office in support of the “Keep Families Together” rally the next day

Our  projection on Sept. 7th, Friday Art Walk in Portland, featured a Codfish Funeral with the IDEAL MAINE SOCIAL AID AND SANCTUARY BAND!  We started about 7:30 PM on Congress Street, using our new MOVING projection system,   in support of the global mobilization and Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice Rally the next day at Lincoln Park in Portland.

CLICK on image below to see a short video of the Codfish Funeral including dancing in the streets!

LumenARRT! First Friday projection 9/7/18.

For more information go to


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.


ARRT! Artists’ Rapid Response Team! Update

As a project of the UMVA, ARRT! creates images for progressive non-profits throughout the state, and on occasion, for special requests for out-of-Maine organizations. ARRT! provides a visual voice for groups which need assistance getting their messages out. Much of ARRT!’s work consists of large original hand-painted banners, but new media and applications are popping up all the time. All of ARRT’s work is done in collaboration, with the belief and proven practice, that our best work emerges through our shared skills, ideas and the lively process of group critique we have developed. See more at

During Spring ARRT! sessions the following images were produced:

We Won’t Be Silent Anymore, for the Maine Poor People’s Campaign

Vote, for Maine Citizens for Clean Elections and League of Women Voters, and new project, PollFest

Recovery, for a Community Recovery group in York County

No Single Use Plastic Banner: the organization kNOw SUP in Damariscotta for their campaign to ban single use plastic.

Ad Box Signs for Brooklyn ad boxes on sides of bus kiosks

Maine Inside Out Banner:  members of the group joined us to paint . These artists facilitate theater workshops with people who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated to create and perform original theater.

Maine TransNet Banner: Their mission is: “Supporting and empowering trans people to create a world where they can thrive.”

ARRT! members gathered to create the placards below in support of the national immigration events held on June 30. They will be used in the Augusta rally that day and also at the Whitefield Independence Day Parade.


LumenARRT! is a project of the Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!).  We work through the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) to advocate for artists and further the work of progressive non-profits in the state of Maine.  Our video projections create a visual voice for these organizations and like electronic graffiti, bring awareness to issues of social, political and environmental justice.

We are proud to announce that our Artists’ Collective LumenARRT! (a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists) has been selected to create a site-specific installation for the CMCA 2018 Biennial Exhibition, which will be on view at CMCA from November 2018 – February 2019. We are honored to be exhibiting in the good company of many Maine artists who have shown on the pages of this journal.

LumenARRT! crew at work projecting on the State Capital.

Vote! A video projection in collaboration with the Maine League of Women Voters and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections on the Portland Public Library in Monument Square on Monday night, 6/12 at 8:30 PM to call attention to the election the next day to educate the public on ranked choice voting.

Click on image below to see a video of the 6/12/18 projection:

LumenARRT! worked with 90 students and staff at King Middle School in April to compose and create 4 large banners for their Four Freedoms Project.

Our projection on 5/24 called attention to the Biddeford March for Justice and Inclusion on 5/25/18.

RED FLAG Projection: In conjunction with the national student walkout on 4/20/18, LumenARRT! created a projection for the Maine State Capitol. The video highlights the Maine legislature’s inability to act on anti-gun violence legislation, including the one bill before them: a “red-flag” bill that would keep guns out of the hands of people who want to harm others or themselves. #NationalStudentWalkout

Getting Maine Artists into the schools! UMVA Maine Masters’ Report

 by Richard Kane

Producing films on art and artists has been an ongoing dream fulfilled.  Good for me.  But what about for you?  What about for the school kids of Maine? Or the elderly?  So in the past two years I’ve devoted more of my studio time working on getting these films on Maine artists seen by a larger audience where they could actually have some impact.

Recently I was asked where our films could be seen and I said they’re often in film festivals, on Maine Public TV, in libraries and universities. And I said proudly, “We also have DVDs!” The response was devastating. “How quaint.” Arrgghhh!  Then I spoke with my friend Marianne New, a red jeep-driving nonagenarian (95!) who loves Ashley Bryan’s books and art.  But Marianne told me she couldn’t hear the DVD!  So we’re now getting the films closed-captioned. Next we opened an On Demand Vimeo portal starting with:

Ashley Bryan

David Driskell

Jon Imber – Imber’s Left Hand and

M.C. Richards: The Fire Within

Just yesterday I was inspired by an email from France asking if we had our film on Carlo Pittore streaming yet.  So I spent a good part of the day posting that film:

J. Fred Woell will be next.

Perhaps the most important impact we could have will be on the next generation.  With diminishing access to arts learning there is a need to enhance students’ capacity to think creatively and make connections — building blocks in a young person’s development. But our schools’ schedules are so tight they have no room for long form.  So I spoke with the recently retired principal Don Buckingham of Sedgwick who thought short films were a great way to allow for “immediate hands on time in class to create art.”   Would schools pay $1.99 to see these streaming films? Don replied: “I would turn handsprings down the hallway for the art teacher to tell me the cost would be $1.99.” So with Don’s encouragement, I’ve started raising money to edit each episode down to ten minutes.  Any financial help will be so appreciated.

I also had an “Ah ha!” moment while attending the Camden International Film Festival’s Points North Documentary Forum.  “Get a publicist!” the workshop leader said.  Easier said than done.  But through showing Imber’s Left Hand at 25 film festivals, I connected with a Boston Outreach and Audience Engagement Director who has made all the difference!  Marga Varea has opened the door to hundreds of organizations who are now booking screenings.  And I’ve been on several screening/speaking tours around the country with I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan and with our latest film J. Fred Woell: An American Vision.

But I haven’t stopped making films.  Our Yvonne Jacquette project is back on the table as is our project on Rob Shetterly and his Americans Who Tell the Truth. 

A big thanks to Maine’s artist community and the UMVA for all its support of the Maine Masters Project.

ARRT! and LumenARRT! Updates

above: Banner created in March for use during the school walkout for gun control and the March 24th rallies in Brunswick and Augusta.

The Artists Rapid Response Team! is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists. Members of ARRT! are UMVA members and activist artists who work to provide visuals for progressive groups throughout Maine, seeking to add a visual voice to help carry their messages far and wide. The following images are recently completed banners. Click on them to expand images.

The Banner below is for Earth Day in Bangor:  a “Transportation for All” bus which will be completed by children adding their faces in the windows during the event.

January ARRT! session

Anita gave us a lesson on how to use Tagtools on our IPads and we also made wonderful animated electronic graffiti for LumenARRT! projections for the MLK dinner in Portland.
Special thanks to Anita and Geoff for prepping and hanging about 9 banners for the MLK dinner, plus creating a GIANT animation/projection for the outdoor wall of the Holiday Inn, with LumenARRT!, plus creating electronic graffiti animation/projections inside, just before the dinner.
Thank you Renu, Nancy, Anita, Chris, Suzanna, Justin, Jane, Beth, Julia, Susie, Lee, Doreen, Natasha and Ed

February ARRT! session

Thank you ARRTists  Nancy,  Chris, Jane, Nora, Deb and Natasha

March ARRT! session

Thank you to ARRTists Nancy, Chris, Anita, Nora, Geoffrey, Suzanna, Beth, Susie, Jean, Natasha and Lee.  And thank you to three Americorps volunteers (Alicia, Darcy, and Audrey) from Bangor (Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship) and Anna, a student from the Friends’ School, who helped paint.

We hope you’ll join us in April for our next ARRT! session, April 8th.  Check out images and information at


LumenARRT! is a project of the Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!).  We work through the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) to advocate for artists and further the work of progressive non-profits in the state of Maine.  Our video projections create a visual voice for these organizations and like electronic graffiti, bring awareness to issues of social, political and environmental justice.

Our most recent projection calls attention to the millions of marchers on 3/24/18 who want common sense gun controls — and the inability of our Maine State Legislature to act.

LumenARRT! Projection on Maine State Capital

LumenARRT! Projection on Maine State Capital

On January 15th in Portland, we joined with the NAACP in celebrating Martin Luther King Day.  We also had an interactive projection in the lobby for attendees to write or draw their thoughts on freedom and racial justice.

For more information go to LumenARRT! on the web.




Upcoming Maine Masters Film—Natasha Mayers


Click on the above image  to see the film trailer for “Natasha Mayers: An Un-still Life” and even if you can’t donate, please share!

Natasha Mayers, Mountain, acrylic, 2017,44×40

Now, more than ever, people want to see truthful, creative role models like Natasha Mayers, who is known as the  “best activist artist” in Maine and who Senator George Mitchell called a “state treasure.”

The film about Natasha Mayers shows what’s possible when the power of art touches hearts and minds and brings people together.  The video will take this message to inspire a wider audience to apply those values to bring meaning and beauty to their own lives…and get active!

ARRT! and LumenARRT! Update

ARRT! (Artists’ Rapid Response Team)

Jane Page-Conway photo

for Our Children’s Trust and 350.Maine

banner made for Food Not Bombs

banner made for the First Congregational Church, South Portland

Jane Page-Conway photo

Jane Page-Conway photo

Jane Page-Conway photo

Jane Page-Conway photo

shadow puppet made for World AIDS Day lumenARRT! projection, Jane Page-Conway photo

shadow puppet made for
World AIDS Day lumenARRT! projection Jane Page-Conway photo

for 350.Maine’s Count Me In 100% Campaign

LumenARRT! Update

On World AIDS Day, December 1st, LumenARRT! joined in the vigil held in Congress Square, Portland, to remember AIDS victims.  As the video animations looped, audience members participated with shadow puppets and a chance to write messages to commemorate loved-ones.  Thanks to the Frannie Peabody Center, Friends of Congress Square Park and the Westin Portland Harborview for partnering!  And thanks to Geoffrey Leighton and Christine Higgins for great animations and shadow puppets!  See the video here:

Martin Luther King Day LumenARRT! Projection

Watch for our next projection on January 15th at the Holiday Inn in Portland, when we join in celebrating Martin Luther King Day.  To participate in LumenARRT! (we welcome help!) contact

UMVA Portland Chapter Fall Update

above: UMVA Gallery sign at 516 Congress St.

The UMVA Portland Chapter is preparing its 2018 calendar. Applications for shows are still available, though there are only 3 or 4 months left open. Please contact John Ripton at for an application and list of exhibit guidelines. If you wish to be considered for the 2018 calendar, please prepare and submit an application by October 15th. UMVA Gallery accepts and considers applications at any time during the year. Submissions are reviewed and decisions made in one or two months.

The July members’ show was very successful – approximately 60 member artists submitted work. More is expected for the November show, titled “Memories.” Contact UMVA curator Ann Tracy ( for guidelines for the November show. The submissions are due October 9th.

Roland & John at Addison Woolley Show

UMVA members supported the search for new flooring at CTN (Community Television Network). CTN is changing their name to Portland Media Center, so watch for new signage. Members also contributed to CTN’s telethon on September 22nd and 23rd with members Jim Kelly and Roland Salazar Rose painting live on cable and donating their work to televised auction. Members Janice Moore and Matt Devers designed a new banner. It now hangs in the window of CTN. Mark Barnette developed a permanent panel briefly explaining UMVA’s purpose to be installed in the Gallery.

The Addison-Woolley exhibit will run through October 27th. It is a wonderful show of photography and art. Visit the show at the UMVA Gallery at 516 Congress St. in Portland. Check out David Wade’s photos in slide show below of opening night.

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A few UMVA members are on the selection committee for Creative Portland. 

Several UMVA members were accepted at the Barnes Foundation’s juried show over the summer. The group included Roland Salazar Rose, Jim Kelly, Ann Tracy and Dave Wade.

The UMVA is pleased that the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation has established itself in Portland at 13 Brown Street. Visit the Foundation’s Web site: 

UMVA Portland Chapter invites any and all members to join them in discussion and decision-making every third Monday of the month, 6-8 p.m. The next meeting is October 17th. The principal agenda item is determining the 2018 calendar for the Portland UMVA Gallery.

Portland Herald News reporter Bob Keyes did an article on UMVA member Janice Moore’s show at L-A Museum in Lewiston. You can read it at 

UMVA Portland Chapter encourages all artists who read these notes to register as a UMVA member at Also, check out the archives of UMVA Maine Arts Journal at the same site.


ARRT! Update

The Artists Rapid Response Team! is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists. Members of ARRT! are UMVA members and activist artists who work to provide visuals for progressive groups throughout Maine, seeking to add a visual voice to help carry their messages far and wide. The following images are recently completed banners. Click on them to expand images.

The slideshow below gives a glimpse of the July 4th 2017 parade in Whitefield Maine, titled “Liar Liar Pants on Fire!” Artist Natasha Mayers has organized a community Independence Day Parade in her hometown of Whitefield for decades. Many of the props, banners and constructions in this year’s parade were created by ARRT!

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LumenARRT! is a project of the Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!).  We work through the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) to advocate for artists and further the work of progressive non-profits in the state of Maine.  Our video projections create a visual voice for these organizations and like electronic graffiti, bring awareness to issues of social, political and environmental justice.

LumenARRT! participated in the River Jam Fringe Fest in Biddeford Friday, September 15 with a projection of “Warming of the Gulf of Maine” video-mapped on the facade of the Marble Block on Main St. Festival goers of all ages also joined in the draw-your-own-comments/electronic graffiti using “Tagtools” and shadow puppets projected around the corner on a Franklin St wall.

Click on images below to see a short video of the project.

On July 14th, LumenARRT! created a projection extravaganza at MIFF (Maine International Film Festival) Opening Night Party.  Click on image above to see a video of the event. FIVE projectors were going and had an interactive component was available so viewers could Tweet and draw onto the party tent.   They were reacting to finding out the air quality in their zip code. Try it now! Visit the 10Green project at the University of Maine –> #WhatsYourBreathableNumber

Other LumenARRT! projects:

9/22 —Tag tools interactive projection on Mechanics Hall celebrated the Community Television Network and highlighted their annual fundraiser, UMVA Gallery renovations and transformation to becoming the “Portland Media Center” 516 Congress St.

10/6 — First Year anniversary of opening of the LGBTQ Equality Community Center:  LumenARRT! will be projecting interviews (with sound) on shapes in the Plaza, as well as some interactive components on Mechanics Hall, 511 Congress St, Portland.

Visit: for more.

ARRT! is thankful for the generous contributions from the Broadreach Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the support of the UMVA and its members.

J. Fred Woell: An American Vision


An artist of supreme democratic spirit

This newest episode in the Maine Masters series of documentary film portraits of Maine artists features an interview with artist/writer Robert Shetterly about the nature of metalsmith J. Fred Woell’s political message. The film opens with Fred’s iconic piece Come Alive! You’re in the Pepsi Generation now in the collection of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. Rob opens the film calling that piece “subversive … because,” Rob says, “it’s really a medal given for imperialism that suggests the mask of America. All smiles and being young and being happy.” And Rob foreshadows the message of the film and Fred’s work saying, “but there’s a dark side.”

J. Fred Woell, “Come Alive, You’re in the Pepsi Generation” mixed media pin, 4″ x 4 1/2″ x 5/16″, 1966

Simply using the materials that Fred did was a subversive act. Take Glenn Adamson, former director of the Museum of Art and Design, who discusses in the film how jewelry has traditionally marked a person as being wealthy. “Just think of a crown,” he says. But what Fred did with jewelry was to make it completely horizontal using found objects such as soda bottle tops and bullet shells. “So he is an artist of supreme democratic spirit,” Adamson states. “… and that’s such a powerful idea. It makes jewelry into a politically progressive medium when of course that’s precisely the thing that it wasn’t.”

But Shetterly goes a step further and politically dissects one of Fred’s most powerful pieces called Four Corners. Behind Fred’s cleverness, irony, and wit, Rob says, is a profound analysis of the history of politics of America.

J. Fred Woell, “Four Corners” mixed media with barbed wire

“The fact that it’s done with barbed wire,” Rob says, “which was the actual material that was used in the west to shut off the flow of native animals like bison and the flow of the Indians moving across the Great Plains. … To put the Indians in the cross hairs of this barbed wire is an extraordinary achievement. It seems very obvious to me that it represents a crucifixion … it’s our sin itself being commemorated, the sin of the genocide of Native people…. And then behind it you see this piece of weathered wood like a barn board and it’s cracked right down the center. Just like there’s a crack in this country, and what we stand for and what we say and what we do, it’s cracked.”

Rob continues. “The other thing that is equally key is about value. Here you put the face of a native person on money, partly to say, ‘we value you’. But this isn’t on a 50 dollar bill, not on a hundred dollar bill. It’s on a plug nickel. And then you set it up on a cross hairs and you take target practice.” And Rob concludes his analysis saying, “and Fred’s obvious point here is … what does this say about us?”

This is the deepest exploration of one of the most understated, yet insightful artist/metalsmiths of our time… an artist who had a significant influence on so many others.

The film is produced by Richard Kane and Rob Shetterly. It will premiere at the Stonington Opera House on September 21, 2017 at 7pm.

ARRT! Update

The Artists Rapid Response Team! is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists. Activist artists who seek to provide visual soundbites for progressive groups throughout Maine, the members of ARRT! gather monthly to paint, construct and create the ideas they have spent the time in between designing.

LumenARRT! creates large scale building projections and videos using the skills of its members in consultation with scientists and other experts.

The latest video projection from LumenARRT!, “Air Story,” reminds people that climate change is an undisputed fact among scientists and that there are many toxic substances in our air. The brief video projections will be popping up at venues throughout Maine in 2017.

“Air Story”, artwork by Suzanna Lasker, animation by Geoffrey Leighton

Next showing:  Friday, July 14th at the Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) Opening Night Party. Come down to Waterville Opera House after dark.  There will be an interactive component going so viewers can Tweet and/or draw onto a large projection live.  The audience will be reacting to finding out the air quality in their zip code. Try it now! Visit the 10Green project at the University of Maine ->

Then share what you think (and most importantly, what you’re going to do about it): #WhatsYourBreathableNumber

See for more projections!

The creations of ARRT! and LumenARRT! fly out to gatherings, meetings, storefronts, events and other locations, carried by the committed people working to make life better for Mainers and the rest of the world.

Go to for more info and images.

Here are a few recent projects, click on an image to see it full sized.

The slides below give a taste of ARRT!’s presence at the Climate Rally held in Augusta this spring, in coordination with rallies in Washington and all over the planet. The pipeline snake was designed by Carolyn Eyler and other ARRTists, with construction help from USM students and community members.

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ARRT! is thankful for the generous contributions from the Broadreach Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the support of the UMVA and its members.


Spring 2017: UMVA Update, Maine Masters

above: Ashley Bryan, “Puppet,” Ken Hannont photo

Maine Masters

Ashley Bryan’s response to war and racism was to shine a light upon those evils and create beauty and joy, awe and wonder.

He continues to do so in a supremely democratic, anti-elitist way.  He celebrates what is common, making art out of found objects washed up from the sea — fisherman’s gloves, old sweaters, stew bones.  He takes cast off objects and makes something beautiful from them.  Someone once asked him “Where in Africa did you get these puppets?”   Only then did he realize that his puppets really do come from his heritage, a place deep in his past.  He shows us how each one is a beautiful, unique creation.  Every one of us is different and he celebrates those differences — so very American in its message.  We are an immigrant nation and we historically have gained strength from the give and take of those differences.

Darkness in ones’ life often surfaces from a negative self image.  Ashley’s performances, his books, his readings, his poetry are all about lifting the spirit.  “If we affirm who we are with love for all  people we can withstand the brutality.”

Ashley’s childlike approach to life and art is not about being innocent or naive.  It is profound.  He experienced the abomination of war and racism.  He emboldens us to keep the child in us alive and to confront the darkness as would a child. No one is born racist.  No one is born to fight war.  We are all born with an awe, a spirit of wonderment for life.

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan, produced by Richard Kane and Rob Shetterly, is the latest film in the UMVA’s Maine Masters series.  It will screen at the Emerge Film Festival in Lewiston, ME on April 29th.  Time and place TBA.

Click here to go to Maine Masters site.

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

ARRT! Update: Spring 2017

Artists Rapid Response Team! (ARRT!) Recent Projects and Outreach

ARRT! is a project of the UMVA. ARRTists collaborate to provide progressive organizations with images to give a visual voice to their messages and campaigns.  This quarter ARRTists could be found outside the studio working in communities in a variety of ways in addition to the banner making collaborations they have become known for. An exhibition of a selection of banners was on display during the month of January at the UU Church in Brunswick and another during March at the UMVA/CTN Gallery in Portland.  See more at



LumenARRT! crew has been hard at work designing and collaborating with renowned climate scientist Paul Mayewski, to create projections that will educate and delight audiences about lesser known aspects of climate change and how they can contribute to making positive change.  See more at

ARRT! images, props and ARTists were spotted at actions throughout the state and at the Women’s marches in DC. Young ARRTists have been joining the crew in the studio to add their creative touches and energy.



During January and February, a group of ARRTists* met each week at the Mirs, Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services Center in Lewiston Maine to assist children in an after school program. The goal was to paint several murals that will be hung in the new Mir’s location later this spring, or early summer. The children decided on the theme: “Welcome” for the 4×6 foot banner s that will be hung on the walls to greet visitors to the new center.


ARRTists involved were: Christine Higgins, Judy LaBrasca, Carol Scribner, Nikki Millonzi and Amanda Mitchell. Depicted above are some photos of the activity. Center website:

Carol Scribner, pictured above with students, beloved friend , lifelong activist and fellow ARRT! member died suddenly this March. She will be sorely missed and dearly remembered by the countless lives she touched. Peace to Carol and her family.