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.

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

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.

Portland UMVA Chapter Report


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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!

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.