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.

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


 Launch of Website and Screening Tour


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


 Fred Woell: An American Vision, the 17th episode in the Maine Masters series of films on Maine’s exceptional artists, has just launched a website and is in the planning stages of a national screening tour.

This documentary by Richard Kane with Robert Shetterly premiered at the Camden International Film Festival and is slated to screen in May 2018 at the annual conference of the Society for North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), co-sponsored by Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. The film will screen theatrically throughout Maine in 2018 as well as at many museums, universities, national craft shows and conferences.

The film is about this Deer Isle, ME political artist who made satirically searing commentary often on the dark side of history.  A humble and humorous artist and teacher, Woell opened the door to seeing anew.

FILM REVIEW – by Stuart Kestenbaum
Fred Woell: An American Vision captures the essence of a man who believed deeply in the power of the creative spirit. As an artist he was an innovator and a rule-breaker.  As a teacher he encouraged his students to make their own discoveries.  It’s appropriate to have American featured in the title of this film, for Fred’s vision was uniquely American:  he had a deep belief in democratic ideals combined with common-sense ingenuity in making work or repairing the world around him.  While he could see the inconsistencies and flaws of his own country, he could also evoke in us our potential to make a better world.  For Fred, making that better world began with his hands in the studio. In this inspiring film we are fortunate to witness a part of that journey.

Stuart Kestenbaum is Maine’s Poet Laureate and Chair of the American Craft Council.

A limited number of DVDs are available from Kane-Lewis Productions, 207-359-2320,


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.