ARRT! The Artists’ Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists. The ARRTists are members of the UMVA who collaborate with progressive organizations throughout Maine to create “visual soundbites,” frequently in the form of banners, to be used to draw attention to important issues. ARRT! is grateful for the support of the UMVA and the Broad Reach Fund of the Maine Community Foundation.
This winter we were honored to be included in the Portland Museum of Art’s exhibition Untitled 2020: Art From Maine in a _____ Time. A virtual tour of the exhibit can be found here: https://www.portlandmuseum.org/2020
The exhibit will be on display through May and the museum just announced the good news that they will be opening up for real! In their words: “We will be open only by advance, timed entry for the foreseeable future, to stay within capacity protocols and to help make all visitors feel safe and comfortable, so plan ahead. The ticket link will be live on PortlandMuseum.org .“
ARRT!’s yard signs, painted in collaboration with Lincoln County Indivisible, represent a piece of the 2020 Maine experience and elevate the intersection of art and community. These signs give voice to Maine residents, installed in front yards of rural Maine, alongside sidewalks of downtown shops, and held high in rallies and demonstrations on roadsides and urban streets. The worn signs display evidence of their use that further reflect the struggles of the year. (On display are 15 of the 50 signs that ARRT! painted.)
The PMA offers many ways to interact with the exhibit on their website including a series entitled: “Conversations with Maine Artists in a ______ Time.” The February 2021 segment with Artist and Juror Séan Alonzo Harris, includes ARRT!ists Natasha Mayers and Nora Tryon, Ryan Adams, Titi de Baccarat, Rosamond Gross, Eleanor Kipping, and Ashley Page.
Our new Envelope project is building rapidly as ARRTists put their energies and talents to work designing and creating original artwork on sets of 13 envelopes to send to Maine State Legislative Committee members. The envelopes are so unique and enticing we hope the legislators can’t resist listening to the notes within. The ARRTists choose bills they care deeply about and include a message asking leaders to support upcoming legislation. This is a project we can do while working separately as we wait for immunity to overcome the virus.
Our collective is vibrant, even in these difficult times, and involved with the community as well. The Portland Museum of Art’s Learning and Teaching Specialist, Meghan Quigley Graham reached out to us to work with amazing Portland High School art teacher, Louis-Pierre Lachapelle and his dedicated art students. We join them via Zoom and are delighted to have the opportunity to delve into discussions and critiques with them about ideas and the process of art making.
As always, we are open to new members and are watching the weather changes, waiting to be able to resume outdoor painting sessions together on April 11th.