Art can be a solitary pursuit and yet friends, family, and community in general offer indispensable emotional support systems that allow us to grow. The myth of the lone artist doesn’t do justice to the role that community has always played in artistic creation. Medieval guilds, art academies, avant-garde movements, contemporary artist collectives, and artists unions and associations (like the UMVA) are proof of the fundamental need for such communal structures.

In this issue of the Maine Arts Journal, we ask you to reflect on the role that community plays in your artistic practice—and your life in general.

How do you create community? What role does place play in fostering community? And how do you cultivate community beyond place? In what ways does a sense of community fuel your practice and impact your work? Does your art create ties? With whom? And for what purpose? How do such ties ground yourself and nurture your work? Is your art a form of communication with those within your community? Does your art explore elective affinities and create a gathering of kindred spirits, present or past? In what ways do you use your art to cement ties? What role does gift-giving, exchange, and collaboration play in the creation of community?

MAJ theme Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo The Fourth Estate Il quarto stato 1901 oil on canvas 115 x 215 in Museo del Novecento Milan Wikimedia CommonsQuarto Stato copy

Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, The Fourth Estate (Il quarto stato), oil on canvas, 115 x 215 in., 1901, Museo del Novecento, Milan (photo: Wikimedia Commons).

The Maine Arts Journal theme for the Fall 2022 issue appears online 1 October 2022; the deadline for articles is 1 September 2022.

Guidelines for MEMBER submisions:

4 JPEG or png images (NO TIFF files), approximately 2800 pixels in width, resolution 72dpi.

  • Include an image list and essay in Word doc. format, NOT a PDF.
  • Label each image file as follows: your last name_Number of Image_Title (with no spaces in the title). Please DO NOT put whole caption/credit in image file label, see image list/caption format below (if you are submitting for a group put your own last name in first).
  • Label your document file names: Last Name_Title
  • Image list/caption format: create a list that is numbered to match the number in your image file label that includes the following: Artist’s Name, Title of Work, medium, size (example: 9 x 12 in.), date (optional), photo credit (example: photo: Ansel Adams) if not included, we assume it is courtesy of the artist. Example: Unknown Artist, Untitled, oil on canvas, 9 x 12 in., 2000 (photo: Ansel Adams).
  • Please wait until all of your material is compiled to submit. It’s easier for us if you send us all your images NOT in Dropbox or WeTransfer, in multiple emails if necessary.

Put “Community” in the subject line and submit by email to by the 1 September 2022 deadline.

Do not send preformatted visual essays. Our editors will lay out text and images submitted using the guidelines above.

It is the MAJ’s policy to request and then publish image credits. We will not publish images the submitter does not have the right to publish. However, it is to be assumed that any uncredited or unlabeled images are the author’s/submitter’s own images. By submitting to the MAJ, you are acknowledging respect for these policies.


Image at top: Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party, mixed media, 3 x 48 x 42 ft, 1979, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (photo: Véronique Plesch).