The Portland Chapter of UMVA has had an exciting and productive fall. First, we welcomed new members inspired, at least in part, by the UMVA Gallery and the opportunities it represents for Maine artists. Our shows in September (Visible Discourse From Maine’s Western Foothills), October (Imposition & Yielding: Travail en Cire) and November (UMVA Open Exhibition) were very well attended by artists and art lovers. Several hundred viewed the works of these three shows and nearly a dozen pieces sold. To date in 2019, the Gallery’s sales have generated for UMVA between $2000 and $2500. Also, a couple hundred dollars of donations to UMVA have been collected at the Gallery.
We set our 2020 exhibition schedule in October, selecting from more than a dozen promising proposals. They include group and individual exhibits as well as two open members’ shows (June and November). The 2020 exhibitions are impressive, diverse and provocative (see calendar below). The year begins with Susan Smith’s timely January presentation of her work based on recent immigrant experience at the U.S.-Mexico border, The Passage: Art from the Border. Among the group shows are July’s Mid-Coast Salon and October’s PRESSTO: Unique Prints from Monotype Guild of New England.
UMVA Gallery 2020 Exhibition Calendar
The Passage: Art from the Border
Who is it?
Titi de Baccarat
Random Thoughts of Dissonance
#abstractions x 4
Jim Kelly, Andy Chulyk, Peter Haller, & Anne Strout
RAGE/LOVE: The Goddess in All Her Guises
Christine Sullivan & Ann Tracy
Open Members’ Show
Rabee Kiwan & Dave Berrang
Missing Maine Landscapes
PRESSTO: Unique Prints from Monotype Guild of New England
Open Members’ Show
UMVA Holiday Sale
The UMVA Gallery and its artists and shows continue to receive considerable press coverage.* In November the UMVA Gallery hosted the UMVA Open Exhibition, organized and curated by member Arthur Nichols. The show exhibited dozens of works of art from over thirty UMVA member artists. Arthur was assisted in hanging this fine show by members Jim Kelly, Andy Chulyk, Jen Joaquin and Roland Salazar. Also, Mark Barnette managed the intake forms and biographies of artists when the works were delivered. Arthur is now graciously and skillfully managing the UMVA Gallery, following Gregg Harper’s very professional management over two years.
Ann Tracy conceived December’s Dada Santa selfie project to accompany the annual members’ Holiday Sale held on December 6, 7 and 14. Ann Tracy says it was the horror of seeing news reports of refugee families and children forced into internment camps at the southern border that made her think of the rise of the Dada art movement at the end of WW1. The proceeds of the $10 photograph with Dada Santa, a total of $230, were shared between UMVA and the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) in Portland. Ann received critical help from fellow artists Andrew Chulyk, who created the head, and Chris Reed. William Hessian created a tableau of reindeer in the window of the Gallery as well. Tracy hopes they can repeat the project with different elements next year and continue it as an annual event to raise funds for UMVA and another local nonprofit.
Members of UMVA Portland continue to exhibit their work in individual and group shows beyond the UMVA Gallery. At the January meeting we will call on our collective experiences to envision goals for the chapter and the Gallery.
*The UMVA Gallery and its artists and shows continue to receive considerable press coverage. Here are links to a sampling of articles discussing the 2019 calendar of shows: “The Way Life Is: Maine Working Families and Communities” (February), https://www.maineartscene.com/umva-holiday-event-aids-artists-immigrants/https://www.maineartscene.com/umva-holiday-event-aids-artists-immigrants/; “Into the Nation” (https://www.pressherald.com/2019/09/08/experience-as-an-outsider-informs-painters-series-on-the-oppressed/) , ; “Go Figure: Joaquin, Kelly, Salazar, Wade (July), https://www.prlog.org/12775568-what-happens-when-you-give-4-adventurous-fiercely-independent-artists-an-empty-gallery.html; ; “Visible Discourse from Maine’s Western Foothills (September), “https://www.sunjournal.com/2019/07/18/visible-discourse-from-maines-western-foothills-2/ ;” and “Imposition and Yielding” (October), http://portlandtalks.com/maine/2019/09/12/ancient-materials-modern-themes-at-umva-gallery-in-october-maine-art-scene/
Image at top: Ann Tracy and Andy Chulyk’s Dada Santa at the December Holiday sale, photo: Dave Wade