The Portland area chapter has been active. We welcomed new members and volunteers old and new, had several gallery exhibitions, an online fundraising campaign, sent out a survey, and held well-attended online monthly meetings.
Our volunteers make us thrive. John Ripton, who championed the group for three years as its Convener, handed the baton to Joanne Tarlin of Harpswell. Joanne is a painter and brings experience as an artist, a creative marketing director, and founder and board member of the not-for-profit art gallery, ArtsWayland, of Wayland, Massachusetts, where she resided before moving to Maine in 2019. Amy Bellezza, a photographer, graciously agreed to continue volunteering as the gallery manager and is working hard to make the gallery run. Greg Burns, a photographer and painter, manages the UMVA website and blog, which can be accessed through the website. Jen Joaquin, a painter, keeps the public informed of our events, posting on social media. These are just some of the individuals working behind the scenes.
Two shows hung in the gallery in February while online multimedia artist and writer, Ann Tracy, organized and presented the UMVA Mail Art Fundraiser. Matrilineal, by artist Becky Ann Rosen, featured colorful quilted artworks with messages of financial empowerment and personal finance concepts in paint and embroidery, stemming from lessons about money the artist learned from her mother. NEST, a collaboration of choreographer Dani Robbins, projectionist Zachary Taibi, and video and musical artist Poorva Singh, featured a video installation using projection, object installation, and sound to deliver a haptic audio-visual experience. In March, the gallery was filled with the bright paintings by new UMVA member artist Brooke Lambert in her solo exhibition Reflections.
Unmonetized was installed in the gallery in April, featuring installations, new artwork, and video by artists Ruthanne Harrison, Kristen Lanzer, Dave Pettingill, and Barbra Whitten. In May, the walls were adorned with Experiments in Watercolor: Diversity in Luminosity. Exhibit organizer Greg Mason Burns, and artists Alan Crichton, Rabee Kiwan, Ed Nadeau, Arthur Nichols, Liz Prescott, and Jack Silverio presented investigations into the many luminous qualities of the watercolor medium. Opening in June will be an all-members show.
Future shows on the 2022 calendar are: July, Being Human, artists Rabee Kiwan, Greg Burns, Arthur Nichols, Jen Joaquin, John Ripton; August, Sea Changes: Transformations Wanted, artist Joanne Tarlin; September, PRESSTO, artists Kris Onus, Jo Ann Bianchi, Monotype Guild of New England; October, two solo shows: A Wicked Tiny History of Playing & Tarot Cards, artist Amy Bellezza and Portland Works, artist Tom Bloom; November, UMVA Open Members Show; December, UMVA Holiday Sale.
The UMVA Gallery has a long tradition of fostering opportunities to support its members in their creative endeavors, including the sale of their work. Eighteen percent of recipients responded in a member survey primarily focused on gallery-related topics. Some key findings included members overwhelmingly in favor of holding a holiday sale in December and hosting three-member shows in 2023: an all-members show, curated members show with a theme (for which members may submit three works via email, and one will be chosen), and an exhibition curated by an experienced Maine gallerist. Each of these events will require two or three-person teams to lead the initiative. Interested individuals should email UMVAportland@gmail.com with the subject line indicating “Holiday 2022” or “Member Shows 2023.”
Image at top: UMVA Gallery, Portland (photo: Dave Wade).