Archive for Portland

Thomas Connolly solo exhibition at Greenhut Gallery

“Dining Room Chair,” by Thomas Connolly.

Thomas Connolly is a realist painter known for his architectural paintings of Portland, New York City and beyond. His work is featured in a solo exhibit at Greenhut Gallery from Oct. 8 to 31.

The gallery will host an online artist talk at 7 p.m. Oct. 13, streaming live on Greenhut Gallery’s Facebook page.

Connolly participated in the Maine College of Art Baie Ste. Marie residency program in New Edinburgh, Nova Scotia. He was juried in to the 2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial Exhibition, and the 2010 Center for Maine Contemporary Art Biennial Exhibition. He is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Sheldon Bergh Award. Connolly’s work expresses a strong sense of mood through subtle use of color that adds a richness to the subjects he chooses to paint.

In the words of the artist:

These paintings are snapshots of scenes that I have come across over the past year or so. I usually have a camera on hand, photograph something if it appeals to me, and use this photo to get a start on a painting. Regardless of the imagery, I rely on colors to describe a feeling. Adjusting these colors is where I find a challenge and also joy in seeing different parts of the painting work with each other to create a unified effect.

The larger paintings are painted in a studio and require a bit of patience to describe all of the small details. These studio pieces are carefully crafted and methodical. Other pieces are painted on site, outside, and adjusted pretty quickly. Typically, they are painted at the end of the day, the light is changing, and I need to make decisions without a lot of thought. This adds an excitement and spontaneity. Of course, sometimes I would like a slower pace to adjust these pieces, but often the day is turning to dusk, and I have to wrap it up. Both the view that I am depicting and the painting go through many changes over the course of the hour that it takes to finish. With luck, I can get the two to agree with each other.

View the show online at

Greenhut Galleries is at 146 Middle St., Portland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 207-772-2693 or email for more information.

Call for submissions: Portland Museum of Art

The Portland Museum of Art invites artists to submit work to “Untitled, 2020: Art From Maine In A _____ Time,” which is slated to run from Feb. 12 through May 31, 2021.

“Art From Maine In A _____  Time” is a tribute to Helen E. and William E. Thon, who have enhanced the PMA’s regional contemporary program and enriched the cultural life and experience of the people of Maine for two decades.

Any artist living and working in Maine in 2020 is invited to submit their work for consideration.

Submissions close Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 11:59 p.m. EST.

Notification of jury results will be on or before Nov. 16.

See for details.

‘Distilled’ photography show at Cove Street Arts

“Distilled” in an exhibition of the photography of Cynthia and John Orcutt, curated by Bruce Brown.

The Orcutts expertly document fragile places (both natural and manmade) by simplifying the subject through composition and technique, drawing the essence of the subject into the final image.

The photographs are made with a commitment to distill the subjects of our images to their most simple and direct content, to separate them from features that complicate or minimize their graphic qualities and allow us to extract their true substance. Seeking to achieve the greatest clarity of expression through the most advantageous combinations of lighting, position, camera technique, and weather, we strive to communicate the essence of a particular place or structure.

The show runs through Oct. 17.

Cove Street Arts is at 71 Cove St., Portland. Call 207-808-8911 or email for more information.

Robin Swennes will exhibit ‘For the Love of the Blues’

“Cordon Bleu,” by Robin Swennes.

Robin Swennes will exhibit “For the Love of the Blues” at Casco Bay Artisans, 68 Commerical St., Building A, Portland, from Sept. 10 to Oct. 11.

In her own words:

I must have a thousand photos of blueberries that I use for reference when I paint. They can look so different—whether it’s that frosty periwinkle blue color that is almost a dust that can be swept off the berry by the touch of a human hand, or when they are bruised with deep purple indents, or when some of the skin is peeled back and a rust color comes peeking through. It’s because of those different appearances that each painting I do becomes a one-off that I can never exactly recreate. Light, or lack of it, can create highlight tones we take for granted, but I try to exploit and expand upon them. Our brains know the berries are blue, but when you really start looking, there really are numerous other colors dancing around.

Years ago, somebody mentioned the idea of fractals in nature to me and it opened my eyes to start looking for examples. They are everywhere if you just look. Blueberries are perfect, little, tasty orbs that keep repeating on the bush — for a limited time in Maine — so they are precious. I find myself wanting to slow time down to capture them for a bit longer. A painting can do that and will remind you that nature will gift you with these gems again in the coming year when the days get hot and sunset comes late.

I have never had much of a sense of smell, so I rely more on my other senses. I may not know how blueberries smell, but I can tell you that they’re divine when heated up with a brownie from Standard Baking Co in Portland or paired with a fresh, still warm, homemade chocolate chip cookie. It probably goes without saying that every time I start another blueberry painting, I end up making more than a few trips to the kitchen to get some good chocolate and sprinkle some berries over it. How precious the short blueberry season in Maine is to me!

For inquiries into the works or any other information, please contact gallery owner Jennifer Swarts at or gallery manager Jess Lauren Lipton at

‘Sight Specific’ solo exhibit by Tina Ingraham

Tina Ingraham will show “Sight Specific” from Sept. 10 to Oct. 3 at Greenhut Galleries.

Ingraham will give an online artist talk at 7 p.m. Oct. 3, which will be streamed live on the gallery’s Facebook page.

Ingraham was born in Kenton, Ohio, in 1947. She received an MFA from Brooklyn College of CUNY in 1996 and a Bachelor of Science in Design at the University of Cincinnati, College of DAAP in 1970. Influenced by three years of living in Perugia, Italy, Ingraham’s study of Renaissance painting and fresco is evident in her warm palette, fascination with surface, and vivid perception of nature.

She is a recipient of many awards, including grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Maine Commission for the Arts and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. She has taught in a variety of teaching environments including Bowdoin College, Stephens College, Brooklyn College, and painting workshops in Italy, Colorado and Maine.

View the exhibit online at

Greenhut Gallery is at 146 Middle St., Portland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 207-772-2693 or email for more information.

Maine Jewish Museum popup show features work by Carol Eisenberg

Carol Eisenberg, “Fictive Landscapes 001.”

Maine Museum of Photographic Arts isn’t physically open yet but wants to cheer and support efforts by its neighbors.

The Maine Jewish Museum is hosting a pop-up exhibit that features the work of MMPA advisory board member Carol Eisenberg and other great artists.

Carol Eisenberg’s exhibit runs from Aug. 13 to Sept. 12.

Maine artists donate to Maine Medical in new online exhibition ‘Sheltered in Place’

“Isolation,” by Nora Tryon.

Maine artists donate to Maine Medical in new online exhibition

Although the Union of Visual Artists (UMVA) Gallery, inside the Portland Media Center at 516 Congress St. in Portland, is not open yet, UMVA artists produced the online exhibition “Sheltered in Place.” The show’s work reflects artists’ thoughts and feelings on both the coronavirus pandemic and the pandemic of racism. A portion of any art sale from this show will be donated to Maine Medical Center for COVID-19 protective measures.

“The images and words of UMVA artists in this online exhibition surface from the isolation and compression of life in the pandemic,” said John Ripton, UMVA-Portland co-chairperson. “The works express personal and universal struggles. There are abstract and figurative pieces and a variety of media from painting and mixed media to photography and digital work. We hope you will plumb the depth of these highly personal interpretations and that one or more of the pieces will touch your spirit. Last, we believe community and society is the source of great art and we dedicate this work to first-responders everywhere.”

View the show at

John Whalley’s ‘Earth Tones’ exhibit and work by Thomas Higgins featured at Greenhut Galleries

“Summer Memory,” by John Whalley.

Greenhut Galleries presents “John Whalley: Earth Tones” from Aug. 13 through Sept. 5.

Advancing the tradition of American realists and acknowledging the Dutch masters, John Whalley’s paintings go well beyond mere technique. His work exudes tremendous warmth, luminosity and charm. He responds to what he calls “the beauty that speaks softly.” He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and currently lives in midcoast Maine. Whalley received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1976.

His work is in numerous private, national and international collections including the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia; the Otto Naumann Collection, New York City and the Alfred Bader Collection, Milwaukee, Wisconsin to name a few. His publications include John Whalley – American Realist published in 2001 and John Whalley – In New Light, a 30 year retrospective book of drawings and paintings published in 2006. In addition, he was featured on the television show Bill Green’s Maine in 2008.

“Morrison Heights; August 28th,” by J. Thomas Higgins

Work by J. Thomas Higgins in “Field of View” will be showcased in the side gallery.

View both exhibits online at

Greenhut Galleries is at 146 Middle St., Portland. Call 207-772-2693, or email for more information.

Maine College of Art Announces Isaac Kestenbaum as director of the Salt Institute

Isaac Kestenbaum

Maine College of Art has appointed Isaac Kestenbaum as director of the Salt Institute, president Laura Freid announced. Kestenbaum begins his role at MECA on Aug. 10.

Kestenbaum is a 2008 graduate of the Salt Institute and a veteran audio producer and journalist, bringing more than 10 years of industry experience to MECA. Kestenbaum has worked with Vox, NPR, The Guardian US, The GroundTruth Project, AIR, and SIERRA Magazine and has taught and led workshops for UnionDocs, UVA, NYU and Monson Arts. Additionally, he is a former production manager at the national oral history and radio project StoryCorps.

“Isaac’s professional experiences as an audio storyteller and his own background as an alum of the Salt Institute make him a great asset and leader for Salt at MECA,” said Araminta Matthews, associate dean of graduate and professional studies. “Isaac will be a critical addition to the future of Salt Institute’s Radio and Podcasting track, as well as a support to the development of the recently updated Short Film curriculum. We are grateful to bring Isaac on board to lead the Salt Institute at such an important time for storytellers in the world.”

“Salt is an iconic institution within the journalism industry and has graduated countless legendary professionals,” said Kestenbaum. “As a native Mainer and Salt alum, I am honored to lead the Salt Institute and look forward to working with and training the next generation of storytellers.”

A native of Deer Isle, Kestenbaum is the co-founder, along with Josephine Holtzman, of the production company Future Projects, which created the best-selling true crime podcast “Midnight Son” for Audible Originals. He has reported extensively on climate change in Alaska, and his work has been funded by the Arctic Circle Foundation and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. In recognition of his work, Kestenbaum has received a Peabody Award, a duPont Award, an Online News Association award, and an Alaska Broadcasters “Goldie” Award.

“Journalism and storytelling are cornerstones of our democracy,” said president Laura Freid. “I am encouraged and confident that Isaac will ensure our Salt graduates uphold the ethics of journalism and documentary storytelling, and enter our society as podcasters, documentary journalists and filmmakers at such a critical time in our history.”

Daniel Minter solo exhibit ‘States Of?’ opens July 16 at Greenhut Galleries

Work by Daniel Minter.

Daniel Minter’s artwork is a study of memory and the many ways in which memory is embedded into our past, present and future. Using archetypes, symbols, icons and folklore steeped in the context of African-American and African diaspora culture, Minter creates a visual vocabulary. Metaphors take shape out of common objects, infusing the energy of emotion, action and place to everyday life and everyday being.

“States Of?” is Minter’s first solo exhibition at Greenhut Galleries. The show opens July 16 and runs through Aug. 8.

Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage. He works in varied media, including canvas, wood, metal, paper, twine, rocks, nails and paint. This cross-fertilization strongly informs his artistic sensibility. His carvings become assemblages. His paintings are often sculptural.

His overall body of work often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home.

Minter’s work has been featured in numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Northwest African American Art Museum, among others. A travel grant from the National Endowment for the Arts enabled him to live and work in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, where he established relationships that have continued to nurture his life and work in important ways.

Minter has illustrated over a dozen children’s books, including “Going Down Home with Daddy,” which won a 2020 Caldecott Honor, and “Ellen’s Broom,” which won a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor.

He also served on a team of artists commissioned by the City of Seattle Parks Department to create a water park in an urban Seattle neighborhood and was commissioned in 2004 and 2011 to create Kwanzaa stamps for the U.S. Postal Service.

As founding director of Maine Freedom Trails, Minter has helped highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in New England. For the past 15 years, Minter has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1912 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. His formative work on the subject of Malaga emerges from Minter’s active engagement with the island, its descendants, archeologists, anthropologists and scholars. This dedication to righting history was pivotal in having the island designated a public preserve.

In 2019, Minter co-founded Indigo Arts Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent.

Minter is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from The Maine College of Art.

Greenhut Galleries is at 146 Middle St., Portland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 207-772-2693, email, or go to for more information.