Portland has such an abundance of exciting galleries that sometimes it feels like one does not need to go any further for great art. But there are so many wonderful galleries beyond the Peninsula that it would be a shame not to visit them.
The splendid Civil War-era Victoria Mansion is a paragon of gilded glamour. Its painted walls and lavish rooms served as the inspiration for five artists, who created site-specific works to be displayed throughout the mansion as part of the special exhibition, "Mansion as Muse: Contemporary Art at Victoria Mansion."
"Many people view the world as a series of separate and autonomous beings and environments - nothing could be further from the truth. We are all connected." These are the words of Gabriel Frey, a twelfth-generation Passamaquoddy basket maker.
This month's First Friday Art Walk in Portland features a knockout exhibition of collage work by 10 Maine artists. "Collage x 10" is a celebration of the medium through the eyes of our state's most masterful artists.
From March 3-11, ceramicist Shawn O'Connor will be a visiting artist on the USM Gorham campus. O'Connor will work with intermediate and advanced ceramics students to build a paper kiln
More than 100 drawings and sketchbooks are on display at the Portland Museum of Art. On view now through April 27, "Fine Lines: American Drawings from the Brooklyn Museum" features works from the late 18th to the mid-20th century.
The 72 photographs in "Images of Change: Greater Portland's Cityscape Since 1960" illustrate the city's evolution. It is on view now at the Lewis Gallery at the Portland Public Library.
Portland's First Friday Art Walks offer an always convivial, sometimes bizarre, atmosphere. That is an especially heartening fact for those willing to brave the elements for February's Art Walk on the 7th. Even though the temperatures are frigid and snow is imminent, you can warm your soul with great local art and plenty of local color.
On view through February 23 is "American Vision: Photographs from the Collection of Owen and Anna Wells," at the Portland Museum of Art. More than 35 photographs from the 20th century illustrate the country's beauty, its diversity, and its place in the greater artistic canon.
Books aren't just for reading. On view now through February 2014 at the Pope-Cheney Art Studio, Wishcamper Center on the USM Portland campus is "Art 241: The Visual Book," an exhibition of student book art.