Sunday April 20th 2014

First Friday Art Walk: Jan Mini-Tour

By: Shannon Bryan

View Art Walk January 2013 in a larger map

Wanna go your own way?

Click here for a printable First Friday brochure.

A new year has arrived, bringing with it chilly temps for the debut First Friday Art Walk of 2013. But don’t let the cold keep you from getting out of the house and viewing some great works from locals artists. Just bundle up, grab a hot coffee at one of the many venues in downtown Portland – Coffee by Design, Public Market House, Arabica- and enjoy.

You may not often think to include the Maine Jewish Museum(267 Congress St.) on your list of Art Walk locales, but if you’re a fan of animals in art it’s a must-stop this month. January’s exhibit is the work of Dahlov Ipcar and features her well-known illustrations, photography and painting. You’ll see recent work from the Georgetown artists, much of it from the last four years.

From the base of Munjoy Hill, Portland Public Library (5 Monument Square) is within walking distance, but since you’ll be traversing much of the length of Congress Street you may want to park in the vicinity of Monument Square. This month the library’s Lewis Gallery shows an exhibit of prints, “Breaking Boundaries,” thanks to the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Expect to see new techniques and unusual materials in the works from 35 Main artists who aim to push the envelope of print-making.

Maine College of Artis great about taking care of its own with regular shows that feature the work of students or staff. This month MECA mounts a multiple-artist show of paintings from alums who graduated 10 years ago.

Contributed photo

Every class of students that mounts a show at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies(561 Congress St.) offers amazing work, but the group from the fall of 2012 went above and beyond in creating its pieces through writing, radio, photography and multi-media. Their show, “tinder,” is currently featured in the gallery and throughout the building and can be seen from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Be sure to visit the radio room, where you can listen to works in audio, and to check out the Braille writing which accompanies a multi-media piece on a local blind couple.

A new stop for this month’s walk is Acoustic Artisans(594 Congress St., The Hay Building, second floor) where Jonathan Cooper makes violins and other string instruments. During Art Walk his studio will be open for visitors to view his impressive instruments and listen to the music that comes from them.

And finally this month, we’re sending you all the way over to Commercial Street to see the Salt Exchange to see the “Small Wonders” show at The Salt Exchange (245 Commercial St.). The inspiration for the show is “the small wonders of Maine.” Several artists have contributed to the show that includes acrylic, encaustic, pastel and photography and they’ll be at the venue during Art Walk. Stick around for dinner or drinks and take advantage of the specials for the night or hit one of the other venues on Commercial Street like Ri Ra or Bull Feeney’s.