“Made From Scratch” by YES Art Works | Oak Street Lofts, 72 Oak St. | yesartworks.org
Chickens are silly. That, in part, is why artists with YES Art Works picked them as their muses for this show. In case you don’t know, YES Art Works is a not-for-profit in Portland, Saco and Auburn that provides studio time and art materials to people with disabilities. Those artists can elect to sell their art work and earn half of the sales price, while the not-for-profit keeps the rest for their art program costs. Prices range from $25 to $150.
The art show at Oak Street Lofts will feature ceramic chickens, hen T-shirts, embroidered roosters, poultry paintings, greeting cards and sculptures. The opening is during Art Walk, so they’ll also serve a virgin cocktail — “The Cluck.”
YES Art Works program manager Mary Jo Marquis said they were sketching chickens when one of the artists said,”Ain’t nobody here but us chickens,” which inspired the other artists to keep on with the theme.
The Exquisite Bird | Photos by Michael Milicia | 616 Congress St.
Chickens may be funny and fluffy, but puffins are precocious, penguins are plucky and plovers are precious. Michael Milicia, of Massachusetts, travels the world capturing these birds. The photos are crystal sharp shots of rare birds. A close-up shot of a rock hopper penguin makes it look like a dinosaur, its wet feathers are scaly and its red eye menacing. You can count the fish in the beak of a puffin in flight in one of his photos. Anyone who’s ever been on a birding cruise knows how difficult it is to capture the soda-can sized bird, never mind in such great detail. Milicia will show birds from around the world, plus a few from New England. He’s been published in National Geographic.
5:30 p.m. unveiling of a Robert Indiana sculpture | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square
Congress Street could use a pop of art. It’s getting one Friday — actually, it’s getting “7.” Maine’s own pop artist Robert Indiana designed ten 8-foot-tall metal sculptures, one of each numeral zero through nine. Portland Museum of Art purchased the numeral seven, which happens to be the museum’s address. The large steel sculpture will be unveiled in front of the museum, its new home.
According to the museum, Indiana designed the set of sculptures in 1980, but the eight-foot-tall pieces were too expensive to produce. A foundation worked with the artist in the mid-1990s to make the works a reality and the Portland museum bought one this year.
The massive, steel “7” will remain outside the museum permanently.
Waynflete School Gallery, 360 Spring St. | waynflete.org
Want to see some cool art? Make some.
The Waynflete School’s students have begun some art projects, but they’re asking community members to add to them. One of the projects is about flight. So, make your own bird.
THE PULPS: Last month I told you about the library’s new exhibit of pulp book and magazine covers. You really should check it out: the colors are brights and some the characters are sinister.
YOUR LIFE, ON STAGE: The improv troupe Portland Playback Theater will ask audience members to tell them a true story, then the actors will immediately re-enact the real-life story on stage. $7 at the Community Television Network at 516 Congress St.
WHOLESOME HABITATIONS: The Maine Historical Society collected a bunch of old architectural drawings. They’re at 489 Congress St.
WHIMSICAL MAINE: Kristine Biegel painted Maine scenes that are bright and look like they could be in a children’s book. Her show is at Maine Charitable Mechanic Association, 519 Congress St. Here’s one of them: