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It’s hard to believe another year is nearly at an end but facts are facts: The final First Fridayof 2012 is upon us. So before 2013 gets here, take advantage of your final chance to get out on the streets and in the galleries and venues of Portland to see what great works this year has provided.
In these parts the opening Friday of each month is always all about Portland. But at Pinecone & Chickadee(6 Free St.) this month some of the focus will turn to NYC. Currently hanging at the venue is “XNY: Maine” from Bryan Bruchman. The exhibit opened in Brooklyn during the summer and has made its way to Maine. It focuses on two artists who lived in New York for years before finding a new, local home. Bruchman’s photos beg the question, how does NYC change the way other cities are seen? Check out the show and find out if these works change the way you see Portland.
The next stop on this month’s mini tour is Daunis Fine Handmade Jewelry(616 Congress St.). The draw is bird photography by Michael Milicia titled “Exquisite Bird 2.” It’s back by popular demand, so you can figure it’s well worth the walk up Congress Street, whether you’re a bird-lover or just a fan of local work.
One of the most popular annual shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art(522 Congress St.) is the faculty show. This one, titled “The World Over,” features work from current faculty members including Jeffrey Clancy, Elizabeth Jabar, Colleen Kinsella, Adam Manley and Gail Spaien. Expect metalsmithing, printmaking, woodworking, painting and more.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your living room, be sure to stop by The Gallery at Harmon’s & Barton’s(584 Congress St.) for “Bringing Art Home for the Holidays 2012: Part II.” Artists who work with wood will be showing sculpture, furniture, lamps and more. You’ll certainly see some impressive, usable works, and you may find something to bring home that will work perfectly in your space.
You may not find stilettos quite as fascinating as photographer Lesley MacVane, but we’re betting you’ll get a kick out of her depictions of the tall, elegant heels and the way a foot balances in them. The show “Stiletto Life” is hanging at Oak Street Lofts Gallery(72 Oak St.) for this First Friday.
Portland Public Library and Portland Ballet got together for a First Friday performance last month and they’re at it again for December with a 6:30 p.m. show in the atrium. The dances come straight from the “Victorian Nutcracker,”with performers in full costume. Expect to see several dances as you view the event from Monument Square, including a Rockettes-inspired number to “Let it Snow.” Portland Ballet will also serve hot chocolate to help keep the chill away.
Finally for you Art Walking experience this month, take advantage of $5 tickets to see the splendor of Victoria Mansion (109 Danforth St.). Christmas at Victoria Mansion: The Gilded Age continues through Jan. 6, 2013 but you can see it tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. for $10 off the usual admission charge. Sure the venue is a bit off the usual Art Walk path, but the price is well worth the trek and the gift shop will be open for those who still have shopping to do.