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. Expand your horizons this spring and check out these galleries!
Mast Cove Galleries
Mast Cove Lane & Maine Street
Mast Cove Galleries boasts over 80 artists, making it the largest privately owned group gallery in Maine. It is housed in a charming Greek Revival home just steps from the bustling Dock Square. The gallery’s cozy atmosphere makes it feel like you are visiting the home of a friend who happens to have a bountiful art collection. They also offer a jazz a blues series, with live musicians sharing their talents on various nights throughout the year. Director Jean Briggs is welcoming and extremely knowledgeable.
Photo courtesy of Courthouse Gallery Fine Art
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art
6 Court Street
Ellsworth’s historic courthouse was built in 1838 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It has been transformed into a light and airy gallery housing an impressive collection of contemporary art. It also represents the estates of some of the most influential 20th century artists.
George Marshall Store Gallery
140 Lindsey Road
I first visited George Marshall Store Gallery during a trip to the Museums of Old York several years ago. I fell in love with the gallery’s quaint surroundings and the beautiful art on display. Located right on the York River, it was built in the 1860s by George Marshall as a general store. The gallery’s exhibitions focus on contemporary art but curator Mary P. Harding often collaborates with the museum’s curator, mixing the contemporary works with historical themes and objects from the museum’s collection.
Frost Gully Gallery
1159 US Route 1
Freeport isn’t just for outlet shopping and admiring historic buildings – it is also home to great art. Frost Gully Gallery is owned by Thomas Crotty, a painter in his own right. Launched in a barn in 1966, Frost Gully Gallery is Maine’s oldest year-round contemporary art gallery. It represents such masters as Dahlov Ipcar, Laurence Sisson, Stephen Etnier, William Kienbusch, and more.
Harbor Square Gallery
374 Main Street
Harbor Square Gallery offers great artwork, but its building is a work of art in and of itself. Built in 1912 as a bank, it is a gorgeous space, with tall arched windows, elaborate moldings, and patterned floors. The gallery boasts paintings, sculptures, and jewelry. Even a couple jewelers have workshops within the gallery, allowing viewers to see them at work. The best place to enjoy sculpture at the gallery is its rooftop Muir Garden, opened in 2006. With a great view of the ocean and Rockland’s lively Main Street, the garden is peaceful and lovely, with sculptures dotted throughout.
This is by no means a definitive or complete list of Maine galleries. These are just five of my favorites!