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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: May 31, 2016

‘The American Dream’ unveiled on Friday

Written by: Bob Keyes
Scott Berels sprays a patina on the temporary sculpture "The American Dream" at Lincoln Park in Portland. The work by Georgia artist Judith Hoffman will be unveiled during the First Friday Art Walk. Photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Scott Berels sprays a patina on the temporary sculpture “The American Dream” at Lincoln Park in Portland. The work by Georgia artist Judith Hoffman will be unveiled during the First Friday Art Walk. Photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Portland’s latest public art installation gives people a chance to reflect on home and the elusive meaning of the American dream.

The hulking steel sculpture, titled “The American Dream,” was installed last week at Lincoln Park, which borders Franklin Arterial. The 1,400-pound piece, by Georgia artist Judith Hoffman, features a series of homes stacked like a totem on top of one another, some upside down and teetering with imbalance. The piece represents the fragile nature of housing in America and what the concept of “home” means as it relates to the 21st-century American dream.

The project is the first effort of TempoArt, a new, privately funded arts organization dedicated to bringing public art to Portland on a temporary basis. The group raised more than $40,000 for this project, said committee member Alice Spencer. Its mission is to bring curated, site-specific art to places and neighborhoods in transition. Lincoln Park was the first choice, because it was torn up in the 1970s as part of Portland’s urban renewal efforts. The neighborhood on either side of the park was broken up, and the character of the city changed.

Planners are now considering designs to change Franklin Arterial to restore some of the neighborhood feel of the area and make it more pedestrian-friendly.

The piece will be formally unveiled during the First Friday Art Walk.

 

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