The November Art Walk will start and end in darkness. (Sorry. But it’s true.) On the upside, temperatures look swell for Friday, so you can meander freely from gallery to studio and through random open doors ’til your hearts content. Or ’til 8 p.m., when gallery owners start kicking you out. (Actually, there is an after party mentioned below.) This month, check out Rich Entel’s stunning menagerie made from cardboard and instrument parts and Molly Steinmetz’s really small portraits. The Portland Rattle installation goes in on Friday and the cartoons and watercolors of Bill Woodman will also be on display. Just a few of the exhibits we think are worth seeking out.
First Friday Art Walk
5-8 p.m. Friday at multiple studios, galleries and shops in downtown Portland.
Maine Jewish Museum, 267 Congress St., Portland | mainejewishmuseum.org
There’s typically one possible destination for broken musical instruments and old cardboard (hint: it’s not mounted to the wall at a museum or art gallery). But Portland artist Rich Entel gives new life to those otherwise discarded materials, turning them into animals that are simultaneously familiar (a giraffe, a lion, an elephant) and foreign feeling. The corrugated innards of a box become a wavy lion’s mane, the neck and scroll of a violin become a curled giraffe’s tongue.
(If you miss it on First Friday, museum hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment.)
Ocean Gate Plaza and Fine Art 511, 511 Congress St., Portland | www.fineart511.com
A new sculpture will find a home in Portland on Friday. Designed by artist and Maine native Charlie Hewitt, “Portland Rattle” is a 25-foot sculpture made of brightly painted icons affized to tall stainless-steel poles. It’s location, outside Ocean Gate Plaza on Congress Street, means the “rattles” will be exposed to changing light, snow, wind and rain, which means the way we see the sculpture will change with the time of day and the elements. The official dedication is at 5 p.m. Just a few steps away, stop inside Fine Art 511 to see artist kbd’s Wilderland.Maine exhibit, featuring the “natural wonders found at the confluence of the Kennebec River and the Gulf of Maine.”
(“Portland Rattle” is outside and viewable any time. To see Wilderland.Maine, Fine Art 511 is open First Friday and Third Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. and by appointment.)
Pinecone + Chickadee, 6 Free St., Portland | www.pineconeandchickadee.com
Molly Steinmetz knows a lot of people. She also has a penchant for drawing small, it seems. On display at Pinecone + Chickadee are more than 300 really small portraits of people she knows – tiny sketches (some color, some black and white) of mostly smiling faces (there’s at least one scowler among them). And small-town Maine being what it is, you might know a lot of her subjects, too. Molly was inspired by the 100 Day Project to draw one person every day for 100 days (she said she choose randomly from her Facebook friends). Side note: I think it’d be fun to print two copies of each portrait, flip them all upside down on a really big table and play a grown-up game of Memory. FMI: www.facebook.com
(If you miss the small portraits during art walk, Pinecone + Chickadee is open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Casco Bay Artisans, 68 Commercial St., The Maine Wharf, Portland | www.facebook.com/CascoBayArtisans
You’ve likely seen Bill Woodman’s work before – in the pages of The New Yorker, Playboy, National Lampoon or The New York Times. His cartoons have been featured in popular publications for decades. But Bill has a love for plein air painting, too. A collection of his original New Yorker and Playboy cartoons and watercolors will be on display (and for sale). FMI: http://www.billwoodmanart.com/
(If you miss it on First Friday, Casco Bay Artisans is open Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
PhoPa Gallery, 132 Washington Ave., Portland | www.phopagallery.com
One image shows a cupped hand comfortably cradling a birds nest, another shows a wasps nest held secure by human fingers. Each of photographers Cheryle St. Onge’s black-and-white images in “Natural Findings” demonstrate a human-nature connection that feels wonderfully….well, natural. A person standing in for a branch, a hand holding onto a small universe. The photographs capture “the curiosity and awe of our early grasp of nature.” Along with the photographs, St. Onge’s journals, pictures and found objects will be on display.
(If you miss it on First Friday, PhoPa Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday noon to 5 p.m.)
“Residual Utopia,” the 2015 Alumni Biennial at Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St, Portland. www.meca.edu
Ellen Babcock BFA ’84, Cole Caswell MFA’08, Kevin Goodrich Art Ed ’10, and Carlos Pileggi MFA ’13 are working in fields of painting, photography, social sculpture, social practice, and printmaking.
“Seeing Red” by Kenny Cole at The Garage, 173 Neal St., Portland. www.liveworkportland.org
After Art Walk: Seeing Red” features recent gouache drawings on paper by Kenny Cole. Music and refreshments, too.