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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: March 18, 2019

Center for Maine Contemporary Art to reopen Saturday

Written by: Bob Keyes

“Hoax, Heroic: Egocentric Magics Creepin’ On Your Socials in Blue (Frozen Networks) or How a Place Thinks about Another Place,” is by Justin Levesque of Portland, who will show a piece at the reopening of the Center of Maine Contemporary Art.
Images courtesy of Center of Maine Contemporary Art

All things considered, it could have been much worse. It could have been summer.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland reopens Saturday, fully recovered from a waterline mishap that forced the art center to close for more than two months.

A compression coupling failed in the main waterline on the morning of Jan. 19, spewing water under high pressure throughout the gallery. CMCA replaced drywall and insulation, and repainted the gallery walls.

The building was relatively new when the water damage occurred – it opened in summer 2016. With the repairs it looks new again, said Suzette McAvoy, the center’s executive director.

“The silver lining is the building is back and refreshed, and we have all sparkling clean walls and floors and everything,” she said. “We really came through with minor disruptions.”

Losing two months of admissions hurt, but winter is the slowest time for visits, and the art center’s business insurance will soften the loss, she said.

Peter Ralston’s Cathedral, Illulissat, is part of an exhibition at the reopened Center of Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland. Illulissat is a town in western Greenland.

CMCA, at 21 Winter St. will reopen with two exhibitions: “Melt Down,” which tells the story of climate change through photographs and videos by Maine artists who have traveled to the Arctic and Antarctica; and an installation by two Ellis-Beauregard fellows, Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen.

There’s a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday. For Saturday’s opening of “Melt Down,” Portland artist Justin Levesque will show a piece called “Cold Storage X” that is completely ephemeral, existing only for the opening before it melts. With this piece he will sandwich a printed transparency into an ice block, which will then be carved. The print will lose its form as the ice melts.

Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8, or $6 for students and seniors. Visit for details or call (207) 701-5005.


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