Visit MaineToday's profile on Pinterest.

About The Author


Heather Steeves

Heather Steeves tries to do things that are fun -- and only things that are fun. So far that's included stilt walking, roller derby and cross-country road trips in her Saturn.

Send an email | Read more from Heather

Posted: December 2, 2014

3 things to see at Portland’s December art walk, including five holiday craft fairs and dog photos at Victoria Mansion

Written by: Heather Steeves

No, this isn’t all about Christmas, but do prepare yourself. Everyone is having a craft fair — including one where you can commission your own theme song — but there are also punk-pop art displays, hot cocktails, ballet performances and you can roast chestnuts on an open fire while high school students sing carols in the snow. OK, I can’t guarantee the snow, but it sounds pretty magical, right?

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 12.09.08 PMArt on the Hill: SEA holiday sale

6-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday | 195 North St. 

More than 80 crafters, artists and makers will gather in the East End Community School for a massive holiday sale. If it’s like previous sales, you’ll find wintery goods like Christmas stockings, knitted hats and ornaments, but also cute handmade gifts like funky felted earrings, leather wallets, screen printed shirts and bright paintings of dogs, landscapes and octopuses.

Also, MECA’s holiday sale

Similarly, MECA (522 Congress St.) is hosting its annual holiday sale with 63 vendors, plus student art showcases during Art Walk and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Some of the proceeds will benefit MECA’s programs. Art will be for sale, of course, but the sale also includes furniture, clothes, hand-made pastas, toys, jewelry and more.

Also also, the printmakers’ holiday sale

Peregrine Press (61 Pleasant St.) and its 30 print-loving members will sell their art made from woodblocks, letterpress machines, etchings, silk screenings and more. Expect cute kitchen towels, posters, T-shirts and prints. Prices range from a couple bucks to $800. The sale continues 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 and 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7.

Also also also, SPACE is up to something crafty

SPACE Gallery (538 Congress St.) is having a retail experiment/exhibit starting at Art Walk and running through Dec. 30.

“It’s sort of the opposite of your mom’s art sale. It’s a bunch of goods and services you can buy for $10, $20 or $30 flat and all the money goes to the artist,” said SPACE’s event’s manager Adam Stockman. Things for sale include your own personal theme song, a hand-drawn map made from your childhood memories or a comic book with you as a lead character.  If you tell one artist your typical daily schedule, you can get a soundtrack for your entire day. These things can all be purchased as gifts for your loved ones. “I hope it coincides with people thinking about goods and services they buy, who owns them and where they come from. It’s not meant to be pretentious, it’s supposed to be playful,” Stockman said. The sale/show runs through the second week of January.

Oh man, last one I swear: VIA

The VIA Agency is also having a craft fair. It’s in their Baxter Library at 619 Congress St.


Photo by Sergei Bachkovsky.

Photo by Sergei Bachkovsky. Used with his permission.

Dogs in the mansion

At the Carriage House [Victoria Mansion] Museum Shop Gallery, 109 Danforth St. 

No, you still can’t bring your puppy into Victoria Mansion, but this show looks really neat: Sergei Bachkovsky is the man behind The Dog Rehabilitation Center of Maine, where he rehabilitates last-chance misbehaving dogs. He has a pack of more than 20 dogs at his home, which he will train and adopt out. Bachkovsky is also a photographer. He’s taken shots (like the one above) of his dogs in beautiful landscapes. The photographer will be in the shop to talk about his dogs, the no-kill shelter he runs and his art. Now for some Maine trivia: According to Victoria Mansion staff, at least one dog lived in the mansion with the Libby family.

This art show is in the museum shop and it’s free. If you want to go into the mansion, that will cost you $5 during the Art Walk (usually it’s $15).



Photo by Heather Steeves.

Abe and the Civil War + Christmas

The Brown Library at 489 Congress St., second floor

The Maine Historical Society got its hands on this traveling national exhibit, which is all about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Facts, stories and historical documents were printed onto huge, colorful walls set up on the second floor of the library. Honest Abe was controversial in his day. His story includes a country-diving war, abolishing slavery and an assassination.

If you go, check out the part of the room where they keep the books. That’s where the mosaic floor gives way to one made of thick, glass tiles. You can see the first floor bookshelves from there. Apparently, the old glass tiles align with the library’s windows, so light could filter down. There are open slits between the tiles, which was old-fashioned air conditioning/ventilation.

The exhibit is open during Art Walk, but will also be free 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 20.

And while you’re in that cute little village, it’s worth noting that there will be a holiday celebration. The festively decorated Wadsworth-Longfellow House will open free of charge, which is something that happens only twice a year. Local high school students will sing carols outside and you can literally roast chestnuts on an open fire. And — maybe you saw this one coming — the Historical Society will also have its annual Holiday Bazaar where you can buy crafts and gifts.

Geno's is hosting a night of punk art. This one is by

Geno’s is hosting a night of punk and rock-inspired sexy art. This one is by Niagra Detroit and used with the artist’s permission.

Other noteworthy shows:

-One Longfellow Square (181 State St.) isn’t giving much away, but said they’ll have “an exciting event sixth light and heat.” What we do know is there will be hot cocktails available.
-Geno’s (625 Congress St.) is bringing in punk T-shirts, books and pop art. The show “Sextacular Holiday Happening” is part of a collaboration with the ever-sexy Kymara Gallery.
Portland Ballet will dance in the Portland Public Library’s lit up atrium (5 Monument Square) at 6:30 p.m. Watch scenes from the Nutcracker, Boy Meets Girl and White Christmas.
-Leslie Anderson lives on a flower farm on the Blue Hill Peninsula and paints some of the flowers she cuts. Her work will be on display at Chestnut Street Lofts Gallery (21 Chestnut St.).
Board games are the inspiration of a show at Art House Picture Frames (61 Pleasant Street). That’s fun.
-Crystal clear photos of birds around the world are still on display at Daunis Fine Handmade Jewelry (616 Congress St).


Up Next: