USM Art Department


COVID-19 Information for Art Students

Dear Art Students,

Below is a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQ) relating to the Art Department classes, studios, and department events affected by COVID-19. Please be sure to check this webpage throughout the year for the most up to date Art Department information.

We are here for you! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me- or your faculty with any questions, concerns or needs.

Take good care,






STUDENT ID’s WILL BE REQUIRED FOR ENTERING ALL GORHAM ART DEPARTMENT BUILDINGS AT ALL TIMES: Robie-Andrews Art, the Academy & Drawing Buildings, and the Print Shop.  Students will need their ID’s for building access the first day of class.  Students who are enrolled in Gorham Art classes will automatically be given card-access to the building(s) they need to enter for their class(es).  Students will have access only to buildings where they have class(es), so access to Robie-Andrews will be limited. Please be sure to bring your USM ID for accessing the Gorham Art Department Facilities, as the exterior doors will remain locked for limiting the number of people in the facilities.  Please remember to have your ID card with you each time you come to campus and/or exit the building. 

Each student is to be aware of the restrictions and safety protocols on the use of studios and equipment before proceeding to use either.  This includes an understanding that the use of the studio is permitted only at the times so designated, and students must sign up for times to work outside of class time.  See your Instructor(s) for protocols and for accessing the Google Doc sign-up calendar.  Adhering to these restrictions is mandatory.



Staff Office Hours will be a bit different this spring.  Stephen Walsh will working on Campus Monday – Thursday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, working remotely on Fridays, available 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM at  Amy Hagberg will continue to work remotely, available via email, Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, at  Faculty Office Hours will be Virtual this semester.  To find Faculty Office Hours and contact information please Click here for the list of all Art Faculty.



Per USM and the University of Maine System, all students, faculty, and staff members are required to wear a face covering while in the Art Department Facilities, including during all face-to-face classes and while utilizing Studio spaces after hours.  To request medical and other accommodations as required by law, contact Please note-- accommodations do not include the option of attending class in person with no face covering. Please note that plastic face shields are not sufficient face covering for in-person instruction. They may be combined with a mask, but may not be used as the sole source of face covering.

Visitors: Our campuses are currently closed to the public.



Spring Classes begin on January 25th.  Classes are offered in modalities that range from online asynchronous, online blended synchronous/asynchronous, and blended face to face/online instruction.  Spring semester starts a week later than ususal with no spring break.  There will be no classes on Monday, February 15th, and on Wednesday, March 24th.  Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 8th.  First Summer Session begins May 17th.  Click here for the Complete Spring 2021 Art Department Calendar.





The ONLINE submission requirements will be identical to previous years, except for the matting requirement, which is waived this year. All works should be photographed and submitted electronically according to the Digital Submission Guidelines.

Portfolios due online Wednesday, March 24th by 4:00 PM.  Portfolio Review Friday, March 26th. 



This Spring’s Juried Student Exhibition will also be online.  All students enrolled in Art Class(es) are eligible, and encouraged to submit up to 3 images electronically by 8:00 AM on Monday, March 15th.  Jurors will select accepted work by March 19th, and Awards will be given in several categories.  The online Exhibition will go live on April 1st and run through the month of August.  Click Here for more information on submission requirements for the Student Juried Exhibition.



With many Arts organizations and businesses currently closed, Students should contact their Faculty Advisor and the Art Department Chair to formulate an accepted ART 400, Internship in the Visual Arts, substitution for successfully completing this important degree requirement.



USM has designated several spaces on all three campuses for socially distanced group study, individual quiet study, and Zoom/online course participation. Please see this updated list of Zoom lounges and study spaces for the spring semester — and don’t forget to stay socially distanced and bring headphones for use in these spaces.



For Online Classes using ZOOM, please refer to the Learning with Zoom video series for valuable tips.

For assistance with navigating Brightspace go to the Student’s Guide to Brightspace video series: learn how to submit an assignment, engage in a discussion, and take quizzes on the new Brightspace platform.

All student services — from counseling to advising to research help — will continue to be offered remotely.  USM has added new, targeted student support for distance and online learning on its new AGILE website through the Learning Commons. 

Click Here for a complete list of available Academic Resources at USM.


The UMS agreement with Microsoft allows the MS Office package for Windows or Mac OS X to be downloaded and installed on up to five personally owned devices. You can also access Microsoft’s online, collaborative version of Office on any computer with an internet connection.  You can use your email address and password to start the installation process at Microsoft’s Office 365 portal.



With the many fall courses changing to online, and with the support of Student Government funding, the library will have many of the Spring 2021 textbooks and course materials available electronically, either as e-textbooks or as electronic reserves.  E-books must be accessed using the Library's website ( or as directed by the instructor. For those items only available in print, the library will scan chapters at the request of the instructor.  For that service or other questions, please email 

This Link to ART21 is an Excellent Resource for Videos on Contemporary Artists

Click Here for a complete list of available Academic Resources at USM.



Distance is a key line of defense against the spread of infection, so Instructional, administrative and other spaces have been updated to accommodate physical distancing of six feet or more.   Handwashing is strongly encouraged and supported with supplies and signage. Numerous hand sanitizer stations are visible and available inside the entrances of facilities and throughout campus facilities.  Disinfectant supplies are available at many locations for the immediate wiping down of common spaces and places such as classroom desks and equipment by individual users.  Each student, staff, and faculty member continue to be asked and challenged to be a champion for keeping themselves and others safe, including commitments to science-based practices, such as wearing a face covering, monitoring your own health, avoiding unnecessary travel, and staying home when sick.  Both travel outside of Maine during the semester and university-sponsored travel continues to be limited. Students or employees who leave the state at any point during the semester will be required to adhere to the public health testing or quarantine protocols in place at the time of their return.



The University of Maine System will soon provide students, faculty, and staff with details on more frequent asymptomatic testing that will be provided throughout the spring semester beginning February 1st. All people who were part of the initial rounds of screening have been notified by email. If you have questions, please contact Please note: If individuals received a positive COVID-19 test during the break and have not yet informed University Health & Counseling Services, they are asked to do so.



System-wide, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff have downloaded and signed up to use #CampusClear, the free app that provides a daily prompt to indicate any symptoms you may be experiencing. Self-screening is easy and takes only a few seconds. Learn how to download and use #CampusClear for iOS and Android.




During the pandemic, USM Facilities Management (FM) custodial staff will continue to deploy enhanced cleaning strategies that include increasing the cleaning frequency of high-use areas, high-touch surfaces and restrooms. Our custodial staff primarily uses Proctor and Gamble’s Pro-Line Disinfecting Floor and Surface Cleaner II, a no-rinse cleaning and hospital-grade disinfectant. This product meets OSHA Blood Borne Pathogen (BBP) requirements and is EPA registered. It also kills a broad spectrum of bacteria, viruses and fungi, including MSRA and VRE, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV-1, Influenza A, H1N1, mold and mildew. 



The number of passengers allowed on METRO buses is currently limited to no more than 20 passengers, and all passengers are required to wear either a face mask or face covering to board and ride a Metro bus.  Riders are required to use the rear door for boarding and alighting
and are expected to keep a distance of at least six feet between themselves and other riders, sitting only with passengers they are travelling with.  Click  here for the most recent Metro Bus health advisory.



For students in need here are both University and State of Maine resources:

  1. The Student Emergency Fund is available for students facing immediate financial crises, from unforeseen travel expenses and medical expenses to other financial emergencies. Award amounts typically range from $100 to $500. For more information and to fill out an online application, go to the Student Emergency Fund website.
  2. Additional assistance of limited funds is also available through the Maine General Assistance
  3. The Campus Food Pantry is here for USM Students or community members with a valid USM ID who are struggling with food insecurity.  A NEW Gorham-based Campus Food Pantry is now available for pre-order pickups in Lower Brooks on Fridays from 2-6pm. Submit the CFP online form to pre-order a bag of food for pickup in Lower Brooks on Fridays, 2pm-6pm, or in Portland at102 Bedford Street (on the basement level) on Wednesdays from 9am-12pm. You can request one per week.  Email the CFP at to let them know how else they can help.  More information is available on the Campus Food Pantry website.  (Here is a List of Other Community Food Pantries Available Throughout Maine)
  4. Maine Rental Relief Program for COVID-19.

For Students experiencing stress or adverse effects as a result of the COVID-19 virus:

A:  Please contact USM’s campus Counseling Services for information and scheduling at (207) 780-5411.  You can also dial 2-1-1 Maine for information and referral to community resources and the Statewide Intentional Warm Line at 1-866-771-9276 to talk with a trained peer support specialist who has personal experience with mental health recovery.  Additional resources that may be helpful to you:


If your family's financial situation has changed and is not accurately reflected by the 2018 tax information reported on your 2020-2021 FAFSA, you may reach out to a financial aid counselor to review your options.


POTENTIAL SUSPENSION OF CAMPUS BASED ACTIVITIES & EARLY CAMPUS CLOSURE:Should circumstances require the temporary suspension of campus-based activities, or complete campus closure, notification will be issued by the President or Public Safety. For those students enrolled in on-line classes, suspension of campus-based activities and/or campus closure does not necessarily interrupt on-line instruction, except in the case of residential students. We understand that there will be a high level of disruption for residential students, and flexibility and accommodations will be made by Faculty. For those in classes that meet on-campus, Faculty have already put plans in place for moving to remote instruction should circumstances require it.


These days, the slightest cough or sniffle can cause more concern than usual — and with good reason. Downloading and using the #CampusClear app is a good way to monitor your health and make decisions accordingly. Also, USM’s Housing and Health Services teams have developed a bulleted list of things to do if you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms associated with COVID-19.  Other important precautions include staying home and limiting your contact with others.

Click Here for information on the Corona Virus (COVID-19)

Remember that we are all in this together. Don't forget to check the USM Homepage for information and updates around COVID-19 and USM. 


How to Get A Flu Shot at USM

The Maine CDC says getting a flu shot is especially important this year. USM recently received its supply of flu vaccine, and flu shot clinics will soon be scheduled at all three campuses. If you want your flu shot now, you can schedule an appointment in Gorham by emailing Health Services. There’s no fee for the flu shot if you produce your insurance card at the time of the appointment. (If you don’t have an insurance card, there’s a $20 fee for the flu shot.) 



"Health & Safety" by Anna Labbe

 Image Above: Drawing for ART 151, "Health & Safety", by Anna Labbe