USM Art Galleries Gorham and Portland

Selected Past Exhibits

The 2022 USM Juried Student ExhibitionA gallery with a white wall immediately in the foreground featuring the title of the exhibition and horizontal painting of a woman reclining. The rest of the Gallery is just beyond the wall with many paintings and sculptures. 

Open to students across all majors at the University, the Juried Student Exhibition fosters student preparation for professional art settings and processes, provides feedback from art professionals in the community, and exposes their work to a wide range of viewers. Learn more about the exhibition's winners here, and see the full gallery of submitted work here

Re-Emergence: The 2022 USM Art Department ExhibitionAn image of a gallery with a sculpture resembling a broom in the foreground. A painting of a mountain at sunset is in the background. Back in person in 2022, our departmental exhibition is a semi-annual celebration of the wide array of instructors and staff working across media and disciplines at USM. This year’s exhibition features themes of resurgence, new growth, and reconnection.

Featuring work from the following members of the Art Department: Timothy Babulski, Hannah Barnes, Kimberly Bentley, Matthew Burke, Rachel Church, Rebecca Goodale, Amy Hagberg, Annie Lee Zimerle, Nathaniel Meyer, Susan Motta, Damir Porobic, Michael Shaughnessy, Stephen Walsh, Brian Zimerle, and Lauren Zito. You may view a full gallery of this exhibition here.

Call/Response: Hannah Barnes and Susan KleinAn image of a triangular sculpture set on a  table. Watercolors of patterns are in the background.
This exhibition featured work by faculty member Hannah Barnes and visiting artist Susan Klein. Conceived as a call and response, each work responds to another, sometimes with multiple iterations and sometimes as collaborative installations. While Barnes works in watercolors and two-dimensional media, Klein creates ceramics that stay close to her history as a painter and through their use of oil paint as a glazing medium, alongside more traditional ceramic materials. Through their collaborative works, the artists explore meaning in geometric abstraction, divergent thinking, and serious play. Learn more about the exhibition here

Restoration 2021: Works by Graduating BA and BFA Art Students
This exhibition is by USM Art Department graduating seniors of 2021 in the Studio BFA, BA and BFA in Art Education programs. They have endured unprecedented challenges in their education. Many thanks to each one of them for their patience and resilience and to the faculty and staff that have provided support through these last many months. View the online exhibition here.

ON THE LINE:  2021
This show fosters student preparation for professional art settings and processes, provides feedback from art professionals in the community, and exposes their work to a wide range of viewers. All the students who submitted work are to be heartily commended for their determination to create and succeed, especially during this difficult Covid year. View the online exhibition here.

USM Art Faculty & Staff On-line Exhibition 2021
We are pleased to present an exciting array of art disciplines and approaches by our talented art faculty and staff participating in this year's exhibition. View the online exhibition here.

OTHERED: Displaced from Malaga by Daniel Minter, USM Art Gallery, Oct. 4- Dec. 9, 2018. Printed copies of the exhibition catalog are available at the USM Art Gallery in Gorham during the BFA & BA show thru May 1, 2019. Public hours are Wednesday and Thursday noon-6, Friday-Sunday noon-4 or by appointment. Or view the on-line OTHERED catalog.
The OTHERED exhibition is part of Daniel Minter’s USM artist residency during the fall of 2018. We thank The Warren Memorial Foundation for their sponsorship of this residency and resulting catalog. Malaga Island is a small island on the coast of Maine that in 1912 the State purchased, ordered the mixed-race fishing community to leave, removed the buildings and exhumed the cemetery. USM Artist-in-Residence Daniel Minter, known for his visual storytelling, recalls this complex story with paintings, assemblage, and a small house in the gallery filled with historical photographs and archeological artifacts relaying a sense of place, loss, emptiness, and wholeness. Minter states: I imagine that the people of Malaga Island were able to maintain the sense of an inner home even at a time when every outward representation of home was being taken away. The image of the person standing in the water; the turbulent calm of the body and visage are reminders that in the face of eradication we may disappear but our spirits are not diminished. Our physical home is shallow whereas the depth of our inner home cannot be measured. 

Eulogy for the Dyke Bar by Macon Reed, AREA Gallery, Woodbury Campus Center, September 4-December 7, 2018

Macon Reed's “Eulogy For The Dyke Bar” revisited the legacy and physical spaces of dyke and lesbian bars, an increasingly rare component of the gay and queer cultural landscape. Made of simple materials that unapologetically reveal the hand in their making, the installation included a bar, DYKE BAR neon sign, archival images from dyke bars around the country and from local Portland history, and silk-screened faux-wood paneling. As an interactive, community-centered space, the installation acknowledged the mass closing of dyke bars, asking a host of questions. The exhibit was organized in conjunction with USM Women and Gender Studies and Sociology Professor Wendy Chapkis and featured video and audio archives from Querying the Past: Maine LGBTQ Oral History Project.


Cross-Pollinating the Grassroots: Collaborative Works Inspired by the Beehive Design Collective

January 22 - March 29, 2018
AREA Gallery, Woodbury Campus Center, Portland campus.Closing Reception: March 29, 4:30-6:30. Presentation by Artist-in-Residence and Beehive member Emily Simons at 5:30 pm. View Emily Simon's USM artist talk.

 The Beehive Collective has been known for its extremely intricate, collaboratively-produced illustrations, full of fable-style archetypal characters based on stories gleaned from communities on the frontlines of resource extraction and expansive industrial development, but then further extrapolated to explore myriad consequences of historic and contemporary colonization and to honor those communities in resistance.

The collective's most well-known works have been lauded for their innovative story-telling techniques, meticulously rendered scenes & characters, and incredible density of visual information.  They have incorporated many artists, activists, and educators and multiple years of hard work, and it shows - viewers are often dazzled by the scale and ambition of these elaborate images. 

This exhibition focuses on recent works in the collaborative style of the Beehive, usually under the guidance of individual "Bees" who are expanding their mission of "cross-pollinating the grassroots" by conducting collaborative graphic-making workshops with groups and individuals working on local environmental and social justice issues. Some groups have been made up of professional artists, some art students, and some lay people enjoying a fun & fast-paced half-day art workshop. Here we see a full range of collaborative story-telling art projects, from stencils produced in just 4 hours, to the most elaborate Beehive Collective poster, Mesoamérica Resiste, a two-part work which was illustrated by more than 30 artists over 9 years following the initial research trip. 

As part of Emily Simons' residency, she worked with a crew of collaborators to produce the End the Debt! Decolonize! Liberate! Scroll, a 175 long 3 inch high participatory illustration that tells a story of the colonization and resistance of the people of Puerto Rico.  The piece can only be seen by standing in a circle and passing it together, allowing the audience to experience and hold together this complicated, ongoing story of resistance in the face of many interconnected oppressions.  The piece premiered in New York City at the Clemente Soto Vélez center on the lower east side of New York City, where collaborator Dey Hernandez also re-staged the scroll-production scene from the studio at USM. The scroll is continuing to travel to communities across the US and Puerto Rico with AgitArte Cultural Workers, where communities learn and connect to Puerto Rican resistance through this unique piece of art. View the residency project here.

Simons cut her teeth on art activism as a member of the Maine- based Beehive Design Collective. For over a decade, she traveled around the U.S. presenting the Beehive’s graphic works to communities in struggle and using arts-based education in social movement contexts. Now based in Pittsburgh, Simons works as a cultural organizer, illustrator, and graphic designer. Simons was Artist-in-Residence February 16- March 29, 2018. Her residency project of creating graphic tools for the Southern Maine Workers' Center campaign for healthcare was supported by the Warren Memorial Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Series. The USM Department of Art’s Artist-in-Residence is supported by the Warren Memorial Foundation Visiting Artist Series.

 Resonance and Memory: The Essence of LandscapeOctober 5, 2017 to December 8, 2017USM Art Gallery, 37 College Ave, Gorham 

Resonance and Memory: The Essence of Landscape is a group exhibition where eight artists, in his or her own unique way, commemorates the profoundly mysterious, elusive, and imaginary qualities of landscape: Kathleen Elliot, Sandra Gottlieb, J.J. L’Heureux, John Lyon Paul, Rebeca Calderón Pittman, Gerry Tuten, Gail Watkins, & Martin Weinstein. Organized by Katharine T. Carter & Associates, hosted by Elga Wimmer PCC, curated and managed by Robert Curcio of curcioprojects. Read more about the exhibition


Why We Fought: American WWI Posters and the Art of Persuasion                                                                                                         August 28-December 8, 2017    AREA Gallery, Woodbury Campus Center, Portland

Thirteen World War I posters provide a diverse historical context for the many ways in which graphic propaganda was used by the US government and various community groups to bolster support for an unpopular war and convince Americans to do their part to ensure an Allied victory.   Rotating displays of USM student responses provide a wide range of contemporary perspectives. The posters are a recent gift to USM Special Collections by Howard Solomon. Co-organized by USM Special Collections and USM Art Galleries. The exhibition runs August 28-December 8, 2017.


The Art Gallery commissioned art student Shannon Sockalexis to draw this mural updating a historical cartoon showing how WWI began.


Clint Fulkerson: Fluid Geometry

January 17- March 31, 2017

Clint Fulkerson lives in Portland, Maine with his wife and 5 year-old daughter. He has a BFA in Metals from MassArt, but has been primarily a 2D artist since 2005. In Maine he has shown his work at Corey Daniels Gallery, Edward T. Pollack Fine Arts, Space Gallery, Stonewall Gallery at the Yarmouth History Center, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Ocean House Gallery, Think Tank, Waterfall Arts, Susan Maasch Fine Arts, the University of Maine at Farmington, and the Portland Museum of Art. In 2014 he had a solo exhibition at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. His work is in numerous private collections, as well as the collection of MIT. He is represented in NY by The Curator Gallery. He was recently commissioned by Facebook Inc. to paint a mural in their NYC office as part of their Artist in Residence program. He is completing two murals and a sculpture this year as part of Maine’s Percent for Art program. 

Read more about Clint Fulkerson here

(VIDEO: Watch a time-lapse of the creation of Clint Fulkerson's mural for the USM AREA Gallery)

Portals: Work by Maine Art Education Association members

January 25- March 2, 2017

"Portals," an interpretation of the concept of portal –a gate or entrance that is especially grand or imposing; or, an entryway, doorway or threshold, brings together the creative work of art educators from around the state of Maine to celebrate the studio practice and exploration that takes place beyond the classroom. 43 artists, 10 of which are USM Art Alumni, created 57 pieces. 


Gina Adams- Its Honor is Here Pledged- Broken Treaty Quilts

August 29- December 9, 2016

 Although she is half Euro-American, Gina Adams’ art is primarily inspired by and deeply committed to the memory of her White Earth Ojibwa grandfather. The Native North American history of forced assimilation, along with the intimate process of making, drives her project of making quilts excerpting broken treaties from each of the US states. Seven quilts are featured here, including a Maine quilt referencing broken Wabanaki land claims treaties.     

Gina Adams’ cross-media, hybrid artwork is exhibited extensively throughout the US and Europe and resides in many public and private collections. The internationally renowned art critic Lucy Lippard wrote the introduction for Adam's artwork in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art Exhibition Its Honor Is Here Pledged.   This 2015 exhibition gave Adams’ Broken Treaty Quilts prominent recognition in the contemporary art world. She is currently a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, a resident at Santa Fe Artist Institute Residency, and Faculty in Visual Arts at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.


George Longfish- Indian on Indian

October 6- December 9, 2016

Artist, educator, writer, and curator George Longfish (Seneca/Tuscarora) has been instrumental in shaping the field of contemporary Native American art for over forty years. After receiving his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1972, Longfish served as Professor in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis from 1973 to 2003. He was also Director of the Carl N. Gorman Museum from 1974 to 1996, where he helped to start the careers of Linda Lomahaftewa, James Luna, Edgar Heap of Birds, and others. He retired to South Berwick, Maine in 2004.


Whether it is his overlay of the modern and the traditional, his skewing of past and present iconic images, or his employment of text, Longfish’s art draws on a sense of honor that allows truth to be pulled from all directions and the spirit to emerge from within the work in a way that heals the very wound it addresses. This exhibition shows the broad scope of Longfish’s career through the display of painting, prints, and other media from previous decades as well as new work. It also features several works from Longfish’s collection by younger artists he has mentored such as Gina Adams and Duane Slick. The gallery has commissioned a video interview of Longfish by one of his former students, filmmaker Asata Radcliffe. Sponsored in part by the The Warren Memorial Foundation Visiting Artist Series and the USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Natasha Mayers- Pay Attention! It's Independence Day!

January 18 - March 24, 2016

Parade props, costumes, photos, videos, and written documentation from 30 years of Whitefield resident Natasha Mayers’organizing "floats" for her town’s 4thof July parades. The town’s fire trucks and typical floats trailed by wildly imaginative depictions about global warming, clear cutting, drones, tax cuts for the wealthy, and much more have created noisily messy and truly democratic expressions of patriotism. Mayers,as Artist-in-Residence this spring, facilitated a public art mural of the town of Gorham with college students, school groups, and the local community. Read more here.Sponsored in part by the Warren Memorial Fund.  

Picturing Maine- The Way Life Was?

September 17- December 11, 2015

This exhibition examined the role photography played in both constructing and challenging the popular tourist image of Maine and the image of life in Maine in the early twentieth century using three collections at USM: The Detroit Publishing photographs from the  1900s-1920s, the Farm Security Administration’s photographs from 1935-1941, and an African-American Photographic Album of Maine,  c.1949-50. Curated by USM professors Donna Cassidy and Libby Bischof.


Todd Webb- Historian with a Camera

August 31- December 9, 2015

 Todd Webb (1905-2000) has been noted for capturing the eloquence of the commonplace. This exhibition of 24 black and white photographs from the USM Art Department and Galleries collection provides glimpses of New York, Paris, and New Mexico from the  1940s-1980s, where Webb lived before taking residence in Maine.                                   


Constructing Identity

February 23 - May 1, 2015

Traci Molloy is a Brooklyn-based artist and social activist. This exhibition presents Molloy's individual and collaborative mixed media works. Her residency project features collaborations with USM students and youth from the Center for Grieving Children's Multicultural Program.


Poster with photos of exhibit pieces

Opposing Gestures

September 23 - December 10, 2014

Opposing Gestures is a dual site exhibition that portrays Alshaibi and Farbrook's  shared view that politics are a macrocosm of individual motion and that the expression of one person can be symbolic of society.

While political components ebb and flow throughout the theme of the exhibition, it also takes on broader subjects and existential questions, all depicted through individual human expression, and often integrating the viewer into the experience.









views of room from floor levelPersian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

September 17 - December 8, 2013                            

 “Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran” includes nearly 60 photographs and two videos at the USM Art Gallery in Gorham and the Area Gallery on the USM campus in Portland. The exhibition represents the first broad survey of Iranian photography to travel to the United States, said Robert Silberman, a visiting scholar at USM from the University of Minnesota.

It was organized by the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Minnesota, and has been touring the U.S. for several years.

“Iran is a very complex society,” said Silberman, who wrote the catalog essay for the exhibition. “These photographers help reveal it.”

The images capture street scenes, family life and lifestyles, and demonstrate the sophistication and courage of the 20 artists whose work is represented, said Reza Jalali, who was born in Iran and coordinates the USM Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

-Bob Keyes, Portland Press Herald, September 30, 2013



Astrid Bowlby

Everything: Astrid Bowlby, Visiting Artist-in-Residence

January 24 - March 6, 2013

For over a decade, Bowlby has steadily gained recognition for her room-sized fantasy landscapes composed of thousands of hand-cut simplified ink drawings on paper. This participatory installation invited visitors to stroll through unfurled rolls of paper filled with black ink drawings of anything visitors requested Bowlby to draw.


Zuihitsu: Look Only at the Waves 

October 24 - December 9, 2012

The exhibit by smudge studio includes USM art students and features a 20 foot long wall drawing and polaroid images of Casco Bay. smudge is a Brooklyn-based collaboration between Jamie Kruse, an artist, designer and independent scholar, and Elizabeth Ellsworth, an artist and Professor of Media Studies at the New School, New York. smudge states that their work "meets sites and moments where the geologic and the human converge. We creatively respond to the complex of forces we encounter there: 
the natural, built, historic, social, strategic and the imagined."  

 While on the USM campus for a week in October as visiting artists, smudge will visit with art education and digital art classes and conduct a workshop on a Casco Bay Lines mail boat tour with art students.  Students will create material for the exhibit and "use the Portland mail boat tour as a means for locating ourselves physically in the midst of forces (natural, social, economic, temporal)." The Japanese term Zuihitsu encompasses non-linear modes such as "letting the brush lead."  The root of the word is the character "Zui," meaning: "at the mercy (of the waves)." smudge will invite students "to develop ways to both sense and 'signal' or creatively respond to 'the mercy of the waves'—the swerves in perspective, perception, understanding, sensation, attraction, imagination—that take place when we are enroute." Works of graphic design and photographs from other smudge projects will also be on display.


unique wood block printVerge : New Work by Andrea Sulzer

September 4 - October 16, 2012

This exhibit, which includes both 2 and 3 dimensional works on paper, presents a new dialogue in Sulzer's ongoing exploration of the fragmented nature of space.

Sulzer, based in Brunswick, shows extensively in Maine; her drawings have also been shown in New York City, Germany, Japan, the UK and China. 







Calder - Balloons



Sampler - The USM Teaching Collection

September 27 - December 09, 2012

Works on view included prints by Red Grooms, Robert Rauschenberg, Romare Bearden, Katherine Porter, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist and Alexander Calder(left); paintings by Wiliam Zorach, Marguerite Robichaux, USM alumni including and Alan Bray and Eric Hopkins; and innovative works in a range of media by Artists-in-Residence such as Deborah Aschheim.















The Myths

March 2, 2012 - April 14, 2012

Eight New England photographers consider how the roles of women have evolved since Eve’s “fall from grace.” Participating artists include Sharon Arnold, Bev Conway, Jesseca Ferguson, Cig Harvey, Rose Marasco, Abigail Wellman, and Amy Wilton. Curated by Heather Frederick of VoxPhotographs.






egaging insects






Engaging Insects- Artists and Scientists
September 22 - November, 10 2011

Subjects of scientific observation, sources of artistic inspiration, media for art, and unwitting collaborators – the works in this exhibition display some of the myriad ways in which artists and scientists work with insects.  From clockwork figures and embalming to genetic analysis, from scientific illustration to video manipulation, common insects are not only visually fascinating, they also raise provocative questions about our relation to the world around us. Curated by Kim Grant and Carolyn Eyler.

View catalog here.











Turtle/Television Island

September 24-November 10, 2010

Living on opposite shores of this continent natives call Turtle Island, James Luna, a member of the Puyoukitchum (Luiseño) tribe based in La Jolla, California, and ssipsis, a Penobscot from Maine, make art challenging notions of contemporary identity. On display are Wabanaki birch bark artifacts and Ssipsis’s objects that revive and innovate on this tradition; Luna’s photographic pairings of himself in evocative relation with ancestors and masks, video utilizing innovative storytelling formats, and objects creating humorous commentary. View catalog here.




















February 26- April 4, 2010

SIMPARCH, an artist collective that creates experiential installations, will explore ancient iconography and sacred architecture through contemporary methods and materials.











Michelle Forsyth









Canopy: Michelle Forsyth, Visiting Artist-in-Residence

February 24 - April 8, 2009

Favoring the formal elegance of pattern and the visceral qualities of the handmade, Forsyth's work is a reflection on the onslaught of images of suffering in contemporary life.










Worldviews and Molas

September 9 –November 9, 2008

The forty-five ceramic, jade, and stone artifacts in this exhibit, produced by Mayan scribes and artisans during the classic period, contain a wealth of information about Mayan ideology including religion, beliefs, and cosmic concerns. On loan from the William P. Palmer III Collection, Hudson Museum, The University of Maine.





Analog: Gideon Bok, Visiting Artist-in-Residence

February 26-April 6, 2008

Gideon Bok's paintings become a dense visual tracing of the objects, pace, light, and people that inhabit the space he uses. This exhibit will feature a number of Bok's paintings and will also serve as a studio site and subject for the artist. Bok, a Maine-based painter, is represented by galleries in New York and Boston and his work can be found in numerous public and private collections.