USM Art Galleries Gorham and Portland

Past Exhibits

juried show

Juried Student Exhibition                                                                                                                                                                             We are pleased to present this annual exhibition open to all USM students submitting work in any media. The exhibition is designed to provide students with an introduction to a professional type of exhibition as emerging artists. As part of the process, they obtain feedback from art professionals in the community, learn to prepare art for a professional setting, and have their work exposed to a wide range of viewers perhaps for the first time.

Our appreciation to jurors Nat May, curator and former SPACE executive director, and Anne Alexander, sculptor and educator. They chose fifty-one works by thirty-four students, then selected award winners for cash and gift certificate prizes: Best of Show, Juror’s Award, and four Honorarble Mention awards. A smaller version of this show will be displayed at the USM AREA Gallery, Woodbry Campus Center, Portland campus April 5-May 1.

emily simonsCross-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. 

But can collaboratively-produced art with social and environmental justice messages be accessible to others as well?  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.

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.

 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. swirling fall leaves

Maine’s public and private schools and universities and are members of the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA): an arts advocacy organization that promotes the artistic learning of children, encourages innovation and research in art education, and the exchange of ideas and practices among teachers.





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.     ItsHonorIsHerePledged Quilts

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.

George Longfish discusses his work with students


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.





USM | UMVA Forging Affinities

January 28 - March 6, 2016

 The University of Southern Maine Art Faculty and the Union of Maine Visual Artists teamed up to dialogue, inspire, and collaborate with each other-    

  Painting by David Schneider and Stephen Walsh       

James Flahaven/David Estey; Damir Porobic/Rachael Eastman; David Schneider/Stephen Walsh; Michael Shaughnessy/Nora Tryon/Anita Clearfield/Geoffrey Leighton; Lin Lisberger/Grace Degennaro; Rebecca Goodale/Bessie Smith Moulton/Bonnie Faulkner; Rich Wilson/Tracy Ginn; Raphael Diluzio/George Burk; Jen McDermott/Justin Levesque; Jan Piribeck/Jim Kelly; and Susan Colburn-Motta/Anne Bernard- resulting in work in a variety of media. 






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 andtruly democratic expressions of patriotism. Mayers,as Artist-in-Residence this spring, facilitated apublic art mural of the townof Gorham with college students, school groups, and the local community.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 Donna Cassidy and Libby Bischof.

Donna Cassidy interviewed at Picturing Maine exhibition










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.                                   

Todd Webb exhibition at Area gallery




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. 






 Faculty and Alumni Invitational

January 22 - March 1, 2015

Presenting work by art faculty and alumni with whom they have each selected to exhibit. 

Sculpture of fisherman ready for the beach

Featured Faculty and Alumni Raphael Diluzio and Nathan Stevens '06James Flahaven and Oliver Solmitz '11Rebecca Goodale and Sarah Baldwin '11
Duncan Hewitt and Robert Lieber '91Lin Lisberger and Kaitlyn Hunter '13
Jan Piribeck and Kathleen Daniels'12Damir Porobic and Johnathan Cook '11
David Schneider and Benjamin Lambert '10Michael Shaughnessy and Aaron Frederick '99Richard Wilson and Scott Minzy '06






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 erxistential questions, all depicted through individual human expression, and often integrating the viewer into the experience.






Transitions: Juried Alumni Exhibition

January 13 - March 28, 2014

Juror Virginia Sassman Rose has selected 23 paintings, drawings and prints by seven USM Art alumni from a call for submissions. Exhibiting alumni include: Nora Tryon '89, Kathi Smith '03, Jody Desjardins '03, Ellen Hodgkin '07, Michael Connor '01, Lis Janes '07. Rose is founder of the Rose Contemporary, a gallery in downtown Portland, and an art history instructor at Southern Maine Community College.




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 - Decmber 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 NewYork 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.






MythsThe 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.






Turtle Television Island

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.






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.





Honour Mack HorizonHORIZON Poetics of the Post-Heroic Landscape 

September 24-November 8, 2009 

The juxtaposition of Jennilie Brewster's strangely powerful avalanches of trash and Honour Mack's elegant, diminutive paintings offer insight into the ways in which contemporary worldviews have transformed the idea of landscape





Michelle ForsythCanopy: 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.




WorldviewsWorldviews 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.


Gideon BokAnalog: 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.