WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/359840

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Page 189 of 219

A Small City Big on Art and History "Portland is fanatical about supporting the arts," says Donald Tuski, president of MAINE COLLEGE OF ART (MECA). "There is a long history of visual artists in Maine. Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley, the Wyeths, among them. They came to art colonies that flourished on the coast or, like Homer, to build studios. Then and now, artists find Portland accessible to New York and Boston but without the distractions major cities hold. There's also a strong crafts culture in Maine and a spirit of getting it done and doing it cre- atively." Those connections are reflected in Portland's abundance of galleries and more than a dozen museums, from fine art to obscure. The Institute of Contemporary Art, ICA@MECA (522 Congress Street), presents exhibitions of innovative student and faculty work. Across the lobby is the highly regarded JUNE FITZPATRICK GALLERY, which has a second location (112 High Street) devoted to works on paper. Next door is SPACE GALLERY (538 Congress Street), an edgy nonprofit that hosts films, live music, and artist lectures. GREENHUT GALLERIES (146 Middle Street) and AUCOCISCO (89 Exchange Street) lead any list of galleries not to miss. FIRST FRIDAY ART WALKS are a great introduction to the scene. The free, self-guided celebrations are held downtown on the first Friday of every month from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. As many as 60 venues participate — open studios, galleries, and museums with extended hours. Dancers, musicians, and visual artists perform, mostly outdoors. In December 2013 for the first time, the city shut down Portland's main artery, Congress Street, from the Portland Museum of Art to Monument Square. It was one long live venue and so popular it has become an established event on First Friday in December and during the annual OLD PORT FESTIVAL IN JUNE. Fingers crossed that we'll always see acro- bats from the Circus Conservatory of America, a new higher education institution that plans to open here in September 2016. "The Art Walk is a microcosm of the arts community here," says Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Creative Portland, co-producers of the event. "It evolved from a grassroots arts festival to something 188 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 4 excursions "abundance of galleries" Portland's Old Port at dusk C O U R T E S Y O F G R E A T E R P O R T L A N D C O N V E N T I O N + V I S I T O R S B U R E A U

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