Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

The pandemic has taken a significant toll on arts venues and on creators. But some artists also recognize the positives that have come from the forced changes in their lives — in particular, three artists whose work appears in an exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art’s current show, “Untitled, 2020: Art from Maine in a _____ Time.”

Michael York / Associated Press file

Recently, Kennebec County commissioners voted unanimously to remove a controversial statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Melville Fuller from county property in front of the Kennebec County Courthouse.

Wade Kavanaugh

The pandemic has cost two Maine artists a million-dollar public art project.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

A number of public art works have sprung up in Portland that were created to celebrate Black life and honor those who have been killed by police officers in recent years. One of those works is Ashley Page’s “In Memory of Those Taken,” which incorporates a series of portraits. Willis Ryder Arnold spoke with Page about the role of public art in a time of cultural reckoning on the issues of race and police brutality.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Images

In a survey of people who attend live theater and performing arts in Maine, the Maine Arts Commission says it has found that just over half of respondents indicate they would not be comfortable attending a show, regardless of venue size, until there is a COVID-19 vaccine or immunity to the disease.

Portland Ovations, Indigo Arts Alliance, and the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center are partnering for a new series featuring performing artists of color.

Peter Kramer / Associated Press

Maine artist and educator Ashley Bryan was honored Monday on his 97th birthday. Gov. Mills issued a proclamation declaring the day "Ashley Frederick Bryan Day" in honor of his lifetime of contributions to the state.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

During the first wave of protests in Portland over the death of George Floyd, three local artists painted a memorial mural for Floyd and other victims of police violence on the brick wall of a downtown building.

In his own words, muralist Ryan Adams talks about what he hopes the image will convey, and about what it is like to be an artist of color in Maine:

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

A group of Black musicians and performers will gather virtually Friday for a Juneteenth celebration in Portland commemorating the end of slavery.

Courtesy Colin Woodard

In his book, "American Nations," Colin Woodard wrote about the cultural differences that have endured between parts of the U.S. throughout its history. In his new work, "Union," Woodard describes how Americans, despite those differences, came to agree on a single historical narrative that defines their country. Woodard spoke with Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

Theater at Monmouth

When problems arise in the world of theater, the rallying cry has long been "the show must go on," but that's just not the case for many theater companies in Maine that have cancelled their spring and summer seasons because of the spread of COVID-19. And now, sights are now set on future seasons.

Wade Kavanaugh

The artist duo of Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen have worked on public art together for the last 15 years. Most recently, they won a million-dollar public art commission for the new Washington Convention Center in Seattle.

Betsy Wyeth, Wife And Muse Of Late Artist Andrew Wyeth, Dies At 98

Apr 22, 2020
Courtesy of Ralston Gallery / via Bangor Daily News

ROCKLAND, Maine — Betsy Wyeth, the wife of beloved artist Andrew Wyeth, died at her home in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. She was 98.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Ice harvesting was a thriving industry in 19th century New England. Using large, jagged-toothed saws, workers would cut heavy blocks from frozen rivers, lakes and ponds, pack it in sawdust and sell it around the world. Then came electric refrigeration, and ice-cutting became all but obsolete. But there are still a few places where the tradition is carried on.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

On a recent Saturday morning, a small group of art students met at a Maine College of Art (MECA) studio in downtown Portland. They got to work setting up different crafting stations and tables covered with art supplies - fabric scraps, feathers, crayons, hot glue – and displaying on the walls and tables questions and prompts about diversity and community.