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Lewis Gallery

Maine has a rich heritage of fiddling that encompasses Yankee, Franco-American, and, to a lesser extent, Irish-American cultures. The exhibit will explore and celebrate this heritage by bringing together a wide range of materials—photographs, printed and manuscript tunebooks, sound recordings, concert flyers, and dance cards—that document the Pine Tree State’s vibrant fiddling traditions. Maine has also been home to a surprising number of fiddle makers; researchers have identified close to 200 professional and amateur craftspeople in Maine who have made violins. Examples of the work of several of these are included in the exhibit.Curators of the exhibit are Paul F. Wells, Director Emeritus of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, and Tom Wilsbach, Arts Librarian at the Portland Public Library. Wilsbach and Wells are both fiddlers and fiddle researchers. The exhibit will hang through June and July. Associated events, including lectures and performances will take place during the exhibit’s run.- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/events/wicked-good-fiddling-200-years-fiddling-fiddlers-fiddle-making-maine/#sthash.SsbaGJyE.dpuf
Maine has a rich heritage of fiddling that encompasses Yankee, Franco-American, and, to a lesser extent, Irish-American cultures. The exhibit will explore and celebrate this heritage by bringing together a wide range of materials—photographs, printed and manuscript tunebooks, sound recordings, concert flyers, and dance cards—that document the Pine Tree State’s vibrant fiddling traditions. Maine has also been home to a surprising number of fiddle makers; researchers have identified close to 200 professional and amateur craftspeople in Maine who have made violins. Examples of the work of several of these are included in the exhibit.Curators of the exhibit are Paul F. Wells, Director Emeritus of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, and Tom Wilsbach, Arts Librarian at the Portland Public Library. Wilsbach and Wells are both fiddlers and fiddle researchers. The exhibit will hang through June and July. Associated events, including lectures and performances will take place during the exhibit’s run.- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/events/wicked-good-fiddling-200-years-fiddling-fiddlers-fiddle-making-maine/#sthash.01kwJmUH.dpuZanzibar Henna Artists:  Innovation on a Cultural TraditioLower Level [back hallway]
October 5 – December 22, 2018
Home: Reflections on PlaceWork by Maine’s Immigrant artist community

“Home: Reflections on Place” is an art art exhibit of work by immigrants to Maine who have been asked to reflect on the idea of “home” as individuals who have left one home and come to another.  Leaving one’s home and finding another and assimilating ideas of family, culture and community in a new place are part of the immigrant experience.  We asked each artist in this exhibit to document this experience and reflect on what home is.  Immigrants come to this country for many different reasons; for love, for work, for education or because they are fleeing. Home: Reflections on Place seeks to explore what makes a home, a residence, a homeland.

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July 18 – December 31, 2018
Mary E: A 1906 Schooner Comes Home to Maine
In the Lower Level Hallway

The schooner Mary E is a rare survivor. Built in Bath in 1906, she is the oldest Maine-built fishing schooner still afloat. In 2017 she was purchased by Maine Maritime Museum and brought home to Maine, where she was restored at the museum’s historic shipyard in Bath, “The City of Ships.” Newly relaunched in 2018, she now serves as an ambassador of Maine’s maritime heritage. This exhibit explores Mary E‘s past, present, and future with a look at her history, restoration, and preservation.

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Lewis Gallery Exhibit Guidelines

The Lewis Gallery at Portland Public Library is a large and open gallery that has 75 feet of wall space, a soaring entry, track lighting, and great public visibility. Voted the Portland Phoenix’s Best Non-Gallery Art Space 2013, the Lewis Gallery is a space that attracts visitors and encourages public engagement with art.


click to enlarge

click to enlarge

If you are interested in exhibiting your work, please review our art exhibit guidelines and submit a proposal using the Lewis Gallery proposal form.

The Library’s Cultural Center Team reviews exhibit proposals on a quarterly basis and selects shows based on a goal of attaining a mix of mediums and content for the gallery. Submitting a proposal form does not ensure that a show will be hosted in the Lewis Gallery.