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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]
January 4 – February 23
Photos of the Year
Curated by Portland Press Herald

Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer


Lewis Gallery

Sometimes the best photos depict a place you know intimately. In 2018 our staff photojournalists found many of their greatest photos in our own backyard – in Deering Oaks Park, in Portland’s City Hall council chambers, on the Eastern Promenade, and on Scarborough’s and Saco’s beaches. We also took an in-depth look at Bayside, a Portland neighborhood in distress, and we documented the high school ritual of the prom with portraits of young people on the cusp of adulthood.

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March 1 – March 23
On Books!
Curated by Lin Lisberger for USM Book Arts
Lewis Gallery

ON BOOKS approaches a reverence for books with the understanding that there is an essential “thingness” to books along with the narrative that might be included within their pages.  While these sculptures may have pages, they express their ideas in a form descriptive of the feeling those pages may evoke.  They have literal weight and occupy our physical space in a way complementary to the way a story occupies our mental space.

This sculpture exhibited includes sculptural responses to books or literary experiences, pieces that use language or words in a dominant way, altered books, and pieces that use or reveal book elements.

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April 5 – May 25
A Critical Balance
Maine Biodiversity Research Institute 

Lewis Gallery
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June 7- June 22
50 Years Since Stonewall
Curated by Pride@PPL
(FMI moore@portlib.org)
Lewis Gallery
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July 5- July 27
Bravo! 25 Years of Opera Maine
Curated by Opera Maine

Lewis Gallery
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August 2- September 14
Melt Down
Curated by Bruce Brown for the Center for Maine Contemporary Art

Lewis Gallery

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October 4- December 21
Illustration Exhibit TBA 
Curated by Portland Public Library

Lewis Gallery
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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.