The 2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial




SHOWCASE-April 2011

by Rebecca Falzano

The 2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial

902 applicants, 3 jurors, 65 works, 47 artists, 1 art-infused state


Every two years, the Portland Museum of Art announces its much-anticipated Biennial—a juried exhibition that over the years has become as much a visual record of Maine’s evolving contemporary art scene as a testament to the creative hold that this place—its landscape, culture, and people—has on artists today. This year’s Biennial opens April 7 and features sixty-five works from forty-seven artists across a range of mediums, from painting, drawing, printmaking, and photography to sculpture, installation, and video. The artwork was selected from more than 900 applicants last September by a panel of jurors: Jim Kempner, the owner and director of Jim Kempner Fine Art in New York City; David Row, a painter who splits his time between New York and Maine; and Joanna Marsh, the James Dicke curator of contemporary art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. While the majority of Biennial artists live full-time in Maine, a number of them live here part-time or have a deep connection to the state through exhibiting, creating artwork, or studying here.
Since 1998, the PMA’s Biennials have evolved over the years, and are viewed as one of the foremost venues for contemporary art in Maine. If there is one thing to take away from the range of artwork and artists presented every two years, it’s this: Maine is a place for creating, and its influence on the art world has a ripple effect that extends well beyond its borders.

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