Posts Tagged ‘Union of Maine Visual Artists’


What’s Your Opinion?

May 9, 2021

Portland Museum of Art

The information below was passed on by retired art teacher and artist Christine Higgins, a member of Union of Maine Visual Artists and ARRT! – Artists’ Rapid Response Team. If you have questions please email Christine at

As the Portland Museum of Art considers uses for the building adjacent to PMA, why not have it dedicated to an arts education center focused on Maine’s youth? It could be a fabulous opportunity to offer experiences in all the arts- music, dance, writing, and the visual arts.  Perhaps educators and artist in this state could unite to advocate?

The invitation below is from Alicia Coll, Philanthropy and Campaign Administrator at the Portland Museum of Art.

Please join us for a virtual Zoom PMA Listening Session held especially for Artists with PMA consultant and host Paul Johnson, Principal of Creative Fundraising Advisors, on Monday, May 10th from 6:00pm-7:00pm, please reply to this email to confirm. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

5:00PM-6:00PM EST

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 224 261 5853

Thank you for considering sharing your thoughts and opinions with us about how to maximize the use of the building adjacent to the PMA at 142 Free Street, purchased by PMA in 2019, so that it most effectively serves our visitors and our community. It will be very helpful as we plan for the future of the PMA. We hope you will join us and look forward to listening and learning from you. 

Alicia’s email address is


Union of Maine Visual Artists

February 2, 2021

Journal Winter 2021

The Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) represents visual artists statewide in all fields of endeavor and welcomes those who support contemporary artists in Maine. The UMVA is dedicated to upholding the dignity of artists, while creating positive social change through the arts. By collaborating with other cultural and progressive organizations, we raise awareness for significant issues while promoting an inclusive arts community in Maine.

The winter edition of the Union of Maine Visual Artists journal includes a piece on the Open Art Teachers Studio. The article was written by Bronwyn Sale, Martha Piscuskas, Iva Damon, and Melanie Crowe and describes the opportunity for art teachers to come together for five sessions and create art together for an hour each time. One participant said: “It was good to see people’s faces and to feel connected.” We know how difficult it can be to feel connected to others and during the pandemic that has been highlighted even more. It was wonderful that Open Art Teachers Studio provided a chance to come together, make and share art, and know that the community is there. READ the entire article.

Melanie Crowe, Fish Back in Water, 2020

Visible Discourse from Maine’s Western Foothills

July 12, 2019

Union of Maine Visual Artists

Artists Diana Arcadipone, Don Best, Nikki Millonzi and Judith Schneider

Union of Maine Visual Artists, Portland Media Center, 516 Congress Street, Portland, ME

September 6 through September 28, 2019

Opening First Friday, September 6, from 5 – 8 pm

Gallery Hours: Monday: 12 PM – 5 PM, Tuesday -Thursday: 10 AM – 5 PM,             Friday-Sunday: 1 PM – 4 PM

Visible Discourse is an exhibition that celebrates Maine’s natural and diverse environment; the wildlife, woodlands, lakes and ocean that draw visitors to Maine from around the globe. This exhibition is a collaborative installation by four artists living in Oxford County: Diana Arcadipone, Don Best, Nikki Millonzi and Judith Schneider. Four distinct voices visually explore their surroundings and collectively celebrate the beauty of Maine. These artists share works inspired by the magic and collective energies of the Oxford Hills, an area with a rich visual and performing arts culture. One well known artist claims the local art springs from “something in the water.”  The juxtaposition of this work celebrates the beauty of Maine and offers a poetic contrast and respite from the historic vitality of urban Portland. Through this presentation of work, the artists hope to advocate for the need to preserve the natural beauty that exists throughout Maine as well as help the viewer perceive new ways to “make sense of things”.

Diana Arcadipone

Diana Arcadipone creates artworks on and of paper. Her passion for making art with natural materials and mixed media emerged from an early devotion to traditional craft techniques such as papermaking, book arts, basketry, and textiles. Trained as a painter and printmaker, Arcadipone’s work is informed by primitive art, folk art, traveling, and the natural world; it is the intersection of these influences that defines her work.

Don Best

Don Best works mainly in wood. He carves, paints, assembles, burns, and hand colors his work, which often uses animals as its subject and theme. Much of Best’s recent work has been reliefs, which give him the opportunity to use his drawing, painting, and sculpture skills to create engaging narratives. Shadow boxes become stages for his carved animals. Best’s work has a playful quality that makes it accessible to people of all ages.

Nikki Millonzi

For Nikki Millonzi, nature, the arts and the world around her all help her to make sense of things. She loves and cherishes the natural world so political activism is important to her. This year Nikki felt an increasing need to express the interconnectedness of life on this planet. Using newspaper and ink her installation We Are All In This Together helps us resonate with this underlying unity.

Judy Schneider investigates place and memory through the physical properties of landscape. By collecting and analyzing nature – dissecting it by color, form and line and then reassembling it, she finds meaning. Scale, density and layering are important. How the images find their natural edge and how memories form present a nice duality.  She is in pursuit of what is physically present, woven with memory, dreams and how the energy of “place” is conveyed.

For more information, contact Judy Schneider, Curator


UMVA Journal

January 5, 2017

Winter 2017 Journal of Union of Maine Visual Artists


This is an amazing publication that features the work and stories of many Maine visual artists.  This is a great resource for you teachers as well as your students.

Lindsay Pinchbeck and I wrote a piece about our travels to Malawi in July that is included in the Winter 2017 issue, Lines of Thought. To access the free journal please CLICK HERE.

If you haven’t subscribed (it’s free), do it now. Please let them know what you think. They welcome feedback and suggestions of every stripe, including your ideas and submissions for future issues. If you know any artists who would be perfect for the upcoming theme, Light in the Dark: Art As a Sane Voice in an Insane World (description can be found in the Journal), please let them know. There is info on the last page about how to order hard copies.

And if you are not already a member of the Union of Maine Visual Artists, we would welcome you joining. Current and archived journals can be found here:


Ashley Bryan

December 16, 2016

I Know a Man

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-9-24-43-pmI Know a Man … Ashley Bryan celebrates the life and works of an extraordinary Black artist whose life sends audiences across all races and ages a message of joy, kindness, peace and inclusion.  Ashley Bryan has visited many Maine schools to share his stories. He was born in 1923 and has written and illustrated many children’s books. Most of his subjects are Black American. He was the U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2006 and he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his contribution to American children’s literature in 2009. Ashley Bryan’s “Freedom Over Me” was short-listed for the 2016 Kirkus Prize.

A documentary of Ashley’s life is underway but help is needed to tell his story to the world. You can contribute at Kickstarter by going to:

Take a look at the trailer by CLICKING HERE. Part of it is filmed at the Ashley Bryan School on Islesford Island (off of coast of Maine).

Please take a look at this Kickstarter, consider a contribution, small or large, and let your friends know about it.

All contributions are tax deductible as the project’s sponsor, the Union of Maine Visual Artists, is a 501(c)(3) not for profit educational organization.

More info on Ashley Bryan and the films

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-9-24-19-pmI Know a Man … Ashley Bryan (2016, 73 min) and Ashley Bryan’s World (2016, 32 min) are two important new films by Richard Kane and Robert Shetterly that can help spark needed conversations about race and racism in our country. In a media environment where Black males are often portrayed in a negative light, or only portrayed in connection with tragic news, I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan celebrates the life and works of an extraordinary Black artist whose life sends audiences across all races and ages a message of joy, kindness, peace and inclusion. We need your help to tell his story to the world

Ashley, now 93 years old, is a spiritually deep, creative wonder whose experience in an all-Black battalion in World War II exposed him to the  carnage of war and the reality of institutionalized racism. In response he dedicated his life to art — creating beauty and joy, spreading love and peace.  During a recent radio interview Ashley spoke about how the smallest kindness offered to another acknowledges them as a valued human being and can begin to make the world a better place.

He does this every day with his person and, so powerfully, with his art — magical puppets and sea glass windows made from found objects inspired by his African heritage — and his paintings, poetry, stories and illustrations found in over fifty children’s books, many published by Atheneum Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.


Who Are They?: Schoodic Arts for All, Part 1

May 13, 2015

Introducing: Schoodic Arts for All

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant. Please consider ways in which you can collaborate to provide excellent arts education for all learners.

safa_logo_blue_greenThis is the first blog post of the series highlighting the work of Schoodic Arts for All located in Hammond Hall, 427 Main Street in Winter Harbor. This area is called Downeast Maine and Schoodic Arts for All is at the intersection of Hancock and Washington Counties. Schoodic Arts for All is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering interest and involvement in the arts for all who wish to participate.


The mission of Schoodic Arts for All is to bring together and provide opportunities for people of all ages to experience and appreciate the arts. Since our beginning in 1999, Schoodic Arts for All has been an integral part of our community as an arts presenting organization. In addition, we also area centerpiece for the downtown renovation, a positive influence on the economic situation, a resource for the schools in our district and a venue for the community events in our town.


Schoodic Arts for All was born in 1999 as a grassroots citizen’s group (Schoodic Futures) to address the dire economic impact on the town due to the closure of the Winter Harbor Navy base.  The loss of $11.5 million dollars in payroll and another $9 million in losses to vendors of equipment, supplies, and services to the navy cut the population by half, leaving only 23 students in the school and 100 empty buildings in town. Our task was to bring back life and vitality through increased visitation and economic opportunity.

One early answer to the question of how to save the community was to hold a two-week arts festival. In a region with little industry, most of the people who live here are engaged in creative occupations. These include the visual arts, music, craft, writing, design, architecture, and organic agriculture. After that first two-week festival, and following a two-year planning and data gathering process, one wish of the community that consistently surfaced was to provide increased “live arts” opportunities for participation and performance.

The Schoodic Arts Festival is the best known program that we do – it’s our signature program and begins in a few weeks. This year we have 85 workshops and 26 performances in 14 days! It’s our flagship program.

Schoodic Arts for All Programs

Art Club

Our Afterschool Art Club activities connect children with local professional artists who’s experience and passion for their craft inspire our club members to aspire to a life in the arts.

Schoodic Summer Chorus 

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 9.33.45 PMA multi-generational a capella community chorus devoted to nurturing musicianship and community, in residence at Hammond Hall. Directed by singer and composer Anna Dembska, the chorus is open to anyone who loves to sing.


Museum Field Trips  

One of our first participants had this to say about our January trip to The Farnsworth Art Museum: “Winter days are short.  This trip was a brilliant idea.  It recharged creative minds on many levels and was a good day long social event.”

Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) 

If you are interested in the arts, if you are an artist, if you have a friend who is an artist, or if you want to know about what’s going on in the arts community, come and join us. All are welcome!

Pandemonium Steel Pan Band 

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 9.33.21 PMOur youth steel drum band, Pandemonium (intermediate), rehearses throughout the year and have performance opportunities annually at the Schoodic Arts Festival as well as at local school assemblies.


Schoodic Arts for All Meetinghouse Theatre Lab

The Meetinghouse Theatre Lab is dedicated to creating a yearly ensemble of performance artists who come together to excite the senses, push the limits, and explode the definition of “create” with the aim of growing as performers and enriching the humanity of all involved. The Theatre Lab has presented readings, staged readings, and full productions, both classic and contemporary.

If you have questions about Schoodic Arts for All please contact the Executive Director, Mary Laury, at

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