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Spencer McCall’s bewildering The Institute

Life is elsewhere
Ostensibly, the first feature film by Spencer McCall seeks to provide a portrait of a San Francisco organization called the Jejune Institute, whose mission hovers somewhere between the poles of self-help, performance art, disinformation, and an alternate-reality game. But if this is a portrait, we're not in art class anymore.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  May 10, 2013


James Marshall escapes flatness at icon

Leaping off the wall
In the first show of the season at the always engaging Icon Contemporary Art, James Marshall's collection of new works breathes life into the paper bag. Literally.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  May 03, 2013


Designtex staffers strut their stuff at SPACE

Workplace creativity
"Surface Tension," the fantastic exhibit at SPACE Gallery, is a gorgeous set of oddities, surfaces, and structures, and issues a strong challenge to visual perception using remarkable techniques re-imagining the limits of texture, conception, and color.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  April 24, 2013


The eyes have it

Brenda find their identity on album two
The paradoxes in Brenda, the rock band of three (or sometimes four) members split geographically between Portland and New York, are hard to iron out.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  April 17, 2013


UNE’s Women Pioneers deepen inquiry

Joining disunity
Third of four in the UNE Art Gallery's series of Maine Women Pioneers, the curators describe "Worldview" as an exhibit of artists "who are connected to their world . . . inspired by ethics, emotions, and existential holistic themes, as activists, healers, and visionaries." That's a definition with a pretty broad reach
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  April 04, 2013


Inside the bellies of the beasts at ICA at MECA

Species Going Distinct
Harbored inside walls of burlap cloth draped from the ceiling of the ICA's darkened back room comes the terrific pull of "Bump," the impressive installation of suspended whale bones found and arranged into a sort of mausoleum by Maine brothers Frank and Dan DenDanto.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  March 27, 2013


Harrington’s debut is Connection’s finale

First (and last) laugh
This week, Providence-based comic Ray Harrington released his first CD, The Worst Is Over , on respected comedy label Stand Up! Records.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  March 06, 2013


Institutionalizing single works at IFAA

Looking closely
In another look at Portland's growing number of atypical studies within the art world, we spoke to Southern Maine Community College art history professor Christopher Stiegler, founder of the Institute for American Art, a curatorial space he runs from his home on Smith Street in Bayside. This is an edited transcript.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  March 07, 2013


A public conversation probes art deeply

Thought experiment
The Peninsula School is a weekly art discussion forum open to the public launched within the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA by graduate sculpture student Rob Doane.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  February 27, 2013


Lady Lamb weans a full-length album

Audible emotion
The haunting and quasi-S&M-themed video for her song "The Nothing Part II" (directed by Portland filmmaker David Meiklejohn) premieres on this week.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  February 27, 2013


Metal Feathers net their best record yet

Dredging up the low
If you're going to make huge structural changes, before your third record is a fine time to do it.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  February 20, 2013


Altered Gee dig the past and turn up treasure

Golden beats
The experience of modern music is synonymous with nostalgia.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  February 13, 2013


Blending Lovecraft and modern art

Inspired darkness
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  February 06, 2013


Astrid Bowlby opens the black box

Drawing encyclopedia
To consider "Everything," the new installation by artist Astrid Bowlby, consider what we know about the sausage maker.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  January 30, 2013


Cuss’s thunderous, visceral High Gravity

Guitar takes a back seat
The majority of people who listen to Cuss will invariably remember one thing. Men are pigs.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  January 30, 2013


Ian Svenonius conjures the spirit world in reviving rock and roll history

Are you a believer?
These days, the road toward a successful music career seems very brightly lit.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  January 25, 2013


Corrigan + Gardiner at Mayo Street Arts

Coordinated states
While there's no easy way to tie together the respective art forms of Pat Corrigan and Jennifer Gardiner, the community hub of Mayo Street Arts is a fittingly off-center venue for their latest work, which fuses discrete processes and subjects for a modestly sized showcase.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  January 09, 2013


Finding fantastical fauna

Fitch’s feats
Even leaving aside their scarcity in highbrow galleries and happening-lite installation work, animals in visual art have never been more popular.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  December 31, 2012


The year ahead in visual arts

See and be seen
While the PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART is about to wrap its wildly successful Winslow Homer exhibit, something tells me we'll be feeling the various expressions of "Weatherbeaten" for awhile.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  December 26, 2012


Just try to escape from these Jags

Take up the Endless fight
Show me a world where the good times never end, and I'll show you, in just a few hours' time, an epic hangover and a parking ticket.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  December 12, 2012


Bringing the exhibits to life at the PMA

Inside the galleries
This Friday, the Portland Museum of Art stages the last of this year's Artist Intervention series, a program launched in January 2012 in which local professional artists create on-site performances and installations to complement the visitor experience.
By: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  December 05, 2012

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