The Maine Arts Journal: The UMVA Quarterly

The Union of Maine Visual Artists


The woman who brought contemporary art to Maine

By Mirlea Saks

Art lovers tend to focus, understandably, on art and its makers. Yet one of Maine’s most powerful arts leaders is not an artist. A career exceeding 60 years has made the beloved Nancy Davidson, art curator at the Maine Jewish Museum, in Portland, one of her profession’s heavy hitters, with influence extending well beyond New England.





Art review: A new perspective on old, cold landscapes

'Strata' at the Maine Jewish Museum is the latest exhibition of Shoshannah White's photographs from the Arctic Circle.

Maine Jewish Museum presents

Three New Exhibitions

Exhibitions: March 9, 2017 - April 30, 2017
Opening Reception: March 9, 2017, 5pm-7pm
First Friday Art Walk: April 7, 5pm-8pm
Nancy Davidson, Curator

Life: Some Assembly Required - Scaintings by Mirlea Saks
Mirlea Saks is a Maine-based artist who specializes in bold sculpture and innovative three-dimensional acrylic paintings: Scaintings. In Saks's Scaintings an immigrant's wry celebration of American life offers a sharp view of our society's tropes.

Randy Fein: Forty Years in Maine: Finding Her Way with Clay
Randy Fein is professional ceramic sculptor and potter, whose career spans forty years of artistic expression with clay in Maine. "Clay is my material of expression," she says. "It inspires touch, while offering infinite possibilities. I work in the moment; my hands are my tools. I scratch, pinch, push, and press; seeking to discover the life within the shapeless mud. Over the years, I have mastered the technical challenges of finding my way with clay, enabling me to express spontaneity with fluid forms, vivid glazes, and complex textures that all continue to captivate my senses."

Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest: Photographs of Portland
"This gathering of photographs is more than an encomium to a place- it is a consideration of the visual smells that give Portland its character. An intimacy with the details of its fabric blended with fresh thoughts about old sentimental places offers us an image of a community that in the silent moments selected by the photographer is irresistible." Philip Isaacson, 2007

What may be the largest exhibition of Welliver's work since his death in 2005 is on view at the Maine Jewish Museum, through March 5.

Neil Welliver, one of the leading wet-on-wet representational painters in America, died in Belfast in 2005. As Welliver settled into his mature style coolly observed but stroke-luscious Maine forest scenes made from plein air works he also helped solidify a core aspect of postwar American art: the ongoing dialogue with painting.

Press Harald

˜Photographs of Portland™ offers understated sophistication in black and white

April 16, 2017

Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest's Portland is 'lonely but likable.'

Portland Press Herald


Neil Welliver is known as an important Maine painter, and that reputation will only grow

January 22, 2017

What may be the largest exhibition of Welliver's work since his death in 2005 is on view at the Maine Jewish Museum, through March 5.

Portland Press Herald


An accidental tourist at Maine Jewish Museum

The Boston Globe


Art Review: Rich Entel™s Cardboard Menagerie™ is playful and sculpturally sophisticated

His animal busts, on view through Jan. 4, inspire many looks.

Portland Press Herald


Exhibition at Maine Jewish Museum examines Portland immigration then and now.

September 4, 2015

Jo Israelson tells the story of House Island and generations of immigrants in 'Welcoming the Stranger.'

Portland Press Herald