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Art Exhibits

Welcome to the Maine Jewish Museum, located in Portland’s East End neighborhood. The museum is housed within the restored Etz Chaim Synagogue, a turn-of-the-century house of worship. The museum has been the venue for contemporary art exhibitions for the past eight years. These exhibitions, which change every six weeks, feature established, Jewish-connected, and Maine-connected artists.

Exhibiting Maine’s Jewish artists links our Jewish artists to Maine’s rich artistic history and highlights their place in Maine’s exciting contemporary art scene which includes but is not at all limited to the following: Winslow Homer, the Monhegan Island and Ogunquit artist colonies, Colby College Museum of Art, Haystack Mountain on Deer Isle, Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Skowhegan School of Painting, and the Portland Museum of Art. We are thrilled to display the artists chosen by Curator Nancy Davidson and Photography Curator Nanci Kahn and share it with you!

The museum also houses Jack Montgomery’s photo exhibit of Holocaust survivors who settled in Maine as well as a permanent exhibition of Maine Jewish History.

Current exhibits run from July 1 – August 14


  • Forces of Nature

    Janis Goodman
    Fineberg Family Community Room

    Janis Goodman chose work for this exhibit that are reflections on the environment she has observed and experienced in Hawaii, Maine and West Virginia. The paintings and drawings move between the narrative and the deconstructed… so, they are not literal translations but suggestive of a time or place. The work is based upon observations from the sky, sea and land. They are a construction and compilation of remembered images and colors. They suggest imminent change, wondrous occurrences in nature and time passing. The work is executed in oil on canvas and wood panel. They are painted in multiple thin layers to create luminosity and depth.

    Janis Goodman is a DC based artist with a long history in Maine. For the past 25 summers, she has been renting a cabin on Deer Isle where she paints and kayaks. The rest of the year she maintains a studio in Washington, DC and Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. She is a Professor of Fine Arts at the Corcoran College of Art at George Washington University.

  • A Sense of Place: Landscapes Near & Far

    Toby Gordon
    Spiegel Gallery

    For Toby Gordon, painting is all about connection—to a chosen landscape, to the painting process, to herself, and ultimately to the viewer. Though observation plays a fundamental role in her work, she is less concerned with accurate representation than with the feel of being in a particular place at a particular time—the light, the air, the warmth, the cold. Whether painting in the field or her studio, her process involves a wordless interplay between the felt landscape and the materials. One mark leads to the next, and the action is set into motion. She paints, scrapes, and layers until the painting finally reveals itself, and the end result is always a surprise.
    
    Toby Gordon lives and paints in Kittery Point, Maine. She studied painting and drawing at the University of New Hampshire and has taken workshops with artists Stuart Shils, Chris Liberti, Tom Glover, and Wendy Turner, among many others. Her work has been widely exhibited, including at the George Marshall Store Gallery, the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, the Portland Art Gallery, the Portsmouth Historical Society, and Drift Gallery.

  • Paris Street Dance

    Richard Wexler
    Jody S. Sataloff Art and History Pavilion

    In his photographs, Richard Wexler finds moments when people are busy with life. Their gestures, facial expressions, and postures immediately allow us to connect with them while also inviting us to create our own narratives. This connection requires no explanation; it crosses lines of culture, time, and conviction. It rests on something we all share, our human nature.

    “Paris Street Dance” was shot over four years prior to the pandemic. The collection of images takes one on a virtual visit, offering a glimpse of life in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
    
    Richard’s first photographs captured life in the woods behind his childhood home in Baltimore. His interest in photography evolved during his years as a physician and medical director, variably landing on portraiture, landscapes, and the beauty of nature as revealed under an electron microscope. Living in Paris for extended periods upon retiring, Richard had hours to walk the streets, and his passion for street photography emerged. He lives in Maine and has studied photography at the Maine College of Art, Maine Community College, and in Paris with Valerie Jardin. He is a core member of The Bakery Photo Collective.

    View a small sample of the pieces available for sale from this exibxit