The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, 21 Winter St., will reopen to the public Saturday, March 23, with two new exhibitions for the spring season. A reception celebrating the exhibitions will be held that evening from 5 to 7 p.m., preceded by a gallery talk by artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen at 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend the reception and gallery talk free of charge

CMCA was closed for repairs following a water main break on Jan. 19 that flooded the 11,500 square foot structure.

“Happily, all repairs to the building have been completed and we are back on track to reopen as scheduled,” says CMCA Director Suzette McAvoy. “We are grateful to everyone in our community for their assistance and support throughout the recovery period.”

“EFB Exhibition: Kavanaugh + Nguyen”

Kavanaugh of Bethel and Nguyen of Portland were selected as the first recipients of the highly competitive Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Fellowship Award in the Visual Arts, picked from a pool of more than 200 applicants by jurors Jeffrey Peabody, director of the Matthew Marks Gallery of New York City; and Alison de Lima Green, curator of modern and contemporary art of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. As part of the award, the recipients receive a solo exhibition at CMCA.

Working as collaborators for more than a decade, Kavanaugh and Nguyen have distinguished themselves with an approach to installation work that is highly inventive, immersive, and fully in command of their materials. For their exhibition in the main gallery at CMCA, the artists have created a large-scale environment that draws inspiration from the Maine landscape.

“Our current idea came from a visit to the [Winslow] Homer studio, partly from the sea, but more from the landforms along the water’s edge,” said Kavanaugh.

“Melt Down”

Also opening on March 23 is “Melt Down,” an exhibition that features stunning photographs and videos by 10 distinguished Maine artists whose work addresses climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. “Melt Down” has been organized by CMCA Curator Emeritus Bruce Brown and includes the work of artists John Paul Caponigro, John Eide, Ella Hudson, Jonathan Laurence, Justin Levesque, Jim Nickelson, Jan Piribeck, Peter Ralston, Shoshannah White and Deanna Witman.

Through their experiences recording and responding to the visible and visceral markers of irrefutable change in the Polar Regions, the artists in “Melt Down” bring these physically remote places and the compelling need for action to a wider audience. Their work provides a route for inspiring awareness and response when overwhelming data and science have failed to motivate.

“Climate change is obviously not a ‘hoax’; the core questions we must all ask ourselves pertain to what extent are we actually culpable, as well as what we as species can do about our contribution to it all. To do nothing is unconscionable,” said photographer Peter Ralston.

“Melt Down” will be on view at CMCA through June 9; and the Kavanaugh and Nguyen installation will remain through June 19. Hours through May are: Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $8; $6 age 65 and older/students with ID; and free for those younger than 18; and CMCA members.

For more information about the exhibitions and accompanying programs, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or