ROCKLAND — The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA), 21 Winter St., announces 2021 Fall Exhibitions; featuring two thematic group exhibitions, a site-specific installation by Portland artist Ryan Adams, and single channel video installation by artist Hiraki Sawa.

An opening reception for all four exhibitions will be held Saturday, Oct. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m., preceded at 3:30 p.m. by an in-person gallery talk by all three “Spatial Relations” artists,  Elizabeth Atterbury, Gordon Hall and Anna Hepler. In addition, Ryan Adams and several artists from “Into Action” will be present at the reception. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

“This Is Black Art” by Ryan Adams.

“Ryan Adams | Lessons” The fast-rising, Portland-based artist Ryan Adams’ solo exhibition will premier a 33-foot-long mural in CMCA’s lobby continuing his abstracted, text-based wall works that grew out of his early graffiti practice. The mural will feature a phrase of advice his mother often gave him as a minority youth growing up in Portland to help him negotiate life in a predominantly white community. The exhibition will also feature a series of new and recent text-based paintings that expand the theme of the exhibition. In addition to gallery hours, Adams’ entire exhibition will be lit at night and visible from CMCA’s courtyard through our floor-to-ceiling lobby windows.

“Spatial Relations” will present new and recent sculptures by Elizabeth Atterbury, Gordon Hall and Anna Hepler in CMCA’s Main Gallery that were conceived to rest directly on the floor or lean or hang from gallery walls. These leading artists’ works also share a direct, visible use of material(s), including wood, ceramic, metal, concrete and cardboard. The exhibition will be installed much like an indoor sculpture garden, with each artist contributing multiple sculptures ranging widely in scale. Referring to the scientific definition, the exhibit frames how objects are located in space in relation to each other, as well as the charged space that exists between them. The exhibition will also include a time-based work in CMCA’s courtyard made of ice by Gordon Hall, and a ceramic sculpture created on site in the gallery by Anna Hepler.

“Negative Space Box” by Gordon Hall.

“Into Action” is a thematic group exhibition featuring photography and photo-based works set in nature that either capture, stage or perform actions for the camera, propose actions for visitors, or feature interactions with nature created in post-production. The exhibition includes installation-based presentations by Cig Harvey, Julie Poitras Santos, and Shoshanna White, along with more traditionally formatted works by Jennifer Calivas, Mark Dorf, and Ray Ewing. The exhibition is accompanied by a neon work by Cig Harvey installed in CMCA’s lobby proposing actions to be undertaken in nature.

“Hiraki Sawa | Absent” presents the internationally acclaimed video artist’s most recent single channel video. “Absent” (2018, running time: 4:27 minutes) presents an intimate, imaginative world populated by a fantastic parade of surreal creatures, created using stop-motion photography. Sawa’s video presents moving figures ranging from a walking tea kettle to a dancing cup to a flying spoon—all of them traveling between grand and intimate landscapes and interiors.

A still from Hiraki Sawa’s “Absent.”

All four exhibitions are the first projects developed under the leadership of CMCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Timothy Peterson, who began his work at CMCA in Jan. 2021. “Ryan Adams | Lessons” and “Hiraki Sawa | Absent” are curated by Peterson. “Spatial Relations” and “Into Action” are curated by Peterson in collaboration with CMCA Curatorial Assistant Rachel Romanski.

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