Gallery closing Sept. 1

Final reception for PhoPa

Aug 21, 2018
Photo by: Stonecoast Photography Bruce Brown is captured in his element at the lively PhoPa opening of “Space, Place and Time,” an exhibition of photography by Jay Gould.

Portland — Earlier this summer, PhoPa Gallery, collaboration among photographer Jon Edwards, independent curator Bruce Brown and Maine Media Workshops + College of Rockport, announced it will close its doors on Sept. 1. The gallery will hold a final reception Thursday, Aug. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m.

“We hope you'll join us in celebrating the last five years in Portland, our fantastic volunteers and staff, as well as the artists and photographers we've had the great pleasure of working with over the years. Light refreshments will be served and all are welcome,” the gallery stated in a mailing.

PhoPa opened on Valentine’s Day in 2013 with Melonie Bennett’s exhibition, “Bad Ass” and ends with an emerging artists show curated by our Gallery Manager Sophia Namara and supported by respected co-founder and senior curator Brown. Between the beginning and the end, the gallery has enjoyed support from MMW+C; gallery managers including Sarah Witling, now at the Elizabeth Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Rachel McDonald, now the assistant editor at Taproot Magazine and Namara.

“None of what we have accomplished would have been possible without them or the tremendous support of all our interns and volunteers, especially our most capable, longstanding and current volunteer gallery sitters, opening hosts and occasional stand-in managers Ella Hudson and Donna Wilhelm,” said Edwards in announcing the closure.

He also credited advice given by Susan Danly, retired chief curator of the Portland Museum of Art; and Brenton Hamilton, MMW+C instructor and chairman of the Professional Certificate in Visual Storytelling program.

“Needless to say, it was a very difficult and bittersweet decision to make,” Edwards said.

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

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