By the SEEA, By the SEEA, By the Beautiful Sea
Any time you want some art in Portland, just put on your art shoes and hoof it to your nearest studio/gallery and see (buy) just what the locals are making--it's superb! For 10 summers in a row, the Society for East End Arts (SEEA) has hosted us in their studios/galleries and homes for the Open Studios Tour and Art Sale on Munjoy Hill. Yes, their homes. This past Sunday was #10. You get a brochure with a map and head out.
There are several artistic spaces in store-fronts on the Hill. But, some or most are three stories up narrow stairways, some with beautiful yards and gardens; work spaces double as kitchens and living rooms, some with friendly dogs roaming from room to room--and all the art is home grown.
If you've spent some time in Portland, you know the type of artist varies greatly, here--lots of painters, sculptors, print-makers, jewelry, and stained glass artists...the full boat. And, this past Sunday, they were ready for us: displaying their best works--painters pallets of vibrant greens and reds, silversmiths, hanging art made from cast-off pieces of glass, metal and crockery. Imagination was open for business.
What I found most interesting during this Tour on the Hill, is the response to this question: "Are you making it as an artist in Portland?" Without fail, the dozen or so artists I met said, "Yes". All have a need to create, and, with work, have made a go of it. All of them, too, told me that it took awhile, but it did happen--thanks in huge part to the people of Portland and our visitors. Humble, refined and damn good!