“A game-changer for Maine art” – Alex Katz
Rockland, Maine, February 24, 2016 —The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) announced today that it will open its new building, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Toshiko Mori, on Sunday, June 26, 2016. The public opening celebration will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, with CMCA board chair Charlotte Dixon and director Suzette McAvoy officiating. Opening day festivities will be free to the public.
CMCA’s new building, constructed by Cold Mountain Builders (Belfast, Maine), provides more than 5,500 square feet of exceptional exhibition space for the presentation of work by contemporary artists. The 11,500-square-foot building will include three exhibition galleries (one of which will double as a lecture hall/performance space), a gift shop, an ArtLab classroom, and a 2,200-square-foot courtyard. The glass-enclosed space, with its emphasis on Maine’s legendary light, is unlike any other building in the state. It is designed to be accessible and inviting, with a central courtyard that offers views inside the galleries and welcomes the community like an open embrace. The new CMCA will provide a dramatic destination for visitors and will advance Maine’s exceptional legacy in American art.
“The opening of this new building will start a new chapter in contemporary art in the state,” said CMCA Director Suzette McAvoy. “By creating an architecturally significant space in the heart of Rockland’s downtown arts district, CMCA will empower itself, more than ever before, to pursue its core mission of showcasing well-known and emerging Maine artists while taking Maine contemporary art to a new and elevated level.”
Inaugural Exhibitions, June 26 through August 12
Three compelling solo exhibitions of work by artists Jonathan Borofsky, Alex Katz, and Rollin Leonard will kick off the inaugural exhibition schedule. Borofsky, a leading sculptor and printmaker who lives and works in Ogunquit, Maine, will create a site-specific, large-scale installation, Human Structures: brightly-colored, translucent sculptures of the human figure.
Alex Katz: Small Paintings features the small-scale oil paintings that Katz—who has had a studio and home in Lincolnville, Maine, for more than sixty years—produces at the start of all of his works, regardless of finished size. Intimate, direct, and fresh, Katz’s small paintings reveal a side of the eminent artist’s work that is rarely seen.
The work of Rollin Leonard, a Portland- and Los Angeles-based photographer and video artist will be featured in the exhibition Vernal Pool. Using arcane and idiosyncratic techniques, Leonard creates offbeat, provocative portraits and images of the human figure that push the edges of the photographic medium.
Toshiko Mori, FAIA, is the Robert P. Hubbard Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), where she was chair of the Department of Architecture from 2002 to 2008. Mori is the principal of Toshiko Mori Architect, which she established in 1981 in New York City. Mori taught at the Cooper Union School of Architecture from 1983 until joining Harvard’s GSD faculty in 1995. She has been a visiting faculty member at Columbia University and Yale University, where she was the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor in 1992. As a member and former chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design, Mori has participated in sessions on scarcity-driven design, the future of cities and urban information systems, design related to olfactory sensation and experience, and the role of the artist in improving communities. Mori has received numerous awards, including two International Art Critics Association Awards. She was named to Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Architects List in 2014 and 2016. She lives in New York City and North Haven, Maine.
A Move to Rockland
CMCA’s new home, located in downtown Rockland at 21 Winter Street, is within walking distance of the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center, the Strand Theatre, and dozens of art galleries, restaurants and hotels. This new building will help anchor the city’s growing reputation as a year-round arts destination. With its focus on the art of this generation and the next, CMCA’s exhibitions and educational programs are designed to inspire and attract visitors of all ages and backgrounds, from Maine and beyond.
History of CMCA
Founded in 1952 as Maine Coast Artists in Rockport, Maine, CMCA has evolved to become Maine’s leading contemporary arts organization. For its first 15 years, the organization had no permanent space and no permanent staff; only a rotating slate of volunteer curators. Nevertheless, the early exhibitions included such future luminaries as Louise Nevelson, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Fairfield Porter, and Jacob Lawrence, to name a few. In 1967, the first full-time director, Mildred Cummings—whose husband, Willard Cummings, was a founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture—oversaw the purchase of a former firehouse and livery stable in Rockport Village. Over nearly five decades in that location, the organization thrived, incorporating itself as a nonprofit and, in recognition of its broadening scale, renaming itself the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in 2002. Over the years, CMCA has shown hundreds of artists, including Lois Dodd, David Driskell, Yvonne Jacquette, Katherine Bradford, Rackstraw Downes, Alan Magee, John Walker, Neil Welliver, Robert Indiana, and Jamie Wyeth, among others.
The New CMCA
The new CMCA is located at 21 Winter Street in Rockland, Maine. CMCA is a contemporary arts institution presenting year-round exhibitions as well as dynamic educational programs and special events. Hours: June 26 through October 31: Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and First Fridays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. November through May: Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Closed Federal Holidays. Admission: Adults & Seniors: $6, Children under 18: free, and Members: free. For more information, call 207.701.5005 or visit cmcanow.org.
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Below: Architectural rendering by Toshkio Mori Architect of the new CMCA complex at 21 Winter Street in Rockland, Maine.