Rockland, ME, March 10, 2020 — The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) has announced that Roberta Smith, co-chief art critic at The New York Times will present its annual Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The lecture will take place at 5:30pm at The Strand Theatre, 345 Main Street in Rockland. A reception will immediately follow the talk at CMCA. Tickets for the event will be available for purchase through CMCA beginning June 1.

One of the most highly regarded commentators on art in the world, Roberta Smith regularly reviews museum exhibitions, art fairs, and gallery shows in New York, North America, and abroad. Since joining The Times in 1991, she has written on Western and non-Western art from the pre-historic to the contemporary eras. She sees her main responsibility as “getting people out of the house,” making them curious enough to go see the art she covers.

Born in New York City and raised in Kansas, Ms. Smith is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa. Before coming to The Times she wrote for the Village Voice. In 2003, she received the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism. In 2019, she was presented a lifetime achievement award from the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation, an organization based in Portland, Maine, that gives grants and awards for arts journalism.

In making the award, the Rabkin Foundation noted, “Roberta Smith has been responsible for building an audience for the art of the self-taught, for ceramic art, video art, digital art, systems of re-presentation and much more. Across many traditional boundaries, she has offered a frank, lovingly detailed assessment of new art and artists to her expansive readership. Hers is a voice listened to by millions of readers.”

Now in its 7th year, the CMCA Annual Distinguished Lecture brings to Maine some of the leading figures in art and culture today. Past presenters include Dr. Lonnie Bunch, newly appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; artists Alex Katz and David Salle; Jerry Saltz, Pultizer Prize winning art critic at New York magazine, and John Yau, poet, art critic, and weekend editor for the global online art magazine Hyperallergic.
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CMCA is a contemporary arts institution presenting year-round exhibitions, engaging events, and educational programs for all ages.

Location: 21 Winter Street, Rockland, MaineHours: November through May, Wednesday – Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Sunday, 12 to 5pm; June through October, Monday – Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday, 12 to 5pm. Closed Federal holidays. Admission: $8; Seniors (65+) and students with ID $6; children under 18 free; CMCA members free.

Below: Roberta Smith, by Marco Grob