The PMA is thrilled to announce the participating artists in the 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial! The artists represent a wide variety of media, from photography to canoemaking to video. All but one of the 25 artists will be exhibiting at the PMA for the first time ever, expanding the breadth of stories the museum is able to tell in its galleries.
To determine the final list, independent curator Nat May assembled a team of arts professionals including PMA Judy and Leonard Lauder Director Mark Bessire, artist and Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance co-founder Theresa Secord, and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture Co-Director Sarah Workneh.
They each visited studios throughout Maine and the nation, meeting with artists that they felt were ready for their moment at the PMA, and who complement each other while also reflecting Maine’s increasingly diverse community. In a change from past Biennials, many of the artists will be exhibiting not just one singular work, but several.
"Rather than put together a 'greatest hits' exhibition," said May, "we wanted to use the opportunity of the Biennial to focus on artists who hadn’t previously participated in PMA Biennials or other programming at this institution. To show work in a museum can be an important step for an artist, and to present work to a museum audience can invite a unique opportunity for dialogue and exchange in our varied cultural community."
"The 2018 PMA Biennial will build on the momentum of Nan Goldin," said Bessire, "an exhibition in which we expanded the range of voices in the PMA and invited new audiences into the museum. This Biennial will display the incredible array of perspectives and breadth of talent right here in Maine—whether they're former MECA students who have moved away or our neighbors right up the street."
"I’m very happy with the exhibition’s range," May added. "We’ve assembled a great group of people, of identities, and of histories to be represented. The value of the show is in the dialogues it will create, among the artworks selected and among the artists and viewers. I have learned something from each of the participating artists and I look forward to sharing their work with you."
The 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial opens on January 26, 2018.
ABOUT THE PMA BIENNIAL
This is the 10th Biennial exhibition at the PMA and the second Biennial that will be organized by an independent curator who will spend nearly a year visiting artist studios. Funded through the generous bequest of William E. Thon, the PMA Biennial is intended to highlight artists with meaningful connections to Maine and enrich the cultural lives of the people of the state. Inspired by his own experience and love of biennials, Thon entrusted the PMA with the means to offer rich contemporary art experiences to its audiences. You Can’t Get There From Here: The 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial was curated by Alison Ferris of Edgecomb, Maine.
The 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial is made possible by the William E. and Helen E. Thon Endowment Fund with additional support by the PMA Contemporaries.
GINA ADAMS work on view at St. John University Art Gallery in
Diamonds, Rings and Courts: Sport Is More Than a Game
curated by Yulia Tikhonova I through November 17, 2017
Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery I Sun Yat Sen Hall, St. John's University
8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY 11439 I Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm
GINA ADAMS is a descendant of both indigenous (Ojibwe) and colonial Americans. Adams spent her early youth in the San Francisco Bay, and then her adolescent and early adult years in Maine. Her formal education includes a BFA from the Maine College of Art and MFA from the University of Kansas, where she focused on Visual Art, Curatorial Practice and Critical Theory.
Adam's cross-media, hybrid studio work includes sculpture, ceramics, painting, printmaking, drawing and large scale quilts which combine the reuse of antique quilts which she restructures to include words from broken treaties between the United States and Native American tribes. Adams draws on cultural practices passed down from her ancestors as well as from family history of forced assimilation.
Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the US and resides in many public and private collections including Portland Museum of Art; University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; Emprise Bank, Wichita, KS; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MI; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS; North American Native Museum, Zurich, Switzerland; Great Plains Museum, Lincoln, NE; Spencer Museum, Lawrence, KS and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM.
The noted international art critic Lucy Lippard wrote the introduction on Adams’ work for her 2015 solo exhibit, Its Honor Is Here Pledged, at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. In 2016 she was the SARF Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, and had Its Honor Is Hereby Pledged exhibition in Boulder Colorado at Naropa University’s White Cube Gallery where she is a member of the faculty in Visual Arts. In the summer of 2017, Gina presented and exhibited at the American Indian Workshop Conference at Goldsmiths College, University of London, England which will be followed by an exhibition at the Bemis Center of Contemporary Art titled Monarch’s curated by Risa Puleo. In the last year Adams' work has been featured in numerous publications including The New Yorker, Hyperallergic and the Huffington Post. Among other upcoming exhibitions and projects, in 2018 Adams will participate in the Kohler Arts/Industry Residency program and the Dartmouth College Artist in Residence Program.