ROCKLAND—In a move to give Maine artists more visibility and accessibility, Center for Maine Contemporary Art will unveil its first virtual exhibition in early December.
“This is a new concept for CMCA, and I think unique to gallery and exhibition spaces in Maine, but it’s a concept that has already gained popularity in some of the major cities where physical space is harder and more expensive to come by,” said Justine Kablack, curatorial and communications assistant. Kablack will be one of several guest curators of the exhibition through her gallery SISTERED in Portland.
As the internet has transformed almost every other aspect of society, online exhibitions are just gaining traction in the last decade. They can be an outgrowth of a cultural institution such as CMCA or they can be constructed as an independent online portal, a virtual space that is not restricted by business hours, wall space or production costs and gives and the visitor the feeling of being in a real gallery.
“We’re pretty excited about this as we have limited space and staff at CMCA and this a great way to add more exhibitions to our line up,” said Kablack.
CMCA Director Suzette McAvoy also expressed her enthusiasm for the online format.
“Last year, we premiered 3D virtual tours of all of our exhibitions and archived them to our website,” she said. “So, visitors and students across Maine can see our shows even if they can't visit in person. The online exhibition format is a way to extend our reach beyond our physical walls."
CMCA, a nonprofit, does not offer any of the artwork for sale. Instead, the curators will choose high-quality works from the submissions and group them according to how well the pieces interact with one another.
Given the nature of digital exhibition, an important criteria is how well the piece is photographed as well as the quality of the work itself.
Currently, submissions are still accepted until November 15. The parameters for the type of artwork CMCA is seeking are fairly broad. Artists with a strong connection to Maine, through full or part-time residency, exhibiting, creating artwork or studying here, working in any medium are encouraged to apply and is not limited to physical 2-D or 3-D objects.
“The artwork itself doesn’t have to be a painting or something made by hand,” added Kablack. “It can be a digital image or a video made from a computer.”
Once the curators have finalized their decision, Kablack estimates the first CMCA digital exhibition, titled [ON]now exhibitions, will be available online in early December on their website.
For more information and to apply visit the CMCA website.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org