Maine Art Collective Collaborates with Affordable Housing Developers to Enliven Public Spaces
[PORTLAND, 1/18/22] – As its successful pop-up gallery approached the end of its lease, Maine Art Collective launched a new venture in service to its mission of broadening access to Maine art by partnering with affordable housing developers. The Collective’s inaugural partnership with Community Housing of Maine has already installed 14 artworks across two of the nonprofit developer’s properties in Portland and Hallowell.
Originally conceived as a two-month pop-up gallery at 18 Exchange Street in Portland’s Old Port, Maine Art Collective formed in order to introduce Maine artists to a wider audience while keeping the cost of original Maine art affordable. The group’s collaborative organization, in which artists share responsibilities for operating the gallery, allowed artists from all over Maine to promote themselves in Portland’s art and culture hub, and the gallery was so successful that it extended its lease for an additional three months, ending in December 2021.
While Maine Art Collective plans to continue its seasonal pop-up gallery service, the organization has developed a new, year-round project to expand access to Maine art. Through a connection with affordable housing developer Community Housing of Maine, the Collective learned that housing developers were overwhelmed by the challenge of sourcing original art from local Maine artists, and set out to create a white-glove service that would make it easier for developers to support Maine artists while enlivening their spaces with high-quality art.
“Our mission is to bring affordable art to broader populations, while also providing opportunities for local Maine artists. Working with Community Housing of Maine has been a huge win-win for both our roster of artists and for the communities served,” explains Marni Prince, a founding member of Maine Art Collective. “High-quality original art should not just be enjoyed by the affluent but should be accessible for everyone, and this partnership has allowed us to achieve our vision.”
By working with Maine Art Collective, Community Housing of Maine has placed more than a dozen pieces of Maine art across two of its affordable senior housing properties: Northfield Green in Portland, a community of 200 units; and Community Commons in Hallowell, a community of 29 units. Within the scope of the partnership, the developer shares their general vision and theme with Maine Art Collective, which then photographs the property, curates a selection of artwork, and permanently installs the artwork. The art is either part of the Collective’s current inventory, or it may be commissioned.
“Maine Art Collective made it so easy to bring beautiful original art to our affordable housing communities,” explains Kyra Walker, Community Housing of Maine’s chief operating officer. “We especially like that the Collective is composed of Maine artists with a wide selection of high-quality art. We look forward to working with these talented artists again to bring local art to our residents.”
Developers, interior designers, and property managers interested in learning more about partnering with Maine Art Collective to bring affordable Maine art into their spaces may visit www.maineartcollective.com<htt