Able Baker Contemporary is an artist-run gallery with an open curatorial structure.
Group shows organized by guest curators (artists & otherwise) will set artists in conversation with peers, conspirators, competitors, dissenters, and friends (regional & from away). Curatorial strategies may be geographic, conceptual, historical, documentary, political, play-based, performative, etc. Calls to artists may take the form of assignments or games; a call to curators: propose a show.
Able Baker Contemporary is a traditional white-cube gallery that will have openings with wine and cheese and events that do not exclude the musical and literary arts. The main space will feature monthly and bi-monthly group shows. The mezzanine office will contain a flatfile & small wall representing selected artworks by featured artists; this space will be accessible to collectors, scholars, students, and Interested Parties.
Our two founders, Stephen Benenson and Hilary Irons, are both painters who have been based in Portland (on and off) for over a decade. Both are dedicated to maintaining an active studio practice as well as providing curatorial and administrative structure for Able Baker.
Able Baker Contemporary is located at 29 Forest Avenue, Portland, Maine, 04101...on the Portland Stage block, and within 300 yards of the PMA, MECA, Space Gallery, and Space Studios.
Our open hours are 1:00-5:30 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday or by appointment
Able Baker welcomes submissions!
Artists, think about how you might contextualize your work; how would you situate it alongside the works of others? We will be focussing on group shows, with a special eye toward the Artists Context Series. Send us an e-mail with a short summary and images (jpg format please)
Curators, do you have an idea for a compelling group of work that tells a story, underscores an idea, or questions visual relationships? Please e-mail us with a brief summary and images.
We will review submissions as they are received; if there is an idea that might fit with our projects and timeframe, we will work together on organization.
ablebakercontemporary (at) gmail (dot) com
Able Baker is a member of Common Field
Common Field is a visual arts organizing network connecting contemporary, experimental, noncommercial artist-run and artist centered spaces and initiatives.
Common Field’s membership includes alternative art spaces, publications, digital exhibition venues, festivals, residencies, collectives, collaboratives, and individual organizers. These projects and spaces provide interdisciplinary and hybrid forms for art production, reception, and exchange.
Our members generate independent, responsive, grassroots, artist-centered cultures. They support artists, they connect artists with the public in intimate, experimental, and generative ways, and they are deeply involved in the shape and characters of the contexts where they work. Our members stimulate ideation, imagination, and innovation in their communities.
Many of our members create organizations that support artists and are artists themselves. Common Field explores the ways in which the practice of art organizing represents an integrated formation of practices that involve putting the work and creative process first.
Common Field is building a platform for sharing learning and exchange between these groups, and connecting them with related fields. Common Field's programs include convenings, research, membership resources, and advocacy. Our aim is to develop a more accessible and resourced field of visual arts organizations.