Able Baker's semi-regular open hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 1:00-5:30. Since we are an artist-run space, this is dependent on whether or not we have a volunteer or intern to gallery-sit on any given day, but we try to keep to this schedule as closely as possible. You are welcome to stop by during these hours, or to make an appointment via email.
Able Baker Contemporary is an artist-run gallery with an open curatorial structure.
We offer a continually-changing series of group shows, most of which are proposed by local and regional artists and curators. An important focus of Able Baker is our ongoing "Artists' Context Series", in which artists assemble thematically or formally precise group shows, including their own work. This advances our mission to give artists agency in the curatorial process, thereby engaging with the arts community from the perspective of those who are committed to an active and thoughtful studio practice. Another important part of Able Baker's mission is to give a significant voice to contemporary artists from our region (specifically Maine, and extending to Northern New England), in conversation with national and international contemporary and historical work.
Director Tessa G. O'Brien is a painter who lives and works in South Portland. Our two founders, Stephen Benenson and Hilary Irons, are both painters who have been based in Portland (on and off) for over a decade. Everyone at Able Baker is an artist volunteer. We are dedicated to maintaining active studio practices 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.
Able Baker welcomes submissions!
Do you have an idea for a group show with a specific and focussed theme? Are you interested in contextualizing your own work alongside that of other artists you relate to for some reason, formal or thematic? Perhaps you have an idea for a show that does not include your work, but instead looks at the work of others to further a concept you find intriguing?
We accept proposals from artists, curators, and other kinds of thinkers. We do not represent individual artists, but instead work directly with the arts community to assemble thoughtful and thought-provoking group shows. If you have an idea, please type up a short curatorial statement and email it to us; please include a list of artists you would hope to show, along with relevant images. There is no deadline. We do not have a set timeframe for review; you may have to wait before you hear back.
Please do not send information about your own artwork or studio practice outside of the context of a group show proposal. Submissions of this kind will not be reviewed. Also be aware that our mission is to include a strong local voice in every show, in conversation with contemporary artists from away, as well as historical work. Proposals must include the work of artists from our area (Maine as a whole, the greater Portland area, and sometimes other areas in Northern New England), in a significant way.
Relatedly, we are an artist-run gallery and are always grateful for volunteers and other collaborators. Please be in touch if working with us is of interest to you.
ablebakercontemporary (at) gmail (dot) com