A special, interactive exhibit on display at Maine College of Art in Portland through July will showcase the thriving but often hidden creative makers of Lewiston-Auburn. “Made in L-A” will open with a reception on Friday, July 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the college’s Fitzpatrick Gallery at 522 Congress Street. Part of Portland’s First Friday Art Walk, the event is free and open to the public.
The exhibit will highlight the diverse range of manufacturing and artisan craftsmanship taking place in L-A. With recognition of a deeply rooted history in manufacturing, the present and future of these industries is explored by showing how Lewiston-Auburn maintains a thriving and growing community of makers and products. Participants in the exhibit include Bourgeois Guitars, EllieAnna Purse Co., Elmet Technologies, Fashionuji, Globe Footwear, Maine Thread Company, McIntosh & Company Cabinetmakers, Modula Inc., Neokraft, Rancourt & Co. Shoecrafters, Sofia Fima and Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers.
Supported by Museum L-A and sponsored by Baxter Brewing, the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council, and Maine College of Art, the exhibit reinforces MECA’s focus on educating highly accomplished artists and designers and demonstrates the need for empowering a new generation of creative-problem solvers to work in both existing and emerging Maine companies.
Exhibit curator Nikki Rayburn received an MFA in Craft/Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013 and a BFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design from Maine College of Art in 2011. Her work embraces traditional craft techniques, with training in woodworking, textiles, and basketry construction, and aims to honor the laborious and physical nature of one’s making practice.
Rayburn has exhibited her work extensively throughout the United States and has works included in multiple permanent collections, including that of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, VA. She currently serves as Adjunct Faculty and Woodshop Technician in the Woodworking and Furniture Design Department at Maine College of Art.
The exhibit will be available for viewing through July 31. Fitzpatrick Gallery is open to the public free of charge Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays until 7 p.m. and First Fridays until 8 p.m. To learn more about Made in L-A , see meca.edu/made-in-LA.