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Every Friday there's an art walk

Portland’s creativity is on display any time you care to look
By ANNA PEROCCHI  |  August 5, 2009

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Photos by Margo Roy

This Friday, as the first Friday of every month, Portland art-lovers will wander the streets, checking out the latest and greatest our galleries, museums, and shops have to offer. Nearby communities have their own versions, too: the Second Friday Art Walk in Brunswick and Bath, an occasional event in South Portland, and the last Friday walk in Saco and Biddeford. These kinds of events allow local artists and artisans to show off their work, as well as bringing to Maine gems from artists and galleries elsewhere. They’re free, some places serve snacks and wine, and it’s great to go out with friends or just run into them on the street.

Tell us about your favorite pieces of public art in Portland.

E-MAIL or text PORT, a space, and your suggestion to 22122*

*Standard text-messaging fees apply.

But let’s not lose sight of what’s all around us, every day. No, we’re not talking about the corny natural goodness of Maine’s scenery or anything like that. We mean the art you can see every day for free. We walk past it in our morning fogs, our evening funks, and our late-night stupors. Maybe we notice something when we’re racing out for lunch, but then we lack time to stand back and appreciate.

But during the monthly Art Walk, you can rectify that. While you’re strolling around checking out galleries and street performances, keep your eyes open for Portland’s many murals.

Some of these are what we might call more traditional art, while some are graffiti-style — but we’re not talking about tagging here, nor vandalism; rather, we’re looking at legitimate art created and displayed for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, rather than for the ego of an individual or group.

Here is our selection of Portland’s best murals. You can walk the route in either direction, but we’ve started you off near the base of Munjoy Hill. You’ll go through the Old Port and up into the Arts District along Congress Street — so there will be plenty of other action to watch as well.

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