The Contemporaries, a dedicated group of young supporters of the Portland Museum of Art, celebrated the opening of the 2018 PMA Biennial with an annual Winter Bash that was anything but wintry. More than 275 art lovers turned out Feb. 15 for a celebration called Cultivate, with gentlemen in black tie and ladies in florals and velvets with an abundance of green and botanical accessories.

“I love all the colors tonight,” said Contemporaries member Gretchen Johnson of Cape Elizabeth.

“It’s an excuse to dress up in the winter, go out and appreciate art,” said host committee member Joseph Higgins of Cape Elizabeth.

“The Contemporaries Winter Bash is always an amazing evening,” said event chair Kate Malin of Portland. “But to be able to support working artists with a connection to Maine is even better. This year the Contemporaries had an opportunity to support the Biennial.”

Nat May, former director of Space Gallery, curated the 2018 PMA Biennial, which exhibits 60 pieces from 25 artists and runs through June 3.

“There are many, many artists in our Maine community, far more than we can fit into a show like this,” May said. “But this show is a nice way to be introduced to these artists.”

A half dozen of the Biennial artists attended Cultivate, including painter/textile designer Jenny Dougherty, whose mosaic “Debris” covers one of the oversized walls in the foyer. “It’s such an honor to have such a prominent space that’s so large,” she said.

“This is pretty awesome and amazing,” said Sean Alonzo Harris, whose black-and-white Kennedy Park photo series is featured in the Biennial.

With tickets at $50 per person and $250 per host committee member, the Contemporaries raised $19,200 to support the exhibition.

“The Contemporaries group is amazing,” said Sam Hamilton, the youngest host committee member at 22 years old. “It’s like the young leaders of Portland. It’s a very fun group of people.”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

[email protected]

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