Henry Isaacs’ “Off Macworth Island” is part of the Maine Jewish Museum auction. Courtesy of Maine Jewish Museum

Recently reopened after a destructive fire, the Maine Jewish Museum in Portland is hosting an online art auction curated by Barridoff Galleries founders and former owners Annette and Rob Elowitch. More than 75 artists offered work for the auction, including many of Maine’s leading contemporary artists.

A preview of the artwork available in the auction is open on the Maine Jewish Museum website, and the auction will run online for two weeks, beginning at noon Sunday, through May 9. Proceeds will benefit the museum’s mission of supporting and honoring Maine’s Jewish community and building “bridges of appreciation and understanding with people of all backgrounds,” according to a press release.

This painting by Harold Garde, “Kimona,” is part of the Maine Jewish Museum auction. Courtesy of Maine Jewish Museum

Annette Elowitch said she and her husband were happy to lead the effort. They support the museum in general, and were especially pleased to help with an auction so soon after the museum reopened after its fire. “They asked if we would be interested in doing this, and of course we were. We are Jews, and we love the place,” she said. “This is a celebration of the restoration.”

The museum is part of the Etz Chaim Synagogue at 267 Congress St., which is 100 years old this year. The fire happened last spring, on May 20, as crews were finishing the final pieces of a decade-long, building-wide restoration project.

Many of the artists with art in the auction have shown at the museum and have ties to the Jewish community, though the roster of artists is vast. Among those with art for sale: Alison Hildreth, Anne Alexander, Peggy Bacon, Carol Eisenberg, Charlie Hewitt, Harold Garde, Henry Isaacs, Jocelyn Lee, Katarina Weslien, Alan Fishman and many others.

“There is a lot of great art, and we have some wonderful Maine artists in this auction,” Elowitch said.

The museum is open, but attendance is limited by COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, the auction will be entirely online. Meanwhile, the museum is showing new work on a rotating six-week basis, arranged by resident curator Nancy Davidson and photography curator Nanci Kahn. Currently, Gerry Holzman, Penelope Jones and Michelle Hauser are showing work through May 7.

For information, visit mainejewishmuseum.betterworld.org.

A photograph by Katarina Weslien, “Yellow Tent,” is part of the Partners for World Health auction. Photo by Katarina Weslien, courtesy of Partners for World Health

There’s another high-profile benefit art auction on the near horizon. Partners for World Health, in partnership with Moss Galleries, is holding a virtual art auction May 3-7 with proceeds supporting the organization’s mission of collecting and distributing medical supplies locally and globally. Art will be on display at Moss Galleries in Falmouth during that time for in-person viewing.

Among the 50 or so artists who donated their art include Holly Brooks, Rush Brown, Michelle Hero Clarke, Torrie Dorsey, Diana Johnson, Judy Kane, Richard Keen, Benjamin Lussier, Dawn Maron, Cheryl Seavey, Todd Webb, Katarina Weslien, Janie Young and others. Starting bids range from $25 to $1,500 and include a variety of media, including oil paintings, watercolors, photographs and prints.

The auction will go live at 8 a.m. May 3 and close at 8 p.m. May 7.

For details, visit partnersforworldhealth.org.

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