Tracy Ginn’s “Willard Beach Fish Shacks,” oil and pastels, will be among the artwork for sale at a pop-up show Dec. 1-3 in Portland. Contributed / Union of Maine Visual Artists

The Union of Maine Visual Artists hopes to increase its visibility, promote community among artists and spread holiday cheer at a pop-up show in downtown Portland next week.

More than a dozen artists will display and sell their work Dec. 1-3 at the Schwartz Building at Congress Square.

“One of the things that will be evident is the range of ages in artists,” said Joanne Tarlin, an artist and an organizer of the event. “We have founding members of UMVA and then a new generation starting to come in.”

Their work at the show will include paintings and drawings, collages, sculptures, jewelry, holiday cards, textiles and tote bags, she said.

Judith Greene-Janse’s acrylics will be available at the show. Contributed / Union of Maine Visual Artists

The pop-up’s goal is twofold, Tarlin said: To bring in members of the public to appreciate and buy art and to give artists the opportunity to gather and build community.

She hopes the pop-up’s location at the historic Schwartz Building in the heart of downtown and with its big windows will bring in people who may not be familiar with UMVA, a nonprofit that promotes and advocates for visual arts, artists and art supporters in the state. Based in Portland where it has a gallery, it also has a Midcoast chapter.


UMVA has not had many chances to gather so visibly, she said.

“Being an artist and artisan is a very solitary profession and vocation,” she said. “We’re trying to promote a sense of community-building amongst artists. Having a pop-up like this gives artists the opportunity to gather and the public the opportunity to be involved.

John Ripton’s “Paris in Soho.” Contributed / Union of Maine Visual Artists

“A big part of this is to create awareness,” she said. “Artists need opportunities other than just commercial galleries to sell their work.”

The organization hopes to hold pop-up shows beyond the Portland area in the future, she said.

Judith Greene-Janse of Portland, a co-organizer of the show, said UMVA is a large group with “very low visibility.”

“I see this as injecting new visibility to the organization,” she said.


Photographer John Ripton, who will participate in the pop-up next week, said he’s always inspired when he’s involved in shows and sometimes finds himself buying other artists’ work.

Many artists sell works that are less expensive at holiday shows, keeping in mind that people may not be willing to spend as much on one item this time of year, Ripton said.

“The idea is to make art more available to the public around the holiday,” he said.

UMVA is “dedicated to artists helping artists and informing artists, as well as very dedicated to the supporters of the arts and people who are interested in art,” he said, and events like next week’s show put the state’s artist community front and center.

You get to see a local group of artists in an organization that are serious about promoting arts throughout the state,” Ripton said. “It’s an opportunity to speak with artists around the areas who may live close to them and get a sense of vibrancy of arts in Portland.”

UMVA will also have a table of merchandise for sale to benefit the organization.

Hours for the show are 4-8 p.m. Dec. 1 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2-3. The Schwartz building is located at 600 Congress St. For more information, email

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