TEMPOart installations featured in Visit Portland’s “25 Free Things to Do in Maine”

Public art installations transform the streets of Portland into an ever-changing gallery. Featured in Visit Portland’s “25 Free Things to Do in Maine,” TEMPOart collaborates with educational and cultural institutions to bring temporary art exhibits to the city. These installations, designed to provoke thought and inspire conversation, are displayed for one to two years, adding a dynamic and fresh element to Portland’s cultural scene.

Explore the creativity and community spirit that TEMPOart fosters through its innovative projects. For more details on current and upcoming installations, check out our site. And don’t miss the full list of amazing free activities in Greater Portland, including our feature in Visit Portland’s guide here.


Discovering Creativity of Building with Bamboo

Saturday June 15, 10AM-12PM: Discovering Creativity of Building with Bamboo

Free and open to the public, all are welcome. In this hands-on workshop, participants will experience the strength and versatility of bamboo first hand, and practice the tools and techniques (even secrets!) used by TEMPOart Artists in Residence The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson& Andy Moerlein to make monumental sculptures.

Using ancient skills taught to the Myth Makers by an octogenarian Taiwanese bamboo master, participants will take bamboo poles and split them into flexible strips. Using this split bamboo, and the unique tools and materials provided, participants will experience the thrill of bamboo art construction. No experience required and all ages 12 and above can accomplish the skills needed to have a delightful experience. Younger children are welcome to work with their parent. This workshop is an opportunity to build with bamboo and create something both useful and lovely. Suggested: garden gloves and sunglasses handy but not required. Outdoors! Check weather and dress appropriately: sunscreen, raingear?

Registration required; please email manager [at] tempoartmaine.org to register.


The Myth Makers interviewed by Portland Press Herald

The Portland Press Herald recently interviewed Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein of The Myth Makers, the artist team behind TEMPOart’s 2024 commission Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People). We love this excerpt here from the interview sharing how a site visit inspired the piece that will be landing June 13, 2024.

Read the whole article “Meet the artists (and the egrets) coming to the Back Cove this summer” on Portland Press Herald or below.

How did you conceptualize this piece?

Moerlein:
We always start every piece that we do with site visits. It’s really important for us to be connected to the site and make sure that whatever we decide to build is connected to the site. So we drove up on a beautiful day and hiked around the trail. It was in the fall, and it was really exciting to see the great egrets were in such abundance. It was kind of odd. We hadn’t seen that in a while, that many of them. We must have counted 10 or 15 of them. Of course, it was in the fall, and it must have been all the babies were out. But it was just delightful. We saw them and were just very intrigued. And we looked at the site, and it’s well located. The beauty of doing the great egrets is they’re white. They’ll be very visible against all sorts of surfaces, but they’ll also have that ephemeral, translucent quality that our sculptures have.

And we always try to attach an avatar, a person that somehow represents the extravagance of the bird or the unique qualities. … With the great egrets, it came to mind the couple that was the first couple to be married under the same sex law. What was really interesting about that was that law was enacted by the will of the people. The people refused to let it get smothered in the Legislature. … So they put it on a citizens petition, and it was put on the ballot.

The idea basically is a blending of the joyful dance of the great egret and the joyful dance of the great egret and the joyful response that society has when people are allowed to marry who they love.

Dodson: It’s a Portland, Maine, story. Public art, it often has a purpose. It’s not just decorative. The work we do allows us to often draw upon local stories and tell them or retell them or bring them to light in new ways, and that’s really important.”


Preparing for the birds

David Wade took these amazing photos of our special evening preparing for “Dancing for Joy” to land on Back Cove Trail in June 2024. Thank you for being catalysts for public art! We look forward to seeing you at the Community Opening Thursday June 13 from 5-6PM.

Announcing Dancing for Joy
Presentation by The Myth Makers

Performances by
Holly Taylor, Liz Mulkey, Kristen Stake, & Hannah Wasielewski
Choreography by Holly Taylor in collaboration with dancers

Media Partners
Portland Media Center, Portland Press Herald, Munjoy Hill News, David Wade

Design
Better Yet Design, Loquat, Anna Siegel


Eclipse magic at the “Carousel Cosmos”

 Eclipse magic at Carousel Cosmos! 

 A celestial gathering unfolded as stargazers converged at the Western Promenade to witness the cosmic spectacle. 

 Thank you to everyone who joined us under the “Carousel Cosmos” by Chris Miller, making this moment truly unforgettable. 


TEMPOart featured on Maine Calling segment on Art and Community

A number of art exhibits taking place in Maine highlight the role that art can play in helping individuals and communities heal and grow stronger. We were thrilled that our public art commissions were featured in a conversation around the role of art in building community. In this Maine Calling segment, hear from artists about their work–and about current exhibits that have interactive components.

Pamela/Posey Moulton, immersive public artist whose work Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea has been featured at Payson Park in Portland, commissioned by TEMPOart called into the show to share her work and remind folks that Dancing For Joy by The Myth Makers will be featured in Portland’s Back Cove starting in June 2024; it will be a large installation of bamboo sculptures of egrets


“Carousel Cosmos” is preparing for the eclipse

We stand on the brink of an extraordinary event – the eclipse of April 8th. It’s a moment that beckons us to look beyond the mundane, to gaze upwards and ponder the mysteries of the universe. And what better way to prepare for this cosmic spectacle than by immersing ourselves in the enchanting world of Carousel Cosmos, a stunning commissioned piece by Chris Miller, brought to life by TEMPOart.

Nestled within the Western Promenade at West Street, Carousel Cosmos is more than just an art installation; it’s a portal to another realm, a miniature galaxy waiting to be explored. Miller’s vision transforms the familiar landscape into a cosmic playground, inviting visitors to embark on a journey of discovery. At the heart of this celestial carousel lies an elliptical walkway, encircling a galactic halo that draws you in with its mysterious gravitational pull. As you traverse the spiral paths, you’ll find yourself amidst spiral galaxy arms, racing polar bears, and sea monsters beckoning you towards adventure in distant mountains.

As you wander through Carousel Cosmos, you’ll encounter benches resembling fantastical local creatures – real and imagined, modern and prehistoric – carved, painted, and arranged as carousel animals. It’s a whimsical touch that adds to the magic of the experience, reminding us of the interconnectedness of all life forms across space and time.

Although not in the path of totality, Carousel Cosmos is inspiring our total eclipse journey! Where will you be on April 8?

Photo by Corey Templeton

Excepts from Chris Miller’s proposal to the City of Portland’s Public Art Committee for Carousel Cosmos.


TEMPOart fundraiser featured in Portland Press Herald

Thanks to Amy Paradyz for covering Catalyst 2024, a wonderful evening supporting public art!

The birds are coming.
That was the key message of TempoArt’s Catalyst fundraiser

Amy Paradyz, Portland Press Herald

“Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People)” Community Opening June 13

We are pleased to announce TEMPOart’s 2024-2025 temporary public art commission, Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People). Created by internationally renowned artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein of The Myth Makers, Dancing for Joy will be a large installation situated on Back Cove Trail and Park in Portland, ME for up to two years beginning June 2024.

A community “opening” for “Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People)” is planned for 5-6 p.m. June 13, with performances by Alejandro Graciano Music (rain date June 14).

Great Egrets are flamboyant and vivid. Each spring they grow extravagant plumes and leap with abandon to attract and impress a mate. They are remarkable birds that develop adoring relationships, gently sharing all nesting and child care duties.

This work will be a meeting place, a place for children to play in and run through. A glittering silver white and nearly 20 feet tall, it will be a beacon, visible from many views along the Back Cove trail.

Dancing for Joy is designed for all ages. The doorways are a variety of sizes. Which entry suits you? Can you dance your best show off prance through the display of the Dancing Great Egrets?

This installation is dedicated to the freedom to marry who you love. These sculptures celebrate the will of the people to democratically transform society. In 2012 Maine became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

Learn more about “Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People)”!


Announcing TEMPOart’s 2024 Commission: “Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People)”

TEMPOart is thrilled to announce our 2024 commission, Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People), by The Myth Makers, landing on Back Cove Trail in June 2024. On our blog, we will be sharing progress updates as these artists create this new piece just for Portland, ME, as well as background on how this piece came to be. You can learn about the history of the Back Cove Trail site here, and read on to hear from the artists what in spired them to create Dancing for Joy (By the Will of the People) for our community. We can’t wait to see you at the Community Opening on June 13 5-6pm!

Excerpts from The Myth Maker’s project proposal (the full proposal is available below):

“During our site visit to the Back Cove Trail and Park, we noticed several bird species lingering in the water and on the shores of the cove that border the inlet to Casco Bay such as Cattle Egret, Great Egret and Double-crested Cormorants. While doing further research, we took great delight in learning more about the festive display of feathers by the Great Egret in the mating dance.

We know many families begin their relationship with Maine by summering there, then they find themselves falling in love with Maine, and eventually moving there and calling it home. Our proposed sculpture will feature two monumental great egrets performing their distinctive mating dance on the shores of the Back Cove. This duet symbolizes the local bird life of the cove and the way people move in and out of and connect to this special place.

Great Egrets are flamboyant and vivid. Each spring they grow extravagant plumes and leap with abandon to attract and impress a mate. They are remarkable birds that develop adoring relationships, gently sharing all nesting and child care duties.

This work will be a meeting place, a place for children to play in and run through. A glittering silver white and nearly 20 feet tall, it will be a beacon, visible from many views along the Back Cove trail.

Dancing for Joy is designed for all ages. The doorways are a variety of sizes. Which entry suits you? Can you dance your best show off prance through the display of the Dancing Great Egrets?

This installation is dedicated to the freedom to marry who you love. These sculptures celebrate the will of the people to democratically transform society. In 2012 Maine became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

We will pre-build off site our two lightweight bamboo sculptures with natural materials, wire ties, repurposed and reused materials. Each sculpture is attached to a wood base made out of pressure treated lumber. Our methods are suitable for all seasons, strong and resilient in all types of weather and will stand up to public curiosity and interaction as designed. We will transport the two sculptures to the site and anchor them into the ground using a combination of earth anchors and gravel ballast that will fill the two wood bases. Once in the park we will augment the tall sculptures with wings that will be punctuated by arched doorways, creating an open but architecturally enclosing space that will invite playful interaction for all ages.”

You can read the full proposal from The Myth Makers below, along with their CV and previous project examples.