The pillar of the region's arts community, the PortlandMuseum of Art, is finding new ways to connect audiences with its collection.
The Workshop is a new participatory space in which visitors of all ages can explore creativity and add their voices to the stories told within the museum's walls. Located on the lower ground floor, The Workshop offers audiences the opportunity to make meaning from the PMA's collection and special exhibitions through hands-on, interactive activities based around play and experimentation.
Projects in The Workshop will be inspired by the museum's collection and special exhibitions, and will change several times annually. Activities such as collaborative art making and response walls will let both children and adults exercise their creative sides and explore art in fun new ways.
The Peggy L. Osher Art Study Room is another new space on the museum's lower ground floor. Designed by Scott Simons Architects, the room itself is a masterpiece, a space for close observation of art with glass windows allowing visitors to view activities inside the room from the PMA Cafe.
The Art Study Room is designated for several purposes but one that is most exciting to the public is the close examination of objects from the museum's collection that are not currently on display. Individuals can request a private audience with pieces of art for scholarly or aesthetic purposes. It's not a spur of the moment activity (the request process takes a minimum of three weeks) but, if there are one or more paintings, photographs, or other art objects you would like to view, with some advance preparation, you can incorporate it into your plans to visit Portland.
There is certainly no better way to see most museum-quality artistic works than in person at a museum. With over 18,000 works of art, ranging from Andy Warhol and Winslow Homer to Louise Nevelson and Claude Monet, it would take nearly 10 years of constant gallery rotations to see everything in the PMA - but now you can see it all, no matter where you are; the entire collection has been digitized and is available for exploration online. If you're tantalized by what's on display when you visit, now you can explore more of your favorites from the comfort of your home.