The Maine Art Gallery is housed in the sunny rooms of a red brick school house in Wiscasset, Maine, built in 1807 during Thomas Jefferson's presidency. Used as a school until the 1950's, the building is perched on a hill at the corner of Warren and Hodge streets and overlooks the Sheepscot River. It is one of coastal Maine's most charming historic buildings.
We were founded by Wiscasset resident, Mildred Burrage. In 1957, with the cooperation and support of Wiscasset citizens and selectmen, Mildred Burrage refurbished the old Academy Building in order to house the Maine Art Gallery. An artist trained in America and France, Burrage was officially recognized many times for her work as a cultural benefactor. She was the first Maine woman to receive the National Achievement Award given by the National Association of University Women, in 1964 she was awarded a seat on the National Trust of Historic Preservation, and in 1981 the State of Maine honored her with its Historic Preservation Commission Award.
Today we are a non-profit self-sustaining art gallery, educational resource, and community cultural center, dependent on devoted volunteers and members of around 200, most of whom are practicing artists. Exhibiting artwork in our historic setting is a privilege of membership. Our Board of Directors continues Mildred Burrage's vision in their care and use of this 200 year old building, regarded by our members and guests as one of the loveliest exhibit venues in the region. Our "season" begins in May and reaches into the autumn. We are normally closed for the winter.
The Maine Art gallery exhibits and promotes statewide Maine resident artists with six month long exhibits, five of which are themed and juried. The organization hosts book signings by illustrators at it’s monthly artist receptions which open each exhibit. The public is invited to all events through mailed invitations, press releases, and published exhibit reviews. Artists are encouraged to participate in educational activities such as classes and demonstrations by professional artists. A separate gallery space is available for special exhibits by one artist, or a small group of artists. The organization is in close contact with the local area schools to schedule student exhibits, and inform students of educational opportunities.