The 2018 PMA Biennial opens Friday, Jan. 26, to run to June 3 at the Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square. Featuring more than 60 works by 25 participating artists, the Biennial highlights the diverse perspectives and interests of artists connected to Maine … and makes a powerful statement about art's impact in this historical moment.

Among the 25 artists is the Midcoast’s DM Witman, who lives in Warren; and teaches at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport and Unity College. Ten images from her Melt series were selected for the PMA Biennial. The series saw the Midcoast artist gather satellite images of snow-capped mountains; turn them into unmanipulated digital negatives; and print them as monochrome salted-paper prints. Some were unfixed, so gradually change into a solid aubergine — essentially a time-lapse enactment of global climate change and the melting of ice reservoirs.

This is the 10th Biennial exhibition at the PMA and the second organized by an independent curator who spent nearly a year visiting artist studios — this Biennial was curated by Nat May, former executive director of Portland's SPACE Gallery.

"…this exhibition, though regional by nature, should not be defined by regionalism. Our border is permeable, and our world in Maine is intricately connected to the world beyond our state lines," May said.

May worked with colleagues Theresa Secord, founder of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance; Sarah Workneh, co-director of Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture; and Mark Bessire, the Judy and Leonard Lauder Director of the Portland Museum of Art. They made studio visits across the state and beyond in search of artists whose work has never been presented at the PMA before.

“I have learned something from each of the participating artists and I look forward to sharing their work," said May.

The 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial is made possible by the William E. and Helen E. Thon Endowment Fund with additional support by the PMA Contemporaries. Winter hours are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit portlandmuseum.org.