A native Portlander, Tom Hall appreciates Congress Square as the core of the city, a hub and spokes with essential public space and stunning historic buildings.
Front and center is the Portland Museum of Art, built in 1983. It’s the masterpiece of architect Henry Cobb, Hall says, and “certainly the most significant building built in Portland in the last 100 years.”
Hall’s silhouette of the museum, “November Nocturne,” is a highlight of the “Portland Show” biennial at Greenhut Galleries in Portland, on view through April 30. Hall’s textured, mixed-media canvas shows the light of a fall sky streaming through Cobb’s half-moon cutouts atop the PMA’s brick facade. Shadows cast Congress Square in an urban gray. The painting evokes the mood and movement of the city, while preserving an iconic image of its best new building.
The Greenhut show features the work of 48 artists invited by the gallery to interpret Portland with paintings and three-dimensional pieces. The work includes cityscapes and street scenes, landscapes and sea views and abstract ruminations. Many of Maine’s best-known artists are participating. The opening is 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Gallery owner Peggy Golden began the tradition in 2002 to celebrate her 25th year in business. It was a small show, on view in the back of Greenhut’s Middle Street gallery, and included artists represented by the gallery. Two years later, Greenhut expanded the show to the entire gallery and invited other artists. This is her eighth biennial invitational, and this year it marks her 40th year in business.
“I wanted to do something that celebrated Portland,” Golden said. “I love Portland. It’s been very good to me, and artists like painting here.”