Nat May Named Curator for the 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial

Nat May, the former Executive Director of SPACE Gallery, will curate the Portland Museum of Art's 2018 Biennial. Nat May, the former Executive Director of SPACE Gallery, will curate the Portland Museum of Art's 2018 Biennial.

The Portland Museum of Art has named Nat May as the guest curator for the 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial. This will be the 10th Biennial exhibition at the PMA.

As the former Executive Director of SPACE Gallery and a Cape Elizabeth native, Nat has a profound understanding of Maine’s contemporary arts landscape. He is a founder of the Hewnoaks Artist Colony in Lovell, Maine, and is a founding partner of Common Field, a nationwide network of contemporary, experimental, and noncommercial visual art spaces. Nat was also a founding member of the Bakery Photo Collective and has served as a board member at Creative Portland and Portland Arts and Culture Alliance.

The Museum’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Jessica May — who curated the 2013 PMA Biennial — notes, “From our earliest conversations, Nat has impressed the staff at the PMA with the depth of his thoughtfulness and his commitment to being inclusive. His research is meticulous, his eye is keen, and his curiosity is unbounded.”

“I am flattered by the invitation to work with the Portland Museum of Art on the 2018 Biennial,” Nat says. “The Maine arts community is rich and varied, and there are so many talented artists to consider. I am thrilled to have this new opportunity to invite conversation about contemporary art.”

The PMA’s Director Mark Bessire adds: “Through my time at the PMA, working with the city and community in Portland, and my work on the Board of Advisors at SPACE Gallery, I’ve gotten to know Nat well and admire the way he approaches art. I can’t wait to see what he does with the Biennial — it’s going to be something truly special.”

Nat will be the second biennial curator to spend nearly a year visiting with artists in their studios to bring together work from artists with connections to the state. Funded through the bequest of William E. Thon, the PMA Biennial is intended to highlight artists with meaningful connections to Maine and enrich the cultural lives of the people of the state. The biennial is slated to open January 26, 2018.


Portland Museum of Art
7 Congress Square, Portland, Maine | 207.775.6148

Winter Hours:
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$15 adults, $13 seniors, $10 students with ID. Members and children 14 and under are free. The Museum is free and open to everyone on Friday evenings 4pm–8pm.