Portland landmarks to get new works of art

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PORTLAND — Two new exhibits at city landmarks will be introduced during the June 3 First Friday Art Walk.

Each project venerates city history in its own way.

At 3 p.m., 12 interpretive panels will go on display at Fort Allen on the Eastern Promenade, capping a restoration project that began three years ago.

Judith Hoffman’s sculpture “The American Dream” will be unveiled in Lincoln Park near the corner of Congress and Franklin streets, with an opening party from 5-8 p.m. at the park.

The Fort Allen panels explain the history of the fort, which dates to the War of 1812, and the park that grew around it. 

The $1.5 million project included the restoration of two Civil War-era field pieces and a gun salvaged from the USS Maine, which blew up in Havana Harbor in 1898. The loop road around the bandstand was also restored, the bandstand was repaired, and new fencing has been installed.

The 3 p.m. ceremony will include remarks from members of the Friends of the Eastern Promenade, which raised the money for the restoration. Also on hand will be Mayor Ethan Strimling and City Manager Jon Jennings.

The temporary art in Lincoln Park is the first work to be commissioned and exhibited by TEMPOart, a privately funded nonprofit that includes local artists and architects on its board of directors. 

Hoffman, a who lives and works in Geneva, has sculpted a 14-foot tall steel and enamel piece “representing typical American homes of different scales, stacked and inverted one on top of another,” according to a TEMPOart press release.

“The American Dream” is in keeping with TEMPOart’s theme of “Places in Transition.” Hoffman was selected after submitting a request for proposal that was evaluated by the TEMPOart board and Sean Foley, an artist and freelance curator.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

“The American Dream,” by Judith Hoffman, will be unveiled at 5 p.m. Friday at Lincoln Park in Portland.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.