Almost two decades after opening an art gallery in Falmouth, Elizabeth Moss added a location in Portland, in the city’s bustling East End, to her palette.
Elizabeth Moss Galleries is now open to the public at 100 Fore Street, in a building owned by developer Jonathan Cohen. The gallery shares an address with the Roux Institute at Northeastern University, which sublets space to WEX Inc.
Open to clients by appointment only, Portland’s new gallery measures just under 1,200 square feet. Its inaugural exhibition is of 18 works by Lynne Mapp Drexler (1928-1999), a Virginia-born abstract and figurative artist who spent many years living and working on Monhegan Island.
File photo / Jim Neuger
Elizabeth Moss is showing her gallery in Falmouth this summer.
Moss told Mainebiz that Drexler was an “obvious choice” for the Portland opening show for her gallery, which she says has always been known for actively exhibiting female artists.
“She’s one of my favorites since I met her and saw her paintings on Monhegan in 1991,” Moss said. The exhibit is the largest of Drexler’s works in Maine since a 2008 Portland Museum of Art retrospective, according to Moss.
Elizabeth Moss Galleries employs a total of seven people at the two sites, including three new hires.
Moss said that while she expects business in Portland to be quiet initially due to winter and ongoing construction in the area, she doesn’t expect it to be for long.
“In the long term, I expect this to be an incredible location as it is in the heart of the New East End Business District, home to WEX, the Roux Institute, Sun Life and Tilson, to name a few, ”she said. “It’s also the neighborhood gallery for the Twenty Thames condominiums and the AC hotel. Plus, it’s a block from the east waterfront. So I expect there to be a lot of people.”
“Culturally dynamic city”
Moss said she was thrilled to finally be in Portland despite the delays due to extenuating circumstances, and expressed her gratitude to owner Jonathan Cohen for putting her in touch with her contractors, Andrew Sevigny and Jim Casper.
“While my space is little potatoes compared to Cohen’s other development projects in Portland and Falmouth, I felt valued throughout the process,” she said. “It took a few more months due to Portland’s permits and track lighting supply issues, but that was to be expected given the construction boom in Portland and delays in international shipments.”
As for the road ahead, “I am prepared to take great pleasure in bringing my vision of collective contemporary art and aftermarket art to Portland,” Moss said. “Portland is poised to become a deeply interesting and culturally vibrant city, as those who ‘from elsewhere’ blend and assimilate with the great people of Maine already here.”
The expansion comes amid a surge in global art sales during the pandemic, as Mainebiz reported in a cover story earlier this year.