The Maine Crafts Association offers a variety of workshops, events and programs designed to enhance appreciation of fine crafts, connect artists and collectors and to build artists technical skills and business skills.
Center for Maine Craft (Retail Gallery & Resource Center)
Retail store and gallery serves as the organizational hub of the MCA. The Center for Maine Craft is open to the public 363 days of the year and provides Mainers and visitors with access to purchase Maine fine craft. The Center represents the work of over 300 Maine craft businesses and coaches artists in retail sales.
Craft Apprentice Program (CAP)
The MCA in partnership with the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) offers a state-wide apprentice program for contemporary craft practitioners. CAP apprenticeships are paid, concentrated learning experiences for emerging craft artists who demonstrate a commitment to further their abilities as specialized craft practitioners. They accomplish this through a significant relationship with a mentor artist.
Co-op Advertising Program
Several co-op advertising opportunities are offered to MCA members each year. The MCA negotiates low rates and passes the savings onto our members, our full page ads are featured in: DownEast, The Maine Studio & Gallery Guide, Portland Monthly Magazine, Maine Magazine and Maine Home & Design.
East End Vend
A small and festive outdoor market in Portland, Maine for members and non-members to participate as a vendors alongside farmers and foodies. East End Vend markets are typically five hours long, held on multiple dates and offer a wide variety of art, craft and other Maine products in a laid-back and community neighborhood setting.
Maine Craft Artist Awards
In 2009, the Maine Crafts Association began to honor individual Maine craft artists each year by awarding recognition for a body of work that is exceptional. This award will confer the prestige and acknowledgement that comes with having the artist’s work achieve a distinguishing mark of excellence.
Maine Craft Content Project
Through videos, photographs and podcast episodes Maine Crafts Association shares the stories of, and supports craft artists who represent diverse, talented, and skilled craftspeople living and working in Maine. Each artist participant selects which type of content best suits their needs and is paired with a professional in the field to create the content at no cost to them. This project is funded by the Onion Foundation.
Maine Craft Interview Project
The MCA Interview Project brings emerging craft artists together with established Maine craft artists in an interview led by the emerging artist. The project serves to support and engage emerging artists by providing a platform and structure to access first hand craft career experiences one on one. The emerging artist designs interview questions and interviews an established artist of their choosing.
Maine Craft Portland (Retail Gallery & Resource Center)
A retail gallery and resource center in the historic Maine Charitable Mechanic Association (MCMA) building, known as Mechanic’s Hall, in downtown Portland, Maine. The new MCA space sells and promotes craft in Maine through exhibitions and public programming, and directly benefit Maine craft artists through sales of their work.
Maine Craft Weekend
Maine Craft Weekend is an annual, statewide, celebration of craft presented by Maine Crafts Association in partnership with Maine Made, Maine Development Foundation, dedicated Featured Cities and hundreds of artists. This statewide tour features contemporary, traditional and homespun craft, as well as visual and performing arts, local specialty foods and beverages, artist talks, activities for all ages, craft demonstrations with opportunities for visitor participation and education, and live music with new and exciting additions every year as the program grows.
Educational Workshop Series
The MCA’s Workshop Series connects Maine Craft Artists with one another and with other resources within our community. The series offers opportunities to learn something new, engage with other artists and, in for some workshops, spend time in a peer’s workspace.
Based on a year of trial and error, we have changed our workshop structure from the 2018 Member to Member Workshop Series, to simply facilitating ongoing workshops on a variety of topics in different locations. These are open to non member teachers and students.
Exhibitions of Fine Craft
The Center for Maine Craft and Maine Craft Portland mount multiple solo and group exhibitions throughout the year, promoting MCA member work and/or in collaboration with regional arts organizations and like-missioned Maine non-profits. Additionally MCA collaborates with organizations and institutions mount fine craft exhibitions feature MCA members. More info
Guild Fine Craft Shows
Beginning in 2020, the Maine Crafts Association will manage four fine craft shows previously managed by the Maine Crafts Guild. The shows will feature fine craft artists from the Maine Crafts Guild juried membership and craft artists who have have been juried into the new Guild level of membership by the MCA. The intent of the shows, as it has been under Guild management, is to nurture a market place where the public can see, collect and learn about the highest quality handmade craft objects made by Maine’s most dedicated, talented and trained craft artists who have mastered their tools, techniques and vision to create one-of-a-kind fine objects for everyday use and family heirlooms.
Portland Fine Craft Show
The Maine Crafts Association presents an annual juried fine craft show in August on Congress Street in Portland, ME. The Portland Fine Craft Show features 100 exhibitors from the greater New England area exhibiting fine craft in the following media categories: baskets, ceramics, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, stone and wood.
Saturdays at the Center
Center for Maine Craft is the host of seasonal & holiday Pop-Up Shops featuring Maine artist-members of the MCA. Located in the West Gardiner Service Plaza, a different MCA member is invited for an exclusive showing of their work within the main lobby.
Seconds & Supplies Sale
An outdoor Maine Art and Craft Seconds & Supplies Sale held in Portland and Ellsworth in alternate years. The sale provides an opportunity for the pubic and fellow artists to purchase studio supplies, materials and equipment, as well as seconds (final products not quite right for full price retail or wholesale shows and stores) directly from Maine artists. The sale is a co-production of Maine Crafts Association and Running with Scissors designed to support our members, have fun and help shift extra materials from people who don’t need them to people who do!
SHOP Maine Craft: Maine Crafts Association Online Gallery
We are proud to offer you hundreds of handmade craft objects made by hundreds of Maine craft artists! Your purchases directly support Maine craft artists and the Maine Crafts Association (a non profit serving artists since 1983!). Please click, browse and shop to your heart’s desire and have your purchased items shipped directly to you, anywhere in the United States!
STITCH: MAINE DESIGNERS ON THE RUNWAY
A FASHION FUNDRAISER BENEFITING THE MAINE CRAFTS ASSOCIATION
Please join us for an evening of style, celebrating Maine designers in a live runway show at Urban Farm Fermentory: mix and mingle with fellow supporters and followers of design, art & craft, all in support of one of Maine’s essential non-profit arts organizations: the Maine Craft Association.
Weekend Workshop @ Haystack
This four-day studio workshop takes place annually in May offering seven workshops to the public. The Workshop Weekend serves multiple purposes of engaging artists in growing and strengthening their skills, networking with other artists from across the state and around the nation, celebrating Maine’s significant craft heritage, honoring our Master Craft Artists and hiring Maine craft artists as workshop instructors.
Artists in Their Studios Photography Project
Artists in Their Studios is a photography project to document Maine fine craft artists in the spaces where they create. MCA Professional Members may apply to be selected for one a photoshoot in their workspace. Subjects receive ten images for their unlimited use.
This program has been expanded to be the Maine Craft Content Project as of 2021