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.
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.
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 master artist.
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.
Co-op Advertising Program for Members
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.
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.
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.
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.
Master Craft Artist Awards
In 2009, the Maine Crafts Association began to honor individual Maine craft artists each year by awarding Master Crafts Artist 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.
Mentor Booth and Wholesale Training Program at New England Made
The booth program at the New England Made Spring Gift Show offers reduced pricing, support and training and serves as a stepping stone to help artists enter the wholesale trade show marketplace without the prohibitive costs and risks of participating on their own.
Mentor Booth Program at CraftBoston Holiday
The shared booth program at CraftBoston Holiday offers reduced pricing, support and training and serves as a stepping stone to help artists enter the retail show marketplace without the prohibitive costs and risks of participating on their own.
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.
Seasonal and Temporary Retail Markets
Including Bangor Mall Holiday Store, Maine Mall Creative Common, West Gardiner Travel Plaza outdoor craft market, Kennebunk Travel Plaza craft markets.
Seconds & Supplies Sale (biennial schedule)
An outdoor Maine Art and Craft Seconds & Supplies Sale is held biennially at Running with Scissors in Portland, Maine, next taking place June 1, 2019. 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!
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.