The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) is engaged in the expansion of its mission in advancing contemporary art in Maine. The new museum is a mixed-use complex of galleries, public space, and educational spaces, reflecting CMCA’s goals to provide a platform for larger contemporary art dialog. CMCA’s new home is in the City of Rockland, thereby completing a cultural triangle that consists of the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Strand Theater, thus anchoring Rockland as a major cultural arts destination along the Maine seacoast.
The overall form and materials of the building hearken back to Rockland’s industrial seacoast past, interweaved with refined detailing and precise control of proportions to elevate the project to CMCA’s lofty ambitions.
The entry to the building is an exterior courtyard, the proportions of which echo the large interior two-story gallery space, naturally day lit through the use of saw tooth skylights. The connection of the two large spaces - one exterior, the other interior - blends the concept of art viewing with that of the public sphere. The interweaving of exterior spaces and interior spaces creates a new relationship between the city and the gallery.
The educational component of CMCA’s program furthers the symbiotic relationship between the gallery and the public sphere. Within the complex is a sixty-person lecture hall that will engage the community in arts education through a series of lectures, gallery talks, video screenings, and workshops. In addition, a classroom specifically dedicated to CMCA’s younger patronage will provide the tools needed for hands-on arts education. These programs further CMCA’s goals to engage the gallery to its community and to the larger discourse beyond.