Portland Museum of Art Reopens Tonight with Lights Across Congress


Graeme Kennedy
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Seven Congress Square
Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 699-4887

February 3, 2017

Portland, Maine (February 3, 2017)— Today, the PMA reopens after being closed for more than four weeks, welcoming visitors and members into a completely reinstalled and re-envisioned museum, signaling the successful completion of its massive multiyear project, Your Museum, Reimagined.

The countdown to the unveiling of the new PMA begins tonight at 6 p.m. with Lights Across Congress, a special event that brings together more than 20 community organizations, businesses, and supporters to present a massive 130-foot-wide cinematic performance on the museum’s façade, promising to be the Maine arts event of the year. Lights Across Congress serves as a public countdown to the reopening of the PMA, and at the end of the performance the museum will open its doors and welcome visitors to the entirely new and reimagined PMA for free.

Lights Across Congress includes one of the largest multidimensional projections in Portland’s history, made possible through generous support from Unum as well as through partnerships with Headlight AV, p3, and the City of Portland. To celebrate the reopening of the museum, the projection will light up the façade of the PMA with an extraordinary and colorful animated sequence that people will remember for years to come. With support from the city of Portland and to provide as many viewing angles as possible, Free Street at Congress Street will be closed to traffic tonight.

There will be two performances of Lights Across Congress, the first promptly at 6:30 pm followed by the reopening of the museum, and the second shortly after 8 pm. Visible countdowns to both performances begin an hour beforehand

Many more community partners will be involved—including ice sculptors, food trucks, and the Friends of Congress Square Park—to make Lights Across Congress a festive winter carnival environment and a true party. A full list of sponsors and community partners can be found at the end of this release.

Lights Across Congress is a moment of celebration for the Portland Museum of Art, as well as an opportunity to showcase the economic and social power of Maine’s arts and culture for a wide array of organizations, community partners, and businesses. From leading corporations such as Unum and TD Bank to creative agencies such as p3 and The VIA Agency, and from community organizations such as Creative Portland to state agencies such as the Maine Office of Tourism, Lights Across Congress and the reopening of the PMA provides a moment for the city of Portland and the state of Maine to rally around the arts.

Indeed, this moment is both the culmination of many projects for the PMA and a demonstration of the efforts of organizations such as the Maine Office of Tourism, which has invested resources over the past few years toward positioning the state as a destination for arts and culture. The endorsement and support of the PMA’s event and project is not only a reflection of the shared goals between the PMA and the Maine Office of Tourism, but also of the relationship the two organizations have built over the span of Your Museum, Reimagined.

“Transforming Maine through the power of art and highlighting art and culture’s economic significance for the state has been a focal point for the museum and a central tenet of Your Museum, Reimagined,” says Elizabeth Jones, Director of Audience Engagement and Communications at the Portland Museum of Art. “It is imperative for the future of our state to position the arts as a quintessential Maine experience—one that is unlike anywhere else in the country—and it has been invaluable to have the Maine Office of Tourism by our side throughout this process.”

Projects such as Your Museum, Reimagined have been used by the Maine Office of Tourism as examples of the integral nature of the arts in Maine. As the Maine Office of Tourism has worked to establish Maine’s art appeal to “social sophisticates” throughout the country, the PMA has reinforced that effort through innovative programs, events, and exhibitions that champion the arts for both locals and visitors alike.

“The ultimate goal,” adds Jones, “is to bring more people—from Portland, from Maine, and from around the country—into the conversation and ensure everyone has a place at the table. Through positioning the PMA as an epicenter for arts and culture in the northeast, we can strengthen the appeal of Maine for visitors looking for unique experiences, but also potential new residents who are considering establishing homes, businesses, and families in our community.”

The celebration continues tomorrow, February 4, as the PMA hosts an open house, encouraging the public to visit the museum for free, engage in several special events, and discover the strength and new visual presentation of the museum’s collection, which features 20% more art on view—often in new and surprising places—themed galleries, and interactive, multimedia kiosks. Made possible through the generosity of TD Bank and TD Charitable Foundation, these events also mark the public openings of the museum’s spring exhibitions: The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Mistress and the Muse: Selections from the Isabelle and Scott Black Collection, and Artist’s Choice: Photographs from the Judy Glickman Lauder Collection.

Lights Across Congress is made possible and supported by Unum. Admission for the Open House on February 4 is free, courtesy of TD Bank and TD Charitable Foundation.

The projection was designed and animated by p3, and technical assistance is provided by Headlight Audio Visual, Inc.

In-Kind Event Support for Lights Across Congress

Crestline Custom Promotional Products
Headlight Audio Visual, Inc.
Hyatt Place Portland Old Port

Portland Press Herald
Seacoast Scaffold & Equipment Corporation

Townsquare Media

The Law Office of Joe Bornstein
The VIA Agency
The Westin Portland Harborview
Wright-Ryan Construction



Community Partners


City of Portland
Greater Portland Convention + Visitors Bureau
Creative Portland
Friends of Congress Square Park
Hyatt Place Portland Old Port

Maine College of Art
Maine Office of Tourism
Maine Public
Portland Downtown



More about Your Museum, Reimagined
It has taken the PMA more than two years to complete Your Museum, Reimagined, an intricate project that involved moving every work of art across the three buildings of the museum. Your Museum, Reimagined is exactly what its name implies: a holistic and complete reimagining of what the Portland Museum of Art can be for Portland and for Maine by rethinking how the PMA collection—one of the largest in the Maine with more than 18,000 artworks—is presented in the galleries of the museum. This not only includes the comprehensive reinstallation of the collection across all of its galleries, but a sweeping shift in how those works speak to each other throughout the building, and how they interact with and engage visitors.

The newest iteration of the PMA will include improved wayfinding and a redesigned map to aid exploration, interactive kiosks to deepen and support the experiences with the collection, and more personal interactions with staff at the Konkel Family Welcome Center. This is in addition to the already launched first phase of the project, which includes the museum’s first ever collection catalogue, the opening of the Peggy L. Osher Art Study and Collection Committee Conference Room, the participatory space called The Workshop, and the first reimagined gallery, Modern Menagerie. Even membership at the museum has been reimagined to offer enhanced benefits and options that better reflect the expectations and lifestyles of everyone in the region. With the completion of Your Museum, Reimagined, the Portland Museum of Art hopes to position the PMA experience as a quintessential Maine experience, for residents and tourists alike, permanently positioning the arts and culture of Maine as a central tenet of the state’s identity and economic landscape.


For more information, please contact:

Graeme Kennedy
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Portland Museum of Art
Seven Congress Square
Portland, ME 04101


PMA Information

With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art is the cultural heart of Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. The museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming. From special members-only events, Free School Tours, and a commitment to family activities, to PMA Films, curator talks, and exclusive tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.

The museum is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland.

Summer Hours (beginning May 30): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Winter Hours (through May 29): Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $15 for students  Everyone age 21 and under is free, through the generosity of Susie Konkel. Admission is free every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. No admission is required to visit the PMA Café and PMA Store.

Winslow Homer Studio tours are available by reservation. For more information, call (207) 775-6148 or visit portlandmuseum.org. For more information on Your Museum, Reimagined, the PMA’s multiyear project focused on improved access to the museum’s collection, visit portlandmuseum.org/reimagined.


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