New System Exhibitions (NSE) is an artist-run exhibition space in the West Bayside neighborhood of Portland, Maine. Founded in late June, 2018 with a non-profit mission of providing exhibition, curatorial, and performance opportunities for local and regional emerging artists, NSE is focused on facilitating direct engagement with the community and increased creative autonomy for artists. This autonomy manifests in shows that are primarily artist-directed and curated, often as a solo or two-person exhibitions at a stage in the artist’s career when solo shows are rarely offered. NSE relies on grants and donations to run the space and exhibition program, which takes the financial pressure away from the artist, and allows for presentation of artwork that disregards salability.
NSE engages the community through exhibitions, artist talks, group critiques, video and media content. We have hosted events in partnership with several other organizations, including The Chart online journal, MECA, Waking Windows music festival, and PhoPa gallery. Beyond specific curatorial goals, our aim is to provide a semi-traditional art space that is inclusive and innovative.
Each show spans 10 days and includes an opening reception, artist talk, and other related events.
New System is open everyday during an exhibition.
Exhibitions are artist-directed , conceived, and curated. NSE directors assist in executing artists’ ideas as faithfully as possible.
Sales are encouraged, but no commission is taken. Salability of an artist's work is never considered.
Many exhibition ideas grow from direct relationships and communication within our immediate community of artists, but we are excited to accept exhibition proposals from local and regional artists/curators currently unknown to us. We hope to exhibit work that is challenging, experimental, deeply investigated, physical or non-physical, or in questioning conversation with an established artistic tradition. Keep an eye on our instagram for exhibition announcements and news about upcoming events.
Between exhibitions, NSE invites nearby artists to participate in open critiques. These critiques are open to anyone, and any of their work they desire to be critiqued (completed, or in-progress, etc). Following an open critique announcement, up to 25 artists can RSVP to participate, on a first-come basis. Please keep the work(s) on the smaller side, and please be able to prepare/install it relatively quickly. Each person then gets 15 to 20 minutes of feedback from their group. Critiques are hosted about once a month depending on the exhibition schedule, and participants are encouraged to return as regularly as they can.
NSE accepts proposals for exhibitions, prioritizing work by emerging artists. We typically present solo and two-person exhibitions in order to give artists the greatest possible autonomy in presenting their work, but group shows are also considered. Exhibitions are held at NSE’s 1500 sq. ft. space, and are open for 10 days, with an opening, an artist talk or performance, and any additional programming the artist requests. We seek to highlight emerging artists who have developed distinctive and compelling bodies of work, yet haven’t had the opportunity to exhibit widely.
Proposals should include:
One-page description of the prospective exhibition with the names of included artists.
Up to 10 supporting files (images, videos, sketches, etc.).
A very brief bio of the artist/curator making the submission.
Please email materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSE makes every effort to be an inclusive space for artists and visitors, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other basis of discrimination.
Why we need your support, and How will your financial support be used?
Donations of any size are used solely for the costs associated with the planning and executing of an exhibition. NSE functions as a studio during much of the winter, but donations are used to cover rent only in the months that the space is used as a public gallery. Other costs include upkeep of the space, modest artist stipends for exhibiting artists, designing and printing of promotional media, website maintenance, and liability insurance. Your support is integral in allowing NSE to keep its door’s open and pursue its mission of serving as one of the few platforms for emerging artists in Maine as well as a space for open dialogue around the arts. We believe strongly in this mission, and we hope that if you do too you will consider extending your support.
How is your financial support processed? Is it tax deductible?
Your donation is processed by our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, which is a national organization serving hundreds of arts projects and cooperatives in the U.S. with non-profit models but lacking legal non-profit status. Funds are disbursed to us for the aforementioned purposes, and your donation is tax-deductible.