Maine College of Art & Design Launches New Public-facing Exhibition Space: 49 Oak

The street-level space will showcase work from the College for the local community

PORTLAND, ME January 18, 2023Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) today announced it will launch a new street-front student and alumni exhibition space, 49 Oak, on Friday, February 3. 

The new space is located around the corner from the College’s landmark Porteous building and on the ground floor of the school’s first-year residence hall at 49 Oak Street in Portland, Maine. 49 Oak offers roughly 470 square feet of exhibition area and approximately 60 linear feet of hanging space to support a broad range of exhibition and experimentation opportunities.

“This new street-front location adds to our numerous galleries and six floors of exhibition space in our Porteous building to provide artists in our community another great way to be seen,” stated Dr. Laura Freid, President of Maine College of Art & Design. "This space is an opportunity to let the Greater Portland area and tourists a glimpse into some of the exciting work in process taking place inside the College each day."

Throughout the academic year, the new space will be used to present student work and host activities tied to classroom projects (e.g., pop-up shops, public engagement partnerships, and thematic exhibitions). Administered by Artists at Work with faculty support, students will learn how to curate, install, promote, document, sell, and staff exhibitions. During summer months, shows and sales will focus on work created by the College’s alumni network.

"This new space is designed for the purpose of giving our artists and designers the tools they need to create careers in the creative field," said Jessica Tomlinson, Director of Artists at Work. “By giving artists a dedicated blank slate in the heart of the Arts District, they will learn all aspects of the business and administrative side of the art world that we underscore with our Public Engagement and Art & Entrepreneurship minors. This space is a living laboratory for creative experimentation and professional growth.”

Hours for 49 Oak will fluctuate, but the gallery will be open to the public during First Friday Art Walks each month. The inaugural exhibition will be a Valentine's Pop-Up Shop (February 3, 10 and 11, 2023), an annual marketplace for the public to purchase handmade cards, prints, stickers, and original artwork. A percentage of any sales will support a Professional Development grant used by the Artist at Work program to fund conferences, workshops, and other entrepreneurial learning opportunities for students. 

Additional planned events for  activities include a sale by a student arts collective, an exhibition aligned with Resilience Week, and an alumni print show. For more information about 49 Oak, and to see what is coming up next for the space, visit

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For 140 years, Maine College of Art & Design has activated students of all pursuits to make art, make an impact, and inspire change. Located in Portland's thriving Arts District, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, 24-hour-a-day studios, a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and a community-based Artists at Work program—making the College the right place for students who want to make their mark and be seen. Maine College of Art & Design offers BFA Majors and Minors, Graduate Programs, Continuing Studies, Pre-College, and includes the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and the Institute for Contemporary Art. Follow us at @mecaart.


Alex Koch, Public Relations,