The Creativity Fund for Gardiner is challenging the creative community in the Southern Kennebec Valley region to help complete the renovation of a 400-seat theater in the historic Johnson Hall Opera House in downtown Gardiner.

Once completed, Johnson Hall will operate two theater spaces year round and offer a venue for the display of art on a regular basis. Renovations are scheduled to begin next April, but more revenue is needed in order to raise the curtain.

The Creativity Fund plans to match every artist’s contributions dollar for dollar up to $25,000. In an effort to encourage artists to participate in this challenge, Johnson Hall invites artists to submit work for exhibition in the 125-seat Studio Theater and lobby located on the ground floor of Johnson Hall, where live performances will occur each month during the season through next March.

Artists working in two-dimensional media are encouraged to submit images of any works they would like to display for consideration by the Johnson Hall selection committee. If selected, artists will work with the committee in coordinating exhibition details to display and sell their work for up to two months during the 2021-22 season of studio performances. Artists will be featured in Johnson Hall promotions for each event during that period.

Johnson Hall’s art show will be open during studio events on weekends and Tuesday through Friday each week from noon to 3 p.m.

A 30% commission on all sales of the artist’s work shown (or higher percentage at the artist’s choice) will be matched dollar for dollar by the Creativity Fund, and 100% of the proceeds will be put towards completing renovations for the theater.

To apply, send jpeg images to [email protected]. In the subject line of the email write “Creativity Fund exhibition” and the submitter’s first and last name. In the body of the email, include full name, address and phone number. In coordination with the jpeg numbers, list titles, sizes, prices and media. Also include a short artist statement/bio for promotional needs and, if desired, a website or other digital platforms.

Specify the preferred time slot for displaying the work: September, October–November, December–January 2022, or February–March 2022.

Artwork should be framed and/or presented so that it is ready to hang. Exhibition slots are limited. Applicants will be notified by a member of the Johnson Hall selection committee whether they’ve been awarded a slot or not.

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