The last sunset was rust-colored, a dried-leaf breeze. We sat together to say goodnight to CSArt Maine. We awoke to welcome you to A CLEARING: a re-envisioned Maine arts organization rooted in the ethos of community-supported art, a collaborative experiment of continually-evolving artists.
A CLEARING is an intentional space to slow down and create outside the traditional confines of the Western, masculine-centric canon. A space for all of us who rise from in-between-ness of isolation, of womxnhood, of queerness, of color… A place to be seen, heard, and supported.
Here, makers of all mediums are invited to make art around a rotating theme. We listen deeply, read aloud from our reading lists, dance to our seasonal playlists, share ideas and images, ask for feedback. We help make art a sustainable practice by helping you find a paying audience. We host interactive happenings that feed you. We create zines and books—visual poems, artifacts of our existence together, surviving catalogs that we are alive, generating, germinating, continuing to grow.
Against the bitter winds, we have cleared a space. We see you. Welcome home.
A CLEARING is co-directed by Alana Dao and meg willing.
Alana Dao is a freelance food/culture writer, mother, and artist. Born in Texas and raised in Asia and the US, her writing and artistic practice navigates the complicated relationships between food and contemporary culture related to race, gender, and socio-economic class. She is a graduate of Smith College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been featured in The Chart, VICE, and the Huffington Post, among other publications. She lives in Portland, Maine.
meg willing is a poet, editor, visual artist, and book designer. Born in Oregon and raised in South America, Asia, and Maine, her creative work explores trauma, loss, and fragmented memory through the integration of text and image. She is a graduate of Hampshire College. Her work has appeared in DIAGRAM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Adirondack Review, The Collagist, Able Baker Contemporary, and elsewhere. She lives in Farmington, Maine.
Alana and meg have been working collaboratively on community-building art initiatives for over six years, building countless relationships and creating meaningful work. They met in the food service industry in Portland.