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Like the rest of the world, Maine businesses are navigating the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to check websites for your destinations before visiting for the latest health and safety guidelines in place, and please remember to be patient and kind while visiting.

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Zillman Art Museum

Activities: Museums, art, walking, sightseeing, dining, shopping, historic downtowns.
Family-friendly, great for a day trip.
Region: The Maine Highlands


This season, discover (or rediscover) Zillman Art Museum (previously the University of Maine Museum of Art). Having reopened its doors in downtown Bangor, the museum — known for its modern and contemporary art — has returned bigger and better than ever before: with five new galleries, a sleek glass entryway and nine exhibitions on display in the new, airy spaces. The expansion was made possible by Maine arts patrons Donald and Linda Zillman, increasing the gallery space dramatically, by about 50%.

Though it features modern and contemporary art, the museum’s location grounds it in history. Located on the first floor of Norumbega Hall, the museum now exists in what was once a bustling department store built in the 1930s. Nearby, visitors can see the iconic Hannibal Hamlin statue at the adjacent Kenduskeag Mall.

Fall/Early Winter 2021 Exhibits at Zillman Art Museum

Prepare to be challenged, delighted and entertained by artists from New England and around the globe. These exhibitions are on display through mid- to late December.

Emily Eveleth, “Future Possessive” (Sept. 11-Dec. 30)

Explore the thought-provoking works of Boston-based artist Emily Eveleth. With dramatic scenes boldly painted from unexpected vantage points, the identities of Eveleth’s subjects are obscured by elements like gloved hands, theatrical makeup and inventive cropping, encouraging the observer to ponder the relationship between the figures.

Roman Franc, “Watch the Birdie” (Sept. 11-Dec. 30)

View over 40 black-and-white photographs by Roman Franc from Brno, Czech Republic. The photos showcase the subjects’ honesty and vulnerability, highlighting Franc’s ability to connect with those he photographs and gain their trust.

Shona Macdonald, “tender land” (Sept. 11-Dec. 16)

Massachusetts-based artist Shona Macdonald creatively explores new perspectives of nature and human-made construction — from the reflection of trees and buildings in puddles to obscured landscapes.

Sidney Russel, “The Big Stitch” (Sept. 11-Dec. 30)

Look up at the larger-than-life dresses, pants and shirts (some over 9 feet tall) swaying from oversized hangers and hooks above you, and you may suddenly feel quite small! See if the familiar pieces remind you of someone you know — the artist designed these massive reproductions based on real articles worn by people from her past.

Amy Stein, “Domesticated” (Sept. 11-Dec. 30)

Los Angeles-based artist Amy Stein explores the relationship between humans, nature and wildlife through a series of evocative photographs.

Other Zillman exhibitions featuring works from the Museum Collection include Anne Arnold’s “The Soul of It,” “Open Lens, Photographs from the Collection” (Sept. 11-Dec. 16) and “Inflorescence: Works from the Collection” (Sept. 11-Dec. 30).

Restaurants Near Zillman Art Museum

Located in historic downtown Bangor, Zillman has great access to nearby shops, boutiques and restaurants. If your heart is full of art, but your stomach is grumbling, lunch or dinner is just a quick walk away. For a casual lunch of sandwiches, soups, salads and vegan treats, head to Bagel Central. A dose of caffeine or midday treat can be easily picked up at The Grind House. To end the day as artfully as it began, head to dinner at The Tarratine or The Fiddlehead Restaurant, both elegant spots serving local fare and creative plates.

Admission and Hours of Zillman Art Museum

Admission is free in 2021 thanks to the generosity of Birchbrook. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Be sure to visit the museum’s website for the latest visitor guidelines in response to COVID-19.

From Ellsworth: 28 miles
From Augusta: 77 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 108 miles
From Portland: 129 miles

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