The Maine Center for Creativity, in a groundbreaking collaboration with Sprague Energy, sponsored the Art All Around® project. It is a bold initiative, launched in 2008, to spearhead an international design competition. Its goal: to transform numerous oil storage tanks on Portland harbor into an integrated ‘canvas’ of color and design at the gateway to the state’s largest city—and to all of Maine.
The first step in the project was an open design competition that received 560 submissions from over 80 countries. Designs were evaluated by a select, international panel of judges. Five semifinalists, including two from Maine, each received a $10,000 prize award. Jaime Gili, a young Venezuela-born artist living in London, was selected as the final winner—and additionally received the $20,000 grand prize.
The painting phase of the project commenced in the fall of 2009. Six tanks have been painted to date. This project is believed to be the world’s largest public painting with more than 260,000 square feet painted in the Jaime Gili design.
The project is already prominently visible by air on the approach to Portland’s International Jetport and is a major landmark visible from numerous locations in Portland and South Portland, on the Interstate highway, and from the active seaport. More than a quarter million people see the striking design and outdoor paintings daily on their commute on I-295 at the city’s edge.
The project has been endorsed by numerous local governments, professional and private organizations, and both the Portland Public Art Committee and the Maine College of Art (MECA). It is made possible through private funding, with major contributions from:
- Monks O’Neill Development LLC
- Gregory W. Boulos
- Davis Family Foundation
- Auto Europe
- Portland Webworks
- Jensen, Baird, Gardner & Henry
- And many others!
The Art All Around® project would not have been possible without the extraordinarily positive and supportive partnership of Sprague. The collaborative work between the Maine Center for Creativity and Sprague exemplifies the words in our Mission: “We forge partnerships between Arts and Industry that make Maine more vital, vibrant and visible….” as well as those in our Vision Statement: “The Maine Center for Creativity is building an engaged network of people and organizations across the state to form unexpected partnerships that generate bold ideas and inspire collaboration and action, so that Maine grows economically and culturally.
The Art All Around® project is the first major international undertaking of the Maine Center for Creativity. It both celebrates and symbolizes the creativity that abounds in Maine.