Arts & Culture

Gallery Under the Stairs

By Rebecca Dow

Gallery Under The Stairs has been in the works for about a year, initially conceived by instructor Mike Lewis and supported by Professor Rachel Guthrie. These two created a space for students to showcase their artwork in glass frames, displayed in the Hildreth New Media building on the South Portland Campus.


An art piece by Vanessa Porier, currently on display under a first floor stairwell in the Hildreth building at SMCC’s South Portland campus. Illustration by Vanessa Porier.

The project was installed on April 6, 2018; exhibits will continue indefinitely. The current batch of art showcased for the month of April was created by Vanessa Poirier, depicting free-flowing themes touching on sexuality and abstract concepts of thought.

“My favorite thing to draw is the human form because it’s capable of so many things, good or evil. We all experience sadness, pain, disgust, happiness, life and death at some point in our lives and I love being able to use the ultimate freedom of artistic expression to take the reality of life’s unpredictable moments and turn them into something neat to look at.

I enjoy using multimedia on paper because it adds slight dimension to the pieces. Each colored in section plays an important role in the over all look and feel of the drawing. I carefully select my colors and only fill specific spots. Most of the time I draw in the center of the paper so that the subject of the piece stands out against the white paper.
My expertise doesn’t lie in being able to draw ridiculously realistic portraits or perfect cookie cutter copies of things. What I really love is adding my own spin on things and taking them to a whole new level and giving new life to things that were once “flat” or “boring”. I like to combine elements that contradict each other and maybe even evoke a sense of discomfort to the viewer.”
Vanessa Porier

These pieces (example shown above) can be viewed until May 6, 2018, when the display will change to another student artist’s work. If anyone has an interest in having their artwork shown in this exhibit, contact Michael Lewis at, or Rachel Guthrie at

Categories: Arts & Culture

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