Alum Spotlight: Alice Gauvin

Recently I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Alice Gauvin, MCWS Grade 8 Alum and owner of the newly-opened Alice Gauvin Gallery in Portland, Maine. Alice shared how her love of family and Waldorf education influenced her interest in history, drama, and the visual arts, and ultimately her decision to open her own art gallery. 

Q: Please tell us about your time at MCWS and how that influenced your journey. 

A: I’d have to say it started with my love of history.  I have such vivid memories of being in Ms. Fox’s class and loving the way she taught history—the stories were so alive.  History was exciting, definitely my favorite subject growing up. I loved it so much I studied History at Colby College and thought I’d become a historian. I quickly learned that history, at the professional level, isn’t so much about the story but about focusing on a specific era, circumstance, or geographical area for example, a far cry from how it was taught in Waldorf school.

I also have very fond memories of watching the class plays. I remember watching my older cousin, Tika’s 8th Grade play and really, really loving it.  I think the play took place in the woodworking studio because the Hall hadn’t been built yet.  During one of the scenes, a tree was supposed to descend onto the stage but it only came half-way down. For some reason that is such a funny, happy memory for me.  

Physical space is really important to me and I believe my love of the outdoors and nature started when I was a student (at MCWS).  Everything just felt right like someone had made an intentional decision about the spaces, both in the classrooms and outdoors.   

Q: What led you to open Alice Gauvin Gallery? 

After Colby, I went to the University of Cambridge and received my MPhil which eventually led me to California where I worked with film at the San Francisco Museum of Art.  I was drawn to film because of the story.  I’ve always loved plays and theater and film was very much linked to that in my mind. Film to me is much more of a visual media as opposed to verbal. Tying together history, film, and now visual arts seems very natural to me. 

My husband, Adrien, and I spent some time on the West Coast and with all the considerations surrounding covid, we decided we wanted to be closer to family. I’ve always missed Maine and it  just seemed like the natural next step to move back and start something new.  My mom, Eugenia, is a painter, her father was a painter, and my grandmother is an art historian. My gallery is heavily influenced by them.  It feels like they left a trail of breadcrumbs for me.  It’s fun to see how their influence fits in with what I like and have chosen for my gallery. 

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?

A: I have absolutely loved being back in Maine and reconnecting with Maine Coast.  We often walk our dogs on campus and it’s just so fun revisiting the place that I used to go to when I was a kid. We are also expecting our first child in August so to view campus through that lens of a prospective parent is pretty wild. Hopefully our little girl will be a future student at Maine Coast!

To learn more about the Alice Gauvin Gallery please click HERE.