Born in Colorado in 1944 and raised on the East Coast, Alice Spencer received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and continued her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. For the last 45 years, she has lived and worked in Maine. Spencer has created art in a variety of media, including watercolor, acrylics, and oils. She is also a printmaker and a cofounder of the Peregrine Press, a printmaking cooperative in Portland. Spencer has taught printmaking at the Haystack School of Crafts in Deer Isle, in the Maine College of Art Continuing Studies Program, and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and Zanzibar, Tanzania, continuing over the past few years to work with the Zanzibari artists to renovate their gallery and provide them with business training. In recent years, Spencerís paintings and collages have been based on the patterning and cultural meanings of traditional, hand-made ethnic textiles, exploring textiles both as an art form and as an essential source of identity and connection in traditional societies.
Over the last 35 years, Spencer has had 19 solo exhibits. Her work has been shown extensively throughout Maine, New England, and New York, and has been featured in exhibits at the United States embassies in Chile and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was one of 10 women painters exhibited at the United Nationsí "Ingredients for Peace Celebration" held in New York in March 2001. Her paintings and prints are included in numerous museum and corporate collections including the Portland Museum of Art, the Colby College Museum of Art, Simmons College, United Technologies, and the UNUM Corporation. Spencer has served on the Board of the Maine College of Art and chaired the City of Portland's Public Art Committee.. Spencer is the founder of TEMPOart, a public art non-profit in Portland that brings temporary, curated, site-specific art installations to key neighborhoods and urban sites, and serves as Chair of its Board of Directors.
In 2009, she received a statewide Award for Leadership in the Arts and, in 2018, an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Maine College of Art.