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Three for the road: Art shows worth abandoning the beach for

Story By Kathleen Pierce in the Bangor Daily News

Blue Fish, 1988, painted wood, 48"x56"x30"

Blue Fish, 1988, painted wood, 48″x56″x30″

Besides the line at Red’s and mounting traffic on Route 1, there is another Maine mainstay in overdrive this summer — art shows. It’s tough to wade through the onslaught of openings between trips to the beach, but here are three shows worth ditching your blanket for on the coast. Rockland artist Eric Hopkins, known for playful paintings of Maine islands, hosts a retrospective at Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport called “Shells, Fish & Shellfish.” The varied solo exhibit, which opens this week, provides a deeper look into the beach detritus that has inspired the North Haven son of a fish monger. Anyone familiar with Hopkin’s abstract island-scapes will enjoy seeing these elegant wood and glass sculptures along with paintings and monotypes that are rarely on view.

Learning to blow glass from rockstar artist Dale Chihuly while a student at RISD, Hopkins jumps from the frame to the pedestal with ease. Like many artists he was informed by the surroundings of his childhood. “The rocks and shells and bones and branches were my play things,” he said in a prepared statement. “I’d see the patterns of clouds repeated on the waves on the water and later in the flesh of the filleted flounder.”

Read the full story in The Bangor Daily News

‘Shells, fish, shellfish’ inspire art Eric Hopkins draws on a life by the water

Story by Carl Little in The Working Waterfront

Broken Shell Form #1, by Eric Hopkins

Broken Shell Form #1, by Eric Hopkins

Let’s get the punning out of the way, pronto: Eric Hopkins is a shellfish artist. To be more precise, he is a renderer, in many mediums, of shells and fish and shellfish, as the title of his show at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, “Eric Hopkins: Shells—Fish—Shellfish,” puts it.

And this fact may well be a revelation to visitors who only know Hopkins by way of his often transcendent aerial views of the Maine archipelago. Indeed, the exhibition makes a powerful case for a body of work deserving of equal attention and acclaim.

The Bangor-born, North Haven-bred artist began exploring shells and fish as a youngster. The earliest piece in the show is a watercolor made in 1955 when Hopkins was four years old. While reflecting a boy’s fascination with fish—he has often told the story of painting directly on a codfish he had caught in order to keep its colors from fading, only to have his “artwork” disposed of by his mother when it began to stink—this piece of juvenilia already displays the energy of his later work, in particular, the darting fish with its craggy fin.

Read the full story

An African-American Settlement in Troy Maine with Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall presents his research on a African-American settlement in Troy,Maine. He researches the ecology and historical archaeology of early Euro-and Afro-American settlers in Central Maine back-country, with emphasis on land-human interaction and landscape archaeology.

Video by George Kerper

About Ship Modeling with Nic Damuck

Everything you ever wanted to know about ship models and more! Bluejacket Ship Crafters owner Nic Damuck has been making models for over thirty years. Hear about the fascinating world of exquisite wooden ship models which has devotees around the globe.

Video by George Kerper

art current: Gee’s Bend Quilts at the Penobscot Marine Museum

Story by Britta Konau in The Free Press

Crazy Quilt by Lucy Mongo

Crazy Quilt by Lucy Mongo

The story of Gee’s Bend quilts is a complicated, sad and happy one. Gee’s Bend, a remote, historically African-American village on a peninsula formed by the Alabama River, originated in the early 1800s from slave cabins of Joseph Gee’s cotton plantations. Women slaves and their emancipated descendants made quilts from worn-out clothes, feed sacks, and whatever scraps might be usable to provide warmth in unheated housing. Poverty was rampant and interaction with neighboring towns limited (ferry service was suspended by the cross-river town in response to Benders’ civil rights protests). How the rest of the world found out about those quilts has been recounted many times. In 1997, William Arnett, an art collector and scholar, tracked down the women after having seen photographs of some of their quilts. He bought nearly 700 old quilts and contracted for intellectual property rights to all quilts made before 1984, which he transferred to his non-profit promoting vernacular art, Tinwood Alliance. In 2002, the nationally touring exhibition of 70 quilts from that collection, “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend,” took the art world by surprise and was followed by commodification of the quilts’ designs into home products (postal stamps, too, were issued).

Read the full story in The Free Press

Talk and Book Signing for 1816: The Year That Summer Never Came, at Penobscot Marine Museum

1816 is called “The Year Without A Summer”.  During that summer wild temperature swings produced snow and frost which killed crops and caused famines and food shortages world-wide.  On Saturday, August 23rd at 2:00 pm, Penobscot Marine Museum hosts author Mayra Donnell, who will talk about her children’s book 1816: The Year That Summer Never Came. Donnell’s noveltellsthestory of a young girl who records in her diary what Maine life was like in the bizarre weather of the year 1816, with ice and frozen apple blossoms in May and a snow storm in June. Learn the true story of the massive volcano eruption which most scientist now believe caused the year of unusual weather. This talk and book signing is in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine. Admission is free.

1816: The Year That Summer Never Came by Mayra Donnell

1816: The Year That Summer Never Came by Mayra Donnell

Penobscot Marine Museum, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine is an historic seaport village which entertains the whole family with fun hands-on activities, a beautifully furnished ship captain’s house, stunning displays of scrimshaw and marine paintings, E.B. White’s sail boat and much more.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm, May 24th through October 19th.  For more information on Museum events, exhibits and programs, go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.

World Ocean Observatory Director to Speak at Penobscot Marine Museum

On Thursday, August 21st at 7:00 pm, Peter Neill, director of the World Ocean Observatory will present The Sea Connects All Things, an illustrated talk on the ocean as an integrated global social system.  Neill will suggest actions, beyond the predictable conventions, for organizations and individuals to adopt as innovative strategies for the future.  Peter Neill has appeared on television documentaries on PBS, A&E, Discovery and National Geographic Society productions. This talk is at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine.  Tickets are $8 for museum members and Searsport residents, and $10 for non-members.

World Ocean Observatory Director Peter Neill

World Ocean Observatory Director Peter Neill

The World Ocean Observatory advocates for the ocean through independent, responsible, apolitical science, and is dedicated to advancing public understanding of ocean issues through institutional collaboration and partnerships,  pro-active programs, and connection with individual subscribers around the world.  It was founded in 2004 as a recommendation of the 1998 Independent World Commission on the Future of the Oceans.  Peter Neill has also served as President of the South Street Seaport Museum, New York, and as Director for Maritime Preservation for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.   He is a Trustee of Penobscot Marine Museum.

Penobscot Marine Museum, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine is an historic seaport village which entertains the whole family with fun hands-on activities, a beautifully furnished ship captain’s house, stunning displays of scrimshaw and marine paintings, E.B. White’s sail boat and much more.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm, May 24th through October 19th.  For more information on Museum events, exhibits and programs, go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.

Penobscot Marine Museum’s Historic Photography Exhibit Now in Deer Isle

Penobscot Marine Museum’s historic photography exhibit Hancock County Through Eastern’s Eye is now at the Island Heritage Trust barn, in Deer Isle, Maine.  The photographs in Hancock County Through Eastern’s Eye are of places people loved a century ago, when the owner of Eastern Illustrating sent his crews with their box cameras into tiny towns telling them to ask local citizens what they should photograph, what was important to them about their town.   This exhibit is hosted by the Deer-Isle-Stonington Historical Society, and will be at the Island Heritage Trust barn, 420 Sunset Rd., Deer Isle, through August 31st.

Stonington, Maine courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

Stonington, Maine courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

An online exhibit on Penobscot Marine Museum’s website www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org includes many additional Hancock County images.   The Eastern collection is the largest single photographic collection in Maine, consisting of nearly 50,000 images of Maine and the rest of New England and upstate New York. Most of the photos are on glass-plate negatives.   The Penobscot Marine Museum is raising funds to acquire more of Eastern’s negatives, and has recently added a searchable database online to their website which includes nearly 30,000 Eastern Illustrating photographs. Photo prints are available from the museum, with proceeds from their sale going to expand the collection.  The exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and is part of four county exhibits the Penobscot Marine Museum will produce.

Exhibit hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The exhibit is free.  For more information go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or www.dis-historicalsociety.org.

Penobscot Marine Museum is in Searsport, Maine and has seven new exhibits and over fifty programs and events during the 2014 season.  Its three acre, ten building campus is  open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm, through Sunday, October 19.

Gee’s Bend Events

Photo Feb 01, 11 44 54 AMEXHIBIT: “Do It Your Way”: Gee’s Bend Quilts & Quilters in Maine
Exhibit Penobscot Marine Museum, Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine, from August 2nd through September 7th, 2014. Sponsored by Fiber College of Maine and the Emily and William Muir Community Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. For more information call Penobscot Marine Museum at 207-548-2529 or 0334 or click here.

EXHIBIT: “Do It Your Way”: Gee’s Bend Quilts at Maine Fiberarts in Topsham, Maine
July 4–August 30, at Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main St., Topsham, Maine. For more information call 207-721-0678.

Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall

TALK: Knowing their place: two stories (and the truth) about an African-American settlement in Troy – illustrated talk
Unity College Professor Chris Marshall will give a talk on Thursday, August 14, 7:00 pm at Penobscot Marine Museum. Chris Marshall and his Unity College students interviewed Troy, Maine residents, sought out old records, and excavated the site of the original settlement to discover the stories, and the truth, about what happened to the African-Americans settlement of the 1800’s in rural Waldo County. Tickets are $10 for non-members and $8 for members. For more information call Penobscot Marine Museum at 207-548-2529 or 0334 or click here.

Scallions, acrylic by Susan Tobey White

Scallions, acrylic by Susan Tobey White

PAINTING WORKSHOP: Gee’s Bend Quilt-Inspired Painting Workshop Offered at Penobscot Marine Museum
Patchwork of Color, a one-day acrylic painting workshop with artist Susan Tobey White at Penobscot Marine Museum will be held on Friday, August 15 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. For a list of materials, please call Susan White at 207-338-8990 or email stwhite@gwi.net. The workshop fee is $75 which includes museum admission. To register for Patchwork of Color please call Penobscot Marine Museum at 207-548-2529 or 548-0334. Read More

CLASSES: Gee’s Bend quilters will be at Fiber College of Maine teaching quilting classes September 3rd through September 8th. For more information go to website fibercollege.org or by calling (207) 548-6059.

Gee’s Bend quilter, courtesy Fiber College of Maine

Gee’s Bend quilter, courtesy Fiber College of Maine

DINNER & SING & TALK: On the evening of September 3rd the First Congregational Church of Searsport will host a New England boiled dinner, and a discussion forum and gospel singing Gee’s bend quilters. The forum, during which two quilts will be raffled, will be moderated by Maine Center for Contemporary Art Director Suzette McAvoy. This event was organized by Fiber College of Maine and tickets are available through their website fibercollege.org or by calling (207) 548-6059. Read More

August Craft and Children’s Programs and Sailing at Penobscot Marine Museum

This August, Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine is offering programs for children on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Artisan Days: Demonstrations of 19th Century Crafts on Thursdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.  On Mondays and Saturdays the Schooner Guildive is giving sailing tours of historic Searsport Harbor.  For more information on all these activities, and on the museum’s Thursday night summer talks, call 207-548-2529 or 0334, or go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org.

Wooden boat built by Cottrell Boatbuilders

Wooden boat built by Cottrell Boatbuilders

Artisan Days: Demonstrations of 19th Century Crafts at Penobscot Marine Museum is on Thursdays in August from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.  On August 14th and 21st Alice Seeger will demonstrate 19th century spinning and weaving.  On August 28th wooden boatbuilding will be demonstrated by Cottrell Boatbuilding.  Artisan Days is a collaboration with Boothbay Railway Village in Boothbay, Maine and is sponsored by Knickerbocker Group: Designers, Builders, Cabinetmakers, Caretakers.  This program is free with PMM admission.

Wednesday, August 6th and 20th at 11:00 am: The Herring Are In! is a children’s craft program based on fishing for herring.  Make a weir and learn how to fish!   This program is free with PMM admission.

Friday, August 8th at 1:00 pm join author Lucinda Hathaway for a fun filled afternoon of high seas adventure and travel-inspired art.  Lucinda will lead a workshop teaching children how to make a watercolor travel journal, and she will read from her two children’s sailing adventure books, one of which has a chapter set in Searsport!  This program is free with PMM admission.

Wednesday, August 13, 11:00 am to noon, bring your children to Weave a Wristband with Alice Seeger.  Use a simple loom to weave your own colorful wristband!  Spinning sheep’s wool and weaving warm coverlets was an essential task for fending off Maine’s winter chill.  Learn about weaving and spinning.  This program is free with PMM admission.

Friday, August 15, 10:30 am is Art in the Gallery.  Bring your children and join Heather Davis in making an art project based on an object in the PMM collection.  This program is free with PMM admission.

Friday, August 22, 10:30 pm: Children’s Reading Corner.  Come listen to excerpts from the children’s classic One Morning in Maine read out loud.  This program is free with PMM admission.

Saturday, August 23, 2:00 pm: Talk and Book Signing: 1816: The Year That Summer Never Came.  This story, by author Mayra Donnell, is of a young girl who records in her diary what Maine life was like in the bizarre weather of the year 1816.  In the summer of 1816, instead of scorching summers, they experienced ice and frozen apple blossoms in May and a snow storm in June.  Learn the true story of why 1816 was a year of unusual weather.  In PMM’s Main Street Gallery.  Admission free.

The Penobscot Marine Museum is in Searsport, Maine and has seven new exhibits and over fifty programs and events during the 2014 season.  Its three acre, ten building campus is on Route One in Searsport, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm through Sunday, October 19.   PMM admission is free to Searsport residents.