Forestry Museum Receives Grant

The Maine Forestry Museum, located in Rangeley, Maine, recently received a grant for $3,000. It was for the Logging Festival Days and entertainment. This grant will provide funds for festival activities that have been featured for 35 years.

During the festival, children recite poems and sing for local residents. Winners of the contest are featured in the annual Logging Festival Parade held the next day. Children learn confidence and how to express themselves using the written word. The grant will help the museum recruit cloggers, musicians, and singers to perform at the festival.

The festival promotes traditions found in the logging community. They have clogging, bluegrass musicians, poetry, and singing. The entertainment will be held at the Rangley Inn on July 16 at 7 pm. The festival contest Little Mr. or Miss Woodchip is for children 6-8 that want to recite a poem or sing a song. Winners of the contest ride in the parade the next day.

The Logging Parade proceeds down Main Street in Rangely. The parade has floats, clogging dancers, antique cars, local clubs, organizations, and awards. Prizes are given for the best loaded truck and best fitting parade theme related to logging. Other activities are arts and crafts vendors, barrel train rides for children, face painting, a lumberjack, and lumberjill competition, balloon animals, and more.

Logging Festival Days have an axe throwing contest, log rolling, wood splitting, stock saw cutting, and crosscut competitions. The Maine Forestry Museum has machinery and equipment used in the logging industry. They have chains saws, snubbing machines, sleds, and art by lumberjacks. The art features chainsaw carvings, and oil paintings of activities in the lumber camps.

The museum was established to preserve the history of logging and preservation of the forests. It educates consumers about the history of logging industry and the families that work in the industry.

Celebrating Black History Month

February’s Black History Month will be remembered as unique in the city of Waterville, Maine. Leading other small communities in an effort to foment and inspire art education, kids will receive an art kit, and a copy of Ashley Bryan’s children book: “Beautiful Blackbird.” 

Back in April, the non-profit organization, Waterville Creates, led an effort to distribute art kits to all, responding to the new  challenges brought on by the COVID-19 nationwide crisis. These art kits include materials as to allow them to get creative and make a collage. The kits will be distributed at no charge starting February 25th at 4pm. The purpose of these kits, is not only to bring families to read and create together, but to learn about Bryan’s work.

Mr. Ashley’s work as an illustrator and writer treats the subject of inclusion and diversity.

Born in Harlem, New York in 1923, his life and studies are testaments of endurance, accomplishment, and creativity. He served in a segregated battalion during World War II. Drawing helped him cope with his trials as a black man while continuing to be true to his convictions and humanity. His work is in permanent  exhibition at the Colby College Museum of Art.

As part of the Black History Month celebration, the 2016 documentary “I know a man… Ashley Bryan,” will be streaming at Maine Film Center’s website. His  life and times, take a vivid portrayal in the film.  The documentary also gives viewers a peek at his work, such as his beautiful linocut prints.

Waterville Creates initiative is not a lonesome attempt at educating the public about Mr. Ashley’s work and life, and art in general.  Some sponsors include Maine General Health, Kennebec Savings Bank, Colby Center for the Arts + Humanities, Bangor Savings Bank, New Dimensions Federal Credit Union, and Back Office Solutions. Donations from the public can be made through their website.

The Best Art Supply Stores in Maine

If you’re an aspiring artist, student, or just like to dabble in the visual arts, you might be wondering where to get your supplies.

The Art Mart

517 Congress Street

Portland, ME 04101

207-775-4244

 A favorite among art students in Portland, this wonderful shop is located just across from the street from the Maine College of Art. It features a huge selection of art materials, craft supplies, coloring books and more. No matter how strange your preferred medium is, we bet you can find some materials at The Art Mart. If not, one of their sales associates will surely be able to point you in the right direction.

Artists & Craftsman Supply

Multiple Locations

844-644-7778

Founded in 1985 as a small art supply in Portland, Artists and Craftsman Supply is a 100% employee-owned company. How neat is that? This is one of the largest art material suppliers in the United States, but they got their start in our very own state. In addition to selling arts and crafts supplies, this store features frequent demonstrations and classes. Check their Facebook page for upcoming events, times, and dates.

Salt Bay Art Supply

458 Main Street

Damariscotta, ME

207-563-8377

Salt Bay is known for its wide selection of options and their encouraging of artistic “cross-fertilization.” They say, “we encourage rubber-stampers to use gesso for backgrounds; people who have discovered adult coloring books look for high-quality colored pencils to enrich their experience, and we have plenty to choose from.” This unpretentious store supplies both high-quality art supplies and a variety of craft supplies, perfect for your upcoming project.

The Mix

53 Maine Street

Brunswick, ME

207-725-2271

This shop and art center offers a great selection of fine art supplies as well as a healthy mix of weird, funky stuff. From supplies to gifts, this is a one-stop shop for the art lover in your life. The Mix also hosts gallery shows and receptions regularly, so check them out if you’re looking for something to do on a Friday evening.

Portland Pottery

118 Washington Avenue

Portland, ME 04101

207-772-4334

Despite the name, this place isn’t just for potters – though they do specialize in pottery. Portland Pottery also carries a huge selection of artist and crafter supplies. There’s a café, a warehouse, a store, and a studio. Plus, they offer a variety of classes in the store, making this a great place to spend a rainy Saturday.

Art Schools in Maine

While many of Maine’s artists are self-trained, many were brought up in the incredible art schools that dot our great state. If you’re considering moving to Maine for art school, or if you’re already a Mainer looking to fine-tune your craft, check out any of these excellent higher education institutions.

Bates College – Bates College, located in Lewiston, ME, offers 6 Art and Design degree programs. This is a small, private, selective college in a small city.

Bowdoin College – This small, prestigious college offers 4 types of art degrees and is a private university in the outlying town of Brunswick.

Colby College – Located in Waterville, ME, Colby offers 6 Art and Design degree programs. This is a small, private university in a remote town between Augusta and Bangor.

Husson University – Husson is a private university in Bangor, ME, and offers 1 type of art degree.

Maine College of Art – Devoted entirely to the study and practice of Art, M.E.C.A. offers 10 Art and Design degree programs. This is a very small, private university in Portland.

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine – Set in beautiful Standish, Saint Joseph’s College of Main, known colloquially as “Saint Joe’s,” has 2 Art and Design degrees. This is a small, private university.

The University of Maine – While U.M. has outposts around the state, the primary campus is in northern Orono. This university has 12 Art and Design programs and is a medium-sized public university in a small suburb.

University of Southern Maine – This medium-sized public university offers 12 types of art degrees and is in Portland, Gorham, Lewiston, and online, though the primary campus is in beautiful Portland.

The Maine Folk Art Trail

Each summer, the Maine Folk Art Trail makes its way across the Pine Tree State, bringing collectors, vacationers, and artists through a variety of museums and markets. It’s one of the biggest slices of pure, unadulterated Americana local to Maine ever presented, and it’s pretty dang cool.

Here’s what happens: Each year, museums can be added to the list of stops along the Folk Art Trail. Everyone participating digs deep into their collections and archives to present works that comprise a comprehensive history of folk art as it grew in Maine through the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.

Maine artwork, especially folk art, is influenced heavily by the state’s geography, social status, and the need for self-expression. The Folk Art Trail has pieces from school girls and sailors, carvers and cabinetmakers, quilters and painters, all of which offer incredible insights into what daily life was like for the state’s earliest creators.

This project is the brainchild of two prominent folk art collectors in Maine, Charlie Burden and Ray Egan. They wanted to do something a little different for the American Folk Art Society’s annual meeting, and after approaching a few museums, the idea was launched. Museums large and small, mainstream and fringe, have found this to be an excellent driver for visitors. More importantly, it’s a great way to learn about the state’s history through objects.

While the exhibits launch in the summer, they often run well into fall, allowing returning college and university students to see some of the best folk art in the country.

Bates College Museum of Art

Lewiston, ME

Colby College Museum of Art

Waterville, ME

Farnsworth Art Museum

Rockland, ME

Maine Historical Society

Portland, ME

Maine Maritime Museum

Bath, ME

Maine State Museum

Augusta, ME

Museums of Old York

York, ME

Penobscot Marine Museum

Searsport, ME

Rufus Porter Museum

Bridgton, ME

Saco Museum

Saco, ME

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum

New Gloucester, ME