Summer Theater is here in Maine and in full swing. With so many options to fit in all types of budgets there really is no excuse to head out and experience some fantastic, award-winning live performance. Our special this week is a fantastic review by The Art of Maine’s guest writer Joe Mauro. He was at the Arundel Barn Playhouse this week to experience 8 Track. Head over to the Critic’s Corner to read what he has to say about the show!
Some of the best venues I have seen recently are those offering the arts and humanities in one space, providing aesthetically pleasing art and spectacular artistic performances. Local Art Walks are a great opportunity not only to get outside, tis the season, but a fantastic way to meet artists of all disciplines. Be sure to check your local papers for any and all Art Walks you can fit in this summer. Galleries tend to be open late and sometimes offer refreshments and entertainment, besides the opportunity to meet the visual artists.
This month, if you are close enough, why not head to Portland, Maine for the First Friday Art Walk on June 6th. Hot-off-the-press I can give you the scoop about one such gallery that is a MUST VISIT!! The Constellation Gallery 511 Congress Street. Not only will they have a new exhibit that sounds exciting, they will have featured music in the courtyard! Here are the details:
Awaken to Artists’ Dreams and Jazz
at Constellation Gallery
Portland ME – Come see how the artists at Constellation Gallery deal with the theme of “Dreams” , while listening to the improvisational sounds of Hall Pass Denied, a jazz improv ensemble from Wells High School on Friday, June 6th from 5 to 8 pm. The “Dreams” show continues at Constellation Gallery, 511 Congress Street in Portland, home of the Maine Artists Collective (MAC) to June 26th. Constellation Gallery is open daily from noon to 4 pm and by appointment by calling 207-409-6617. MAC artist Margaret Silsby will also have a special display on Constellation’s Feature Wall.
Two science teachers from Wells High School, who believe in the importance of the arts, have come up with an innovative way to help students grow as artists and musicians. Chrys Demos who teaches chemistry and physics picks up his guitar while biology teacher Lee McGlashen reaches for the bass and they join students after school to jam as the group Hall Pass Denied, which features Crothers on baritone sax; Chandler McNiel on drums; Lee McGlashen on bass; and Chrys (Kit) Demos on guitar.
“These students have brought an unprecedented energy and new voice to our after school endeavor,” Demos says. “I hope to spotlight these new artists in a way that allows them to grow and express themselves creatively with the direct support of the staff at Wells High School and surrounding community. In the meantime, we hope to bring some summer celebratory grooves to your ears.”
The mission of the Maine Artist Collective is to connect the public with Maine artists and support development by providing exhibition and studio space, education, and professional workshops.
As Always……remember to come back and tell us about it!
Out of the Shadows:
Bringing Human Trafficking Issues to the Forefront in Maine
Human Trafficking is one of the most serious social issues of our time. It is estimated that globally 21 million people live as slaves today. These numbers far exceed any period of time in history, including that of the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Conferences and speaking engagements have become important venues in bringing awareness to this 32 billion dollar industry however, as the industry grows, our need for awareness needs to increase as well.
Out of the Shadows: bringing human trafficking issues to the forefront in Maine
Tuesday May 13 @ 6pm
84 Main Street
The event is an original production by the combined efforts of David Susman, Professor of Humanities at York Country Community College and Lisa A. Crothers, professor of English, Social Documentary Photographer and community advocate for the arts and humanities.
This literary event combines both the visual and performing arts to raise awareness of a serious social issue happening right here in the State of Maine.
The performance is followed the special appearance of Kim Regoulinsky, Maine’s abolitionist on Human Trafficking.
Admittedly, I have never been a true lover of poetry – WAIT! Just hold on – before, I was never a lover of poetry. I was one of those people tortured by the terrible instruction of teachers untrained in sharing the true beauty of poetry. I come from a generation where memorization was important and the complete deconstruction of every word was necessary to really understand what the writer meant.
As the years passed, I started to see something new and to ask - What about loving poetry for what is is? What about letting the beauty of the words so perfectly crafted take you to a far away place, or conjure up an emotion you want to feel?
Reading poetry is tough sometimes, but listening to poetry is beautiful all of the time and fortunately here in Maine poetry events are very popular. On April 2, The Hive rekindled poetry with a spectacular spring event For the Love of Poetry. Featured poet Kevin Sweeney of Portland energized the audience with his wonderful and witty verse. Guests were also entertained with the poetry of David Weiss, Marla Backwell and Oliver Payne.
Portland’s acclaimed Colin Sargent will be the featured poet
May 7th at 7pm the Spring Thaw Poetry Event
at The Hive, Kennebunk, Maine
Colin Sargent, Ph.D is a novelist, playwright, and author of three books of poetry: Luftwaffe Snowshoes, Blush, and Undertow. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he has been awarded the Maine individual artist fellowship in poetry, a Stonecoast MFA in creative writing, and a Ph.D in creative writing from Lancaster University in the UK. His screenplay Montebello Ice is under option at Gideon Films. The Portland, Maine resident is founding editor and publisher of award-winning Portland Magazine as well as a board member of the literacy organization Maine Reads. Museum of Human Beings is his first novel. According to Publishers Weekly, “Playwright Sargent’s debut novel is a stylish look at the fate of Sacagawea’s baby son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau… An impressively rounded portrait of the laid-back, introspective, nomadic Baptiste, this novel will satisfy fans of American history.”
During the Spring Thaw event you will also hear the works of Charles Eastland, Pete Lee, Jeri Theriault, and Linda Aldrich.
Poetry events are free and open to the public. The evening begins at 7pm, doors open at 6pm. Grab a friend and make plans to sit at a table, enjoy some refreshments and Jazz by local musician Sal Hughes. Come, escape the stress of the day, allow the beauty of poetry to transport, transform and renew your spirit during The Hive’s Spring Thaw Poetry Event
Wednesday May 7th @ 7pm
The Hive 84 Main Street Kennebunk, Maine
There is a little known gem with an exceptional space and friendly and knowledgeable staff – it must be placed on the to-do list of places to go:
Museum of African Culture
The Art is exceptional and there is a great bit of history to read that accompanies each piece, this is a wonderfully curated show for all ages!
Recently, I visited the museum’s current exhibit “Cameroon: The Spirits of the Grassland” with a group of students for an impromptu sojourn and not only was the staff knowledgeable about the exhibit, the friendly young woman was eager to answer all types of questions posed by the students. Museum goers who travel with packs of kids know this is often, unfortunately, not always the case.
The Exhibit it FREE!
This bit of information about the museum is a quote I took directly from their website:
“The Museum of African Culture was founded by Oscar Mokeme and Art Aleshire August 8, 1998 in Portland Maine. It is the only institution in northern New England devoted exclusively to sub-Saharan African arts and culture. There are over 1,500 pieces in the collection of the Museum, ranging from large-scale, elaborately carved wooden masks to smaller scale figures, cast copper alloy (bronze) figures, textiles, utilitarian objects, ceramic, bone, ivory and composite objects.”
FMI Visit: http://www.museumafricanculture.org/'