Sidewalks Become the Stage on August 28, 2014
The Village of Wiscasset becomes a performance venue with plein air painting, live sidewalk music, and street performance during the Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, August 28 from 5-8pm. Artist Robert Noreika sets up his easel in front of Sylvan Gallery to capture the atmosphere and mood of our classic Maine village. Sidewalk artist Erik Minzner establishes his outdoor studio on Main St. to observe and paint the comings and goings of Wiscasset street life. Strolling minstrels Married with Chitlins delight visitors with their country, blues-y tunes, and Luminarium Dance Co., fresh from their 24-hour choreofest in Boston, brings street performance to the Village.
According to Luminarium Dance Co. co-founder and choreographer Kimberleigh Holman, “the dancers really enjoy working in situ. We won’t be doing a dance performance; instead, we’re exploring unexpected ways to move on the sidewalk and interact with people. We’re preparing for the creative challenges of the doorways, porches, and small outdoor spaces throughout Wiscasset Village.”
While the beating heart of the Art Walk is the fine collection of artist-owned studios and galleries throughout the Village, guest artists and musicians enrich the cultural experience: Sarah’s Café hosts the acrylic works of Brunswick artist Ed McCartan. French & Co. at 55 Main exhibits 28 new paintings by well known Maine artist Ralf Feyl. The artist will be there to welcome guests to his first mid-coast show, RALF FEYL – New Paintings. According to French & Co. co-owner Richard French, “We are very pleased to host Ralf’s first solo show, outside of Portland, in Maine. It is a knock-out.”
Treats features paintings by Wiscasset artist Mat O’Donnell who will be on hand to talk with visitors. Illustrator Sean Closson inhabits the front window at Mac’s Place where he’ll gladly take requests for on-the-spot caricature portraits – become your favorite action hero! Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts displays the work of students and instructors in the window of 106 Main St. while jewelry maker William Paul’s tent invites strollers to come in and look. Paul learned traditional beading while growing up on a reservation and now works with Swarovski crystals.
Music in the galleries has become an intrinsic part of Wiscasset Art Walk. Jubilee, the duo of Doreen Conboy on cello and Ellen Koches on flute, will be playing classical, baroque, and contemporary music to enhance the experience of looking at art in Wiscasset Bay Gallery. Another duo, Jeff Grosser on accordion and four-string jazz banjo and Spike Hyssong on stand-up bass, transforms Mac’s Place into a jazz café for the evening. According to Grosser, his colleague Spike is “one of the foremost jazz acoustic stand-up bassists in Maine.” They will play traditional jazz, swing, and popular music. Grosser claims that “the banjo will be seen to perform music not normally associated with the instrument.” And classical guitarist Jonathan Waldo makes the most of the incredible acoustics in Sideli Fine Art with his masterful playing.
Wiscasset’s remarkable collection of unique shops and historical sites also plays an important part in the Art Walk. For shoppers, In the Clover is hosting a NEESH trunk show, “whimsical clothing for the grown up girl,” featuring the line’s Fall 2014 collection. And not to be missed is wine tasting at Treats, another Wiscasset Art Walk tradition. The prominent Nickels-Sortwell House towers above the Village and is open for tours. Wiscasset’s Museum in the Streets is open 24/7 for the historically-minded and curious.
Strolling maps are available at participating locations in the Village – look for the green and blue balloons – and highlight all the special events. Wiscasset Art Walk is held on the last Thursday of the summer months. The last Art Walk of the season will be on September 25, from 5pm – 8pm. Major Sponsors are Maine Arts Commission, The First, Carleton Realty, Ames True Value, and Carriage House Gardens; sponsors include Big Barn Coffee, Carl Larrabee Insurance Agency, Fogg Art Painting Restoration & Custom Framing, and The Shady Lady.