LUBEC, Maine — The artists were everywhere in Lubec this week: climbing on ladders, painting on door frames, carefully creating portraits of community characters, working on a community mural, and creating iconic, colorful and often humorous signs around town.
The first Lubec Arts Alive event has exceeded even the imagination of the organizers.
“We are stunned,” Karen Burke said. “We cannot imagine the talent that has arrived here.”
Thirteen professional artists from around the state and beyond arrived in Lubec for the community art event.
They included Natasha Mayers, Robert Shetterly, Alan Crichton, Richard Brown Lethem, Rose Marasco, Kenny Cole, Diane Dahlke, Mary Bernstein, Jill Lavetsky, Barb Sullivan and Karen Adrienne.
“Many of these are activist artists,” Burke said. “They are very involved in community.”
Burke said Lubec Arts Alive applied for a grant for the event and thought all was lost when it was denied. “But even in the face of no grant, the volunteers came,” she said.
All of the artists were volunteering their time and staying with host families.
“The people of Lubec have been extraordinarily welcoming and kind,” said Sullivan, who hails from Cornville. Sullivan is a fresco artist and was creating a sculptured doorway on Main Street.
For Lavetsky, a Florida pastel artist, this was her first trip to Maine. “It is amazingly gorgeous,” she said. “I will definitely come back. Or maybe I’ll just stay.”
Although some of the work was done on-site, such as the doorway art, much was being accomplished at the local Grange hall. Artists along one side of the room were painting portraits of local people while others recorded oral histories.
Other artists painted representational images of Lubec: Peacock Canning sardine cans, fishing boats, the Quoddy Head lighthouse.
Still more, including community volunteers, painted a three-panel mural that reflected Lubec life and scenes.
Photographers Frank Van Riper and Judy Goodman, who summer in Lubec, were documenting the event with photographs.
Events set for the rest of the week include:
• 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, work on mural, portrait project and signs at the Grange hall; sculptural doorway installation, Main Street.
• 1-4 p.m. Thursday, natural found-object art at Hamilton Cove.
ä Noon-3 p.m. Friday, iconic sign display and sale at Flatiron Corner.
• 2-3 p.m. Saturday, public viewing of portraits at Lubec Memorial Library.
For a complete schedule of events, visit lubecartsalive2009.blogspot.com.