HOULTON, Maine — If you are an art lover in Houlton or its surrounding communities, you likely have heard of or own a painting by Esther Orr Faulkner.
The work of the longtime Houlton resident and celebrated artist has hung in local galleries and homes, has been exhibited in state offices in Augusta and has helped to raise money for various community groups and causes.
Promoting the arts in the region is very important to Faulkner, and she once again has contributed one of her paintings to make sure that the local art scene continues to thrive.
Beginning July 1, the Southern Aroostook Cultural Arts Project, a nonprofit that works to promote the arts in the region, will sell 100 prints of a watercolor painting created by Faulkner. The organization also will sell cards depicting the print. The prints will be sold for $50, and the cards will be sold for $3. All of the proceeds will go to SACAP to support the expansion of arts programming in the community.
The painting, “Lupine Field Surprise,” actually originated from a photograph taken by Army Capt. Brett Carey, who was in the area visiting his mother, Marilyn Carey. The two were out for a drive in New Limerick when they saw a mother moose and her baby amid a field of pink and purple lupines. Brett Carey had his camera with him and snapped the photo, according to SACAP officials. He was on leave from the military at the time, and when he got back to his base, he framed the photo and sent it to his mother as a gift.
Faulkner said that when she saw the photo, she knew it would make a great painting.
“It was a such a beautiful photograph, and I made the painting right from that picture,” she explained. “Marilyn [Carey] and I presented the idea of using the painting as a fundraiser to the SACAP board, and they thought it was a great idea.”
The 100 limited edition prints, each of which is signed and numbered, are suitable to fit a 16-by-20-inch mat. They will be sold at Visions on Main Street in Houlton. SACAP maintains the Visions art shop, which sells works created by area artists and features a gallery that has a new exhibit every month.
Faulkner said Tuesday that she has been involved with SACAP since it opened the Visions store in 2004 and has served on its board of directors for a year. She has been painting since early childhood.
“My father was an artist, so I grew up with it,” she said. “I have always loved it.”
Faulkner said she feels it is important to promote arts of all kinds, including writing, painting, drawing and music. She pointed out that Houlton has always been known as a strong music town, but other types of artists have really flown under the radar until SACAP established itself in the community.
“I think that it is important to promote any type of creative work,” Faulkner said. “I have been here for more than 50 years and I have seen the arts scene grow and change during that time. I believe that the arts scene is really starting to thrive, which is great to see.”
To purchase the prints, cards and work from other local artists, visit Visions at 66 Main St. in Houlton or call 532-9119. Shipping can be arranged. The shop is open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.