May 24, 2018
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Community Art Project encourages imagination, whimsy and generosity

By Dale McGarrigle, BDN Staff

SEARSPORT — If it looks like a boat, stands up by itself and occupies no more than a cubic foot of space, it’s ready for ShipShapes, a community art project sponsored by Penobscot Marine Museum in celebration of its 75th anniversary. ShipShapes is an opportunity for artists and artist wannabes to use their imagination, have fun and benefit Penobscot Marine Museum at the same time.

Participants are invited to make a model boat or ship of any style out of anything they want. The only restrictions are that the vessel must be able to fit into an imaginary box 1-foot wide, 1-foot long, and 1-foot deep, and that it must stand up by itself or include a stand. Models will be donated to the museum and sold or auctioned as a fundraiser to benefit museum programs.

“Over the centuries, boatbuilders have constructed watercraft out of many materials, from birch bark to concrete,” said project coordinator Betty Schopmeyer, the museum’s director of education. “ShipShapes is a chance to join in that long tradition in creative and possibly whimsical ways.” She suggested that boat and ship models for the project can be knitted, quilted, made from wood, clay, felt, cardboard or paper, and decorated with bottle caps, flowers, toothpicks, sea shells, pennies, paint or whatever strikes the artist’s fancy.

Bring completed models to Penobscot Marine Museum’s Admissions Center, 40 E. Main St., Searsport, where boats will be accepted and displayed beginning Monday, June 13. On Saturday, July 23, the models will be offered for sale or silent auction during Penobscot Bay Day, the museum’s 75th birthday party. The event will feature free admission, refreshments, entertainment and other festivities. For more information about ShipShapes, contact Betty Schopmeyer, education director, at 548-2529, ext. 206 or, or visit

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