SEARSPORT — The Penobscot Marine Museum will open for its 75th year on Friday, May 27, with new exhibits ranging from contemporary art to historic artifacts. A free reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. on opening day at the Main Street Gallery to give visitors a chance to meet some of the exhibiting artists and the museum’s new executive director Liz Lodge.
The signature exhibit for the year, “75 for 75” will showcase 75 artifacts from the museum’s 75 years. Ranging from marine paintings and domestic artifacts to ship models and full-size boats, “75 for 75” is spread across several of the museum’s 13 buildings. “It’s kind of a capsule history of the museum which is, itself, an ongoing record of Maine’s and Searsport’s maritime histories,” said the museum’s curator Ben Fuller.
A second new exhibit, “The Art of the Boat,” will present works by more than 50 contemporary painters, sculptors and photographers exploring the themes of the boat as a work of art and the boatbuilder as artist. “We asked artists to balance the art that is in the boat with their own artistic vision ,” said Fuller. The exhibit was juried by a panel consisting of an art writer and critic, a yacht designer, an artist and an art collector, which selected from more than 300 submitted works in all media. The exhibit is presented to honor the memory of George S. Wasson, a Maine artist, author and boatbuilder who was one of the museum’s spiritual founders 75 years ago.
The museum has also renovated one of its longest-running exhibits so comprehensively that it constitutes a third new exhibit in many ways. “Working the Bay” tells the story of the economic evolution of the Penobscot region, focusing on industries such as quarrying, lumber, fishing and shipbuilding, and it includes several new hands-on features for younger visitors.
More information visit http://www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org/ or call 548-2529.