Floating art exhibit to visit Maine Islands, coastal towns

Posted Aug. 01, 2011, at 5:21 p.m.

Art and folklore will travel to Maine islands and coastal communities this summer in “Art Afloat: Tales of Maritime Maine,” an exhibit of dioramas by artist Anne-Emmanuelle Marpeau sponsored by Penobscot Marine Museum. Art workshops, slide shows of local history, and receptions with the artist also are scheduled as part of the tour, which runs Tuesday through Friday, Aug.16-19.

Marpeau, from Brittany, France, is known for her meticulously detailed dioramas, also known as shadowboxes, illustrating stories from Maine’s coast and islands. With subject matter encompassing legends, folk tales and historical events, Marpeau’s three-dimensional constructions variously express whimsy, mystery, tragedy, courage, isolation and celebration.

A dozen new dioramas created by Marpeau especially for the exhibit will be installed on the vessel Sunbeam V, operated by the Maine Sea Coast Mission. Sunbeam V will travel to Northeast Harbor, Isle au Haut, North Haven, Islesboro, Stonington, Swans Island and Great Cranberry Island, accompanied by Marpeau and staff from Penobscot Marine Museum.

In addition to opportunities for visitors to board the vessel and view the exhibit at each destination, some stops will include an onshore reception, a slide show of historic local scenes from the museum’s vast photographic collections and a workshop for visitors to learn how to make their own dioramas.

The show is supported by a joint grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission. An exhibit catalog will be published by Dowling Walsh Gallery of Rockland. Visit http://www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org/ or call 548-2529 for updates to the itinerary:

August 16

• Northeast Harbor: Exhibit opens at Sunbeam’s berth, followed by reception and slide show at the Great Harbor Maritime Museum on Main Street, times to be announced.

August 17

• Isle au Haut: Dockside reception 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at town landing.

• North Haven: Exhibit open, tours of Sunbeam, at anchor in the Thoroughfare, 3 p.m.

• Diorama workshop, 3-5:30 p.m., Waterman’s Community Center.

• Reception and slide show, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Waterman’s Community Center.

August 18

• Islesboro: Dockside reception, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., the public landing by the ferry dock.

• Stonington: Dockside reception, 3-6 p.m. Location to be announced.

• Diorama workshop, 3-5:30 p.m., Penobscot East Resource Center.

• Reception, 5:30 p.m., Penobscot East Resource Center.

• Slide show, 6:30 p.m., Stonington Town Hall.

August 19

• Swans Island: Reception, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., quarry wharf in Minturn.

• Great Cranberry Island, dockside reception at public float, time to be announced.

After the island excursions, the exhibit will be installed at the Dowling Walsh Gallery, where the pieces will be available for purchase. Taking inspiration from the exhibit, Penobscot Marine Museum will offer its diorama workshop 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

More information is available at http://www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org/ or call 548-2529.

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