May 22, 2018
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Machias public library going “Bananas” in unveiling new children’s mural

Courtesy of Becky Lee
Courtesy of Becky Lee
Machias artist Becky Lee painted six panels, each 4 feet wide and 7 feet tall, to create a mural for the children’s room of the Porter Memorial Library in Machias.
By Tom Walsh, BDN Staff

MACHIAS, Maine — A whimsical mural showcasing a monkey named Bananas will be unveiled officially on Saturday, Feb. 2, in the children’s room of the Porter Memorial Library at 92 Court St.

The work by Machias artist Becky Lee was inspired by Bananas, a monkey puppet owned by the public library’s children’s librarian, Angie Potter. The acrylic mural includes six panels, each 4 feet wide and 7 feet tall. Lee said it’s the largest work she has painted.

“The library board had some ideas about bringing more life to the children’s area, where they use a monkey puppet for story time,” Lee said. “They had this vision of a monkey, living in a jungle space, and I incorporated some educational elements like numbers and letters to make it somewhat interactive.”

Lee said she began working on the mural last fall in her home. She said she lost track months ago of how many hours she has invested in the project.

“I did this not as a commission, but as a volunteer,” she said. “I love libraries. I spent a lot of time in libraries growing up.”

The unveiling will be the centerpiece of a series of midday events dubbed “Monkeyshines for Groundhog Day” beginning at 11:30 a.m. with a children’s story time. Lee’s mural will be unveiled at noon, followed by a puppet presentation in which Bananas searches for his shadow.

Throughout the day, refreshments billed as “appropriate for people and monkeys” will be served.

“We’ve had a considerable increase in children’s circulation and activities over the past year,” said Lee McBride, the library’s director.

Children’s programming hosted at the 1893 library includes weekly story hours, special theme programs and a children’s computer with an array of educational software.

For information, call 255-3933.

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