by Ardeana Hamlin
of The Weekly Staff
Artists Carol Brodeur of Hermon, Rella Armstrong of Levant and Coral Ouellette of Hermon, Priscilla Hoekstra of Newport, Frieda Moulland of Levant and Sue Cox of Levant, the core members an artists’ group called Art Minded People, or AMP, are issuing an invitation to artists near and far, young and old, to join them for Art in the Garden, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Ecotat Garden, corner of Route 2 and Annis Road in Road.
Ecotat is a trust established by Howard and Ruth Crosby in 1995. The trust’s 88 acres include 8 acres of gardens and woody plants, a tee trail, nature trails and hundreds of varieties of perennials, trees and shrubs. Currently, Brodeur said, the garden is undergoing restoration. Two new gardens, including a cacti garden, are in the process of being established and one garden will have a fountain as a focal point. Admission to the garden is free. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Hermon Municipal Office at 848-3485.
Painting in the garden under its living canopy of trees, surrounded by the natural beauty of leaves, flowers and green, growing things, Brodeur, Armstrong and Ouellette agreed, is an experience they are eager to share with other artists. They also wanted to hold the event to let the public know about the garden, and as a way to thank garden trustees for allowing the group to meet at there. The group meets at 5 p.m. Tuesdays, May through September, at Ecotat Gardens and members encourage other artists of any media to join them.
“It takes me to a happy place,” Armstrong said of painting in the garden. “It’s where I spend time with friends, and an outlet for artistic expression.” She has been drawing since she was child and works in watercolor, oils, pastels and other media.
“It’s therapeutic,” Ouellette said. “It’s a place to disconnect [from other things], where I can focus, it’s something I enjoy.” She also has been drawing since she a child and works in watercolor. She recently was accepted into the art program at the University of Maine where she will study studio art this fall.
“I enjoy bringing the ladies [of the group] together — it helps me grow,” Brodeur said. She started drawing at age 10, but stopped to raise a family. Then, five years ago, she took a Hermon High School adult education class in art with teacher Scott Small, to get back in touch with her art spirit. That was where she crossed paths with the other five women. When the class was over, they decided to continue meeting.
The group planned the event to take place in conjunction with the town of Hermon’s Summer Sizzler Days and its bicentennial celebration taking place Aug. 9-10.
The Art in the Garden event is open to any artist of any level or age. The cost to participate is a $10 fee that will be used to fund future art events in garden. Artists are asked to bring their own supplies and a lunch. There also is a convenience store nearby where food can be purchased.
If the weather is rainy, the event will be held under in one of the buildings at the garden.
A few artisans will participate in the event, including a jewelry maker, someone who make cards, a maker of memory quilts and a person who uses vintage plates to create garden art.
For information about the event or the AMP group, call Brodeur at 478-5644 or Ouellette at 848-5757, or find them on Facebook.