October 19, 2018
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Downtown Bangor is getting a makeover, thanks to these artists

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
Wheat paste installations, like this one, that will be affixed to six different buildings in downtown Bangor this summer.

If you’re in downtown Bangor this summer, you’ll likely notice some new seasonal art popping up in some unexpected places.

Three Bangor artists have collaborated to install temporary art this summer on six different exterior walls in downtown Bangor.

The Queen Collective, comprising local artists Annette Dodd, Kat Johnson and Susan Bryant, will on June 2 install six large-scale wheatpaste art installations throughout downtown.

Locations include the side of 23 Hammond St. (Bahaar Pakistani), the side of 30 Central St. (Central Street Farmhouse), the side of 28 Broad St. (28 Broad Street Lofts), the exterior walls of 99 Merchants Plaza (the New Waverly), the side of 20 Merchant’s Plaza (Designs by Aaron), and one of the exterior walls of 74 Hammond St. (next door to the Fiddlehead Restaurant).

Dodd said the drawings are inspired by Maine flora and fauna and range in size from 10 feet wide to 30 feet wide, “adding an entirely new dimension to the community,” Dodd said.

“We wanted to keep it Maine focused, so we have lady slippers, and a giant hand pulling up a carrot, and bees and honeycomb,” she said.

Wheatpaste is a process by which a drawing or print on a piece of paper is affixed to walls using a mixture of four parts water and one part wheat flour. The art is temporary, though under the right conditions can stay on a wall for up to six months. Dodd said she hopes the Bangor wheatpastes will stay up and in good shape for the duration of the summer.

Dodd, one of the co-owners of The Rock & Art Shop in downtown Bangor, said she was inspired by a project organized by Kerstin Gilg, media arts and performing arts director for the Maine Arts Commission, which installed wheatpastes in downtown Waterville and Gardiner.

“I hope it will help gather more appreciation for public art, so that we can hopefully do something permanent in the next year or two,” Dodd said.

The Bangor Cultural Commission and the Downtown Bangor Partnership have donated a combined $1,500 for the project. Later this summer, the Rock & Art Shop and Sohns Gallery will host an event later this summer with the artists, who will be discussing their work.

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