I’d seen him out there on Congress Street before, singing songs. I said, “hello,” to him once and gave him a dollar. Today, I had to stop, chat and ask what his sign meant. It read: F.A.R.T.
It turns out Ethan Hamby is a graduate student at the Maine College of Art. He was sitting on a planter right outside the school’s main entrance. There used to be a set of park benches there. Students would sit, talk and smoke cigarettes. Now, there’s just the planter.
Hamby is just two weeks away from getting his Master of Fine Arts degree at MECA. Today, he was singing to raise money and awareness for his personal art dream: F.A.R.T. at the Portland Post Gallery. It’s an acronym for farming, art, rehabilitation and training. Hamby, who is originally from Durham, New Hampshire, would like to combine those four things into a gallery and post office facility somewhere in the city.
He sees it, in his mind, as a place to mail a letter, see some locally made artisanal crafts and see full-blown art by nationally-known artists. Hamby wants to locate this facility on Commercial Street.
As we were talking, a parking cop started to make out a ticket for Hamby’s truck, just up the street. He grabbed his guitar and left to go move it.
There are many hurtles to clear on the road to any dream.