Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Handmade on the Streets of Maine

During my recent travels, I had the opportunity to observe a clever display of art on the streets of a little town in Maine. Skowhegan (skow-he-gahn) is a place I've known my whole life. It is where I began elementary school, where both my parents graduated high school, where I've spent many hours playing at the local parks, shopping in the stores, and making memories with friends. Skowhegan was settled in 1773, home to the first female U.S. senator, and rests charmingly in the Kennebec River Valley. I always look forward to returning to Skowhegan because not a whole lot changes and I know I can count on visiting my favorite stores such as Hill Top Antiques and From Nana to You. However, this summer's trip yielded some pleasant surprises. I've added two new favorite stops to my list: River Roads Artisans Gallery and The Bankery. The Bankery was pumping out sweet smells of deliciousness and I couldn't resist going inside. Charming is an understatement when describing this preserved bank transformed into an all-natural-from-scratch bakery! River Roads Artisans Gallery is a co-op artisan store that includes beautiful art and practical handmade items for all seasons. I purchased a few wood cooking tools from a local 14-year-old artisan, the son of Ray's Woodworking. And finally, this story leads me to my original focus, the art display on the streets of Skowhegan. When I first turned the corner of the famous rotary, I noticed colorful circular objects in the windows of the old brick buildings. I quickly realized these various looking objects were hanging in nearly every window! Over 20 artists have created sculptural globes as part of an art installation called "Worlds Seen & Foreseen." The project is intended to draw awareness on the fragility of our shared planet. I snapped the below picture while standing inside the River Roads Gallery, looking out onto the rotary of Skowhegan. If you're in the area, I highly suggest parking your car and taking a leisurely stroll around the area to observe for yourself!

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