Penobscot Marine Museum opens for season

‘Fish, Wind and Tide’ and more

May 18, 2014
Photo by: Dean Kotula Dean Kotula’s images from years of working on foreign factory ships comprise the first of several photography shows this summer at Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport.

Searsport — The downtown Penobscot Marine Museum will open with “Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resources” Saturday, May 24. It is one of seven exhibits in a season overflowing with events including sailing tours of Searsport Harbor, craft demonstrations, the Maine Boatbuilding Forum, twice weekly children’s activities and the Historic Photography and the Thursday Night Lecture Series.

Using interactive displays and historic photographs, “Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resources” explores the past and the future of these resources in Maine. The exhibit examines the modern technology of fishing and of wind and tidal power; and looks at how this impacts Maine’s working waterfront, culture, environment and tourism. The opening reception will take place the evening before — Friday, May 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. — at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main St./Route 1.

“History Chests,” an exhibit designed by the sophomore class of Searsport District High School, will have a special opening reception and tour Thursday, May 22, from 4 to 6 p.m.  The students will take visitors to see the sea chests they placed in the museum’s Merithew and Fowler True Ross houses. Nine sea captain chests, containing specific artifacts showing the different aspects of the impact the Penobscot Bay has on the Midcoast region, were assembled and documented by the students. The topics include marine art, the granite industry, lumbering, fisheries, the Penobscot Nation, life at sea, navigation, ship building and Far East trade.

A major retrospective of a beloved Maine artist Eric Hopkins, “Shells — Fish — Shellfish,” will open Monday, June 16. Hopkins will be on hand for the artist’s reception Friday, July 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. One of a handful of artists born in Maine to receive national recognition, Hopkins has exhibited in galleries and museums across the country. This exhibit includes paintings, monotypes and glass and wood sculpture, much of which has not been seen before. It also includes, for the first time, Hopkins’ personal collection of the skeletons, shells and remnants of creatures picked up on beaches over his lifetime and that have inspired the artwork in this exhibition. This exhibit will be in the Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church St., continuing through Sunday, Oct. 19.

Three photography shows in the Main Street Gallery will explore the art of fish, wind and tide throughout Penobscot Marine Museum’s season. The first exhibit is “Maritime Muse — Inspired By the Sea,” May 24 through June 26.  These exciting photographs by Dean Kotula are from his years of working on foreign factory ships. Photographs by Lisa Tyson Ennis, “What Once Was — Our Changing Fisheries,” June 28 through July 29, document an ancient coastal way of life fast disappearing and include images of remote fishing villages in Newfoundland accessible only by boat. “The Photography of Antonia Small,” Sept. 9 through Oct. 19, bears witness to some remarkable souls living along the coast and doing whatever they can to keep the ancient link to fishing and to the sea alive in coastal villages.

In “Do It Your Way,” Aug. 2 through Sept. 7, Gee’s Bend Quilts & Quilters in Maine brings quilts hailed by the New York Times as “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced” to Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery. Four of the Gee’s Bend quilters will be teaching courses at Fiber College of Maine, Sept. 3 through 8, in Searsport. Maine Fiberarts in Topsham also will have quilts from Gee’s Bend in July and August. This will be the first time the quilts and the quilters have been north of Boston.

In addition to the five exhibits, the schooner Guildive will offer sailing tours of Searsport Harbor on Mondays and Saturdays; every Tuesday, the Searsport Farmers’ Market will be on the crescent from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.; children’s activities are scheduled for every Wednesday and Friday; crafters will demonstrations on Thursdays for Artisan Days; and lectures and book signings are scheduled nearly every week. For more information, call 548-2529 or visit penobscotmarinemuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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