If it looks like a boat, stands by itself and occupies no more than a cubic foot of space, it is ready for “ShipShapes,” a community art project sponsored by Penobscot Marine Museum in celebration of its 75th anniversary. “ShipShapes” offers an opportunity for artists and artist wannabes to simultaneously use their imagination, have fun and benefit Penobscot Marine Museum.

Participants are invited to make a model boat or ship of any style, out of anything they want. The only restrictions arethat the vessel must be able to fit into an imaginary box 1-foot wide, 1-foot long and 1-foot deep; and that it must stand by itself or include a stand. Models will be donated to the museum and sold or auctioned as a fundraiser to benefit museum programs.

“Over the centuries, boatbuilders have constructed watercraft out of many materials, from birch bark to concrete,” said project coordinator Betty Schopmeyer, PMM director of education. “ShipShapes is a chance to join in that long tradition in creative and possibly whimsical ways.”

She suggested that boat and ship models for the project could be knitted, quilted, made from wood, clay, felt, cardboard or paper and decorated with bottle caps, flowers, toothpicks, sea shells, pennies, paint or whatever strikes the artist’s fancy.

Completed models should be brought to the museum’s Admissions Center, 40 East Main St./Route 1, where boats will be accepted and displayed beginning Monday, June 13. Models will be offered for sale or silent auction Saturday, July 23, during Penobscot Bay Day, the museum’s 75th birthday party. The event will feature free admission, refreshments, entertainment and other festivities.

For more information about “ShipShapes,” contact Schopmeyer at 548-2529, ext. 206 or bschopmeyer@pmm-maine.org; or visit PenobscotMarineMuseum.org.

Penobscot Marine Museum is Maine’s oldest maritime museum and home to outstanding collections of historic boats and photography, marine art and artifacts, ship models and 19th century furnishings and architecture. It  will open Friday, May 27 for the 2011 season.