The last day of “David McLaughlin: the Art of Salvage” is Friday, Aug. 24. The Clifford Gallery of Waterfall Arts will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day and selected tools and some rusty stuff from the exhibit will be sold at affordable prices during  the day.

“David McLaughlin: the Art of Salvage” is an ambitious show featuring many of the late McLaughlin’s sculptures, assemblages and handmade useful objects, along with an installation re-creating a portion of the Liberty Corn Cannery, where he worked and lived.

McLaughlin, a Midcoast icon, died in 2010. He was a prolific artist in metal and wood; an ingenious designer; builder of sophisticated woodstoves; passionate collector; visionary; and rigger of very large objects. His aesthetic eye and artistry, dry wit, knowledge of tools and practices and his willingness to help his friends are greatly missed. He was a founding board member of Waterfall Arts and was very involved in his local and more wide-flung community.

The Liberty Cannery complex of early 20th century industrial buildings was McLaughlin’s vast live and work space — a rambling extravaganza and huge repurposed artwork in itself, 38 years in the making and always in process. He collected everything potentially useful that struck his fancy, selling some but holding most. Through his Liberty Salvage Company at this historic Cannery, salvage, re-use and storage itself became an art form.

While the exhibit is an appreciation of McLaughlin’s life and work, it also introduces his aesthetic and practice to new audiences and will hopefully spark an appreciation for New England’s industrial history, tools, the strong Maine work ethic and the role artists and designers play in keeping these traditions alive in local communities and economies.

A generous grant from the Maine Community Foundation provided start-up funding for this important and timely exhibition. Business sponsors are Cold Mountain Builders, the Davistown Museum & Liberty Tool, Liberty Graphics, Darby’s Restaurant, the Lookner Family, Bittersweet Landing Boatyard and private donors. Many individuals loaned McLaughlin sculptures for the show.

Waterfall Arts is located at 256 High St. For more information, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or