Art on a mission at Narrows Gallery

Jun 30, 2018
“Carrying Place, Hancock, ME.” is an oil painting by William Landmesser. U.S Route 1 crosses this estuary that once transported Native Americans and settlers, but is easily overlooked by modern-day travelers.

Stockton Springs — “Mobility: Art with a Mission” opens July 1 to run through the end of the year at William Landmesser’s Narrows Art Gallery, 34 Meadow Road (off Route 1). The exhibit will raise money for the Free Wheelchair Mission.

Pathways, whether waterways, hiking trails, ski trails or roads have figured prominently over the last 40 years in the work of Stockton Springs artist and gallery owner William Landmesser. Not only have these means of travel afforded Landmesser access to life experiences, but they also are natural visual motifs with their linear perspective moving the viewer into the distance. Pathways have become, for Landmesser, metaphors for life’s journey.

Several years ago, the artist was introduced to Free Wheelchair Mission, a faith-based organization that provides free wheelchairs at no cost to people with disabilities living in developing nations. In 2001, engineer, inventor, FWM founder and part-time Verona Island resident Don Schoendorfer introduced his design for a simple, durable, affordable wheelchair. To date, just over 1 million individuals in developing countries around the world have received one of the mission’s wheelchairs. Amazing as that is, it is estimated that 70 million people are in dire need of a wheelchair.

A documentary about Free Wheelchair Mission, waiting airdate on PBS, was previewed at Landmesser’s church last fall. This spring, he got the idea for an art exhibit as a way to raise awareness and to provide FWM wheelchairs to underprivileged persons severely challenged by the universal need for mobility.

“An FWM wheelchair can be built, delivered and assembled for $80. Two-thirds of the sale of any of my artwork, whether from the gallery or my website, will be used to reach my goal of helping 100 individuals experiencing the gift of mobility,” Landmesser said.

The artist hopes that as Mainers and visitors from away move about this summer, they will consider those in developing nations who are in dire need of the gift of mobility. As part of this season exhibit, there will be information and a FWM chair on display.

Narrows Gallery is two miles south of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. Hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m. Sundays (best to call ahead). For more information about the art, visit narrowsartgallery.com. To learn more about Free Wheelchair Mission, visit freewheelchairmission.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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