Shell art, sea chanteys take spotlight at Maine-ly A Celebration

Feb 02, 2020
Participants can make shell art at the first of five Maine-ly A Celebrations.

Searsport — On Sunday, Feb. 16, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Penobscot Marine Museum begins its celebration of Maine's bicentennial with the first of five Maine-ly A Celebrations. The first program will celebrate shell art and sea chanteys. The cost of this program is $5 for museum members, $8 for non-members, $20 for families, and free for children 7 and younger. The program will be held at the museum’s Old Vestry building, located at 2 Church St.

Participants will celebrate the lives of the 19th-century Mainers who went to sea by making simple Sailors’ Valentines and shell jewelry as a drop-in activity, as well as a program on sea chanteys beginning at 1 p.m. with Joe Greeley.

Sea chanteys were an integral part of life aboard a merchant sailing ship. With small crews it was vitally important for the sailors to work together and chanteys provided the means to do so. By the use of a call and response song, the chantyman regulated the work so that each man knew when to haul. In addition, sailors’ songs provided a means of entertainment when the sailors were off watch.

Greeley has had a lifelong interest in ships and the sea. His first word was "boat" and he has worked aboard a number of ships including the schooners Pioneer and Lettie G. Howard, the barque Elizabeth II, and the brig Niagara.  For 17 years he was in charge of education aboard the Maryland Dove at Historic St. Mary’s City in Maryland.

In case of inclement weather, these programs will be canceled if the Searsport First Congregational Church cancels worship service. The museum will also post cancellations on its Facebook page at For more information, contact Jeana Ganskop at 548-2529, ext. 213, or

The Arts & Entertainment deadline is Thursdays at 5 p.m. for events dated on/between the following two Thursdays. Please email press releases/photos to A&E Editor Christine Dunkle at

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