Eastport Arts Center

where creativity and community meet

Summer Workshop Series Concludes with In-depth Ceramic Sculpture Experience

A weekend spent sculpting under the tutelage of Elizabeth Ostrander was a dream come true for the participants of this very popular August workshop. Inspired by Icelandic fairies, sea creatures, totem art, goddesses including Sedna the Eskimo goddess of the sea and others, each artist worked with paper clay to create a fully realized piece. Once these sculptures are completely dry, Ostrander will fire them in her kiln.

“I went to the workshop just a bit apprehensive about my ability to sculpt with clay,” said Mary Anderson, “but I was pretty sure Elizabeth would be a good teacher, and she was. She got me through the process of building up the clay base and encouraged be to have fun with the process. Taking her advice, I did let the clay lead me to make a really cartoonish and fun wild hare. I now have a better appreciation of what it takes to be a great sculptor like Elizabeth.”

Ostrander noted: “The first day everyone was learning how to ‘listen’ to their clay. By the second day everyone ‘heard,’ and what wonders were created—just fabulous work!
Stay tuned for more EAC workshop offerings coming up, or check out EAC education programs on our site.

Wool Felting Double Header Enmeshed Participants in a Fascinating Medium

Meg McGarvey selects colored roving as part of a workshop in wet-felted fiber beads. Photo by Brandy Argir

Participants in Audra Christie’s back-to-back wool felting workshops on April 27 and 28 immersed themselves in gloriously colored and textured wool roving and batting, hot sudsy water, and a special camaraderie as all engaged with the near-magical material in the transformation process of wet felting. The Saturday group learned to make spherical beads and the more complex sushi roll beads, similar to millefiori glass work. Necklaces, key fobs and earrings were then formed from the beads. Sunday’s group (which had six in attendance from the previous day) took on the lengthier task of creating a wet felted vessel, and spent nearly four hours in carefully building up the layers of malleable material, then shaping the resulting forms. Some attendees became so enamored of this process as a result of the felting immersion weekend that ongoing felt experiments are a new passion. Learn more about Audra Christie, a returning EAC instructor who taught us the art of Painting with Wool in May 2018 (needle-felting an image onto a wet-felted wool sheet) at her website, audrachristie.com. And watch for a wealth of summer workshops opportunities coming soon!

A felted wool vessel, product of a satisfying if laborious process, is shown filled with experimental felted cording made the day after the workshop by a participant who just can’t stop felting. Photo by Lauren Koss

For more information about EAC education and outreach programs, please visit our Education page or email Alison Brennan, Education & Outreach Director, at alison@eastportartscenter.org. EAC workshops are partially funded by the Maine Community Foundation’s Belvedere Handcrafts Grant; a sliding scale for fees is available by request.

Arts Campers Reached for the Stars

Eastport Arts Center’s April vacation week arts campers are shown with some of their outer space themed creations. Instructor Sara Myrick is at top left.

Rocket ships, UFOs, aliens, pastel space paintings and more added up to an action-packed Outer Space themed April Vacation Arts Camp April 16-18 at Eastport Arts Center. Thirteen children from Eastport, Robbinston, Pembroke, Edmunds, Parsonsfield, Bangor, Scarborough and as far away as Bolivia (South America) explored their ideas of extra-terrestrial life, intergalactic travel and heavenly bodies, using a wide variety of media.

The busy supplies table included a found object bin in which campers enjoyed rummaging for parts for their aliens and spaceships.

Instructor Sara Myrick ingeniously provided multiple project options each day for the arts campers so each could gravitate towards whichever art supplies and techniques they found most appealing, simultaneously assuring that attendees ranging from 6 to 13 years of age would all be engaged. In addition, she encouraged the young people to continue to experiment with her designs to come up with their own solutions, such as with a wee paper rocket built to be launched by the child’s burst of breath through a drinking straw.  

Sara Myrick demonstrates for April vacation week arts campers how to launch their paper rockets via a drinking straw. 

“I am continually amazed with the innovativeness of children,” said Myrick after the camp. “I can show them a simple idea and they find their own way of expanding on it. Arts camp attracts children who enjoy creating independently and who like to work together on projects. It’s been such a fun session.”

Myrick, who teaches K-12 art in the Eastport schools, will be one of the instructors for EAC’s Summer Workshop Series, which begins in June. The center’s next Arts Camp—with popular leaders Ann Cannizzaro and Willy Claflin—will take place in July, and feature a North Woods Adventures theme. For more information about EAC’s outreach and education programs, please visit our page or email Alison Brennan, alison@eastportartscenter.org.  EAC workshops are partially funded by the Maine Community Foundation’s Belvedere Handcrafts Grant; a sliding scale for fees is available by request.

April Vacation Arts Camp: OUTER SPACE with Sara Myrick

EAC will offer an outer space-themed arts camp during April Vacation week featuring an array of artistic activities. “Art creation need not be limited by your immediate surroundings,” says Sara Myrick, instructor for the camp. “Inspiration can be found beyond even the farthest reaches of our galaxy and imaginations!” Myrick teaches K-12 art full-time in the Eastport schools, and has led many workshops at the EAC. She is also owner of Coastal Whims, a home-based art business celebrating her love of nature and handcrafting.
The camp is for ages 6-13, and camp fee is $10. Space is limited. To reserve a spot, please email alison@eastportartscenter.org.

KinderArts presents Tiny Yogis

The Eastport Arts Center’s KinderArts program’s popular Tiny Yogis sessions will continue weekly starting March 21, and will run through June 27, skipping April 11 and 18. The group meets on Thursdays from 9:30-10:15 am. Instructor Caroline DiLio will teach yoga through music, dance and storybooks, and young participants will even learn meditation.

Owner of Maine Moon Kids Yoga, DiLio is a certified children’s yoga teacher and a mother of three. She takes a creative approach to teaching children, including games, crafts and sometimes even Minecraft poses. Learn more about her at mainemoonkidsyoga.weebly.com.

KinderArts programs are free and intended for children up to age 5; participants must come with a parent or caregiver. For more information or to be added to an email contact list for the group, please email Alison Brennan at alison@eastportartscenter.org. The class policy is that if AOS 77 schools are cancelled or delayed, the group will follow suit.

The Eastport Arts Center (EAC) is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. The work of the EAC has been funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

High School One Act Night

Students from the theater programs of Calais High School, Washington Academy and Shead High School, prior to competing at the annual Maine Drama Festival March 8-9, will present their competition one-acts in a special showcase at Eastport Arts Center on Wednesday, March 6. The Calais Callbacks take the stage first at 5:30 pm, followed by the Washington Academy Players at 6:15 pm, and Shead’s Mixed Nuts at 7 pm.

The Calais Callbacks will present “13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview” by Ian McWethy. Performers include: Cassidy Carr, Kale Sapiel, Christian Emery

Ashley Welch, Haley-Ann Way, Sontee Edwards, Tristan Seavey, Adida Edwards, Ben Goode, Johanna Dulge and Elizabeth Trainor; students involved backstage include: Adida Edwards, Chloe Bernardini, Kathryn Archer, Adam Barnard, Wyatt Thigpen, Sontee Edwards, Madyson Parks, Allison Yost, Alison Moffett, Hannah Alley, Bri Donovan, Emily Alley, Emma Saunders and Tiara Knowles. Director Kati Grass has been aided by the set design team of Bob Greenlaw, Gayle Greenlaw and Josh Grass.

Washington Academy Players will perform “A Wrinkle in Time,” adapted for the stage by Morgan Gould from the book by Madeleine L’Engle. According to Director, James Ausprey, “ this adaptation captures the energy, mood, and story line effectively. Six defined characters are supported by an ensemble of 14 creating the essence of the story through movement, mime, and sheer physicality. Collaboration is the rule for creating the set of “bodies” and sound effects. Temporary characters are pulled from the ensemble. Actual set pieces are essentially nonexistent. This is effective for forming the places across the universe where the action takes place.”

The six defined characters are Kate Somes, Sam Somes, Jude Zanoni, Rosemary Corkins, Hailey Boutin, and Devyn Seeley. The ensemble consists of Vivian Noakes, Nathan Carver, Arthur Ingalls, Madelyn Gardner, Thomas Davidson, Allison Crabtree, Ayden Lamoureux, Caleb Brown, Jaden Boutin, Willow Garrison, Selena Williams, Sara Otto, Nam Nguyen, and Nick Luuring.

Shead’s Mixed Nuts will present “The Sequel” by Percival Wilde, with performers Sarah  Bartlett as ‘She’, CJ Francis as ‘He’, Katie Bartlett as ‘Butler’ and Antonio Vizcarrondo as ‘Horrocks, Inc.’ The play is directed by Caryn Vinson with technical direction by Aaron Lank and with student production staff: Rebecca Crabtree, stage management and lights; Maleeka Barnes, sound; Ashley Morang, props and costume-care and Devin Morrison, stage hand.

Admission to the performance is $5; proceeds will benefit the schools. Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and is handicapped-accessible. For more information about education and outreach programs of the center, please visit www.eastportartscenter.org.

Block Printing on Fabric (two-part workshop)

Eastport Arts Center will offer a two-part workshop in Block Printing on Fabric on Saturday, March 2, and Saturday, March 9, from 12:30-4:30 pm. Instructors Susan Lehnen and Sasha Lehnen-Spencer will guide students in an exploration of printing on fabric using hand-cut stamps. Participants will create their own symbols to experiment with, and, in Lehnen’s words, will “play together with color and design to get a feel for these techniques and to create unique works of textile art.” The course will include discussion of textile stamping in a historical context as well as the development of symbolism within the cultures who cultivated these techniques.

Susan Lehnen is an artist and teacher. She has three grown children and lives off the grid in the Perry woods with her husband Bill, their 2 dogs and 4 cats. She holds a BFA from Michigan State and an MS in Synaesthetic Education from Syracuse University.

Sasha Lehnen-Spencer is a lifelong art maker. She received her BFA from Maine College of Art with a concentration in sculptural ceramics. Sasha explores many mediums, with clay and fabric as her favorites. Her business, Foxy Fix-It, offers alterations and adornment for clothing and housewares as well as sewing alteration instruction. She regularly teaches classes in up-cycling, ceramic hand-building, and with her mother Susan Lehnen teaches fabric surface design techniques.

This workshop is intended for participants ages 12 and up. Workshop fee, which includes materials and covers both sessions, is $60. For those who need it, all of our workshops are offered by sliding fee scale, thanks to support from The Belvedere Fund. Preregistration is required; please email alison@eastportartscenter.org, or call (207) 454-8822 to reserve your spot or for additional information.  The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and is handicapped-accessible.

Outreach Program Brings the Arts to Area Preschoolers

Eastport Arts Center’s KinderArts program has received a Kars4Kids grant in support of expanded educational outreach efforts for the 2018/2019 school year. In collaboration with Theresa Fisk, District Early Childhood and Youth Coordinator for Washington County of the Cutler Institute, EAC has organized outreach visits of the KinderArts program for the Passamaquoddy Child Development Center, KidzFirst childcare center, Calais Head Start and Pre-K, Passamaquoddy Head Start and the St. Croix Early Care and Education Center. More than 60 local preschoolers have enjoyed learning yoga and meditation through dance, music and storybooks with instructor Caroline DiLio. Owner of Maine Moon Kids Yoga, DiLio is a certified children’s yoga instructor and a mother of three. She also leads the Tiny Yogis program at Eastport Arts Center, which will resume weekly starting March 21.
“Caroline’s quiet and patient presence when working with young children helps them to become fully involved in the activity.” said Marcia Rogers, Site Manager for Head Start at Child and Family Opportunities.
“The yoga and music experience can be relaxing and fun when the instructor is able to capture their interest. Caroline excels at this, which is evident in the excitement of our children when they learn she is coming to visit their classroom.”
Prior to receiving the Kars4Kids funding, EAC’s KinderArts program did a series of outreach visits to private home-based caregivers in Eastport and Perry, with support from the Crewe Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission.
“We reached out to area childcare centers because these children did not have the opportunity to travel to our center,” said Alison Brennan, EAC’s Education and Outreach Director. “Early arts learning is so important to the well-rounded growth of healthy children.”
Eastport Arts Center’s mission is to stimulate and nurture an appreciation of the visual and performing arts and the creative process and to provide a home and an environment within the community where they can prosper. More information may be found at eastportartscenter.org/education.

Life Drawing Workshop

The Eastport Arts Center will resume its Life Drawing Workshop on January 16. The group will meet each Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on the first floor of the Arts Center.
Participants in the two hour weekly workshop will approach drawing the figure through a series of short exercises that lead to an hour long study, using the drawing medium of their choice. Learning to draw the figure has long been the foundation of learning how to draw. Through history it has been both an academic exercise and a demonstration of mastery. The arts center’s emphasis is to offer a learning experience for beginners, and for more experienced artists an opportunity to hone their drawing skills.  Instruction is offered when requested. Students and artists may sign up for four weeks at a time; however drop-ins are also welcome. The workshop fee is $12 per session, or $40 if a participant signs up for four sessions.  Participants must bring their own drawing or painting supplies.  For further information, please call Joyce Weber at (207) 853-2358, or e-mail at jpweber@roadrunner.com.

Day of Jazz a Bright Spot for Many

EAC hosted an exciting day of jazz for students and the public on Friday, October 19th. The day began at noon with a big band concert for 126 student musicians from Alexander, Calais, Eastport and Washington Academy. The band featured 19 talented college musicians under the direction of Dr. Philip Edelman, who talked comfortably with the audience, telling them all about what to listen for in the dynamic program of swing, dance band ballads, classic jumps, funk and more. 

Students from four schools had the midday treat of a big band jazz show. EAC photo.

Following the concert, some of the students from Calais and Eastport were able to hang out in small groups and learn more from the UMO players about their instruments, techniques for improved musicianship and life as a college musician.

Brandon Emerson, a member of UMO’s Big Band Jazz Ensemble from Augusta, cracks flugelhorn jokes as part of the break-out group for horns. Photo by Brandy Argir.

During the break between the two concerts, the college musicians toured Raye’s Mustard Mill, visited downtown Eastport and ate a wonderful homecooked spaghetti meal hosted by EAC. At 6:30, the public concert began, much to the delight of area jazz lovers. A very responsive audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance and were very appreciative to have a chance to listen to live big band music.

“We strongly believe in the power of music and shared experience as a force for good in our community,” Edelman said.  The visit from the UMaine Jazz Ensemble to the area was made possible by a joint grant from the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Humanities Council.

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The work of Eastport Arts Center is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The work of Eastport Arts Center is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.