Something’s coming in Wiscasset
There was no rain to dampen spirits or interest in the August Art Walk. But there were a lot of people.
Up and down Main street, from Red’s to the Post Office, folks were sticking their heads inside stores, browsing and then buying. It was fun to see so many people walking around with brown-paper- sacked bottles of wine, a sure sign the tasting at Treat’s was successful. A food truck set up tables on the a closed-off Fort Hill street.
It all ran smoothly. Thanks to the efforts of lots of volunteers. This was the sixth year for the Art Walk, conceived and organized by Lucia Droby and Mary Ellen Crowley. They invited Donna, my wife, to set up hert acrylic/collage art in a storefront a few doors up from Beelicious. I had no idea there would be so much to do in just a few days’ time.
First, Donna needed a name for her show. Then we needed a poster. Business cards and postcards had to be done quickly (Wiscasset’s Copy Shop was closed for vacation, but Amy, at Brunswick Instant Printing, did a great job with 24 hour turnaround.) Donna’s had a very productive summer. Maybe a dozen abstract pieces, whose frames had to be drilled so they could be hung. And she also had to finish two other pieces in-progress.
There were several preparation trips to the storefront. The fact it had electricity was good because it helps to show art if there is light - :). The fact the space was not air conditioned could have been a huge downer, but the heat did break the day of the Walk.
Donna spent Tuesday at the space with her tools, hanging pictures and doing labels. Two dozen other artists and store owners set up displays over the next few days, too. Leonard Meiselman, another painter, also set up a pop-up store in the former Rendell Art Gallery. Jonathan Waldo on classical guitar and oud was joined by Dorothy Barker at the Wiscasset Bay Gallery. There was music and flowers and smiles and a real feeling of community.
For many of the artists and entertainers and visitors, Wiscasset was welcoming and entertaining. The Route 2 project could be fueling some of that optimism, because we are seeing changes that will make downtown safer, more colorful, and more interesting. You can almost feel it as you walk around downtown and the neighborhoods on either side of Route 1 Residents, new and old, are renovating, repairing and sprucing up their houses. The day when there were 20 “For Sale” signs up Route 218 is gone.
As Larry Kert sang in West Side Story 62 years ago ... “Something’s Coming”.
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