Portland Museum of Art

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Yesterday I was lucky enough to take a trip to the Portland Museum of Art with Spindleworks supervisor Brian and a group of four artists. We spent our time exploring two of the current exhibitions- Richard Estes’ Realism and Andrea Sulzer: throughoutsideways. It was really neat to view the shows together and to travel from photorealism to pure abstraction.

On the first floor, we marveled at the precision and detail of Estes’ landscapes and cityscapes, which often featured views through glass and other reflective surfaces. On the fourth floor, in contrast, we admired the colors and forms of Sulzer’s work in a variety of media including drawing and prints. It was exciting to see the work of a Brunswick-based artist in the museum- one whose studio is right down the street from Spindleworks!

When I spoke to Spindleworks artist Diane about her experience at the museum, she was most excited to discuss Sulzer’s prints. Her favorite pieces of the exhibition were the ones with “scarf material put together with prints on top” and the “Black prints on top of the cloth”. She said that seeing the show has inspired her to try applying mixed colors to the cloth she works with in her own art. While she enjoyed the simplicity of Sulzer’s art, Diane thought “there was a little too much distraction” in Estes’ paintings.

Although she has been to the museum many times, Diane was eager to go again with a Spindleworks crew. Like many community excursions the Spindleworks staff organizes, the Portland Museum of Art trip provided artistic inspiration, change of scenery, and a break from the studios!



Our Trip to Popham


I went with three other artists and Angie to Popham Beach today. We stopped at a farmer’s stand on the way and Angie went and got strawberries. We laid our blankets on the beach, but I sat in a chair. We walked around on the sand, and some of us went in the water, but I didn’t- it was too cold!! We were mostly walking around taking pictures, and the sand was really hot. I took pictures of people, shells, the mountains, and the water. Many people on the beach were in the water and some of them were flying kites. Seagulls were flying around looking for food. We all had lunch at the beach and luckily we avoided the gulls! It was low tide and there were lots of designs on the sand- some of them looked like waves and some like tracks. Kids were making tiny sandcastles. It was very pretty outside, although a little chilly. We all had a lot of fun looking for shells and taking pictures!

At Spindleworks, we try to do trips like this once a month to draw pictures and take photos. It’s also a time to get out of the studios and walk around.

-M.C., artist at Spindleworks



This was my first week of summer at Spindleworks and it was jam-packed with outings, dance parties, and beautiful art! One of the highlights of my week was sitting in on a rehearsal of the upcoming play “Searching”- a collaboration between Spindleworks and the Theater Project. Earl and Diane Black, Nancy Scott, Kim Christensen, Lloyd Whitcomb, Don Weatherbee and Al Miller make up the ensemble that has developed over a long-time collaboration between the two well known arts organizations, and “Searching” is the fourth production of the ensemble. As Diane says of the group, they’ve “Went a long long ways since we’ve been doing it (started acting), and it’s been a lot of fun”.

The production challenges our view of language (as well as the artists’ creativity!) by replacing spoken-word dialogue with sounds, gestures, and expressions. The outcome is often highly comedic, and it is clear that the artists have had fun developing a new language together. As Nancy says, the group does a “Little bit of both” (sound and silence) and she “likes everything!”

When asked what he has learned from participating in the theater group, Earl said that he mostly “learned about acting”, and also gained confidence being in front of people. The other artists in the group echoed this sentiment, although Nancy claims that she is never nervous in front of a crowd.

“Searching” will be playing at the Theater Project in Brunswick, Maine on June 20th and 21st (see details below), and the artists are so looking forward to seeing you all there. Kim put it well when she said, “I like how we can all come together, and the community comes out to support us”.

What: Searching

When: June 20 & 21, 2014, 7:00pm

Where: The Theater Project
14 School Street, Brunswick

Cost: pay what you can, suggested donation of $10

Tix: 729-8584, or www.theaterproject.com

A Brief Introduction

Hello Spindleworks friends and family! My name is Helen and I am a visual arts and sociology major at Bowdoin College. I began volunteering with Spindleworks this past winter, and quickly became enthralled by the creative magic that happens under the Spindleworks roof. Thanks to the Bowdoin grant fund, I am lucky enough to be spending my summer on Lincoln St. as a full-time artist mentor. Among other things, I have been tasked with revitalizing the Spindleworks blog, which will hopefully keep you all updated on the happenings within the studios and throughout the community. A few of the Spindleworks artists have already demonstrated interest in working on the blog, and I am looking forward to assisting them in making this site their own!