singing to garlic: MAINE’S FARMER MUSICIANS BY CARRIE BRAMAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOLLY HALEY
Throughout the summer, MFT’s Fiore Art Center opens its doors to the public with festive, family-friendly open studio days. On the last Sunday of the month the artists and writers in residence welcome visitors into their studios to see what they have been working on during their month-long residency, and the Center is open for tours. This Sunday, August 25 will be the second Open Studio Day of the summer. From 12-3pm guests can enjoy the Center’s gallery, garden, live music on the lawn, free refreshments and spend the afternoon at the Center’s gorgeous grounds on the shores of Damariscotta Lake.
Visual artists J.E. Paterak and Genevieve Cohn, along with poetry resident Michelle Menting will be opening their studios. The young Midcoast jazz ensemble, The Extension Chords, will be playing music on the front lawn.
J.E. Paterak is an artist with childhood ties to Jefferson, ME whose parents built a cabin on a nearby lake. Paterak will be continuing to build a body of work called Intimate Universe, wherein she is striving to draw attention to the “awesomeness and delicacy of what emerges from the soil beneath our feet.”
Genevieve Cohn is a painter and educator currently living in Boston, MA. Originally from a small town in rural Vermont, Genevieve’s work considers the relationship between women, community, and nature.
The literary arts residency, which focuses on poetry this year, was awarded to Maine poet Michelle Menting. Menting’s current project explores the relationship between humans, our built environments, and the natural world and all its beings. During her residency, she will focus on themes of migration, interconnectedness, adaptation, and how these ideas pertain to wildlife, farming, permaculture, and climate change.
Laurie McDonnell is this season’s resident gardener. From tending urban landscapes to nurturing her own small farm, she has relished the opportunities she has had to partner with the land. She looks forward to cultivating her memoir and critical essay writing practice as she tends the gardens at Rolling Acres Farm.
“The Extension Chords have been performing at events across midcoast Maine since they arrived together at Camden Hills Regional High school. Owen Markowitz plays drums, Katherine Bowen the electric bass, and Myles Kelley the keyboard.
The Fiore Art Center’s Open Studio Days are funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The monthly Open Studio Days take place at the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm, 152 Punk Point Road in Jefferson. Maine Farmland Trust acquired Rolling Acres in 2011, with the goal of protecting the land. MFT decided to expand its work of “celebrating agriculture through art” from MFT’s Gallery in Belfast to Rolling Acres Farm, and in 2016, the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center’s artist residency program took root– named after generous MFT supporter, environmentalist and artist Joseph Fiore (1925-2008).
New this year is the recently renovated Fiore Wing, which now stores almost all of the remaining artwork by Joseph Fiore. During Open Studio Days, the archives will be open and accessible to the public.
Questions about Open Studio Days? Email program co-director Anna Witholt Abaldo, email@example.com or call the MFT office, (207) 338-6575.
Thank you again to the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.