singing to garlic: MAINE’S FARMER MUSICIANS BY CARRIE BRAMAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOLLY HALEY
Throughout the summer, Maine Farmland Trust’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 performers in residence welcome visitors into their studios and out onto the land to see what they have been working on during their month-long residency, and the Center is open for tours. This Sunday, September 29, will be the last Open Studio Day of the summer. From 12-3pm guests can enjoy the Center’s gallery, garden, free refreshments and live cello music on the lawn by Robin Lane at the Center’s gorgeous grounds on the shores of Damariscotta Lake.
A unique element during this last month is the presence of two residents working with sound and music, in relation to farming and environment.
Tracey Cockrell first began to integrate her interests in sculpture, sound, and landscape while living in Maine, hiking wilderness areas to collect audio field recordings and building experimental musical instruments. Cockrell will continue to investigate the intersection of nature and technology to make interactive sculptures using the sounds and plants found on Maine farmlands.
Sara Trunzo is the recipient of the performing arts residency this year. A former organizer, farmer, and non-profit professional Trunzo is now a singer-songwriter illuminating rural stories. She calls Unity, ME home, but lives and works seasonally in Nashville, TN and on tour. Her songs are informed by the landscape, community, and transformation.
Tessa G. O’Brien from South Portland, ME is this month’s visual artist in residence. O’Brien grew up in the Midcoast area and her paintings reference light, revel in color and play with architectural space – specifically traditional timber frame structures. While at the residency, she will continue making paintings about buildings in the landscape and architectural space, using color and painterly process to convey a sense of place.
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 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, firstname.lastname@example.org or call the MFT office, (207) 338-6575.