Each year, Birch Bay Retirement Village hosts an annual art show at the Jesup Library in Bar Harbor. Due to the pandemic, this year’s art show features art from residents throughout the community, as well as Birch Bay Staff and members of the Don & Beth Straus Adult Day Program.
Poem & Painting
Bob is from Westbrook, Maine and studied Pre-med at the University of Maine. He also studied art under Vaughn Hehren. Bob is inspired by the process of teaching himself how to paint and “just trying to get a picture out of it.” When asked to share something about himself Bob stated “I enjoy playing at art. I just like to do what’s being done. I have fun with it.”
Stan is from New Haven, Connecticut and received his degree in City Planning from Yale. When asked about his art he replied, “I was never a great artist, but I like art and I was interested in city planning.” In addition, Stan loves music, with a strong focus on Dixieland jazz. When asked to make a statement about his art Stan responded, “I like music and I like art.”
Ellen is an accomplished artist from Rye, New York with a Bachelor in Art from Smith College. She likes to get a sense of the places she paints by beginning a piece outside and then finishing the painting inside. When asked about one of her pieces of art she shared “It just is. It’s just what my hand did when I wasn’t consciously doing anything.”
Carol is from Redding, Pennsylvania. She studied art in her high school there and then went on to study nursing and anesthesiology. Her inspiration is her daughter. When asked what she would like to say about herself or her art she said “I could not go through this without my daughter.”
Carolyn grew up in Seattle, Washington near Mt. Rainier. She studied languages at the University of Maine and spent a lot of time in Mid-Maine. From an early age she has enjoyed making scrapbooks. Her early scrapbooks were based on the work her and her parents did studying birds. Later Carolyn had the opportunity to travel all over the world visiting many countries including Canada, Austria, Italy, Spain, and more. Carolyn shared that her inspiration stems from Europe and her children. When asked what she would like to tell people who might see her artwork she replied “I had good people. Good parents. I had a very smart family. We worked well together.”
Helen grew up on a farm and has many stories about farm life. She went to West Chester University in Pennsylvania. While she did not study art, she loves art. Helen is a talented quilter. While raising her family, she enjoyed spending time doing art projects with her daughter, Pamela. When asked about her inspiration, Helen spoke of her family being her inspiration in all she does. Helen is always excited to work on a new art project and loves painting with her favorite color—pink!
Helen is a Mansfield, Mass., native who graduated from the Banford Academy in Boston. Her aunt owned and operated a beauty shop, and Helen spent some time helping her out. In her senior year of high school, Helen was happy about beauty school. Helen says, “Art is always good and keeps us happy.”
Joanne has spent all her life in Bar Harbor. She likes to be around people and talk with them. Her inspiration comes from the people that she likes.
Jay is from Worcester, Massachusetts but has been coming to Bar Harbor every summer for the majority of her life. She also had the opportunity to live in Bar Harbor for several years while her husband was principal of the high school. When discussing Bar Harbor she said, “I loved living here and I’m glad to be here now. It’s my favorite place. It’s lovely to end up here.”
Jay shared that “art has always been with me” however her formal art education didn’t begin until she was earning her Bachelor’s in English from Colby University. There she met the art professor Walter Seeley who introduced her to modern art. Jay’s primary inspirations are Seeley and her own family, particularly her grandparents.
She also believes that art runs in the family. She likes to think that she encouraged her artist son “I had the interest, but he had the talent.”
It seems however that her work may disagree with her.
Kathy is from Bar Harbor and got her degree in education from the University of Maine. She likes to walk outside and looks forward to her time in nature. When asked about her inspirations Kathy replied “It’s just all me. It’s divine inspiration. My artwork is not really eligible to be considered art, but it’s always nice to enjoy the camaraderie of others.”
Katrina is from Harrington, Maine and received her bachelor’s in home economics from the University of Maine. She shared that when it came to art she never had very much confidence. When asked about her inspirations she replied, “I see it as being something you enjoy.”
Lucy is from Lakeview, Massachusetts. She trained to be a nurse in Boston. She participated in art classes in high school. Lucy states that “real people” inspire her, and she enjoys drawing them.
Millie grew up in Rockland, Maine, and went to Rockland High School. She often reminisces of her time living in Rockland and of raising her family there. Millie loves spending them with friends and family and going to church. She is very kind and when asked to speak of herself, she said the most important thing in her life is helping others. Millie has many inspirations for her art and her life in general. She is inspired by the beauty of flowers and birds. Millie is also inspired by her favorite animal—the cat! Millie has enjoyed making artwork at Birch Bay while connecting with friends. Her favorite art piece she has done thus far is a Christmas ornament shaped like a cat.
She trained to be a nurse in Boston. She participated in art classes in high school. Lucy states that “real people” inspire her, and she enjoys drawing them.
Sharon is from Fort Worth, Texas and studied art education at the Framingham State University. She is inspired by her own childhood art experiences and by children with a love of art. When asked what she would like to share about herself Sharon replied “I am attracted to art and I think it enriches our lives, if we’re open to it.”
Featuring – Sally