A crew from Boothbay Harbor’s Bristol Marine recently volunteered their time at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG), lending their considerable expertise to the construction of the Gardens’ newest exhibit, giant troll sculptures designed by internationally known recycled arts activist and artist Thomas Dambo. The series of mammoth, recycled-wood “giant trolls” underscores the Gardens’ 2021 theme focusing on the Maine woods, from their history to their ongoing importance to health, recreation, and the state’s economy.
Construction and fine design are, after all, Bristol Marine’s wheelhouse, and community involvement is part of their company’s mission. Their employees regularly dedicate their time to programs focused on youth development, education, and the environment.
“The trolls definitely fit that criteria,” says Daniel Ungier, the Gardens’ VP of Guest Experience and Education. “Our goal for this exhibit is to give young visitors access to experiences and discoveries that engage the imagination and entice guests of every age onto our trails.”
Photographer Bob Mitchell agrees. “The ‘Bristol Boys’ are a great crew,” he says. “This was definitely something different than we’re used to, and we had a great time.” Mitchell, incidentally, has not only been photographing the Bristol crew on the restoration of the schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, but was a frequent photographer at the Gardens in its early days.
“Working on this project gave me a chance to come back to the Gardens in a different way,” continues Mitchell, “contributing to a unique exhibit that will be here for years to come.”
Thomas Dambo, an internationally renowned sculpture artist from Copenhagen, Denmark, led the installation of these recycled-wood art sculptures. Wherever Thomas Dambo creates installations, he likes to bring community members together and co-create with salvaged materials sourced nearby. Dambo’s diverse and varied work can be found worldwide, telling a story of local community and of global connection.
Bristol Marine, established in Rhode Island in 1998, has long been a celebrated part of the centuries-old yachting tradition born from a community steeped in maritime tradition and heritage. They are active members the community and involved with many local groups and non-profit organizations.
Bob Mitchell has lived and photographed in Maine for over 40 years. Mitchell's work is well known throughout the area, through his long time affiliation with the local newspaper, his books and Connections Publishing, started by his wife in 1980.
At nearly 325 acres, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is the largest public Garden in New England. Voted #1 on TripAdvisor, the nationally recognized public garden is located in Boothbay, Maine. The mission of the Gardens is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education, and research. Visit MaineGardens.org or call (207) 633-8000.