People of all ages, lots of them, showed up for the season debut of Wiscasset Art Walk June 27. The downtown parking lots and streets were filled with cars with New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Jersey license plates.
Whether they were strolling along Main Street, standing in line at Red’s Eats or at the waterfront having an ice cream and seeing what the new farmers market had to offer, people were enjoying themselves. It was busy on the pier, too, home to Sprague’s Lobster, other businesses and the Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce’s information booth.
The Art Walk had the very talented Peter Campbell blowing the bagpipes. He began at the pier and slowly made his way up Main Street. Drivers slowed, tooted their horns and waved as they cruised through the village. Campbell was one of six different musicians featured, a first for the Art Walk.
Another was folk singer Sylvia Tavares. “It’s all new for me,” she said taking a breather from singing and strumming her guitar outside 64 Main Street. “There’s definitely been a lot of foot traffic,” continued Tavares who performs with Gary McCue as part of the duo River’s Edge.
Inside the store behind her were a small group of men and women giving the art of hand-weaving a try. They and others throughout the evening were taking part in the Community Weaving Project. Among them were Rev. Josh Fitterling of the First Congregational Church and his partner Mason Gigwere.
“People use colorful fabrics, beads and other things to create something that will then become part of a much larger tapestry,” explained Fitterling, pointing to a large orange netting hanging on the rear wall. “They’re really quite beautiful and very unique when they’re finished. Everyone that wants to can take part making it.”
Outside Treats, Sherri Dunbar and Michelle Wentworth of Wiscasset said they were having a wonderful time.
“It’s a beautiful evening. There’re lots of people. The music is wonderful! They really did a terrific job organizing this,” commented Dunbar. She added, it was nice to simply forget about the construction going on and enjoy being outdoors.
Lincoln County Historical Association and Garden Club of Wiscasset had the tables on Main Street. Christine Hopf-Lovette, LCHA’s vice president, had literature about her organization that owns and maintains the Old Jail Museum on Federal Street, Wiscasset, the Pownalborough Courthouse in Dresden and Chapman Hall House in Damariscotta.
Visitors to Wiscasset Bay Gallery on Main Street were treated to sea shanty and folk music. Mark Bonin was skillfully playing the concertina accompanied by his wife Linda on the acoustic guitar.
“The people coming in to see the artwork and hear us have been really awesome,” said Bonin, who also treated visitors to the unique melodies of the hammered dulcimer.
Across the street was more music. Guitarist Rick Turcotte was sitting on a park bench outside Treats strumming the blues and playing the harmonica.
Early in the evening, the Wiscasset Newspaper caught up with Lucia Droby, coordinator of the Art Walk.
“There’s been a lot of good will in planning this summer’s Art Walks,” she said as traffic continued to cruise by. “We have most of our sponsors back with us along with some new ones, too. All of us are pretty excited about the Art Walk’s return. This summer we’re introducing the Community Weaving Project, which we hope will be a nice addition that everyone can take part in.
“We’re hoping people won’t forget to explore all of the wonderful galleries, antique businesses and gift shops downtown, including those on Middle, Water and Federal streets, and throughout the village,” she added.
Jazz music drifted from the door of Sylvan Gallery on Water Street. David Lawlor was there playing the electric guitar in the front of the gallery. Director Ann Scanlan said her gallery had had a steady stream of visitors throughout the evening.
“We’re really lucky as far as the weather was concerned. We were supposed to have a passing thunderstorm, instead it turned out to be a sunny afternoon and beautiful evening,” she commented.
Among the gallery visitors were Woolwich Selectman Allen Greene and his wife Janice who said they were thoroughly enjoying their visit downtown.
The other three Wiscasset Art Walks are the last Thursday of July, August and September from 5 to 8 p.m. Participating merchants are marked on an informative touring map available throughout the village.
Lead Sponsors for Wiscasset Art Walk 2019 are Donna and Frank Barnako. Major Sponsors are Ames True Value, Big Barn Coffee, Carl M.P. Larrabee Agency, Carriage House Gardens, Emotions in Writing, Fogg Art Restoration, Peter H. Eaton & Joan Brownstein Antiques, Red’s Eats, and Wiscasset Woods Lodge; with additional sponsors BIRCH and Rock Paper Scissors.