Art & Craft in Maine
Maine’s beauty and natural resources have inspired some of the world’s greatest artists for centuries. Today’s Native American basket makers still weave with brown ash and sweetgrass, and painters continue flock to the coast to capture the magic of the light on the waves.
Whether you are an artist or simply love the arts and crafts made in the state, Maine is always a source of inspiration. Locals and visitors alike love art walks, hosted in more than a dozen cities and towns across the state – from the year-round First Friday Art Walks in Portland and Presque Isle, to Bar Harbor’s art walks in the summer and fall – there are many to choose from and are a wonderful way to find a new artist and stroll through a vibrant downtown.
The mecca for all of Maine’s crafts is The Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner. It is a large retail center and gallery with more than 300 local craft artists’ work for sale or on display. Open seven days a week, you can see demonstrations, learn new skills or meet the artists in person. A new Center for Maine Craft opens in the summer of 2018 in Portland.
People from around the world come to Maine to learn new skills or hone their abilities in numerous mediums. The Haystack School of Craft on Deer Isle was founded in 1950 and has been a keystone for the craft community, offering residencies and summer workshops for beginners to professionals. At the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, artists come for sessions, living and working together, making ceramics in an old brick factory. Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture offers a nine-week program for all artists and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is where you can take a weekend-long workshop or delve into a nine-month-long comprehensive for aspiring professionals. You can even learn to build your own wooden boat on the coast of Maine at the WoodenBoat School or The Landing School.