Arts at the Center to hold open houseWill offer classes, studio space
Lincolnville — Ceramic artist Randy Fein always wanted to have a studio near her home; now she has that, and more.
Fein is leasing the former Grampa Hall's antique shop at the intersection of routes 52 and 173 from Jeremy Howard, who also owns the former Lincolnville Center General Store. She is using the space, which she calls Arts at the Center, as a studio and gallery, and also plans to offer classes for students from middle school age to senior citizens, she said.
She has other plans for the building itself and the area outside it. Fein has taken in another artist-in-residence, Paul Kluger, a doctor from Camden, who works in glass. She plans to offer memberships that would give other artists the use of the studio, time on one of the pottery wheels and a little storage space for a monthly fee. She said she likes the idea of having the camaraderie of other artists and wants to mentor others with less experience.
Fein also hopes to host a Sunday farmers market on the lawn in front of the building, she said.
Fein did most of the interior renovations herself, with a little help from a carpenter she hired. She pulled up rugs that were glued and/or screwed to the floors and repainted them, added windows and a double sliding glass door that she had picked up and saved over the years. She added lighting and upgraded the electrical system to accommodate the five kilns – her two full-size pottery kilns plus a small test kiln, and Kluger's two large glass kilns. She has yet to add spotlights in the gallery area.
Howard added a wheelchair ramp by the entrance when the Lincolnville Community Library was using the building temporarily, and it also has a bathroom. Fein is in the process of building a website for her new venture. Her address is www.artsatthecenter.com.
A native of New York City who has lived in Maine for more than 30 years, Fein has had a varied career as an artist and teacher. She has done commissions for Eastern Maine Medical Center's children's hospital and for Maine Medical Center. She helped start a creativity department at Babson College outside Boston and has taught classes at Waterfall Arts in Belfast.
Among the classes she wants to offer are a workshop for people who have never used a pottery wheel to try it out and a figure-sculpting class, where students hand-build using natural forms as their inspiration. She will also have both basic and advanced wheel-throwing classes, as well as a variety of classes for children aged 8 to 12. Call Fein or visit her website for more information on classes and fees.
Regarding the farmers market, which in recent years has been held at the Grampa Hall's location, she would keep it entirely outdoors, perhaps under a tent, if she can find someone to donate one. Fein said she would help with organizing the market — “I'm great at herding cats” — but she would like to find a volunteer to take on the main responsibility for it.
With complementary programs going on in the Community Building next door, Fein said she has been talking with Mary Schulien of United Christian Church about coordinating their offerings.
Fein plans an open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 7, to invite the public to see the renovated space and learn more about Arts at the Center's offerings. Fein will demonstrate hand-building and pottery wheel techniques from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Works by both Fein and Kluger will be on display. For more information, or to help with the farmer's market, call her at 763-3433.