Artist Barbara Sullivan will give a 20-minute lecture about the art of fresco painting Friday, June 6, during First Friday at the downtown Farnsworth Art Museum. The talk, which will be illustrated with images, will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the museum’s auditorium and is free (there is free admission to everyone from 5 to 8 p.m.). On Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, Sullivan will teach a fresco workshop at the Farnsworth’s Gamble Education Center.

During the lecture, Sullivan will share the history of the history of fresco painting and describe this age-old process. Afterwards, for those who wish to stay, she will show an 18-minute documentary by Richard Searls, “At the Crossroads,” about the South Solon Meeting House, whose interior was beautifully decorated with frescos in the early 1950s by artists at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Sullivan attended Montserrat School of Art in Beverly, Mass., and Concept in Portland. She received a B.A. in Visual Art and Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington and an M.F.A. at Vermont College. She has given many fresco workshops at colleges and art centers throughout New England and New York; and currently teaches drawing and painting at UMaine at Farmington. In 2007, Sullivan received a Pollock/Krasner Grant and an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Support Grant.

During the two-day intensive, students will develop an understanding and appreciation of true buon fresco (painting into freshly laid wet plaster) within an art historical context, as well as in practical applications. Participants will learn how to prepare substrates, arriccio and intonaco layers of plaster, how to grind pigments and how to know when the plaster is ready to accept paint. All techniques will be put into practice as students design and execute their own portable fresco panels. For inquiries about the workshop, call 596-6457, ext. 146 or visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or