ROCKLAND — Beginning Wednesday, July 13, the Farnsworth Art Museum will celebrate painter, printmaker, illustrator, author, puppet maker, poet and storyteller Ashley Bryan with three events that honor his lasting contributions to Maine’s role in American art. Bryan, this year’s Maine in America award recipient, died Feb. 4 at the age of 98. An exhibition that brings together examples of the artist’s work from throughout his long career, including paintings, illustrations, puppets and stained glass, is on view in the museum’s Rothschild Gallery through Dec. 31.

When told in August of 2021 that he was the 2022 awardee, Bryan commented, “This recognition is more than a tribute to me; it is the tribute to all artists of Maine and especially those of color as it impacts on the role Maine plays in the art of America. It is my hope that through my art, all will see what is beautiful in themselves and explore something of art. Making art is one of the most adventurous experiences you can have — so always make art and create stories around ideas that you have.”

Three events at the Farnsworth will celebrate Bryan over the course of one week. On Wednesday, July 13, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the Farnsworth invites everyone to join in a Celebration of Life for Ashley Bryan. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. The party will mark what would have been the artist’s 99th birthday with art activities, followed by a reception with birthday cake.

On Sunday, July 17, the Farnsworth will host a Member Preview and Community Open House to honor Bryan. Beginning at 11 a.m., Farnsworth members are invited to preview the exhibition “Ashley Bryan: Beauty in Return.” Then, at noon, all are invited as the Farnsworth celebrates the artist’s many contributions to art and culture with a musical performance, storytelling, art making activities and more.

This marks the museum’s 17th annual presentation of the Maine in America Award, which honors an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to Maine’s role in American art. Past honorees include Toshiko Mori, Betsy Wyeth, Joyce Tenneson, Lois Dodd, the Shakers of Sabbath Day Lake, Matthew Simmons, Dahlov Ipcar, Paul Caponigro, Alex Katz, Robert Indiana, Will Barnet, Andrew Wyeth, John Wilmerding and more.

All three events will take place at the Farnsworth Art Museum, 16 Museum St. For more information or to register, visit