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Art Walk reception Sept. 1

Swans Island featured at Archipelago

Aug 31, 2017
Swans Island Company fetes its 25 years with a special heirloom throw woven from Maine island fleece.

Rockland — Bill Laurita, president of Swans Island Company, will join Archipelago and some of the gallery’s featured artists for a special reception during Arts In Rockland’s First Friday Art Walk. The public is invited to stop into the gallery’s 386 Main St. location Friday, Sept. 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. to hear about the history of Swans Island Company on the Maine coast over the past 25 years, as well as the story behind many of its handcrafted textiles.

Guests also will be able to meet some of the artists currently featured in the gallery’s summer show, including Appleton wood turner Richard Dunham and Cushing painter Thom Buescher; and enjoy some light refreshments.

During the reception, Laurita will speak about the company's history weaving and dyeing on the coast of Maine. Swans Island Company is currently celebrating 25 years of handcrafted textiles with a special heirloom throw woven with Maine island fleece — with 10 percent of proceeds to benefit the Island Institute. Handcrafted blankets, throws and scarves also will be on display in the gallery.

Dunham and Buescher will talk about their work. Dunham works in a woodshop in his 1850s farmhouse, turning locally found burls into bowls and vases, as well as artistic pieces for display. The cherry burls, knoblike growths on the trunk or limbs of a tree, are from native Maine cherry harvested from dead or dying trees on his property or from the land of friends in the area.

Buescher has been painting for more than 50 years. His works, drawn from views along the Midcoast and Penobscot Bay islands, are developed largely from on-site sketches and studies that are reworked in the studio. He works exclusively in both designer and acrylic gouaches, preferring the matte finishes each provide. Recently retired from almost 20 years of teaching at Camden Hills Regional High School and 25 years as a child/adolescent therapist, Buescher is developing a more ambitious illustration project that might evolve into a children’s book.

Archipelago’s summer gallery show will run through Oct. 29. Other artists featured in the show include Wendy Newcomb (representational painter), Gary Hoyle (aerial landscape painter), Valerie Aponik (painter), Helen Farnham (felt artist), Dylan Metrano (papercuts) and Paul Woonrooij (furniture maker).

Archipelago, the Island Institute’s store and gallery, is open seven days a week: weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to the Sept. 1 reception, Archipelago will be open extended hours for the final Arts in Rockland First Friday Art Walk on Oct. 6.

For questions regarding Archipelago, the reception or the summer gallery show, contact Archipelago Director Lisa Mossel Vietze at 596-0701.

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

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