Posts Tagged ‘Bangor’


A Gem in Bangor!

June 14, 2014

University of Maine Museum of Art

We are fortunate in the state of Maine to have several wonderful art museums within a short drive of all corners of the state. I did graduate work at the University and I am really proud of the University of Maine Museum of Art and what it has to offer for education programs.

Recently the UMaine Today published an article on the museum that is worth a read. It provides an overview of the next year along with some of the museums history. For example, I didn’t know that the university’s art collection was established in 1946 by founding museum director and UMaine art professor Vincent Hartgen and in the 80’s became a museum.

Today the museum is directed by George Kinghorn and he works closely with a very small staff to provide top notch education programs under the guidance of Eva Wagner who serves as the Education Coordinator. The staff is delightful to work with, we’ve been fortunate to do some of our work with the Maine Arts Assessment Teacher Leaders at the museum.

I recommend that you visit the museum during your summer break, you won’t be disappointed. Read the entire article and learn more by clicking here.


University of Maine Museum


Student Artists Recognized

December 30, 2012

First Lady Ann LePage met with students and families

Grade 7 student from RSU78, Rangeley Eva Jacot-Descombes chats with First Lady Ann Lepage about her skiing her favorite trail (in the drawing) at Saddleback

Grade 7 student from RSU78, Rangeley Eva Jacot-Descombes chats with First Lady Ann LePage about skiing her favorite trail (in the drawing) at Saddleback

First Lady Ann LePage invited the 867 students who submitted artwork in grades K-8 to attend one of two receptions that were held recently.

December 16, 2012 at the University of  New England in the George and Barbara Bush Center from 10:00 -12:00 pm for a display of student artwork from Androscoggin, Kennebec, Cumberland and York counties.

December 20, 2012 at the Maine Discovery Museum in from 4:00-6:00 pm for a display of all student artwork from Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, Lincoln, Waldo, Franklin, Knox and Somerset counties.

Grade 8 student Kevin Duplessie from Caribou Middle School w/ his lighthouse drawing and the First Lady

Grade 8 student Kevin Duplessie from Caribou Middle School w/ his lighthouse drawing and the First Lady

Thirty two pieces of art were selected for the Maine is ME Student Art Challenge. Selected artwork will be featured in the First Lady’s upcoming new family friendly Love.Read.Learn!™ Baby Journal, produced in partnership with the Barbara Bush Foundation. The journal is a scrapbook-style booklet to promote literacy and health to families of newborn babies in Maine. The baby journal will be provided at no cost to parents of newborns in 2013.

First Lady Ann LePage stated: “I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to every child who participated in the Maine is ME art challenge. Congratulations to the selected artists. Maine children are enthusiastic and creative, and certainly made this a tough decision,” continued the First Lady.


Abigail Bennett, grade 7 student from Brewer Community School and First Lady Ann LePage point to Abigail’s self-portrait which includes her kayak and dog

A rubric was used based on the AP Studio Art rubric to select the 32 pieces which will be included in the book. The rubrics included the use of elements and principles of design, engagement of the viewer, and competence and skill in the use of the selected medium.

I was happy to be able to attend the reception at the Maine Discovery Museum and meet some of the young artists and their families. It was great to hear the personal stories behind the images they created. The parents, of course, were very proud of their children.

Grade 5 Bucksport Middle School student, Zoe Olson with her family and the First Lady

Grade 5 Bucksport Middle School student, Zoe Olson with her family and the First Lady

Niles Parker, Executive Director of the Maine Discovery Museum with his children and First Lady Ann LePage

Niles Parker, Executive Director of the Maine Discovery Museum with his children and First Lady Ann LePage


UMaine Museum of Art

December 29, 2012

Benefactor Extends Free Admission at UMaine Museum of Art

Screen shot 2012-12-29 at 7.36.54 AMBANGOR – The University of Maine Museum of Art will extend its free admission policy for the public in 2013 as a result of a generous gift from Penobscot Financial Advisors.

George Kinghorn, museum director and curator, expressed gratitude for the gift. Penobscot Financial Advisors has been a longtime sponsor of UMMA’s Community Partners Program, which provides support for education and exhibition programs, according to Kinghorn.

“We are grateful for Penobscot Financial Advisor’s generous sponsorship and ongoing support over the years,” he says. “The Museum of Art is a vital community outreach resource of the University of
Maine and we are delighted to once again offer free admission so that all citizens may enjoy the museum’s
collections and changing exhibitions.”

James E. Bradley, CEO of the financial advisory firm formerly known as Bradley & Johndrow, notes that the arts play an important role in the community and region.

“We are pleased to provide access so that all may enjoy the exceptional art on display at the museum. We are delighted to support UMMA’s efforts,” Bradley says.

Kinghorn adds that the museum’s continued growth would not be possible without the support of corporations like Penobscot Financial Advisors, “who see the arts as an essential component of a healthy and lively community. Above all, this sponsorship allows individuals to visit often and have meaningful
experiences viewing original works of art by nationally recognized artists,” he says.

The art museum is located at 40 Harlow Street in Bangor.


UMaine Museum of Art: Eva Wagner

May 25, 2012

Learn about Eva

I am very interested in the pathways that lead folks to their careers. Eva Wagner is doing a fabulous job as the Education Coordinator at the University of Maine Musuem of Art (UMMA). In February, when the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders and leadership team met to review the first phase, Eva kindly opened the doors for us to meet at the museum.

Eva kindly answered questions for this blog post. If you’d like to reach Eva and learn more about the offerings at UMMA please do so at


I am the Education Coordinator at the University of Maine Museum of Art. I started my work here in July 2011. I completed the foundation program at the Maine College of Art in Portland and then went on to get my B.A. in Studio Art and MAT (Masters of Arts in Teaching) in Elementary Education from UMaine. I have a varied background that I think really helped prepare me for my work at the Museum. I have taught in public and private schools with students of all ages. I worked at an ad agency in New York City and was educator at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. I first became interested in Museum work when I went on an art and architecture tour of Paris and London when I was nineteen. I was drawn to art history and thought my guide had the best job in the world. Later at UMaine I was a work-study student at UMMA and that work helped me land my job at the Farnsworth. Here I am back at UMMA, so in a sense things have come full circle.

Goals, hopes, and dreams for UMMA

My goals, hopes and dreams for UMMA are that we develop a vibrant educational program that serves people of all ages. In addition to young children, teens and college age students I really want to reach adults. I want the Museum to become a destination for people, where we host book groups, regular drawing groups and teacher workshops. I would like to learn about and offer more programs involving technology as I feel technology will play an integral role in the art world as we move forward. I would like to offer more programs for new parents to get their children involved in an arts education from the beginning. I know how much my trip to Paris influenced my life and thus I would like to make travel to museum destinations in the U.S. and abroad more accessible to Maine students. I would like to build the Education department to include more educators but that is really a long term goal. I hope UMMA continues to grow and be a leader in arts education throughout the state. I wish UMaine could offer a top notch Museum Studies program as we currently do not have Museum Studies in the state. I know students who design their own programs through UMaine and USM but I would love to see an official program reinstated here at UMaine.

Strengths and opportunities that UMMA provides

We currently have two grants that educators may want to utilize: UMMA on the Road and Access to the Arts Transportation Grant, both funded through the University of Maine Patrons of the Arts. UMMA on the Road allows me to travel to schools with our traveling exhibits. I share the exhibit and we discuss the work using the Elements of Art and Principles of Design and then do a hands-on workshop. I have implemented lessons on landscapes, portraits and printmaking to schools throughout Maine and have had great feedback. I have worked with children from pre-school through high school in art, science, social studies, language arts and visual literacy classes. The Access to the Arts Transportation Grant allows UMMA to provide a bus subsidy to schools who visit the Museum. We reimburse schools up to $175.00 for their bus fee. I have developed a host of gallery and studio activities that students can take part in when they visit. UMMA has also provided artist gallery talks for students. Jemma Gascoine and Ruth Marshall who are currently on exhibit gave gallery talks to student from Holbrook School and Brewer Community School. Both of these programs have really enhanced the Maine student experience and I hope more educators will take advantage of them.

I am also very proud of our Young Curators program which we developed this year. We invited students between the ages of 11-18 to apply and from there we selected a strong group of students. This is a seven week program where students meet one afternoon per week to get a behind the scenes look at a contemporary art museum. They meet with all members of the staff, take part in a matt cutting workshop, and work together to curate their own show from selections from our permanent collection. They also research artists and art works and create wall text for their show. They will present their work at our Member’s Preview reception on June 21, 2012.  There is no charge for this program, UMMA staff  have all taken time out of their busy schedules to make it happen and I am very grateful to this amazing staff for their commitment to education.

What would you do with a gift of $500,000?

If I were given $500,000 to do whatever I pleased, I would develop a traveling Young Curators program. Many young people in Maine do not have the opportunity to go to Boston, New York or San Francisco let alone Paris, Florence or Athens. I would like to see these opportunities be more accessible to young people of Maine. My vision is that we would have a core of Young Curators who perhaps met monthly here to do research and writing and then had a two week tour to a different destination each summer. Students and parents would be responsible to raise part of their funds to cover the cost of travel but the foundation could help make it all possible. Students from all over Maine could apply. I really believe that access to an arts education and travel early in life is a vehicle to a better appreciation for our history as humans, and this affects how we move forward in the world.


Maine Student Acting Competition

May 13, 2012

Middle school students, acting opportunity

The 2012 Maine Student Acting Competition was held at Troy Howard Middle
School on Saturday, April 28. There were seven schools competing with 80
students: Bangor, Searsport, Pittsfield, Belfast, Lincolnville, Camden,
and Riley School. It was a great success! If any middle school in Maine is
interested in learning more information about how to compete in the 2013
Maine Student Acting Competition, please contact Jason Bannister at
338-3320 x101.

Group Musical: 1st place-Belfast, 2nd place-Bangor, 3rd place-Searsport

Group Acting: 1st place-Bangor, 2nd place-Belfast, 3rd place-Pittsfield

Overall Team: 1st place-Belfast, 2nd place-Lincolnville, 3rd place-Riley


Oxford Hills Middle School Art

April 1, 2012

News from Sue Moccia

Sue emailed with a photo of a large glass mosaic photo attached of a piece that her Art Club had created. She said: “It is so beautiful when the light shines through the colors.

Depiction of the different courses students participate in at our Middle School; Language Arts, music,health, math, social studies, science, art, spanish and phys. ed. The first panel is our mascot.

The project started out with an idea for a series of mosaic windows called “Peace from Broken Pieces”.  Sue wrote a proposal and sent it to  It was funded and the students created 3 peace signs for the school.

They brainstormed other peaceful images and after much discussion decided to make an American flag for their local Veteran’s Home. The school’s Literacy Specialist saw the window and asked the students to make one for the Cole Transportation Museum in Bangor. Each year the 8th graders take a trip there
to talk to the Veterans. Under Sue’s guidance students created one and sent it to them and it hangs in the front hall of the museum.

Sue also has a group of educators that come to the art room on Thursday afternoons to make mosaic windows. Many are people who thought they had no artistic talent but are now hooked on glass. It has been a great way to get to know the people in the district.

Teacher window

Thank you Sue for sharing the information about this wonderful artwork and the photos!


Fruit Street School Artists

February 5, 2012

Bangor third graders create like the Masters

I must admit that I have always had high expectations of my students and most often they live up to those expectations. A project I recently did with my third grade classes at Fruit Street School has blown my socks off. They far exceeded anything that I thought would be capable of this age group. Not just one class of students but all four of my third grade classes and not just a few students in each room but all students. I give credit of the idea to a fifth grade class from Bangor Christian School which explored this creative lesson last year.

We began by viewing various artworks by numerous Master artists. I collected at least 3 or 4, 8 by 10 reproductions of around 35 artists and we viewed and discussed the styles and techniques of the diverse work comparing similarities and differences. Students were then paired into groups. The partners were asked to select their top 3 or 4 pieces of art work that they would like to paint. For three sessions the students created 18 by 24 size paintings fashioned after their selected reproduction. They worked on the same painting, first they drew the work to scale and then matched the colors and textures that the artist used. Their teamwork was amazing. The third graders were excited to experiment mixing the tempera paints to match the artists colors as well as mimicking the textures the artists portrayed which were a great learning experiences. Students dabbled, smoothed, dotted, and blended using various size paint brushes and swabs.

The excitement the students exhibited was contagious, exclaiming they felt like real artists. The pride they felt contributed to the atmosphere. They were always on task with quiet conversation about what they were doing. They were eager to listen to directions on how to make the “right” colors or the “right” proportions or textures to make their work look like the actual artists work. The works the students created are PHENOMENAL. Their enthusiasm, exhilaration, and pleasure were contagious. They could hardly wait to come back to the art room and I could barely wait until they did. Right now the 25 paintings are hanging in the school’s lobby next to the artists’ reproductions.

In the next steps the students will be researching their artist and their work from books that were purchased through an art fundraiser held last year. The few artist books not available in our library were loaned to us from other school libraries, the Bangor Public Library as well as University libraries. The students will work on their biographies for about three weeks and then will present an artist share and exhibition where one of the two team members will dress like the artist and the other student will become the artwork and they will converse with each other giving the viewer knowledge of both.

To add animation an oval will be cut out of the painting large enough for the student to put his or her face through. The students face will be painted with face paint to become part of the painting. We will collaborate wtih students from Bangor High School art club and University of Maine art students to help with the face painting. Anticipation is building for this event which will take place on the afternoon of Thursday, February 16th where the third grade artists will present their artist share and exhibition to other students at the school and to their parents.

The learning accomplishments are many in this project that supports the importance of the wide platform of art beginning with discussion of various artworks, decision making, and cooperative working. Besides the process of creating and the production of a visual piece of art, mathmatical skills were practiced by reproducing an 8 by 10 image to an 18 by 24 image. The science of color mixing was a constant triumph the students experienced as well as the capability to create various textures with paint. Researching information on the artist and the art work will expand the students’ knowledge of biographical research which is part of their third grade curriculum. The students will need to accurately record information and transcribe it to an interesting oral presentation. Their ability to converse with another student will strengthen their communication skills. I am extremely proud of my third grade students whose capabilities went beyond proficiency.

Thank you to Wendy Libby, Fruit Street, Bangor art teacher, for sharing this post including the pictures of the student artwork.

%d bloggers like this: