Posts Tagged ‘University of Maine Museum of Art’


Who Are They?: Schoodic Arts for All, Part 2

May 20, 2015

Museum Trips

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant. Please consider ways in which you can collaborate to provide excellent arts education for all learners.

safa_logo_blue_greenThis is the second blog post of the series highlighting the work of Schoodic Arts for All located in Hammond Hall, 427 Main Street in Winter Harbor. This area is called Downeast Maine and Schoodic Arts for All is at the intersection of Hancock and Washington Counties. Schoodic Arts for All is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering interest and involvement in the arts for all who wish to participate.

Colby Museum of Art field trip

Colby Museum of Art field trip

This past winter the staff at Schoodic Arts for All had an idea.  Members of the Painting group brainstormed ideas to get ourselves and our neighbors out of our homes, out of the dreary winter rut, to engage in socially and creatively enriching activities.  The Museum Field Trip was born: the plan was to provide transportation and museum fees for folks to travel to a new museum each month!

The response to the first trip to the Farnsworth Art Museum, was overwhelmingly positive. Schoodic Arts for All is committed to building on the popularity of this new winter program to create a truly unique and engaging experience for our participants.

Participants Feedback

“Winter days are short.  This trip was a brilliant idea.  It recharged creative minds on many levels and was a good day long social event.”  -Ann Dederer

“This kind of trip fulfills part of the mission of SAFA by enabling people who enjoy art an affordable way to engage with it.” -Anonymous

Ken Kelly at Portland Museum of Art

Ken Kelly at Portland Museum of Art

We all know that Maine has a significant number of “aging” residents.  Our field trips are aimed at gathering folks together who would not, on their own, consider taking a 12-hour day trip. After all, many wouldn’t feel comfortable driving 2 or 3 hours to visit a museum ALONE, stopping to have lunch ALONE, and driving all the way home, often in the dark, ALONE.  By providing the transportation, in groups of 6 passengers, participants were engaged in a variety of conversations and community building happened during the ride. Friendships are made, and information about the area is shared between people who otherwise may never have met.

As another participant stated:  “Community lives when people come together to share, laugh and explore.” -Anonymous

The monthly “Field Trips” to area art museums kicked off in January 2015 with an overwhelmingly positive response, drawing three times the anticipated attendance!  The museums were selected based on the current exhibits and interests of our participants. For example, in January, the Farnsworth Art Museum with the Shaker Exhibit was the first museum trip. Participants enjoyed the docent lead tour of the Shakers exhibit which included a documentary film by Ken Burns.

Winter Field trips included:

  1. Farnsworth Art Museum
  2. Portland Museum of Art
  3. Colby College Museum of Art
  4. University of Maine Museum of Art and the IMRC (Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center)
  5. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (still upcoming as of the publish date of this post)
Karen and Mazouz Hussein at Colby College

Karen and Mazouz Hussein at Colby College

A Survey/Written Evaluation follows each trip which provides insights into how the experience. Strengths and weaknesses are included which provides direction for improvements for future Field Trips. These trips are a valuable resource for many who would not ordinarily experience the arts in this way. The goal is to make these trips enriching, comfortable and affordable for all.

For more information on Schoodic Arts for All Museum Field Trips visit or e-mail





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


Honoring Cathy M. Grisby

April 20, 2013

Maine Elementary Art Educator of the Year

At a ceremony held recently at the University of Maine Museum of Art Cathy Grisby was honored for her years of dedication and received the Elementary Art Educator of the Year award presented by the Maine Art Education Association. Cathy was nominated by colleague Ann Diskin and included the following in Cathy’s nomination:

Cathy being introduced by her colleague Ann Diskin

Cathy being introduced by her colleague Ann Diskin

“…Cathy has been teaching elementary art for 28 years in SAD #61 in the towns of Bridgton and Sebago. She believes that every child is creative and every student can be successful in art. Parent volunteer, Jenni Silverblade says this of Cathy, “She knows how to teach so that each student’s unique ability comes out to the fullest. She has a discerning eye as to what a child can do to turn a piece of art around if it starts falling apart or if the student becomes discouraged.”

Mrs. Grigsby always puts in the extra effort whether it is helping to develop district-wide arts assessments, teaching gifted classes after school, making sets for the plays, exhibiting student work in the community, creating permanent art installations of student work, and just being a positive presence in the school. She has also been a tireless advocate for the arts in her community in her work with helping to found the Bridgton Arts Guild and Gallery 302. In addition, Cathy’s influence reaches other art teachers on a national level through the more than 10 published articles she has written for “Arts and Activities” and “School Arts” magazine over the years.”

Perhaps the most important measure of Cathy’s success is her student’s declarations of art being their favorite subject and their pride at seeing their work on display.“

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 1.39.50 PM

When Cathy’s school learned that she was being recognized for the award she showed up one morning to a room full of balloons and congratulatory cards from her students. Not to many days later the staff celebrated her recognition at a staff meeting! Yay for Cathy!


Honoring Susan Beaulier

April 18, 2013

Maine Middle Level Art Educator of the Year

At a ceremony held recently at the University of Maine Museum of Art Susan Beaulier was honored for her years of dedication and received the Middle Level Art Educator of the Year award presented by the Maine Art Education Association. Susan was nominated by colleague Beth Ann Walker and included the following in Susan’s nomination:

Susan being introduced by her son, Jason

Susan being introduced by her son, Jordan

For the past 23 years, Susan Beaulier has taught in the same school district she graduated from in 1981. Susan is the Visual Arts teacher in MSAD #32, serving the 330 students in Grades PreK-12. Additionally, she is the Coordinator of Gifted/Talented Education for her district. Susan is a Phase II Teacher Leader for the Maine Art Assessment Initiative, and will soon begin work on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards First Tier Review. Susan lives in Ashland with her husband John and son Jordan.

IMG_0132“Sue not only loves teaching students, but is also generous with her knowledge in teaching educators. She is practiced in many mediums and munificently shares any and all of her personal materials to enhance and achieve the lesson she is sharing. She inspired may early creative endeavors and creativity, but has imparted innovation into many of the lessons I initiated with my students as I moved from the elementary classroom to the art classroom six years ago. She is an invaluable resource that provides support in many ways.”

Sue is a consummate creator of beautiful things from any medium she touches…She is a key player in the development of our local art educators’ group – Northern pARTners and is sharing her knowledge of quality assessment in art education.
Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 1.39.50 PM


MAEA Awards Ceremony

April 12, 2013

University of Maine Museum of Art

DSC00584Suzanne Goulet from the Maine Art Education Association awards committee planned a party that celebrated the outstanding work that goes on in visual arts classrooms across the state. Not only did we celebrate good teaching but we had a great time. The event was held at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor Friday, April 5.

Four teachers were recognized for their contributions that spanned the last 3 decades.

  • Middle Level Art Educator of the Year: Susan L. Beaulier, Ashland Schools
  • Elementary Art Educator of the Year: Cathy Grisby, SAD #61
  • Outstanding Service to the Profession: Stephanie Leonard, Bangor Schools
  • Maine Art Educator of the Year: Sandy J. Brennan, Wells Schools

DSC00602In the near future each teacher will have a post dedicated to them so you can learn more about their contributions to Arts education.

A great big thank you to the University of Maine Museum of Art, Director and Curator George Kinghorn and Education Coordinator Eva Wagner for hosting the event! Everyone enjoyed the artwork, the food, and especially the company!


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.

%d bloggers like this: