Posts Tagged ‘Waterville’


Pecha Kucha in Waterville

September 21, 2016

October 1


Held in collaboration with Maine Craft Weekend at the Waterville Opera House on October 1st.

PechaKucha Night Waterville (PK WTVL) Volume 22 promises to be the craftiest PechaKucha Night yet! Held in collaboration with Maine Craft Weekend, all PK WTVL V22 presentations will feature a wide variety of craft stories — including a presentation focused on the history of the Hathaway shirt factory presented by a former Hathaway employee. This will be a night to remember, not a night to miss! PechaKucha Night Waterville is scheduled for Saturday, October 1, 2016 at the Waterville Opera House with presentations starting at 7:20 PM. This event is free and open to the public.

The PK WTVL Volume 22 presenters are Lisa Eaton, Lee Folsom, Laurie LaBar, Johanna Moore, Jennifer Olsen, Nicholas Rossi, Claire Unsinn, and Geoffrey Warner. The event will feature a wide variety of craft stories including hand forged knives, furniture design, historical frame making, Franco-American history in quilted portraits, bow tie making, history of the Hathaway shirt factory and more. Waterville Creates! board President Larry Sterrs will be the emcee. PechaKucha Night Waterville volume 22 will be a fantastic night of merriment, community, storytelling, creativity, and celebration!

PK WTVL is Waterville’s connection to a global storytelling network of creative people sharing their creative muse in 20×20 (20 images showing for 20 seconds each). For more than six years, PK WTVL has brought thousands of area residents together in celebration of passions and creativity. A free opening reception will take place from 5p-7p in the Common Street Arts gallery located at 93 Main Street, Waterville, ME. Light refreshments will be provided in conjunction with the gallery’s mud. works in clay by maine artists exhibition opening. All are invited to this free event!

About PechaKucha Night Waterville
PK WTVL is presented by a volunteer Team PK, Waterville Creates!, and the Waterville Public Library. Four events are held per year. The Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities is the PK WTVL 2016-2017 season sponsor. PK WTVL V22 event is a collaboration with Maine Craft Weekend, Ticonic Tales, Common Street Arts, and the Waterville Opera House. PechaKucha Night was created in 2003 by Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo and has become an international phenomenon with events happening in more than 900 cities around the world. The 20×20 format makes presentations concise, keeps the evening moving at a rapid pace, and allows for plenty of discussion among participants and attendees.


Central Maine Arts Educators Invited

June 5, 2014

Introductory opportunity

You are invited to join the Inaugural Common Street Arts Educators Initiative meeting, 4:00pm on June 10th at the Common Street Arts Gallery in Waterville (on Common Street, across from the Opera House).

Highlights for the meeting include:

* THEME – Building Bridges: Our regional arts histories and futures
* Introductions/reacquainted
* Common Street Arts (AEI) educator/student opportunities (Lisa Wheeler)
* Bridge building/maintenance:
Regional Art Shows / Youth Art Month /
Return of Scholastic
Colby Connections/Field Trips (Lisa Digraph)
* State of the Arts check in – State associations, Maine Arts Assessment
Initiative (Suzanne Goulet)
* THEME – Building Bridges: Our regional arts histories and futures.
A great opportunity to share and glean from each other
Please consider sharing an activity/lesson/reflection tool that
you use
– Volunteer at your own comfort (copies to share?)
* Summer Gathering?
* Future Gatherings?

Please contact Lisa Wheeler, Education Director – Common Street Art at if you have any questions.


Vote by May 9th!

May 7, 2014

Exciting news from the Albert S. Hall School, Waterville, Maine

Three representatives from Google made a surprise visit to the Albert S. Hall School recently to award 5th grader, Inga Zimba, as a State Winner in the 2014 Doodle 4 Google Competition!! The design (and statement) were created as part of an assignment introduced in Art Class by art teacher Hollie Hilton. Congratulations to Inga who created a design to Save the Bees.

You can go to and cast your vote (click Vote/4-5/and find Inga’s Save a Google Bee) for her to be a national finalist! You may vote on your own multiple devices and please share with family and friends! Voting ends May 9th. Inga will travel to California to learn if her idea was selected.


This is what Inga’s art teacher, Hollie Hilton, said about her

I have had the privilege of teaching art to Inga for two years. Inga possesses a quest for knowledge in the arts with exceptional curiosity. She persists in completing activities beyond the time frame of the art class, always asking if she can take it home to pursue it further. Not only does she bring back the finished art, she explains what she did by expressing herself with competence, confidence and a smile. Inga has the instinctive nature to be completely relaxed and confident when learning something new. After she understands the concept of a lesson, she then takes it a step further with her distinctive nuances and intellectual playfulness. She is humble, poised and well spoken.

A perfect example of her exceptional skill is a result of a lesson I recently taught for the Doodle 4 Google contest. Inga not only created a masterpiece for a “doodle”; she created a piece that incorporated what she was learning in science at school and what she was researching at home with her father. From the subtle nuances, such as; the play of the Google letters to exhibit a bee’s eyesight or the seriousness of her message, Inga took her art lesson to an exceptional level. This is evidence of initiating higher problem solving skills at an advanced level.  She took past techniques that she has learned in art, such as gradation, to help create a 3-D illusion. Her dedication of taking every art lesson to its fullest potential is proof of her passion and commitment.  A distinguished panel of judges in the Doodle 4 Google contest awarded Ingaís art and message and she is this years state winner.

You can go to the links below to read an article and hear Inga and Hollie on the topic.

Please support Maine and vote for Inga’s artwork!



Creative Aging

May 1, 2014

Opportunities abound!

I met Denise Rohdin recently at a gathering at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell where the Maine Arts Commission was sharing information on MACs grants and programs. A new program at MAC is Creative Aging; Kathleen Mundell is responsible for the program. Denise is an artist who has been working with residents of the Park Residents Assisted Living providing meaningful learning in art. She kindly has written a blog post on her work for the meartsed readers.

With the support of Common Street Arts educational studio I am honored to facilitate creative aging classes to those who would otherwise not have this opportunity. As a freelance artist and teacher I make no distinction between independent studio work and collaborations. One of my current passions is sharing how to create functional, mixed media as well as sculptural art, bringing a visual voice to unspoken experiences.


Bi-weekly I drive my little car filled with an assortment of clay, glazes, brushes, atercolors, drawing pencils, collage items, beads, metal tooling, print making supplies, etc. squeezed into recycled grocery bags. With lesson plans swimming in my head I tool along reflecting on any last minute modifications that might be needed. You see I am heading off to teach a highly diverse, creative group of eighty and ninety year olds.

I sit and chat with them for a bit, listening to their concerns and hesitations. Many of my students, who come from all walks of life, have never had the chance or  time to explore art freely. Busy earlier in life with careers or family life, some confide that art is an uncharted territory, done by “creative” types. Others took a required humanities class in high school or college in the distant past, while a few were established artists who stopped due to age related conditions. Our conversation will often drift to their life stories, inspired by a theme that we will be focusing on that week. One memory leads to another, stimulating a dialog among the artists.

With a wide range of materials for them to explore and a variety of tricks up my sleeve to assist with adjustment of tools and materials, it doesn’t take long before the creative juices are flowing. The desire to create with their own hands temporarily chases away the hurdles of various diseases such as arthritis, memory loss, macular degeneration and Parkinson’s disease. Each time new skills are added, building upon past lessons. Over the weeks and months camaraderie and friendships grow as they arrive at the table via walkers, wheelchairs and their own two feet. Some have specific goals for their chosen medium while others prefer “fiddling around,” to quote one student.  As an example one prefers to work on sketching each week, while another is working on a series of gracefully shaped clay vases. Compliments come naturally among them as they share what each has brought into being.  There is no doubt in my mind of the positive impact of art on the overall health of this inspiring group of students and I am humbled to be a part of this.


Artist statement
Denise Rohdin, a freelance artist, makes no distinction between independent studio work and collaborations with others. The creation of functional and sculptural art plays an integral part of her daily life, bringing a visual voice to unspoken experiences. Intuitive process is the key to her various artistic endeavors which currently include mixed media, ceramics, recycled steel pieces, sculpture, stylized murals, mosaics, photography, distressing and garden design. Her belief that art should be accessible to all only grows stronger with each site-specific project. At present she has the honor of working through Common Street Arts studio, facilitating creative aging classes at Park Residents Assisted Living. Art truly helps  humans make sense of our intricate lives at any stage. Denise brings her adoration for humid weather, creative problem solving, positive attitude, and versatility into any artistic undertaking.



Colby College Museum of Art

July 17, 2013

Maine is fortunate

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 9.14.50 PMColby College in Waterville and the state of Maine is fortunate to benefit from the generosity of Peter and Paula Lunder. For many years they have collected artwork and the Lunder collection totals more than 500 objects valued at more than $100 million The collection includes John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Alexander Calder, and Georgia O’Keeffe to name a few. The collection has been presented to Colby College Museum of Art and an addition to the museum was built to house the work. This past Saturday a celebration took place as the doors opened to the public and the newly renovated museum exhibits 260 pieces of artwork.

Don Reutershan, the Department of Education’s World Language Specialist attended the opening on Sunday and this is what he shared: “I was amazed by both the size and variety of the new Lunder collection.  The afternoon celebration – which included a full barbecue under a huge tent, music by the Cowboy Angels, and an ice cream stand with at least 8 delicious flavors – was a very festive and most appropriate way to open this incredible addition to the Colby Art Museum.  I look forward to returning very soon to spend more time viewing the collection, room by room, and taking the 2-hour audio tour that not only describes many of the paintings, drawings and sculptures on display but also includes specific connections to literature and music.”

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 9.16.15 PMColby College Museum of Art’s Matt Timme who is the Mirken Curator for Public Programs invited me for a tour last week and I was thrilled to see the exhibit and hear so many of the details. I love the fact that the Lunder’s view this as a gift to Maine. Lauren Lessing, Mirken Curator of Education has been successful obtaining funding for buses to bring as many students as possible to visit the museum. Now with the renovation and a lively studio space for students I am certain that the museum will be busier than ever with classes visiting. It was fun to hear her stories about working with the Lunder’s on how to use a piece of art or collection of art in an educational format. I was so appreciative to have the opportunity to visit.

Early in June Waterville Senior High School art teacher Suzanne Goulet joined colleagues on a visit to the museum. In Suzanne’s words: “The expansion demonstrates a dedicated vision of education and sharing. Larger galleries allow works of scale and expanding of the donated collection combined with Maine connections provide for comparison. The collection now includes an outstanding American Southwest painting collection (my favorite is the Pueblo of Acoma (Sky City). Additional creative spaces are traditional and digital studios, an incredible education resource room matched with a Colby staff that is dedicated to quality education experiences for all of Maine students, and of course…..a spectacular architectural design that gives the exploring visitor the feeling that you are part of a vessel with a destination – Central Maine, please.
Thank you to Matt Timme for the tour and to Lauren Lessing for the invitation. Colby Museum is a special community asset with an education mission……Please investigate what they have to offer.


Matt Timme – Mirken Curator for Public Programs (Colby), Suzanne Goulet – Waterville SHS, Robin King – GJ Mitchell ES (Waterville), Lisa Ingraham – Madison ES, Katrina Billings – Winslow HS, Lisa Wheeler – Hall-Dale MS

I hope you will find time to travel to Waterville to visit the museum. The admission is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 – 5:00 p.m., Sunday’s noon to 5:00 p.m.. On Thursday’s during the school year the museum is open until 9:00 p.m.


After School Enrichment Program

May 17, 2012

Kids Express

Lisa Wheeler is an artist and art educator who has been working with an afterschool program called Kids Express. The program was held at the A.S. Hall School in Waterville. She believes that art and other content should be connected. The information below, in Lisa’s own words, describes the program.

Kids Express is an after school program of arts and culture serving up to seventy 4th and 5th graders a year at the Albert S. Hall School in Waterville. Started in 2006, it has always had a strong visual arts component. Each year the program seeks to produce at least one piece of public art that is given as a gift to the school. It begins as a joint effort among the student artists in a given class.

During the spring session of a Printmaking class, teaching artist Lisa Wheeler was approached by 4th grade teacher, Mrs.Dunn, about Atlantic Salmon. You see, the entire school is learning about the life cycle of Atlantic Salmon on the Kennebec River. All 250 students have been watching salmon eggs gestate in a special aquarium in the school lobby, excited that the eggs finally hatched in late March. Mrs. Dunn asked Mrs. Wheeler if there was some way to incorporate that into a printmaking project. “I was thrilled to be asked to participate in this school-wide learning activity, long believing that a collaboration with other content areas provides extra value in learning for the students and also an extra boost for the arts.” says Mrs. Wheeler.

The hand-printing processes lent themselves perfectly to this group project. Student artists each created multiple trace monotypes of Atlantic Salmon which were cut out to be used on a large collage. They learned about reverse printing of words as they created hand stamps of the words ‘Atlantic Salmon’ and ‘Kennebec River.’ They assembled the cutouts onto a large piece of illustration board that had been stamped over a bright turquoise paper river. The result is a colorful piece that exemplifies the natural relationship between art and science, a piece that already has student artists proudly saying, “I made that one!” and one that will join the other pieces of public art in this special school. And hopefully this hands on learning project will have the students “swimming” with knowledge.

Follow-up: As a follow up to the science part of this story, the salmon eggs were released last Friday morning, 5/4, and the Waterville Morning Sentinel ran a photo of the students on the front page. Exciting stuff!

Thank you to Lisa Wheeler for sharing this story for this blog post.

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