French Artist Anne-Emmanuelle Marpeau, from Brittany, France, is renowned for her meticulously detailed dioramas, also known as shadowboxes, illustrating stories from Maine’s coast and islands. With subject matter encompassing legends, folktales, and historical events, Marpeau’s three-dimensional constructions variously express whimsy, mystery, tragedy, courage, isolation and celebration.
In a unique art exhibition, Marpeau will accompany her dioramas as they travel the Maine coast aboard the Sunbeam V stopping at several Maine islands and coastal communities this summer as part of “Art Afloat: Tales of Maritime Maine,” exhibition. As part of the tour the artist will also host several Art workshops, slide shows of local history, and receptions. A dozen new dioramas created by Marpeau especially for the exhibit will be installed on the vessel Sunbeam V, operated by Maine Sea Coast Mission. Sunbeam V will travel to Northeast Harbor, Isle Au Haut, North Haven, Islesboro, Stonington, Swans Island, and Great Cranberry Island, accompanied by Marpeau and staff from Penobscot Marine Museum.
In addition to opportunities for visitors to board the vessel and view the exhibit at each destination, some stops will include an onshore reception, a slideshow of historic local scenes from the museum’s vast photographic collections, and a workshop for visitors to learn how to make their own dioramas.
The show, which runs from August 16th through the 19th, is supported by a joint grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission and sponsored by the Penobscot Marine Museum. Contact the museum (www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org; 207-548-2529) for updates to the following itinerary:
Exhibit opens at Sunbeam’s berth, followed by reception and slide show at the Great Harbor Maritime Museum on Main Street (times TBA)
Isle au Haut
Dockside reception at town landing. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Exhibit open, tours of Sunbeam, at anchor in the Thoroughfare, 3 p.m.
Diorama workshop at Waterman’s Community Center, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Reception and slide show at Waterman’s Community Center, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Dockside reception at the public landing by the ferry dock, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dockside reception (location TBA), 3 – 6 p.m.
Diorama workshop at Penobscot East Resource Center, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Reception at Penobscot East Resource Center, 5:30 p.m.
Slide show at Stonington Town Hall, 6:30 p.m.
Reception at quarry wharf in Minturn, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Great Cranberry Island
Dockside reception at public float (time TBA)
Following the island excursions, the exhibit will be installed at the Dowling Walsh Gallery, where the pieces will be for sale. An exhibit catalogue will be published by Dowling Walsh Gallery and be unveiled at the exhbition opening. Taking inspiration from the exhibit, Penobscot Marine Museum will offer its popular diorama workshop at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, September 17, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2011, Penobscot Marine Museum is Maine’s oldest maritime museum and home to outstanding collections of marine art and artifacts, small craft, ship models and historic photography. Open seven days a week, Penobscot Marine Museum is at 40 E. Main St. (US Rte. 1) in Searsport, Maine, between Camden, Bangor, and Bar Harbor. More information is at www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org or call 207-548-2529.