Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Adventures in Gorham - I fall in love with Maine all over again

Somewhere around 1997, I  wanted to do an installation piece with giant metal cubes that hung from the ceiling and I was going to attach photographs to magnets and then to the sides of the cubes.  I even thought I'd have a mechanics dolly so people could also roll under the cubes.  I went around to all my welding friends to see if they would build them for me in trade and I couldn't find any takers, so I decided I would make them myself.   I investigated welding classes at the art school which were really expensive and then I got a flyer in the mail for adult ed. and there was a semester long class for $75.  So I signed up.  It was a class for people to get their Arc welding certification which was 95% of the class. There were a handful of us arty types who were there to make "projects".   On the first day of class the instructor asked all of the artists to raise our hands.  We did.  He said we had to watch the safety video twice.   We did, and I made new friends Debe and Peter.  By the last day of class we were the only ones left.  My torch malfunctioned (really) and I caught on fire and Peter came to my rescue and saved my life and possibly saved PATHS from blowing up.  I managed to make 3 3x3" cubes instead of the 3 3x3' cubes I thought I was going to make ...

They live in a giant gorgeous farmhouse in Gorham, that is sort of a flaphouse for artists for lack of a better word.  Peter restored it and it is on the national registry, once the summer house of  Maine shipping magnet McLellan and statesman Isaac Dyer.  Not only is the house insane, but the out buildings, barn, gardens, etc.  are ridiculous.  It's every artists dream compound.  And it's FOR SALE!

It was really hard to choose a room to photograph in, but I finally settled on the dinning room, and after I packed everything up, Debe's father appeared from another room that I didn't even know existed so I unpacked everything so I could do a picture with him in it.  He insisted that he wear his Navy hat which he then went to fetch.  He is a WWII veteran, Debe is Vietnam, and her son is Iraq.  Newsweek did a piece about the art she made with that family history.

After shooting they gave me a tour of the compound - the fruit trees, gardens, pond, and animals.

And then, as if this place could get better, they turned the barn into a gallery / apartment. I got a sneak preview of new to me artist, Graham Wood's beautiful work which opens on Friday. 

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