Monthly Archives: March 2009


By Ethan Hayes-Chute
2009 Biennial Artist

Well, the first week in the Museum has been great. Considering all the noise, mess, and clutter that my team (Lucas, Chris, Shon, and my dad, Jim) and I dragged in throughout the week, everyone at the PMA has
been really relaxed, easy going, and helpful.

Monday, Day 1, consisted of hauling the 12 main pieces (partially completed walls and floors) of the cabin and piles of loose boards in through the front door. We were able to set up the first floor of the cabin along with it’s ceiling by the end of the day, and I got some great birds-eye view time lapse footage of the whole thing from the second floor overlook. On Tuesday we (now with Bethany and Josh helping out) got the second floor walls up, plumb, level, and square, and WSCH 6 came by and did a segment on the project as well.

The next few days were spent siding the cabin, putting the roof on, installing the staircase, banisters on the porch, and various other more detailed aspects of the construction. This week I’ll spend my time fine-tuning aspects of the cabin (windows and doors, most noticeably) and begin bringing in the ‘objects of life’ that will furnish the cabin and give it that lived-in feel; but to get a peek inside, you’ll just have to wait until the show opens. As the Talking Heads say, “You can’t see it ’til it’s finished.”

Museum as Sanctuary

By Kate Phenix
Visitor Services Coordinator

The patron’s experience of this phenomenon is something that I began to notice in the middle of the Landscapes From the Age of Impressionism show. That pause at the front door, intake of breath, and then the transitioning of temperament as the patron enters the PMA ready to let everyday events fall away and be conveyed to a different world. This is when the idea of the Museum as sanctuary really became clear to me. The Impressionism show offered up a lush, vibrant land of light and nature, reminding us of the unending possibilities ahead as well as the moments of peace and joy experienced in the past. 

The stillness and intimacy of the André Kertész: On Reading exhibit, whose black-and-white images chronicled decades of people reading, mirrored the visitors own experience of introspection and the evaluation of life’s inspiring offerings. This sense of the Museum as sanctuary continued with the Lynne Drexler—Painter exhibit, and in this collection with its brilliant colors and sparkling resonance, visitors departed the Museum into the winter air rejuvenated, their spirit galvanized by their immersion in such luminosity. 

The purpose of the PMA as a harbor in the community is never more apparent than during our Free Friday nights wherein folks from every walk of Maine life come in, mixing together, moving about one another all with the shared purpose of experiencing art. The Museum provides this place of refuge where we may all meet and partake in what is beautiful, intriguing, daring, fragile, ageless, and surprisingly, new in this world.

Evidence of Impact

By Vanessa Nesvig
Coordinator of Special Projects and
Dr. Paul Mayewski
Director, Climate Change Institute, University of Orono, Maine

Because of our new exhibition The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration in American Culture, we jumped at the opportunity to invite Paul Mayewski down from Orono to talk about his work at the Climate Change Institute. Mayweski has led more than 50 expeditions to the poles, and has just gotten back from
Antarctica. His research discovered early on the recent loss of Himalayan and Antarctic ice loss, and he has seen evidence of abrupt climate change events in the atmosphere.

Having lived in a tent for a cumulative total of more than 4 years in the Antarctic and having made the first ascent of more than 100 mountains his expertise and stories are legendary! I am looking forward to hearing about his ice core samples and how they are able to reconstruct the atmosphere of past ages.

The focus of his talk will be “reflections from my recent expeditions to Antarctica: It is a place that two decades ago we thought would never change in our lifetime. Now change in climate over Antarctica could impact much of the planet in a several decades or less.”

You can read more about his amazing institute and work at:

(Photo by Joan Myers.)