2017 Copper Beech Tree Lighting Recap

2017 Copper Beech Tree Lighting Recap

The PMA was a busy place this past Friday.

The community filled our David E. Shaw and Family Sculpture Park in anticipation of the annual Copper Beech Tree lighting, and stayed warm with s’mores by The Marshmallow Cart and hot chocolate provided by Bangor Savings Bank. Leading up to the lighting, Portland Poet Laureate Gibson Fay-LeBlanc read poems in reflection of the HIV and AIDS crisis as part of World AIDS Day, and the Sea Change Chorale sang songs of hope. Once more, this event drew an enthusiastic crowd, who rejoiced with the glow of sparkling lights from the Copper Beech Tree.

Inside the museum, paper artist Sarah Yakawonis demonstrated how to make snowflake art. These colorful creations were made with artwork reproductions from the PMA collection, but you can make them using any kind of paper. Download Sarah’s full set of instructions here.

In collaboration with Frannie Peabody Center, select works of art throughout the galleries were shrouded with cloth for a Day With(out) Art, an annual event in observance of World AIDS Day. Curators, educators, and other museum staff brought forth anecdotes that acknowledge the profound impact of the HIV and AIDS crisis on the art community, in Maine and beyond. Learn more about this important event on this blog post by Jennifer DePrizio.

Also in partnership with the Peabody Center, we screened the French film BPM (Beats Per Minute), set in Paris in the early 1990s, following the AIDS activist organization ACT UP. Just outside the film, visitors were encouraged to write letters of strength and beauty to AIDS victims across the country, in our satellite version of The Study: Give What You Can, Take What You Need. Gia Drew of EqualityMaine also gave a poignant gallery talk in the exhibition "Nan Goldin."

If you missed the Copper Beech Tree Lighting, then head to Portland's Lincoln Park at 5:30 p.m. tonight, December 6, as they turn on the festive lighting display by Portland artist Pandora LaCasse. Many friends of the PMA worked together to put this on, and we're very excited to see the park rejuvenated with art installations.

Many thanks to all of our community partners for an impactful series of events! We encourage you to share your experiences in the comments below. 

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December 5, 2017
Communications Assistant

Maggie is a native of Hallowell, Maine. She is passionate about museums and art accessibility. At Simmons College in Boston, she studied Arts Administration with a focus on management and marketing. While in college she worked in education at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Upon graduation, she took a year to explore the south and work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia. She is happy to be back in her favorite city, living in the west end with her fiancé, Sam, and her dog, Phoebe.