MCA Essay Series: ‘What Maine Craft Means to Me’ by John Baldacci

John E. Baldacci

Artists tell us who we are as a people. They reflect our spirit and define our soul. Maine is very unique, we are not like anywhere else. As governor, I identified and supported our creative economy, which linked this talent to our economic engine. Maine has world-renowned writers, photographers, painters, poets, builders, basket makers and many, many more. We have a storied history, amazing present-day craft artists and an unfolding future of people coming to Maine to create.

Personally, we try to seek out and support our Maine artists. We celebrate holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and sometimes simply support what inspires us.

Our family holiday card comes to mind. The holidays have always been a time for us to share a family photo, taken by professional Maine photographers, to connect with family and friends. It was a way to follow us — especially Jack, as he grew up throughout the years.

In our Blaine House years, in addition to the annual photo, we added original holiday commemoratives made by Mainers to celebrate the season. These included many different designs, creations, artwork and unique gifts. We showcased Maine artists and craftsmen at our two Inaugurals, many trade missions, meetings, retreats and Maine Day at The Big E Agricultural Fair.

I encourage everyone to shop locally. Invest in Maine artists and craftsmen.

Governor John E. Baldacci served two terms as the governor of the State of Maine from 2003 to 2011. Prior public service included serving as U.S. Representative for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District from 1995-2003. Governor Baldacci joined Pierce Atwood in 2012, following an appointment as the Director of the Department of Defense’s Military Health Care Reform Initiative, working for the former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Clifford L. Stanley, where he was tasked with a full-scale review and evaluation of military health care and wellness.

What Maine Craft Means to Me Essay Series invites you to explore the many intersections and layers of craft, people and time in Maine through the words of those with deep connections to our state and our field. Each week, a new essay will be shared.

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