Archive for Gardiner

Mother’s Day sale at MCA Retail Gallery 

As we approach Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year, we have much to reflect on. The Maine Crafts Association has missed the familiar faces of its patrons and members as people locked down and changed their lives to become teachers, caregivers and more during the pandemic. Many of you have been the glue holding everything together for your children, your parents, your businesses and yourselves. The importance and strain of these roles has been exemplified with each long day.

While MCA wishes they could give you a whole new perfect world in a handbasket with endless wine and chocolates, the best they can offer are special storewide sales.

A Mother’s Day sale will run from May 1 to 9.

Visit Maine Craft Portland at 521 Congress St., Portland. Found on the first floor of the beautiful Maine Mechanics Hall, Maine Craft Portland is located in the vibrant Arts District of Portland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays by appointment. Call 207-808-8184, or email for details.

The Center for Maine Craft is located at the West Gardiner Travel Plaza at 288 Lewiston Road West in Gardiner. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Call 207-588-0021, or email for details.

You can also shop online and find hundreds of artisan-made items sourced from the MCA retail galleries, shipped nationwide. Enter code THANKSMOM21 at checkout for 20% off your purchase. Code will be valid from midnight May 1 through May 9.

J. Whitman Studio 2020 Workshops & Classes

J. Whitman Studio 2020 Workshops & Classes

Robert Carsten : June 12-14, 2020 Cost $375

Michael Latala: Portrait July 10-12 2020 Cost $425  Landscape July 14,15 2020 Cost $285

Doug Dawson: Sept. 28-30, 2020 Cost $425

Life Drawing 1pm to 3pm every Saturday in February Cost $15 each class


Jerri Whitman 207-779-6277

900 Gardiner Rd Dresden, ME 04342

The Center for Maine Craft Showcases Sara Palumbo’s: ‘Words with Wool’

The Center for Maine Craft welcomed their first Winter Artist in Residence, Sara Palumbo, fiber and mixed media artist of Bath, Maine. Sara moved her studio to their West Gardiner location nestled in their retail space for the winter. Sara is creating in the space and bringing her passion project to life- Words into Wool. She is meeting with people who call Maine their home, listening to their personal story and creating a felted piece representing the essence and vibration of each story. “I see this project as the joining of ancient practices of storytelling, felting and shamanism. My dream is to have this be a travelling installation that will grow around the state of Maine”.

Sara’s installation went up on January 7th, and she has been crafting people’s stories into her woolen art pieces in real-time in the craft center. Sara’s interview subjects include a broad range of women from across Maine, the captain of a lobster boat, an entrepreneur and forager, a shaman and many others, and her great joy in this work is bringing the soul of each story into physical being that can be shared with the world. Visitors are encouraged to watch her as she works and ask questions. Sara’s method is wet-felting, the creation of fabric from layers of wool roving kneaded together with water and friction. Sara turns individual fiber strands into sheets of cloth, the same way that she turns the strands of other people’s stories into works of art.

The installation will be up at the Maine Center for Craft in West Gardiner until March 2nd, and there will be a closing reception on Saturday, February 29 th from 3pm – 6pm. Learn more about Sara’s work at

Doug Frati Exhibition at The Center for Maine Craft

The Center for Maine Craft, in Gardiner presents new work by Doug Frati through November 19, 2019 in the Center exhibition gallery. Frati is a wood artist and organic farmer based in Palmyra, ME. The exhibition features his signature wood relief carvings. Frati is a two-time winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Portland Fine Craft Show. 

Doug Frati was born in Maine in 1954 and spent his youth in a small town on the banks of the Sebasticook River. He attended art school, graduating in 1979 with a degree in printmaking. His work was soon collected privately as well as publicly when the Portland Museum of Art included it in their permanent collection. 

Frati’s current wood carving is a direct reflection of where and how he lives. Many of his carvings are made of old wood salvaged from antique objects, broken and lost to barns and attics. A neighbor runs a small saw mill where large white pine is turned to boards for carving. He creates his own stains to bring out the graphic and textural aspect of the carvings. History becomes an element for creating a new work of art. Layered time adds weight and depth, driving iconic imagery. The work brings to, and brings out, something in the viewer that is real and solid. Something old yet fresh. Shop Doug Frati’s Show online!

Monkitree Presents “It’s A Colorful Day in the Neighborhood” by Anita Morrissey

On September 6th from 5:30-8pm, Monkitree will hold an opening reception for the show “It’s a Colorful Day in the Neighborhood.” In this show Anita Morrissey, of Sidney, Maine explores her connection to the natural world which was nourished by the beauty she was surrounded by growing up in Gardiner.

“I spent countless hours exploring the fields and forests of Oaklands, swimming in Cobbossee Stream, playing capture-the-flag in Bull’s woods along Kingsbury Street and collecting wild flowers for Mrs. Purdy’s sixth-grade project,” she explains.  The connection Anita formed early to the natural world continues to inform her paintings, “My work is almost always inspired by something I have observed while wandering along the country roads near my house or in my gardens. The changing seasons provide the constant drama of dying and rebirth, changing light, and amazing color shifts. I gather ideas and images with my sketchbook, camera and journal, head for my studio, and let the painting begin.”  Anita is particularly interested in the magic that seems to happen when the wild, unpredictable energy of nature bumps up against a stark barrier…creating an edge that is fraught with tension. Stone wall along an unbridled country garden. Ice jam in a beaver dam. Paved road next to an overgrown field or woods. Granite walkways. Bridges. Wildflowers in a simple vase. She exclaims, “When chaos meets resistance…Yummy!”

Monkitree is a fine art and craft gallery located at 263 Water Street in Historic Downtown Gardiner, Maine and “It’s a Colorful Day in the Neighborhood” can be viewed through November 2.

News from the Maine Crafts Association


April 21, 2019
We’re hiding eggs around the store.  What do they contain, you may ask? Find one and you shall see!



The Center for Maine Craft is the host of seasonal & holiday Pop-Up Shops featuring Maine artist-members of the MCA.  Located in the West Gardiner Service Plaza, a different MCA member is invited for an exclusive showing of their work within the main lobby.  Pop-Up shops will be scheduled every Saturday from June 29 – August 31, 2019  Hours: 10am – 3pm  Location: 24 Service Plaza Dr. West Gardiner, ME 04345



Mugs by Paige Driscoll for The Clever Cup


The Center for Maine Craft presents The Clever Cup, an annual exhibition/invitational to MCA members to create one-of-a-kind, extraordinary and beautiful mugs and mug-related objects in the Center Gallery, March 1-April 28, 2019Exhibiting artists include Tracy Adams, Paige Driscoll, Whitney Gill, Tyler Gulden, Jean Hardy, Jon Ho, Brooke Hoerner, Adrian King, Guenola LeFeuvre, Kreg McCune, Allison McKeen, Willy Reddick and Mary K & Jeff Spencer.

2019 CAP Masters and Apprentices Announced

Nissa Smiley (left) Lauren Beach (right)

The Maine Crafts Association, in partnership with the Maine Arts Commission, announces the master/apprentice pairs selected for the 2019 Craft Apprentice Program (CAP):

Joe Ascrizzi, master with apprentice Lisa Neuman (jewelry)

Kim Dailey, master with apprentice Jedediah Malcore (wood turning)

Gabriel Frey, master with apprentice Frances Soctomah (Maine Indian baskets)

Nisa Smiley, master with apprentice Lauren Beach (jewelry)

David Wolfe, master with apprentice David Connor (printmaking)

The 2019 program is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Maine Arts Commission funding and media sponsorship support from Maine Magazine.

News & Opportunities from the Maine Crafts Association

MCA Program Calendar: Upcoming Events and Deadlines


Jan 15: Sign Up Deadline for Maine Gallery Guide Co-Op Ad

Jan 19: M2M Workshop: Speed Designing with Jolene McGowan

Jan 31: Portland Fine Craft Show Application Deadline

February: Registration opens for Maine Craft Weekend

Feb15: Sign Up Deadline for Mother’s Day Ad in Downeast Magazine

April 5: Sign Up Deadline for June Maine Magazine Co-Op Ad

May 3: Sign Up Deadline for July Downeast Magazine Co-Op Ad

May 9-12: Annual MCA Workshop Weekend @ Haystack

June 9: Public Opening Reception MCA Master Craft Artist Ten-Year Anniversary Exhibition @ Fuller Craft Museum

June 1: 2019 Seconds & Supplies SALE @ Running with Scissors

June 28: Sign Up Deadline for Portland Monthly Art Annual Co-Op Ad

Sept 6: Sign Up Deadline for November Downeast Magazine Co-Op Ad

Oct 5-6: Maine Craft Weekend 2019


APPLY by January 31, 2019

Call for exhibitors for the 5th Annual Portland Fine Craft Show, August 24 from 9am-5pm on Congress Street in Portland, ME. Apply as a fine craft artist working in baskets, ceramics, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, stone or wood. The Portland Fine Craft Show remains one of the only Maine craft shows open to artists not living in Maine, and has a reputation for being well-organized and high quality, with high attendance.


Elena Kubler | Owner/Curator, The Turtle Gallery
Kazeem Lawal | Owner/Curator, Portland Trading Co.
Anja Levitties | Chair, 2019 Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show


January 19, 2019: Speed Designing with Jolene McGowan

Are you looking to grow your 2019 audience and further your visual web presence? Join us in Ellsworth at Artsworth for a new professional development workshop! Participants will leave this workshop with their own Mailchimp account and a completed promotional flier designed and created in Adobe Spark featuring their work or business. All of this will be accomplished in one workshop, setting the participant up for future promotions.


Monkitree presents “The Gray Area” by Ashley Rogers

Ashley Rogers “Impaled Scars”


With The Gray Area, Ashley Rogers seeks to highlight the reality of being a woman, a human being, and how society and the influence of others affect everything. “My purpose of this body of work is to confront the human experience. As the only story I know is my own, I have chosen to use my own human form as a model to illustrate body image, emotion, and the growth from child to adult in various social and personal contexts.” Through pattern, texture, and mark making Ashley has transformed the human body into decorative objects, a reflection on the role the female body.

In her work, Ashley exposes the dark undertones that are often overlooked from under our shiny exteriors.  We strive for perfection, even though we make mistakes. “We have dark thoughts that can weaken dignity. Only by respecting one another and understanding each individual story do we earn our place at each other’s tables in our most joyous times,” Ashley explains, “My work has been heavily influenced by nature. With the symbolism of growth, death, and an endless cycle, I strive to show that learning to understand our human experiences will allow us to come out stronger than before.” Art itself is a personal form of self-portraiture. And Ashley is using her personhood to share her whole story. Not only heart and soul; but body, as well.

Ashley Rogers graduated from Maine College of Art in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. She uses her photorealistic background to journey through the exploration of abstraction, sculpture, and fiber art– areas that allow her to express her love of texture, patterns, and construction.  A local-to-Gardiner artist, Ashley serves as the Program Coordinator for Spinoff Studio. Ashley’s work has been seen in collaborative shows through the Maine College of Art and other Maine venues, as well as Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Clare, Ireland. This is her first solo exhibition.

Join us for an opening reception on October 5th from 5:30-8:30. The show can be seen at Monkitree-263 Water Street, Gardiner, ME through November 24th during regular shop hours.

Craft Apprentice Program Announces 2018 Master – Apprentice Pairs

2018-02-01 09_59_47-Fwd_ Craft Apprentice Program Press Release_ Announcing our 2018 Master - Appren

The Maine Crafts Association, in partnership with the Maine Arts Commission, offers a statewide Craft Apprentice Program (CAP) for contemporary craft practitioners. The program is a concentrated peer-to-peer learning experience for apprentices who demonstrate a commitment to further their abilities as specialized craft practitioners. They accomplish this through a significant relationship with a master artist. The program serves to celebrate the role of the master/apprentice relationship as a way to generate creative entrepreneurship through the cultural sector. It addresses the need for developing sustainability and resiliency in the craft sector by allowing craft artists to acquire new skills, tools and management habits that help them adapt to the changing environment of craft consumers.

The number and quality of CAP applicants exceeded our expectations, leaving a difficult task to the 2018 CAP jurors. This year, program funding allowed for two pairs and the final outcome led to apprenticeships in jewelry and fiber. We are proud and dedicated to the selection process, and thrilled with the experience and quality of the 2018 selections.

2018 CAP Apprenticeship Recipients are as follows:
Master jeweler Christine Peters with apprentice Nina Devenney
Master fiber artist Nancy Giesberger with apprentice Nina Ruit

For more information on the Crafts Apprentice Program or the Maine Crafts Association visit or call 207-205- 0791.