Schoodic fest keeps getting bigger and better

Deborah Lothrop (back to the camera) teaches painting to children from the Grassy Toes Homeschool Cooperative. The class is offered through Schoodic Arts for All’s Art Club. A mother, Sarah Faull, watches as Lothrop demonstrates a technique to Morgan Carnahan (left) and Ross Bertin.

WINTER HARBOR — For the person who wants to tap into a slumbering talent or break out of their comfort zone, the 2017 Schoodic Arts Festival offers many venues for self-exploration.

For two weeks beginning July 30 and ending Aug. 13, Schoodic Arts for All will offer performances, talks, films and workshops on everything from songwriting, painting, pottery and cooking classes to dance and movement classes for adults and children.

Some classes are so popular that they are offered year-round, among them Mike Summerer’s wood-turning classes, Anna Woolf’s clay classes at the Combs Studio, life drawing and sculpture with artist Wendilee O’Brien and the Meetinghouse Theatre Lab’s “Out of the Hat!” play readings and performances.

The festival opens with a silent auction at Hammond Hall on Sunday, July 30, and closes Sunday, Aug. 13, with a number of performances, several of which are the culmination of work conducted during festival workshops.

There are a wide range of options for handmade artistry, such as raku pottery, a multitude of needle felting projects, basket weaving, jewelry making, painting and granite sculpting.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, join retired educator Pearl Barto for a three-hour guided walking tour of Winter Harbor.

Barto will be in character as Annabelle Myrick Weston, the granddaughter of the first settler on Schoodic Point. Weston lived in Winter Harbor from 1873 to 1943.

For others who want to be more mobile, there will be classes in yoga, Balkan dancing, hip-hop, modern dance and an introduction to eurythmy, a performance art that makes visible, through movements, what is invisible in music and in the spoken word.

Among the many first-time offerings this year is a hike in the new Schoodic Woods Campground trails led by a National Park Service ranger.

Participants interested in gaining a culinary skill will find classes, all but one taught by Chris Toy, in basic Chinese cooking; a handmade pasta class with simple sauces taught for children and their parents; Mexican cooking with corn tortillas, tacos and avocado soup; Chinese finger foods; California sushi rolls and “The French Art of the Tart.”

“Explore sweet and savory, simple, and easy to impress tart recipes from the south of France,” is the description for the tart class by Jackie Lerman.

Writers can take a class on the “Creative Memoir” with Steven Kampmann.

Kampmann has writers focus on a moment from their past and convey a dominant idea through anecdotate.

For the musically inclined or curious, there is a singing circle at Hammond Hall, an event that also occurs year-round, along with the Schoodic Summer Chorus, which provides its first performance opening night of the festival.

Potential songwriters can sign up for Monte Selby’s five-hour workshop on smart strategies to make a song unforgettable.

The group will write such a song, record it and perform it at Selby’s concert during the festival.

Selby writes songs for Grammy Award-winning performers and also works with students of all ages to teach them the fine art of songwriting.

There is a performance, film or talk each evening of the festival.

This year’s offerings include, among others, a showing of the historic film “Around Cape Horn,” about the 1929 journey of the Peking around Cape Horn.

Captain Irving Johnson compiled footage of the crew’s daily activities and the wild storm the large German windjammer encountered during their dangerous passage.

Musical performers range from the Maine Balkan Choir and University of Maine at Machias Ukulele Club to The Galley Rats and Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers.

Judith Sloan will perform a solo show “Yo Miss!” with social commentaries from characters such as a professional fabricator of model buildings; a hairdresser whose customer regains her memory;  an elderly woman wondering about being a subject in her grandson’s graduate school video project and what impact Twitter would have had on historical atrocities.

To register for a workshop, visit the Schoodic Arts for All website at or call 963-2569. Scholarships and financial aid are available for children and adults.

Performances each night of the festival range from the regular favorites with Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers and David Dodson and the Lowdown to the group Archipelago and roots musician Samuel James.

Deiran Manning, pianist, will perform with flutist Deirdre McArdle in an afternoon concert of classical music with commentary.

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]