The Portland Museum of Art is resurrecting “Art Outside and On the Trail,” in which they replicated more than two dozen works of art from their collection and installed them in various parks throughout Maine.
With the assistance of partners L.L.Bean, the Maine Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Parks and Land, and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the initiative launched last summer and was a success.
This program was initially developed by the museum and its partners to draw frequent museum visitors into the state parks and vice versa, creating a win-win situation. According to the museum’s marketing manager, Hayley Barton, “We saw a lot of wonderful feedback.”
At the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, replicas of paintings will once more be on display, but this summer, three additional parks will also be on display: Crescent Beach State Park, Ferry Beach State Park, and Range Pond State Park.
The museum team was able to visit and assess each park to determine what belongs where. Additionally, several park rangers expressed a preference for specific artworks to be displayed in their park. That part of it, according to Barton, “has been really collaborative and enjoyable.”
Last summer, taking selfies at each of the parks allowed visitors to win a free one-year family museum membership. A completed booklet will earn you a membership in the museum, which has prepared a booklet this summer full of activities and prompts about each park.
Get Creative and Explore Art at Maine State Parks
The brochure, which is available for free at the Portland Museum of Art, includes questions like, “Could you put together a playlist inspired by artwork?” or “Draw something you saw today,” etc. Barton asserted that the museum is not worried about anyone trying to game the system in order to obtain a free membership because the questions are explanatory.
These are aimed at children of all ages, including those who are youthful at heart, according to Barton. Along with some new paintings, some of the ones from the previous summer will return. You can anticipate seeing works from Maine-based artists as well as well-known pieces like Claude Monet’s “The Seine at Vétheuil” in Ferry Beach State Park and Winslow Homer’s “Weatherbeaten” at Crescent Beach State Park.
At Crescent Beach State Park, “Dark Harbor Fisherman” by Newell Convers Wyeth is Barton’s particular favorite. Barton remarked, “It was just lovely to see that there with the ocean in the background.”
The staff of the museum believes that this will inspire visitors to come and view more artwork. Nevertheless, they are content to offer art for people to appreciate whether out for a stroll, a bike ride, or a hike.
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The museum has already heard from visitors this summer about how pleased the artwork makes them feel or how it’s such a lovely surprise to come across the artwork on the trails, according to Barton. Barton further claims that the booklet’s added incentive to visit each spot has delighted individuals.
According to Barton, “People love having a reason to get out there and try new things or see new places they haven’t been before.”
The museum will undoubtedly continue the program in upcoming summers due to the consistent favorable feedback, according to Barton.
The museum is gathering booklets this summer through October 29. You can either send it off at the museum or email a photo of the finished booklet to [email protected].