Ellen Babcock. Inspired by Maine history, this artist celebrates Portland’s working people

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A history lesson comes with this profile of artist Ellen Babcock. Ellen lives in New Mexico, where she is an assistant professor of sculpture at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She also founded the organization Friends of the Orphan Signs. Ellen got her BFA from the Portland School of Art (MECA) in 1984 and makes regular visits to Maine to visit her family.

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An exhibit by Maine Artist Francine Schrock Opens at House Arts Gallery — Convergence: engaging in the milieu

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When I first met Francine Schrock, she had just finished creating a beautiful mural for a memory care facility in Portland. Her grandmother died of Alzheimer’s, so the project had special meaning and she went on to paint more murals in other facilities. You can read about the first mural in my health and wellness blog Catching Health.

This past week, House Arts Gallery in Gray held an opening reception for Francine’s latest body of work. I was delighted to be able to attend. Read More

Life Model: There’s Something About Mary Stanford

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Mary Stanford standing beside a painting

Mary Stanford got the birthday surprise of her life in 2012 when she opened the door to what she thought was a sale. She loves to go junking and so, that’s the ruse her friends Emily Barker and Lynn Hart had cooked up to get her there. They were at her friend Debe Loughlin’s house, but Mary just thought she was trying to get rid of some of her things. “I opened the door and there were all these people,” she says. “Fifty or more people yelling, ‘Surprise!’ I totally lost it. They were snapping pictures. There were artists that I hadn’t seen in a long time and groups of friends and two rooms full of art — just of me. It was really, really quite something.” Read More