Children’s Mural Painted in the Workshops
MAC GalleryEducationBryce Works Performance

Speaking Contest at Veterans Concert Nov 9

The New ColossusThe Merrymeeting Arts Center announces a Speaking Contest as the first part of its Veterans Concert to be held on Sunday November 9 from 2-5 pm in the Town Hall. The Speaking Contest will be open to young speakers 14 years old and under. They will memorize the selected poem and recite it from memory before the audience and three judges.

The poem being used for the contest this year is famous as the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. Written by Emma Lazarus, the poem – officially known as “The New Colossus” – is most famous for the final stanza : “Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

The Veterans Concert will feature Kim Kalesti, Hal Ahlers, Bob (the Busdriver) White and Friends, all of whom have appeared before in the area. They will be joined by other speakers and performers in a concert sure to delight people of all ages. A donation of $10 will be requested.


Contest Rules:

• The Speaking Contest is open to anyone fourteen years old or younger

• The poem to be memorized is “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

• Participants should be dressed neatly and appropriately for a public performance

• Participants must sign up before 5 pm November 8 by emailing  your name, address, phone number

• Participants will recite before 3 judges and the Veterans Concert

Participants should be at the Town Hall, Bowdoinham, on School Street by 1:30 pm


The Entire poem reads:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Cathance River Bridge
Photo by: Robert Saunders



Robert Saunders & Olivia Sullivan

This Saturday September 13, during the town’s annual Celebrate Bowdoinham Festival, the show “Our Town, Our Bridge in Photographs” opens at the Merrymeeting Arts Center. The show features an emerging artist from Bowdoinham and an experienced artist from Gardiner.

Olivia Sullivan (age 9) knew what she wanted to do when she saw a show in Philadelphia of photographs of a single town on a single day. She thought the idea was perfect for her hometown of Bowdoinham Maine. Olivia met last winter with the Merrymeeting Arts Center’s Lee Parker who thought Olivia perfectly embodied the center’s motto of “art for everyone” and its encouragement of emerging artists. Sullivan decided on a month long focus for the photographs which would be taken in June 2014. Word spread through the town. The 60 photos were collected in special boxes in public places and then Olivia and her mother Jessica Sullivan mounted them. Photographs range from shots of the defunct railroad line to the boat landing. The young artists’ photographs complement a series of photos of the iconic Bowdoinham green bridge by Gardiner artist Robert Saunders.

Saunders and his wife came to town in the early 1980s to visit their dear friend the late Carlo
Pittore of Bowdoinham. He has worked in many media including mail art with Pittore (their mail art was featured at the 1983 Maine Festival in Brunswick). The green bridge in the village fascinated Saunders who took 4 rolls of photographs after a lunch with Pittore. The bridge images became a book “As a Bridge Across Space and Time.” Saunders works with color copies of the original prints.

On a visit to the Merrymeeting Arts Center which has exhibited many works by Pittore,
Saunders offered his bridge series of photographs for exhibit. “A piece wrapped in friendship with Carlo,” his fourteen photographs start with the bridge in the distance. Then the artist focuses closely on the bridge’s structure, 12 shots were made going through the bridge with green girders intersecting against the sky. Mounted on “bridge green,” Saunders painstakingly cut the photographs in places to let the green come through.

The show will stay up until November 15th

The Merrymeeting Arts Center embraces “art for everyone” through exhibits, education and
events. Fall Gallery hours are 10 am to 1 pm Saturdays and also by appointment.