Veazie riverside Community: art in the park
June 1, 2016
To celebrate the river...
Multiple artists, three scientists, a historian, a musician, Veazie Seniors, members of the Veazie Municipal staff, students, faculty, staff and parents from the Veazie Community School (VCS) participated in a day which was full of creative activities. We gathered at the new Veazie riverside park, site of the former Veazie Dam.
Three, ninety-minute sessions were completed, as groups of Pre K-2nd, 3-5th, and 6-8th graders rotated through the site from 8:30 to 2:00. Each session began with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, Antonio Bentivoglio, speaking about the change of ecology in the Penobscot River. James Eric Francis Sr., the Penobscot Nation’s director of Cultural and Historic Preservation, told stories of the river’s history and brought along a beautiful 18’ long, traditionally crafted birch bark canoe and fishing spear. As an added bonus, Penobscot Nation archaeologist, Chris Sockalexis, showed examples of artifacts from the Penobscot Nation found at various sites in Maine. Each speaker asked questions, and engaged the group in the presentations. After the lectures, attendees participated in several art- making projects. VCS art teacher and UMaine alum, Garrett White, had organized four different art-making stations. I organized a painting and sculpture area where all the students had the opportunity to work on one of four large fish, to be permanently place in various Veazie community locations. During the art making sessions, local troubadour, Ira Kramer, played guitar and sang background music, often responding with song choices linked to ongoing works.
My thanks to The University Maine Humanities Center for making this project possible.