Sponsored by Sea Bags
Cover photo by Benjamin Williamson
From the trail to the taproom to the tidal pool, from the lake to the lunch counter to the lobster shack, let our second (annual?) scavenger hunt be your guide to everything the Pine Tree State has to offer in the season when it shines brightest. This is your summer to discover something new. Happy hunting.
13Go to Church in Solon
From the outside, the South Solon Meeting House is a study in mid-19th-century New England simplicity. Clad in white clapboards, it sits primly at a rural four corners, a perfect example of Gothic Revival symmetry, with twin entrances on either side of a tall, narrow window. But step inside (it’s always open, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year) to find lush, wild, colorful paintings decorating every inch of the walls and ceiling. Loose interpretations of Old and New Testaments, the frescoes were painted between 1952 and 1957 by artists from the nearby Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. No longer a house of worship, the building and its dynamic artworks are cared for today by the South Solon Historical Society. Meeting House Rd. at Rices Corner Rd., Solon. 207-643-2275.
► Selfie: Sit in one of the original box pews and get some of the frescoes in the background.
Among serious craftspeople, an artist once told us, the name “Haystack” carries the weight of a pilgrimage: its reputation for craft education spans the globe. It’s a credit to the ever-changing roster of master craftsmen and emerging artists who serve as faculty. The location contributes to the mystique, as visitors can see on public tours of the breathtaking campus. The sea closes in as you cross the bridge to Little Deer Isle, follow a slender causeway to Deer Isle, and finally, turn hard east to the very tip of Stinson Neck. There, hovering atop a hill of spruce and granite, is the labyrinthine network of cedar-shingled studios that is Haystack. 89 Haystack School Dr., Deer Isle. 207-348-2306.
► Selfie: Tours of Haystack’s clay, wood, metals, fiber, glass, and blacksmithing studios are offered at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 6 to August 29. Take your selfie on one of the decks, with a backdrop of towering firs and glittering ocean.
Check Out a Handmade Sea Bag
Few Maine companies as successful as Sea Bags (with 13 retail stores and counting) have managed to keep an artisan approach at the heart of what they do. Every Sea Bags tote, handbag, and accessory begins with sails collected one at a time from fervent boaters and ocean lovers. Making each bag by hand allows Sea Bags’ skilled craftspeople to focus on preserving the unique stitching, grommets, telltales, and weather marks that make each sail — and therefore each bag — unique. Over the past 16 years, Sea Bags has kept some 600 tons of sailcloth from ending up in landfills. The bags are chic, but the spirit of resourcefulness and pride in craftsmanship is old-school flinty Maine. 25 Custom House Wharf, Portland. 207-780-0744. 6 Bow St., Freeport. 207-939-3679. 6 Main St., Camden. 207-939-5020.
► Selfie: Sea Bags’ HQ and flagship store is in the heart of Portland’s working waterfront, but stop by any of the three Maine retail locations to nab a selfie next to your favorite bag. The Sea Bags crew calls this a #seabagsighting — we just call it a cool Maine success story.
Plenty of Maine cities and towns host monthly open studio and gallery nights in the summertime, but Art Walk LA, sponsored by the twin towns’ nonprofit L/A Arts initiative, does more to make the last Friday of each month into a hoppin’ multimedia event. In addition to a couple dozen businesses and storefronts hosting exhibits by painters, potters, photographers, and other visual artists, performance media like music, poetry, spoken word, and dance, share the spotlight at venues all around town. You might catch a steel drum crew at Dufresne Plaza downtown, a chamber vocal group busking outside the burrito place, and a surrealist puppet show in an ad agency lobby. All part of L/A Arts’ delightfully strange brew. Various locations across Lewiston and Auburn. 207-782-7228.
► Selfie: Find someone playing music outdoors and get them to pose with you, with their instrument. (We’ll accept inside if it’s raining.)
Come See Us (and Our Artist Friends) at Roxmont
If you stopped by our Rockport headquarters last summer — on the Scavenger Hunt, perhaps, or to hang at one of our Food Truck Fridays — you’ll find things look a little different from last year. We’ve transformed the first floor of our 1903 shingled “cottage,” known as Roxmont, into a showroom for Maine-made wares from some of our favorite artists and artisans. Browse brightly colored pillows, sea glass jewelry, hand-carved wooden platters, photo cards, children’s books, and more. If you leave knowing the name of a new-to-you Maine maker, we’ve done our job. (You’ll need that selfie too, of course.) 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Mon.–Fri. 680 Commercial St. 207-594-9544.
► Selfie: Collar any staffer you see going by — or ask the receptionist to summon you one — and get a selfie together in the showroom.