In an era of YouTube music videos and dwindling public school arts budgets, Farmington, Maine, teenagers are lining up — and auditioning — to play the jigs and reels heard at 19th century barn dances. Part of the credit goes to a rural tradition of family and friends playing music together. The catalyst, though, is Steve Muise, the orchestra teacher at Mt. Blue High School.
The New-York Historical Society has sent an impressive array of its marine and maritime art holdings, mostly 19th century, to the Portland Museum Art for the 2014-2015 winter season. “The Coast & the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America” offers an excellent opportunity to take in a clutch of sea-going artifacts, plus ships, seascapes, and portraits by a top-notch lineup of painters.
Although Henry David Thoreau published his book about the Maine woods 150 years ago, his vision and words still resonate today. Thoreau’s experience of the Maine woods was a confrontation with himself, with humans’ place on the planet, and with the meaning of civilization.