Pumpkin artists, sculptors sought
DAMARISCOTTA — Planning is underway for the upcoming Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta, which will take place the week Sept. 29 until Oct. 8.

During the 10-day festival, artistically designed pumpkins will line downtown Damariscotta, Newcastle and beyond. The pumpkins are painted and sculpted by local volunteer artists for the enjoyment of the thousands of visitors who attend the annual event.

“Pumpkin Artists at Work” has become a highlight of Pumpkinfest as photographers — amateurs and professionals — capture the transformation of the garden gourds into their final forms. Atlantic Giant Pumpkins will be delivered downtown on Thursday, Oct. 4, and will be available for painting and carving immediately.

In addition, five giant hay bales also are painted, but they are completed before the first weigh-off. Those five bales must be painted between Sept. 21-28.

The Pumpkinfest Artist Committee is currently seeking artists to transform this season’s crop of giant pumpkins. Damariscotta Pumpkinfest plans to apply for a public art foundation grant from The Maine Arts Commission this year, and the committee is seeking accomplished artists who could help achieve that goal. The MAC Project Grant is largely awarded on the basis of artistic strength & creative practice, which the Commission describes as “including the artist’s background, education, awards and honors.”

For more information, contact [email protected]

First Light Camera club reconvenes
BRUNSWICK — First Light Camera Club ended its summer hiatus and began a new season of programs and activities last week. The Club meets regularly each month at its new location at the Brunswick Naval Museum and Memorial Gardens.

First Light Camera Club meets on Thursday evenings, except for holidays, from September through May. An annual membership fee of $40 gives access to workshops, photo outings, image critiques, guest speakers and tech nights all season long.

Upcoming photo outings include a gathering to photograph Portland’s skyline at twilight on Sept. 29.

This year, educational programming has been divided by photo topics. September will be color and composition; October is fall and winter landscapes; November is long exposure and seascapes; December will be Christmas and Christmas lights; January is macro; February is about processing; March’s theme is nature; April will be nights, the Milky Way, time lapses and more; and May is people.

Programs include speakers, field trips, hands-on matting and framing, discussions, group critiques and model shoots.

For more information, visit firstlightcc.com or call 449-8573.

Maine State Music Theatre announces 2019 season
BRUNSWICK — Maine State Music Theatre recently made the announcement of their 2019 shows.

The 2019 main stage series season starts off on June 5 with the production of Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Ladies.” The show is a celebration of the jazz legend Duke Ellington with hits “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and the title song, “Sophisticated Ladies.”

“Treasure Island” opens June 26, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale. This new version of the show was created by Maine State Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark and director Marc Robin.

The blockbuster Broadway hit, “Hello Dolly,” comes to the Pickard Theater  July 17. The musical follows the romantic and comic exploits of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a strong-willed matchmaker who’ll be played by longtime MSTM performer Charis Leos. The show’s songs include “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Hello, Dolly,” “Elegance” and “It Only Takes a Moment.”

“The Wizard of Oz” returns to the main stage starting on Aug. 7.

The Monday Performance Series, available as a subscription, starts with “Walkin’ the Line: A Tribute to Johnny Cash,” on June 17. “Lettin’ the Good Times Roll,” a cabaret concert with stage divas E. Faye Butler and Felicia P. Fields, is next on July 1.

The third in the series is The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Oscar, Grammy and Tony-winning legend and composer of some of the world’s best-known musicals, which plays on July 29. The show includes standards from Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sunset Boulevard and more.

The Theatre for Young Audiences series includes a modern retelling of the legend originally published by the Brothers Grimm in Robin and Clark’s “Snow White” on on June 12 and June 15. Next is Stiles and Drewe’s “Three Little Pigs” on July 8. The last in the series is an original take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” on Aug. 19.

The off-season box office is located at 22 Elm St. in Brunswick until May 28.

For more information, visit msmt.org or call 725-8769.

Sheepscot Valley Chorus welcomes new singers
WISCASSET — The Sheepscot Valley Chorus began their 38th season last week. With a long history of community music making, members of the chorus welcome and encourage new singers to join.

The major work for the chorus this fall will be Felix Mendelssohn’s “Magnificat in D” for mixed voices and four soloists. Written in 1822 when the composer was 13, the work pays homage to the “Magnificat” settings of Johan Sebastian Bach and Bach’s son, Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach.

The December concert will also feature a mixture of classical works and lighter holiday fare, including the Leroy Anderson Christmas carol extravaganza “A Christmas Festival,” which was played for many years by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. The holiday concert is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor.

For more information, call director Linda Blanchard at 380-2768.

Children’s event in Wiscasset to benefit  Feed Our Scholars, Parents In Education
WISCASSET — Wiscasset Feed Our Scholars and Parents In Education groups are finishing plans for a fundraiser to support weekend food for Wiscasset school children, as well as enriching school needs and activities.

The Touch-a-Truck event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, at Wiscasset Speedway.

Big construction trucks, cherry pickers, fire engines, police cars, antique autos, race cars are all on board to be part of the fun.

For more information, visit feedourscholars.wordpress.com or facebook.com/wiscassetfeedourscholars.

Concessions will be available including Darling’s ice cream and popcorn.

Admission is $5 per person or $20 for a family of four or more.

Annual champagne fundraiser for Midcoast Conservancy
NEWCASTLE — The Midcoast Conservancy will host its 10th Champagne on the Sheepscot fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The event runs from 4:30-7 p.m.

Guests can sip champagne and eat hors d’oeuvres on the shores of the Sheepscot River while the Lincoln Academy student jazz combos provide background music. Ticket sales support the work of Midcoast Conservancy, promoting healthy lands, waters, wildlife and people in the Midcoast through conservation, education and outdoor recreation.

In addition to champagne, a full bar and wine stations will be located around the property. Gourmet appetizers will be prepared by Café Miranda.

This year, Alna artist Kate Nordstrom has donated a painting she did specifically for the event. Entitled “Life in the Kelp Forest,” the 40-inch-by-40-inch painting will be given to the winner of a charity raffle.

Tickets are $60 per person and are available until Sept. 10

For more information, visit midcoastconservancy.org, call 389-5150 or email [email protected]

Summer arts exhibition continues in Wiscasset
WISCASSET — Sylvan Gallery’s “Late Summer Exhibition” is continually evolving as new works arrive daily, painted by the Gallery’s roster of contemporary artists. September will mark the gallery’s 18th year.  To celebrate, the gallery will host a reception on Thursday, Sept. 27. The exhibition continues through Sept. 30.

New arrivals include a collection of 11 paintings by New Jersey artist Neal Hughes. Trains, old trucks, forest streams and boatyards provide inspiration for Hughes. Hughes is a former illustrator who has been painting professionally for over 30 years. His work has been accepted into national juried exhibitions. He has won an Award of Excellence at the International Marine Art Exhibition at the Gallery at Mystic Seaport. He was the grand prize winner of the Utrecht 60th Anniversary Art Competition, winning the top prize out of more than 12,000 entries.

Susannah Haney, of Wiscasset, returns to bring her views of Monhegan Island cottages. Haney also is showing two new paintings from her exploration of Stonington.

Maine artists whose work will also be on view include Stan Moeller, Nina Fuller and Ann Scanlan. Other represented artists who focus on Maine subjects include Peter Layne Arguimbau and Crista Pisano.

A selection of work by the gallery’s other contemporary artists will also be on display, including Joann Ballinger, Al Barker, Angelo Franco, Charles Kolnik, Heather Gibson Lusk, Polly Seip, Laura Winslow and Shirley Cean Youngs.

For more information, call 882-8290 or visit sylvangallery.com.