Staff Insights March/April 2023
We asked our staff: What is your favorite piece of public art in Maine?
While there are plenty of colorful murals to enjoy across Portland, East Bayside’s community mosaic feels extra special since it’s made from a mixture of pottery pieces, mirror shards, and painted glass. Designed in 2016 by Muhsana Ali, a Senegalese artist-in-residence at the University of Southern Maine, the dynamic installation connects the variety of cultures that make up the Portland community.
—Becca Abramson, editorial assistant
I love Charlie Hewitt’s Hopeful sign series, which brings charming, colorful, and positive vibes to cities across the state. I designed and helped fabricate signs for almost three years, so I have a strong appreciation for well-made, unique signage.
—Olivia Ryder, production manager
One of my favorite public works of art in Maine is the Maine Lobsterman statue that honors fishermen lost at sea. Located at Land’s End on Bailey’s Island (with replicas
in Augusta, Portland, and Washington, D.C.), the statue, which is itself a replica of
one shown at the 1939 World’s Fair, is a hidden treasure. At first glance it looks like a man tending to flowers, overlooking a spectacular view of the ocean, but upon closer inspection you see that it reflects a haunting and beautiful story, showing a hardworking man banding a lobster claw.
—Caili Elwell, digital strategist
I’m a big fan of the Digital Man sculptures by Ogunquit artist Jonathan Borofsky, which sit outside both the Portland Museum of Art and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockland. Created as a part of Borofsky’s Human Structures exhibition at the CMCA in 2016, these steel structures measure 24 feet tall and resemble pixelated human figures—a commentary on human connection in the digital age. As someone who grew up playing computer games in the early 2000s, the style and color palette of these installations make me feel nostalgic for my Neopets account and the earlier days of the internet.
—Hadley Gibson, associate editor
Our family has been visiting Pamela Moulton’s sculptures in Payson Park. They range in height from 12 to 17 feet and are made from 10 tons of retired and found fishing gear known as “ghost gear.” The kids dance around these giant pink sea creatures, often settling beneath one to eat their snack. The pieces are magical but also a symbol of the underlying environmental issues here in Maine.
—Danielle Devine, editor