Another Roadside Attraction
FIELD TRIP – May 2013
By Veronique Mcaree | Photography Amanda Kowalski
Travelers on a field trip to (or from) Kennebunk have the opportunity to stop and savor the arts created by local maine artists. Here’s a sneak peek.
Art is all about imagination. And it took plenty of imagination to transform the property off Route 35 in Kennebunk’s Lower Village into the colorful cluster of cottages known as the Galleries at Morning Walk.
Last year local developer Tim Harrington, armed with vision and a fondness for the arts, hatched an idea: convert the Morning Walk parcel of land housing an eighteenth-century farmhouse into a community for local artisans, as well as an arts attraction for tourists and residents.
The Galleries at Morning Walk consists of eight individual cottages showcasing photography, painting, handcrafted items, jewelry, and floral design. The spaces are modern inside and out, with lovely light and hardwood floors, creating the perfect environment to show—and see—art. Three of the galleries are connected by side doors, and the others have shell pathways between them.
“It’s much more than a retail development,” says Holly Ross, manager of the Galleries at Morning Walk. “It’s a community of artisans. We support one another, talk shop, critique each other’s work, and host events and workshops, We work to engage and educate people in the arts. And I feel fortunate to be part of creating this robust artistic endeavor.”
In addition to managing the galleries and discovering new talent, Ross is an artist who displays her collection of paintings, prints, cards, and more under the name Fish House Designs. A Rhode Island School of Design graduate, she’s never strayed from her love of living in coastal fishing villages, and her art is proof. Boats, lighthouses, lobsters, sea birds, fish, and cottages (that look like the galleries) pop in their vivid colors and her unique, lively style. In addition to displaying her own work, Ross also curates a collection of other artists’ work in her gallery space, including ceramics and hand-screen-printed pillows.
Fish House Designs is in good creative company. Its artsy neighbors include:
BECOMING A collection of lovely hand-stamped sterling silver and gold jewelry by Tracey Graves. What’s especially swoon-worthy is how Graves incorporates hopeful words and phrases into her designs. Customers can also choose their own words, numbers, you name it.
CALLUNA FINE FLOWERS translates flower arranging into art in its Morning Walk studio (there’s also one in Ogunquit). It specializes in high-quality, exotic blooms and custom wedding services as well as offering a few home, garden, bath, and body gifts.
CASTLE COTTAGE’s Sarah Canning-Bridgham never met a discarded piece of furniture—or anything else, for that matter—she didn’t like. The artist and designer is a master of repurposing and transforms old furniture and household items into new art for the home.
PHOSART specializes in photographs of everyday things and local Maine scenes delivered in unexpected ways. Speaking of unexpected, photographer Donna Kabay is always changing things up, offering new images and displays.
So, next time you are out and about, stop and take a tour through each of the cottages at Morning Walk. You’ll find plenty of unique art and great ideas for you and your home.
WHAT MAKES THE GALLERIES AT MORNING WALK UNIQUE?
“We are individually owned businesses and create our own product rather than order it! We are all emotionally attached to what we sell. If we don’t produce enough hand-painted furniture, jewelry, or art we won’t have product for our shops. We work hard to present fresh work. It’s nice, too, that all the galleries are nestled right next to each other, so if you ever need an extra paintbrush, or an ‘objective’ eye on something, you can simply ask your neighbor-artist.”
ARE THERE ANY UPCOMING CLASSES/EVENTS?
“Artist Sarah Canning-Bridgham and I (Holly Ross) teach ongoing workshops called CREATE that focus on making one-of-a-kind pieces using paint, repurposing techniques, and more. Also, look for our May Season Opening, June Garden Party, and July Sculpture Event.”
TAKE A FIELD TRIP TO GALLERIES AT MORNING WALK, 135 PORT ROAD, KENNEBUNK, 207-408-2236