We hope you will join us to get creative! On this page, you will find a wealth of online art lessons, activities and resources - all created by local artists for you to explore. From crazy collage projects to inspiring bird flags to creating mythological birds, there is a ton of fun to be had here!
This summer, we will also be offering small, socially-distanced classes outdoors at the Gilley under our new Art Tent. Beginning in with carving classes in June and then many different art classes in July and August. Check our events page for our in-person classes.
If you need inspiring art materials, please just ask. We have a contact-free drop box at the museum for pick-up, or can mail art supplies to you to get you started. Write to us at email@example.com.
Learn & Do
For a complete list of all upcoming events: Events page
Carving Classes are Back!
July 2 - September 24, 2020
These are our usual great summer carving classes - two hours long and limited to five people as always. This summer we will be carving spaced apart and outdoors, under the new Gilley Tent. Face coverings required. Two classes are offered each Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer, one at 10:30am and one at 2pm.
Classes come with a kit that includes a blank and other materials, and carving knives will be available. Classes taught by Steve Valleau, who has been teaching carving at the museum for thirty-five years.
Classes limited to five; all classes held outside and socially distanced. All skill levels welcome. Advance registration is required - email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, or to reserve a spot.
Crazy Creative Collage
June 1 - December 31, 2020
Local artists present crazy and creative collage projects to get you inspired. Each project is very different, and as you'll see, collage is a super fun art form that you can do with scissors, glue, and anything you can glue down. The results can be beautiful and sometimes surprising and can send a positive message. If you need art supplies and collage materials, email us at email@example.com, and we'll get them to you.
Some of the artists below took inspiration from the collage book Beautiful Blackbird by the wonderful Maine artist Ashley Bryan.
You'll also find a video of Ashley reading his book - which is the best way to experience it! Click "expand" for more.
Ashley Bryan inspired collage with artists Erika and Sienna Rosso
Video Workshop - Collage
with Erica and Sienna Rosso (20 mins)
Video of Ashley Bryan
reading Beautiful Blackbird (10 mins)
Beautiful Blackbirds - Collage Inspired by the Blackbird and the Raven.
Slideshow by artist Maria Charette
Art Corner - Fun Collage lesson with artist Allison Maurais.
that features artist, art teacher, and summer Gilley staff demonstrating a really fun collage technique with minimal materials. (10 mins)
Exploring Collage with artist Carol Shutt
A series of Facebook videos that really get creative with ideas for collage, with artist and former school teacher Carol Shutt.
Collage 1 :: Collage 2 :: Collage 3 :: Collage 4 :: Collage 5
Be like a Magpie!
Collect all kinds of cool, colorful and textured papers to use for making collages
. Magazines, wrapping paper - even paper bags can have cool textures and patterns. And what about buttons, feathers, and sequins? Anything that catches your eye and can be glued down (or otherwise attached) is fair game for making a collage, and you might consider including words, letters or symbols also, to express an idea, or get your viewer thinking...
If you feel like you are short on collage-making materials
, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name, artist's ages and mailing address, and we will mail some your way. And PLEASE SHARE
your art by sending us pictures with the artist's info (and even an artist statement) and we will post in an online gallery.
Ashley Bryan reads Beautiful Blackbird! ONLINE
May 4 - December 31, 2020
Watch this wonderful Video of Ashley Bryan reading his book Beautiful Blackbird and Visit Crazy, Creative Collage here on our website for a video lesson with artists Erika and Sienna Rosso, inspired by Beautiful Blackbirds - and lots of other fun collage ideas by local artists.
May 2 - December 31, 2020
Explore the Collatype printmaking process with Artist Allison Maurais by watching her video here. This process uses simple materials such as cardboard to create shapes and textures that can be colored over to produce cool looking prints. Experiment with materials around your house and with different colors to create your own unique species!
May 1 - December 30, 2020
Fly your Bird Flags!
April 30 - December 31, 2020
Create an inspiring and beautiful bird flag that you can hang at your house - or bring to the Gilley Museum and we will proudly display it for all to see! Based on the idea of a "prayer flag" that embodies good thoughts and intentions, these flags are a positive and fun art project. Click "Expand" to read more and to join artist Allison Maurais for this online video project.
Click here to Join artist Allison Maurais in her video lesson.
Our flags are painted on sailcloth to make them durable and flag-like. You can use any material, but sailcloth is ideal if you can get it - and if not, stop by the museum dropbox to pick some up
(brown storage box in front of the museum), and let us know if you need other materials by writing to email@example.com.
Birds of Myth
April 28 - December 31, 2020
Join artists Erica and Sienna Rosso to create flying mythological birds, such as the Thunderbird, Phoenix and Quetzalcoatl. Click here to find templates for all three of these glorious birds - and download, print, and color them. Then join Erica and Sienna to learn how to make cool hanging bird goddess art by watching their video here.
Check out the links below
to learn more about these mysterious mythological bird creatures! More bird gods and goddesses from around the world coming soon. In the meantime, explore and find your own favorite Birds from Myth (Garuda from India, the giant Roc from Arabian Nights...)
and make your own artistic versions of them.
Thunderbird - Powerful Native American being with lightning powers!
Phoenix - Glorious ancient Greek bird of fire
Quetzalcoatal - Mysterious Aztec feathered serpent
Watercolors in Wonderland
July 13, 2020, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Join us to paint at Wonderland Trail in Acadia National Park. Instructor Erika Rosso will offer tips on capturing the spirit and personality of the birds we see with quick watercolor sketches using a gestural approach. Class size is limited to 8, ages 8 and older; children must be accompanied by an adult. Click on EXPAND to read more and reserve your spot.
All skill levels welcome. Cost is $30 ($25 for members). To reserve your spot, sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because the class takes place in Acadia National Park, you should have a park pass. You can buy it online HERE.
Following the best practices for combatting the spread of Covid-19, we will be practicing social distancing and cannot offer transportation; face coverings are required.
We recommended that you bring with you:
♦ your own portable or travel watercolor kit and watercolor pad or sketchbook – recommended paper options are Small Arches 140 lb block or several small sheets of any 140-pound watercolor paper with a backboard and masking tape or any watercolor pad/sketchbook;
♦ 2-3 watercolor brushes with good tips in varying sizes;
♦ small sealable jar of water for cleaning brushes;
♦ a small watercolor palette (or plastic egg carton);
♦ basic watercolor tubes;
♦ a rag or paper towel;
♦ a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
These items should all be available at Caroll Drug Store in Southwest Harbor, and Sherman’s in Bar Harbor. If you don't have supplies, let us know in advance and the museum can get you outfitted for a very reasonable price.
Plan to sit on the rocks, or bring a chair and easel. (Keep in mind you will be carrying everything with you from the parking area.) It is a flat walk of about a half mile from the parking area to shore, where the terrain is mostly boulders with some sand. There are no restroom facilities. Find out more about Wonderland HERE.
Friday Fun for Fledglings (Art Classes for Kids!)
July 17 - August 21, 2020
Join us under the Gilley Tent for fun art classes taught on select Fridays by Allison Maurais. Classes begin at 10:30am and are limited to 5 people only; children should come with an adult guardian. Reserve your spot by emailing email@example.com. Cost of the class is $5 per person, and covers instruction and materials. All classes will be outside and socially distanced; face coverings are required.
Allison Maurais is an artist, and the the all-grade art teacher at Conners-Emerson School in Bar Harbor. We are lucky to have her join us on staff at the Gilley during the summers.
Click on EXPAND for a complete list of classes.
July 17 – Zentangle Birds
Create a wonderfully patterned bird drawing. The materials are simple, but these can be as complex and wild as you want. Suitable for kids in middle school and up.
July 24 – Printmaking
Design a colorful bird and print multiple unique copies to share. We'll be making 1 or 2 color prints using foam or softcarve (similar to linoluem, but easier to use) and water-based printing inks. For children 10 and up.
July 31 – Christmas in July
July is the perfect time to create an ornament from salt dough for this year’s Christmas tree. We’ll be working with flour, water, salt, ribbon, and textured items to press into the dough. Feel free to bring your own treasures from nature – shells, leaves, acorns, you name it – to use. For children 6 and up.
Aug. 7 & 14 – Pinwheels for Peace
Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by teachers Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan of Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. Make a pinwheel with your own unique design and help us cover the Gilley lawn in pinwheels for International Peace Day in solidarity with other organizations – including Conners-Emerson School in Bar Harbor – on Sept. 21. Suitable for kids in middle school and up. Find out more about Pinwheels for Peace at www.pinwheelsforpeace.com
Two-hour Printmaking Classes with Sherrie York-Morning & Afternoon Sessions
August 18, 2020, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Talented Maine printmaker Sherrie York will teach two printmaking classes at the Wendell Gilley Museum on August 18, one from 10am to noon and the other from 1:30 to 3:30pm. Join us to create vibrant one- or two-color prints using EZ carve, a printmaking material that is softer and easier to use than linoleum blocks. Materials will be provided - just bring an idea for a simple image you'd like to turn into a woodblock-style print. Space is limited and participants must be at least 10 years old. Registration is required at: 207 244-777 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $15 ($10 for museum members.)
Philosophy of programming
Following in the footsteps of Wendell Gilley, we endeavor to help people make connections to art and nature, and to their own creativity. We offer many opportunities for learning and creativity for all ages.
Many people reflect fondly on memories of dropping by and spending time with Wendell in his studio, watching him carve and learning from him. At the museum, you can visit with our Master Carver Steven Valleau (read his bio here), who has been carving at the Gilley for 35 years, as of June 1, 2020! You can share Steve's passion for birds and learn about carving (maybe even try your hand at it), and sign up for one of our many creative classes or learning programs.
Along with a full-time artist on staff, we also bring in local artists, educators, and experts in natural history and the environment for special programs. Our events page lists all of our upcoming activities. If you are interested in learning to carve, you can sign up for a lesson or a lifetime; short and long workshops and a carving club are offered. Teachers and youth group leaders are welcome to schedule art and natural history programs year-round.
Types of activities offered
Watch Steve, or one of our Member carvers at work or enroll in a workshop yourself.
Demonstrations are given during most days that the Museum is open. Workshops, ranging from an hour and a half to ten weeks in duration are offered throughout the year:
- longer carving programs in the late fall, winter and spring
- short (2 hour) lessons offered from late June - late September.
- weekly Carving Club - free for museum members - meets late October through late April.
All programs require advance registration and are taught by Carver-in-Residence Steven Valleau.
Our carving workshops can be found lower on this page, and on our Events page.
Throughout the year, the Museum staff works with schools and other institutions to create customized tours and workshops.
Groups from nursery, elementary and high schools, colleges, elder hostel and cultural touring organizations are among those served. Program content includes art, natural history and wildlife protection, and can be adapted to meet the needs of various audiences. Contact us at 207 244-7555 to discuss a special program, or design your own around the resources at the Museum.
We welome school groups.
School groups are charged an admission fee of $2.00 per student and an additional $1.50 per student materials fee for all programs except Time Flies and Owl Ecology, which have a materials fee of $3.00. Teachers and chaperones are admitted free. Admission for adult tour groups is $5.00 per person, with free admission for group leaders. A discounted rate of $4.50 per person is offered for groups with 25 or more members with advance reservation and prepayment. There is a $30.00 minimum charge for group programs. Limited scholarship funds are available for school groups. If reduced or waived fees would make it possible for your class to participate in our programs, please inquire.
The Gilley Workshop Wing is offered as a meeting place for non-profit groups for a basic fee of $75.00. The space includes a kitchen, work-style tables, chairs, and an A/V system with a large television and microphone for presentations. Rates for private and business functions and/or use of other galleries are negotiable.
If your group is unable to visit the Museum, outreach programs can sometimes be arranged. Current mileage rate of .50/mile applies. Program rates vary.