APRIL 2017 — Spring is here, but due to an incredibly snowy Maine winter, it’s arriving a little bit slower this year. That’s great news for fans of whitewater rafting, who can expect some off-the-charts thrills this season. For art lovers, there are five exhibitions in 2017 to mark the centennial of the birth of painter Andrew Wyeth. The cavalcade of new restaurants continues across the state, with a bevy of new openings. The Maine Maritime Museum welcomes back a classic schooner and “Marsden Hartley’s Maine” continues at The Met Breuer in New York City, showcasing 90 works that celebrate the landscapes and the people of Maine. Looking ahead, the CAT returns to connect Maine with Nova Scotia.
For writers, editors and bloggers looking for short-lead news, there are details under Happening Now. Those in search of longer lead news can scroll down to the Looking Ahead section.
Andrew Wyeth at 100
To mark the centennial of the birth of painter Andrew Wyeth, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland has opened the first two in a series of five exhibitions to mark the occasion. Andrew Wyeth at 100: Dr. Syn will be on display in the museum’s Wyeth Study Center Gallery through September 9, and Andrew Wyeth at 100: Maine Drawings will be on view in the museum’s Hadlock gallery through December 31. Both shows feature rarely-seen and privately-held works. On Saturday, April 15, the Farnsworth will open the exhibitions Andrew Wyeth at 100: Maine Watercolors—1938-2008 and The Olson House: Photographers’ Muse, both at the Wyeth Center on Union and Grace Streets. The final show in this series will feature the painting Her Room and associated studies which will open on September 20, 2017. For more information please visit the museum’s website at www.farnsworthmuseum.org.
New Maine Restaurants
The tide of new restaurant openings across the state shows no sign of abating. Recent openings in Portland include 2 LB Kitchen, which serves breakfast and lunch, with dishes ranging from gluten free pancakes to wild boar served with rice and arugula. Trattoria Fanny is for homey Italian fare from a chef who opened Eataly in Boston, and serves a simple menu ranging from cured salt cod on toast to spaghetti alla carbonara. Izakaya Minato is where to satisfy udon and ramen cravings. Montreal-style bagels are on offer at The Purple House in North Yarmouth while Neighborhood in Belfast serves tortilla pizza, fish tacos and fries dusted with parmesan in a family friendly spot. Go to Visit Maine for more info.
Maine’s Oldest Schooner Sails Home
On Sunday, April 23, the historic schooner Mary E, believed to be the oldest Maine-built wooden fishing schooner still afloat, will be arriving at her new home, the Maine Maritime Museum. Built in Bath in 1906, and restored in Bath in 1965 on the grounds of what is now Maine Maritime Museum, Mary E is a two-masted clipper schooner, and the oldest Bath-built wooden schooner still sailing. In late April she will make the week-long journey from New York to her new home at the museum. During the summer, restoration work that was started by her former owner will be completed on the museum’s campus, giving the public the opportunity to witness historic shipbuilding techniques first hand. The project will be overseen by shipwright Andros Kypragoras, who completed the restoration of the schooner Bowdoin in 2016. Mary E will be launched at the museum in spring 2018, and will offer public tours and cruises. On April 23, the public is invited to the museum for a free “Welcome Home” party from 10 am to 12 pm. Go to Mary E for more information.
“Marsden Hartley’s Maine” in New York
Marsden Hartley was one of Maine’s best-loved painters and the new show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Breuer galleries in New York City, Marsden Hartley’s Maine, celebrates this artist’s work and continues until June 18, 2017. It highlights the American artist’s lifelong artistic engagement with his home state of Maine in a landmark show that is inspiring visitors to experience Maine this summer and retrace Hartley’s footsteps for themselves. At VisitMaine.com , they can find a map tracing the locations throughout the state that inspired Hartley along with suggested itineraries and sightseeing, lodging and dining recommendations. The exhibition moves to the Colby College Museum of Art from July 8, 2017– November 12, 2017.
After a winter that brought heavy snowfall to the state, Maine is expecting an incredible spring rafting season. The Penobscot, Kennebec and Dead rivers all offer challenging and thrilling whitewater. Outfitters like Northern Outdoors, Northeast Whitewater, North Country Rivers and Penobscot Adventures offer a variety of river trips, day long and multi day. Given the great snowpack that Maine has received, you can expect the whitewater season to run from early May all the way through October. Go to Visit Maine for more info.
The Cat Returns
Once again, Maine has a shortcut to the Maritimes. The Cat, which offers high-speed ferry service between Maine and Nova Scotia, will resume seasonal service in mid-June. The high-speed ferry, which will take just 5½ hours to traverse between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, can hold up to 282 vehicles and 866 passengers. A preliminary schedule calls for the ferry to depart Yarmouth at 8 a.m. daily, with return service from Portland at 2:30 p.m., with the ferry arriving back in Nova Scotia by 9 p.m. For information and bookings, contact Bay Ferries.
Maine’s leaf bearing trees will show off their array of fall colors in the upcoming weeks.