November 2017 — Despite a warm fall, the first snowflakes have fallen in Northern Maine, the snow guns have been tested on Maine's ski hills and the fall foliage spectacular has pretty much concluded throughout the state. That means it's time to make a few last driving trips and catch the tail end of Marsden Hartley's Maine at Colby, plan a coastal dinner that includes Maine-raised oysters and peruse the latest issue of Maine Thing Quarterly for further inspiration. Skiers and boarders can check their gear and get ready for the new backcountry cat skiing at Sugarloaf and the ridiculously good early season lift pass deal at Sunday River. The rest of us can plan on beating midwinter blues with a trip to the Portland Museum of Art's Biennial.
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.
"Somewhere Beyond the Sea" is the New Maine Thing Quarterly
Maine's rich maritime tradition is explored in text, sumptuous visuals and a soundtrack of waves and seabirds in the latest issue of the Maine Thing Quarterly. There's a lot more to soak up as well, like the story behind Summer Feet, Maine's premier cycling company. There's also a Q & A with Maine filmmaker Derek Kimball, a look at shops that sell made-in-Maine goods and a glorious trip on a Maine windjammer. It's all in the latest digital issue of Maine Thing Quarterly.
Marsden Hartley's Maine at Colby Museum of Art
These are the final weeks of Marsden Hartley's Maine, a landmark exhibition at the Colby Museum of Art at Colby College through November 12, 2017. This follows an acclaimed three-month run at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Met Breuer Galleries in New York City. Hartley was one of Maine's best-loved painters and the exhibition celebrates his lifelong artistic engagement with his home state of Maine. At VisitMaine.com, a map traces the locations throughout the state that inspired Hartley along with suggested itineraries and sightseeing, lodging and dining recommendations.
Suddenly, oysters seem to be everywhere in Maine. It's not just the success of Portland restaurant Eventide Oyster Co., where Chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley were awarded Best Chef: Northeast in the 2017 James Beard Awards. Or, the new Ondine Oyster & Wine Bar in Belfast. Or, one of the best oyster deals in Portland at The Shop. It's all the oyster farmers who are making inroads along the coast, ranging from the Damariscotta River to the Piscataqua River and Little Machias Bay in Cutler. Maine's oyster farmers hauled in 2.1 million pounds of oysters worth $5 million in 2016, the highest-value crop on record. Farmers like Glidden Point Oyster Farm, Nonesuch Oyster Farm, Mook Sea Farm and Sweet Pea Farm have become known beyond the state. Visitors can visit some of these producers with the help of the Oyster Trail of Maine.
The Cat Comes to Sugarloaf
This winter, Sugarloaf Mountain Resort will introduce Maine's first cat-skiing operation on Burnt Mountain, giving adventurous skiers and snowboarders access to deep powder and steep terrain in the resort's signature side country. For years, Burnt Mountain was only accessible to those willing to hike or skin. Now, from the comfort of a snow cat, skiers and snowboarders will be able to climb the more than 1,400 vertical feet and drop into 100+ acres of powder in the eastern boundary of Burnt Mountain. Two cats, each with seating for up to twelve passengers will operate in tandem, shuttling guests up Burnt Mountain every 20 minutes. Single cat rides will range from $20 to $30, plus the price of a lift ticket. Only a handful of resorts in the United States offer inbounds cat skiing, and Sugarloaf will be offering New England's first true cat-skiing operation. Go to Sugarloaf for more info.
Sunday River's Kickstarter Pass
For early-season powder hounds, Sunday River has come up with an affordable way to access the mountain before high season starts. The new Kickstarter Pass offers unlimited skiing and riding every day from opening day through December 24. Adult Kickstarter passes are $159 (teens are $129 and juniors are $99). It's the kind of deal that can pay for itself with a weekend of skiing. When will the mountain open? It's anyone's guess, but it's typically late November, so that pass might well be good for a month's worth of skiing. Visit Sunday River for details.
2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial
The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) Biennial is "intended to highlight artists with meaningful connections to Maine and to enrich the cultural lives of the people of the state." The 2018 Biennial will be curated by Nat May, the former executive director of SPACE Gallery in Portland, who spent a year visiting artists throughout the state and assembled a team of arts professionals to aid him. They include PMA Judy and Leonard Lauder Director Mark Bessire, artist and Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance co-founder Theresa Secord, and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture Co-Director Sarah Workneh.
There are 25 artists in this year's Biennial, and all but one will be exhibiting at the PMA for the first time ever. They include Gina Adams, Becca Albee, Nancy Andrews, Elise Ansel, Elizabeth Atterbury, Stephen Benenson, Sascha Braunig, Anne Buckwalter, Steve Cayard and David Moses Bridges, Tim Christensen, Jenny McGee Dougherty, Angela Dufresne, David Driskell, John Harlow, Séan Alonzo Harris, Erin Johnson, Shaun Leonardo, Jonathan Mess, Daniel Minter, Rosamond Purcell, Joshua Reiman and Eric Weeks, Fred Tomah and DM Witman. This is the 10th Biennial exhibition at the PMA and the second Biennial to be organized by an independent curator. This year's Biennial runs from January 26 to May 30, 2018. Visit the Portland Museum of Art.