Farnsworth Art Museum and other local partners celebrating Maine's 200th birthday

ROCKLAND, Maine (WABI) - Rockland is known as the 'The Art Capital of Maine.'

There will be plenty of events happening in Rockland this weekend to celebrate the bicentennial.

One of the most important ones is happening at The Farnsworth. They're unveiling an audio-guided tour that will lead its visitors through the history of Maine through the eyes of its artists.

"We've decided to create actually trails as if you were walking through the Maine woods, leaving blazes on the trees. But, instead of the trees, it will be the actual walls of the museum,” explained David Troup, Communications and Marketing Manager for the Farnsworth Art Museum.

The Farnsworth Art Museum and the rest of Rockland are fully prepared to celebrate the anniversary of Maine's statehood.

On Saturday, the museum will open the doors for the art trails. There will be art making, storytelling, and a traditional bean supper as well.

Admission to the museum is free.

"The Farnsworth celebrates Maine's role in American art so, we take that celebration very seriously,” said Troup.

Visitors will be given a "passport" they can have stamped during the celebration.

"That passport will have multiple stations on a map so, people will clearly be able to see all the great events that are taking place throughout the day,” said Troup.

Inside the museum visitors can see approximately 15,000 works that focus on American art from the 18th century to the present.

Among the artists - Fitz Henry Lane, Winslow Homer and Louise Nevelson.

"She was a woman who had to break through a glass ceiling that was almost unbreakable at that time."

Nevelson arrived to Rockland by train in 1905 with her mother and sister.

"She actually was the captain of the girls’ basketball team. She studied art and found that she loved it so much, she wanted to become an artist and come to be known one of the great, great creators in modern American art history."

So, how does the audio-guide trail work? Folks just simply call the number displayed.

"The beauty is that it is the same number as every one of the paintings in the audio trail."

"I'm listening to our curatorial staff talk about the fascinating concept of "torching,” explained Troup.

Organizers hope folks will leave inspired to learn more about the state in which they live.

"We certainly feel that people can gain quite a lot of information just from viewing artwork on their own, without extra information, but this year with the Maine bicentennial, we really think that relating it to Maine's history before it became a state, as well as past that time, will lend a really interesting component to their understanding of the works,” said Troup.
The day begins at 10 a.m.

At 5 p.m., the Strand Theatre will host a Bicentennial Birthday Bash Show.

That event includes Penobscot storyteller John Bear Mitchell, Maine tourism commercials created by the Ash Point Community School's 4th grade class, and a short documentary made up of interviews filmed that morning at the Farnsworth.

For more information visit: www.farnsworthmuseum.org