Friday, December 14, 2018

Farnsworth. Bell Ringers And A Crankie

Festive Holiday doings during the Farnsworth Art Museum's
seasonal Share the Wonder events.
First, a concert by the Penobscot Ringers,a handbell ensemble. 
It was music of the angels & had
a number of us in the audience crying for the beauty of it all!
Such beauty in the midst of some real ugliness in the world.
 After the concert, a lecture by Annie Bailey,
creator of a rotating storytelling mural for the Museum's 
front window. It tells about Maine heroine,
Abbie Burgess, a 16 year old who tended 
The Matinicus Rock Light & took care of her family
during a raging storm in 1856.
Her father, the lighthouse keeper, had gone to the mainland
for supplies, but could not get back for 4 weeks!

Bailey said she chose Abbie as a symbol
of focus of in a time of chaos.  
Something that is needed in these times too.     

(This photo of 1 scene doesn't show the mural's true size
& the window picked up reflections. But...)
The scroll's height is 4 ft. & one full rotation is 60 ft. 
The scroll, called a "Crankie", moves between 2 spools 
by way of a bicycle chain mechanism created by Andrew White. 
Bailey collaborated with a number of people 
to make this project work, & she has studied the Crankies 
of the 19th century.
There was, as with all original projects, 
trial & failure before final successes.

(I'm hoping the mural will stay up beyond its Jan. close date.) 


  1. Oh my . . . sounds like a sight to see.
    Like your sketch of Annie Bailey . . .
    Were you sketching during the lecture or was it done after?

  2. Love bell-ringers!!! Interesting story about 16 y.o. Abbie..would like to see that mural...nice post!!

  3. Love your faces so much! Personality plus!

  4. Wow -- what a really great celebration and day. I love hearing bellringers -- they're always terrific. And the mural is cool.

    Most of all, as usual, I love your drawings and how you chronicle these wonderful things. I find your work so inspiring!

  5. What a lovely post. I can hear those bellringers now.......

  6. Dear Rita I so enjoy seeing inside your sketchbook. Also thank you for sharing the mural about Abbie Burgess. Your post was wonderful. Have a very Merry Christmas friend. Hugs!


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