benefit event

Upcoming Events

Carving Classes

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, learn from our master carver, Steve Valleau. This 1.5-hour class, suitable for beginners, comes with a kit that includes a bird blank. Tools are available to borrow. Learn the basics of this classic American art form, and leave with something you create.

Students must be at least 10 years old; those 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $35 for non-members or $30 for members. To become a member, visit our membership page HERE.

Class size limited to 4.

Reservation required.

 

Friday FunDay: Paint like Dahlov Ipcar

June 18, 2021 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Reserve now

Enter the artistic world of Dahlov Ipcar by creating a painting inspired by the famed author/artist and her work in this class that is part of Friday FunDays. Students will be provided with sketching material, a black canvas and acrylic paints. Led by instructor Erika Rosso, students will focus on painting some of Dahlov Ipcars favorite animals and plants, incorporating patterns and geometric design. This class is open to all artists age 8 and older. 

Dahlov Ipcar was an artist and author who wrote and illustrated more than 30 children's books from her home on Georgetown Island in Maine. Erika Rosso is a watercolor artist who studied with Joanne Carpenter at College of the Atlantic, earning her BA in Human Ecology, and later studied with artists at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico and the Sedona Arts Center in Arizona. Ms. Rosso has exhibited her work at Blum Gallery in Bar Harbor, Radiant Light Gallery in Portland and currently at the Cornerstone Gallery in Southwest Harbor.  She lives on Mount Desert Island with her family of four, a dog named Taz and two pet mice. 

Friday FunDay: Make a Bird Flag!

June 25, 2021 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Reserve now

Use canvas, paint and felt to create your own bird-emblazoned flag as part of a Friday FunDay workshop at the Wendell Gilley Museum on June 25 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Then march with us in the Flamingo Festival Parade in July. This class, taught by Allison Maurais, is open to all artists age 5 and older. The fee is $7 per person. This class is part of our mission to connect people to nature through art. Join us! 

Explore Plants with a Paintbrush

July 2, 2021 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Reserve now

Explore the world of plants, using your observation skills to study flowers and leaves, then create watercolor studies of them at the Wendell Gilley Museum with artist Erika Rosso. Students will be provided with watercolor paper, pencils and watercolors to explore the nature of plants, and will work with wet on wet techniques, brush strokes and outlining to create their watercolors. This class is best for students ages 7 and up, and is part of Friday FunDays at the Gilley as part of our mission to connect people to nature through art. 

Erika Rosso is a watercolor artist and homeschool mom to two children. She studied art with Joanne Carpenter at College of the Atlantic, earning her BA in Human Ecology, and later studied with artists at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico and the Sedona Arts Center in Arizona. She has taught art to both children and adults, offering private classes at the Cornerstone Gallery and group classes at the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor. Ms. Rosso has exhibited her work at Blum Gallery in Bar Harbor, Radiant Light Gallery in Portland and currently at the Cornerstone Gallery in Southwest Harbor.  She lives on Mount Desert Island with her family of four, a dog named Taz and two pet mice. 

All About Owls

July 7, 2021 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Reserve now

Whooooooo wants to know All About Owls? Museum Educator Cynthia Ocel will guide you through the fascinating world of these avian superstars. Discover how they find food, mates, and a safe place to hang out. Learn about their feathers, talons, eyes and ears. This fun exploration will include video, examination of the museum’s owl carvings, and hands-on activities including dissection of owl pellets. All About Owls is open to curious adventurers age 10 and older. 

Chickadee Homecoming: Build A Birdhouse

July 9, 2021 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Reserve now

Join naturalist Rich MacDonald at the Wendell Gilley Museum to build a house for chickadees and learn about the birds who will live there in this two-hour workshop, Learn about the life history and ecology of chickadees and some of the other bird species that might visit your birdhouse, and how best to site your creation to entice birds to use it. The class is for people 10 and older and anyone younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Second of three times this will be offered this summer.

Class size limited to 10.

Materials provided and you take home your birdhouse that day!

Fee: $35 per person

Celebrate With Us!

July 12, 2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

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The Wendell Gilley Museum opened its doors for the very first time on July 12, 1981.

Come celebrate our 40th on Monday, July 12 from 10am to 2pm.

There will be music, fun activities, and cupcakes!

Did you once carve a bird with us? Bring it to show us. The only admission fee is a memory, photo, or carving related to the Gilley. If you don’t yet have any memories of the museum, this celebration is the perfect time to start making them.

This photo show Wendell and his wife Addie, center, with friends looking at a display of Wendell's carvings on the museum's opening day.

Free, but registration required.

Bestselling Author Paul Doiron talks Dead Before Dawn

July 23, 2021 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Reserve now

Bestselling author Paul Doiron will be at the Gilley on July 23 at 7pm. He’s a fan of the Gilley, and we make a small appearance in his new book, Dead Before Dawn. To find out how, you’ll have to join us!

This event is happening in cooperation with co-sponsors Sherman's Books, the Southwest Harbor Public Library and the Jesup Memorial Library. It will take place outside under a canopy, with masks required and social distancing enforced. Reservations are required, but there is no fee to attend.  Books will be available for purchase.

Paul writes the Mike Bowditch series of crime novels set in the Maine woods. His first book, The Poacher’s Son, won the Barry Award and the Strand Critics Award and was nominated for an Edgar for Best First Novel. His story “Rabid” was a finalist for the 2019 Edgar in the Best Short Story category. Paul’s eleventh book, One Last Lie, came out in June from Minotaur Books and Dead Before Dawn is being released June 29, 2021. Paul is Editor Emeritus of Down East: The Magazine of Maine and a Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing.

All About Owls

August 11, 2021 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Reserve now

Whooooooo wants to know All About Owls? Museum Educator Cynthia Ocel will guide you through the fascinating world of these avian superstars. Discover how they find food, mates, and a safe place to hang out. Learn about their feathers, talons, eyes and ears. This fun exploration will include video, examination of the museum’s owl carvings, and hands-on activities including dissection of owl pellets. There are two sessions scheduled for this summer – Wednesday, July 7 at 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. – at the Wendell Gilley Museum, 4 Herrick Rd. in Southwest Harbor. All About Owls is open to curious adventurers age 10 and older. 

Chickadee Homecoming: Build A Birdhouse

August 27, 2021 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Online reservations open on July 6, 2021 at 5:00 am.

Join naturalist Rich MacDonald at the Wendell Gilley Museum to build a house for chickadees and learn about the birds who will live there in this two-hour workshop, Learn about the life history and ecology of chickadees and some of the other bird species that might visit your birdhouse, and how best to site your creation to entice birds to use it. The class is for people 10 and older and anyone younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Last of three times this will be offered this summer.

Class size limited to 10.

Materials provided and you take home your birdhouse that day!

Fee: $35 per person

Past Events

Carving Classes

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, learn from our master carver, Steve Valleau. This 1.5-hour class, suitable for beginners, comes with a kit that includes a bird blank. Tools are available to borrow. Learn the basics of this classic American art form, and leave with something you create.

Students must be at least 10 years old; those 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $35 for non-members or $30 for members. To become a member, visit our membership page HERE.

Class size limited to 4.

Reservation required.

 

Chickadee Homecoming: Build A Birdhouse

June 11, 2021 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Online reservations have closed.

Join naturalist Rich MacDonald at the Wendell Gilley Museum to build a house for chickadees and learn about the birds who will live there in this two-hour workshop, Learn about the life history and ecology of chickadees and some of the other bird species that might visit your birdhouse, and how best to site your creation to entice birds to use it. The class is for people 10 and older and anyone younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. First of three times this will be offered this summer.

Class size limited to 10.

Materials provided and you take home your birdhouse that day!

Fee: $35 per person

Exploring Nature in Watercolor: Online with Barry van Dusen

June 12, 2021 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Online reservations have closed.

Join award-winning wildlife artist Barry van Dusen and the Gilley online for “Exploring Nature in Watercolor,” a course for intermediate and advanced students that focuses on painting birds and other subjects in watercolor.

Barry will share his own portfolio, which includes paintings of birds, flowers and plants, mammals, salamanders, turtles, frogs, fish, insects and natural landscapes. This will be followed by a live, real-time demonstration of the steps involved in painting a watercolor portrait of a songbird. The demonstration will include discussions of field observation and field sketching, watercolor materials, approaches to working with tone and color, and many tips for creating naturalistic watercolor portraits of wild birds.

Fee: $35

People-Nature-Art with author Linda Greenlaw

June 15, 2021 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Online reservations have closed.

MOVED INDOORS DUE TO RAIN 

Reservations FULL for in-person event 

Unlimited spots available for livestream-register HERE

Bestselling author Linda Greenlaw is at the Gilley Tuesday, June 15 at 7pm as the June speaker for People-Nature-Art, the Gilley’s signature monthly series that brings artists, writers, carvers, and creative types of all kinds to the Gilley to share how nature impacts their art and their approach to making it, and how their art affects their approach to the natural world. 

Linda’s entire life and her career have been shaped by nature, namely the ocean. She grew up on Isle au Haut off the Maine coast, worked as crew and later captain on fishing boats, and started writing about her work on the sea after she was featured in Sebastian Junger’s book “The Perfect Storm.” She’s written books about her life working the sea, mystery novels set on a small island, and cookbooks that were co-written by her mother.

This event, co-sponsored by Sherman’s Books, will happen outside under a canopy, with masks required and social distancing enforced. Reservations are required, but there is no fee to attend.

People-Nature-Art continues in July with musician and carver of eastern woodland flutes, Hawk Henries; and with painter Tom Curry and science writer Kimberly Ridley in August.

Sharing Insights on Art and Nature-with Gary Hoyle

June 8, 2021 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Online reservations have closed.

Gary Hoyle: Aspects of Nature
Free Online Presentation
Tuesday, June 8, at 7pm via Zoom

Gary, whose art is currently on display in the Museum's Special Exhibit Gallery, will share insights about his art in this presentation exclusively for the Gilley. Learn more about his exhibition at the Gilley here.
Gary's works are inspired by nature, and much of his life’s work has happened in that special place where art and science meet. Gary was the Artist for Exhibits and the Curator of Natural History at the Maine State Museum for 28 years. His sculptures and paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including Chicago’s Field Museum. And he has been an Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park twice.  

Originally scheduled for May 28, this event has been rescheduled for June 8.
 

There is no fee to join us, but registration is required.

 

May 22 Online Workshop: Drawing and Sketching Birds with Barry van Dusen

May 22, 2021 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join award-winning wildlife artist Barry van Dusen to explore methods for drawing birds in both studio and field. He will discuss the value of keeping a field sketchbook, and discuss the the techniques, challenges and opportunities involved with drawing wild birds outdoors. This will be followed by a real-time, follow-along drawing demonstration, in which Barry shares insights on bird anatomy and structure, tips for drawing various parts of the bird, and a start-to-finish drawing of a Carolina Wren, offering a detailed sequence of steps.

This program is suitable for beginner artists and art appreciators. Fee: $35

To sign up, send an email to reservations@wendellgilleymuseum.org and include your name, address, and phone number.

Bird walks with Schoodic Institute's Seth Benz May 6, 13, 20, 27

May 6 - 27, 2021

Seth Benz, director of the Schoodic Bird Ecology Lab, will lead bird walks on Thursday mornings in May from the Wendell Gilley Museum. Group size is limited to 10 people and all ages are welcome.

Participants will meet at the Gilley at 7am, with coffee and pastry available along with a tour of the museum. The group will depart the museum promptly at 7:30am for a birding location on Mount Desert Island chosen that day by Seth. There is a $25 per person fee, and registration is required. Mask required and social distancing will be observed.

Dates are: May 6, May 13, May 20, and May 27. To sign up, send an email to reservations@wendellgilleymuseum.org and please include your name, email, telephone number, and the date of the Seth Benz Bird Walk you're interested in.

As director of Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program, Mr. Benz coordinates citizen science efforts to monitor bird migrations, pelagic seabird concentrations, and biodiversity and phenology observations in the Acadia Region. He was director of the Hog Island Audubon Camp and Education Center for more than nine years, and has worked as lead field interpreter for Acadia National Park.

 

Acadia Birding Festival

June 3 - 6, 2021

The Acadia Birding Festival is coming to the Wendell Gilley Museum this year. We’ll be hosting in-person talks and keynotes, a book signing, and offering a spot for in-person check-ins along with free admission to anyone who is signed up for the festival for its duration. For registration and more information including schedules, go to www.acadiabirdingfestival.com

Paul Haertel leads bird walk on World Migratory Bird Day on May 8

May 8, 2021 9:00 - 11:30 am

Join Paul Haertel at the Wendell Gilley Museum on World Migratory Bird Day for a walk to spot the birds to be seen in and around Southwest Harbor, Maine. Paul has a degree in forestry from Michigan Tech and is retired from a career with the National Park Service, where his last assignment was as superintendent of Acadia National Park. He is vice-president of the Gilley's board of directors. 
Limit 10 people. Fee: $10. To sign up, email us at reservations@wendellgilleymuseum.org and please include your name, email and phone number.

Spaces are limited.

Meet at the Gilley at 9 a.m.

 

Wildlife Artist van Dusen kicks off People-Nature-Art series

March 9, 2021 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Join us March 9 for the launch of a fantastic new monthly series that explores the connections between art and nature! First up is renowned wildlife artist Barry van Dusen. He's an internationally respected and award-winning wildlife artist who prefers to work in the field, even with difficult subjects such as wild birds. Over the years, he has filled countless sketchbooks with hundreds of drawings done on location. Birds, he says, were his gateway to a passion for nature, which he’s been able to combine with artistic talent to create a career that has taken him all over the world.

Little Big Year: Chasing Acadia's Birds with Rich MacDonald

January 26, 2021 7:00 - 8:00 pm

 

We are excited to welcome Bar Harbor naturalist and birding expert Rich MacDonald to the Gilley on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 7pm (livestreamed on Facebook) to talk about "Little Big Year: Chasing Acadia's Birds," his first book. A combination of travelogue, nature essays and autobiography, it chronicles a year in his birding life as he seeks and finds birds in Acadia National Park and the rest of Hancock County, Maine. There is no charge for this event which will stream live on our Facebook page HERE

 

 

Artist's Afternoon with the Shelburne Museum

January 13, 2021 1:00 - 2:00 pm

The Gilley's master carver, Steve Valleau, is the featured speaker for this special online event hosted by our friends at the Shelburne Museum. Join us for this exploration of the works of master carvers Wendell Gilley and Elmer Crowell, a discussion of Steve Valleau's own carving practices and current projects, and live audience Q&A. This is event is free but we ask that you register HERE.

 

 

Winter Carving Class

January 23 - April 3, 2021

Join us each week on Saturday in early 2021 to carve and paint your own blue-winged teal decoy, under the instruction of master carver Steve Valleau. Classes are online via Zoom and are offered at two times, 9am to 11am and from 1 to 3pm each Saturday from January 23 to April 3. The cost is $70 for museum members or $85 for non-members, and includes materials. Reserve your spot at reservations@wendellgilleymuseum.org. 

Alaskan artist Sara Wolman joins Gilley for People-Nature-Art on May 4

May 4, 2021 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Join us on Zoom for People-Nature-Art on May 4 at 7pm EST with Sara Wolman, an award-winning artist who works for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and is this year's featured artist for World Migratory Bird Day in the U.S. and Canada. Her art reflects the relationship she has established with the environment.

This event is free but reservations are required. Reserve your spot by emailing reservations@wendellgilleymuseum.org

 

Museum Carving Club-Online

November 6, 2020 - April 24, 2021

Our popular carving club is ongoing, and online, through the end of April 2021, every Friday from 2 to 4 pm via Zoom. This regular time to meet with other carvers of all skill levels, mentored by artist-in-residence Steve Valleau, is a members-only benefit and there is no charge to attend. Memberships begin at $35 per year. To learn more or to join us as a member, visit the membership page on the website HERE.
 

wooden bird carvings