benefit event

Upcoming Events

Writing Workshop-Rescheduled for June 25

June 25, 2022 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

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Rescheduled for June 25: This workshop is designed to help you unlock your creativity and leave with some works in progress, and to have some fun along the way. Get inspired by pieces from the museum's permanent collection and current exhibitions, with writer and artist Annaliese Jakimides. Her prose and poetry have been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies; broadcast on NPR and Maine Public; and included in art venues such as ArtWord at the Portland Museum of Art. She will provide some background about this type of writing ekphrastic writing plus techniques, and prompts to get you going. But ultimately you choose your path.

Flute-making Workshop with Hawk Henries

June 29, 2022 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

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Learn from a master of the Eastern Woodland Flute, Hawk Henries, and make your own flute from bamboo using only hand tools – carving knives, files, sandpaper and fire in this all day workshop on June 29. All tools and materials will be  provided. The workshop will be tailored to each participant’s level of experience, and beginners are welcome. Hawk will teach in a relaxed setting, allowing everyone to ask questions and talk about their experience as they learn the art of flute-making.

Space is limited and registration is required.

Fee: $65 per person

Past Events

Birds of Spring: Anticipation & Appreciation

April 5, 2022 8:30 - 11:30 am

April 12, 2022 8:30 - 11:30 am

April 26, 2022 8:30 - 11:30 am

May 3, 2022 8:30 - 11:30 am

The seasonal shift of birds from wintering areas to summer breeding territories is well underway during the month of April.  This mini-course is offered as a sequential program combining classroom presentations with a field excursion each week.  April, at our latitude, is a month of anticipation for returning birds. It is also a time of exodus for species that have spent their winter with us.  By early May some bird species have begun nesting, others are establishing territories, and still others are migrating through our neighborhoods.  We’ll immerse ourselves in the bird world for 3 hours each week using slides, videos, museum specimens, select readings and field observations.  While each week is designed to build upon the previous week’s experience, course content will be accessible enough that each week alone will be a learning experience.  Join the flock, get in on the joy of anticipating and appreciating Acadia’s birdlife.

ONLINE: Watercolor Techniques for the Nature Artist with Barry van Dusen

April 9, 2022 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Gather up some watercolor paper, paints and brushes (whatever you have on hand), and explore the "Vocabulary of Watercolor" in this online workshop with award-winning nature artist Barry van Dusen. You’ll learn how, with a combination of materials and techniques, you can add variety, interest and sparkle to your watercolor paintings.

You'll cover the basics of wash, glazing and dry-brush (along with some other useful but less common techniques) and explore some color mixtures that are especially useful for painting nature subjects. Using step-by-step examples and a simple demonstration, Barry will help you demystify the wash sequence by applying the concepts of shadow pattern and local color.  And, of course, you'll have fun.

Workshop: Build a Bee House, April 18, In-person

April 18, 2022 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

April 18, 2022 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Build a bee house for non-stinging Mason bees and leaf-cutter bees in this Spring Break workshop. In these bee houses, the cavities are 5-inch-deep drilled holes — deep enough, we hope, to be safe from a woodpecker tongue. This is a great family project. Two sessions available: 10am to Noon or 1:30 to 3:30pm. Space is limited. This is an in-person event led by the Gilley's carver-in-residence, Steve Valleau.

People-Nature-Art with Kristen Lindquist, Online

April 12, 2022 7:00 - 8:30 pm

The Gilley's signature monthly speaker series continues in April—National Poetry Month—with naturalist and poet Kristen Lindquist. People-Nature-Art brings creative types of all kinds to the Gilley to explore the impact of nature on their art and creativity.

Lindquist is a Pushcart-nominated poet and naturalist living in Camden. She has published two full-length collections of poetry: Transportation, which was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award, and Tourists in the Known World. Garrison Keillor has shared three of her poems on “The Writer’s Almanac.” An avid birder, Lindquist guides for the Acadia Birding Festival and wrote a natural history column for years for her local paper. She currently maintains a daily haiku blog and occasionally teaches haiku workshops.

Ink Floating: A Collaboration of Poetry & Painting

April 29, 2022 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Join Swan's Island neighbors, painter Gary Hoyle and poet Gary Rainford, as they share a new collaborative project of five new paintings and poems, each artist inspired by the other's work.

This is a free online program. Registration is required.

Gary Hoyle’s sculptures and painting have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States, as well as at the Amori Prefecture Museum in Japan. His fanciful dinosaur illustrations toured the United States in "The Dinosaur Show" sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. In 2008 he was Artist in Residence at the Climate Change Institute where he developed a cartoon series on global warming.

Gary Rainford is the author of two poetry collections, Salty Liquor and Liner Notes. His suite of poems, We Are Here, was an honorable mention selected by Betsy Sholl for The Gabriel Zimpritch Memorial Poetry Prize.  His poems, he says, are shaped by tides, saltwater, and music.

People-Nature-Art with Jonathan Meiburg

May 10, 2022 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Our signature monthly series continues in May with Jonathan Meiburg, journalist, musician, and author of "A Most Remarkable Creature," an enthralling look at the caracara, a clever, social South American bird of prey that puzzled Charles Darwin. The book twines natural history and human history, with insights and lessons that go far beyond the subject birds.

This is a free online program. Registration is required.

People-Nature-Art brings creative types of all kinds to the Gilley to explore the impact of nature on their art and creativity.

Beautiful Blackbird with Island Readers & Writers

May 14, 2022 9:30 - 11:30 am

The Gilley is honored to be teaming up with Island Readers & Writers to remember the late Ashley Bryan with an interactive story time and art collage activity. Join us at the Gilley on Saturday, May 14 at 9:30am. Lisa Herrington, IRW's Program Assistant, will offer a speical story time featuring Ashley's Beautiful Blackbird followed by Erika Rosso leading a fun collage art activity reminescent of Ashley's iconic work. Participants will make their own beautiful birds to take home.

This program is free and recommned for children older than 4 and their adults. Registration is required online through IRW's website HERE ‚Äč

Beautiful Blackbird is a picture book adaptation of a tale from the Ila-speaking people of Zambia that celebrates community and individuality. Long ago, the many colorful birds of the world had no markings on their beaks or feathers—until they appeal to Blackbird, the most beautiful bird of all.

Ashely, who passed away earlier this year, was an acclaimed author, painter, printmaker, illustrator, puppet maker and storyteller whose career spanned more than six decades. He was a special friend of both IRW and the Gilley.  

Warbler Walk-May 18

May 11, 2022 7:00 - 10:00 am

May 18, 2022 7:00 - 10:00 am

May is prime time to spot warblers on Mount Desert Island. Join the Gilley on two warbler walks led by Rich MacDonald, a field biologist, guide, birder, naturalist, and writer. His birding-related travels have taken him all over the world, including Antarctica, but he calls Mount Desert Island home and birds here year-round. Meet at the Gilley. Cost is $7 per person, per walk.

Workshop: Build A Birdhouse

May 20, 2022 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Join naturalist Rich MacDonald at the Wendell Gilley Museum to build a birdhouse and learn about the birds who will live there in this two-hour workshop. Learn about the life history and ecology of 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.  

Class size limited to 10.

Materials provided and you take home your birdhouse that day!

Fee: $35 per person

People-Nature-Art with novelists Kristen Britain & Julie Czerneda, March 22, Online

March 22, 2022 7:00 - 8:30 pm

A passion for the natural world resonates through the fictional landscapes created by fantasy author Kristen Britain and science fiction author Julie Czerneda, and that passion has even influenced the makeup of those worlds. Join these longtime friends online via Zoom with the Gilley on Tuesday, March 22 at 7pm, as they discuss how their own connection to nature has influenced their novels and their writing lives. Kristen is a former U.S. National Park ranger and Julie is a Canadian biologist who started out writing nonfiction. There is no charge, but registration is required. A Zoom link will be sent after you register.

GIS on the Wing: Mapping the Birds of ANP & MDI

March 11, 2022 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Gordon Longsworth and Michael Good have been collaborating for years with the Geographic Information System (GIS) laboratory at College of the Atlantic to create maps and field guides that connect bird data to a map, integrating location with descriptive information like habitat or tree cover. This helps scientists to better understand patterns, relationships and geographic context, and birdwatchers to find specific species.

Join us for a free online event on Friday, March 11 at 7pm as Mr. Longsworth and Mr. Good join us to share the results of this years-long project and break down the data for us. There is no charge to attend but registration is required. You will receive a Zoom link after you register.

People-Nature-Art with Chris Maynard, Feb. 22, Online

February 22, 2022 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Join Chris Maynard of Featherfolio online on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7pm for February’s People-Nature-Art, the Wendell Gilley Museum’s signature monthly series that explores the connection between nature and art.

Mr. Maynard carves feathers into intricate art pieces. Pairing his artistic sense and scientific knowledge, he uses surgical tools to sculpt feathers while striving to respect their natural form. His message is one of beauty and appreciation of life. In grand installations, and in shadowboxes, he positions them so their shapes are enhanced as they cast shadows.

Unlike a painter’s palette, the choice of colors in feathers is quite limited. Mr. Maynard mostly keeps the natural colors and patterns of each feather. He gets his feathers from aviaries and all are legal to possess.

He believes feathers can represent flight, transformation and a bridge between our present lives and dreams.

Mr. Maynard’s work is in museums and private collections in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia and has been featured in print and online around the world.

Fun with Feathers Family Program

February 19, 2022 2:00 - 3:30 pm

Have ‘Fun with Feathers’ in person at the Wendell Gilley Museum on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. in a special hands-on family program. Draw feathers. Use a magnifying glass to see them up close. Learn about their structure and function. Use a feather to draw or paint your own work of art.

Workshop size is limited and masks are required. $5 per person. Children younger than 7 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required. Sign up at

People-Nature-Art with Wayne Robbins

January 11, 2022 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Woodcarver and naturalist Wayne Robbins seeks to share his passion for the sea and to inspire faithful stewardship of the Earth’s fragile ecosystem through his art.

He joins the Gilley as the first People-Nature-Art presenter of 2022 on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 7pm via Zoom.

He says that the sea’s breathtaking beauty and its infinite varieties of flora and fauna are constant reminders that we must respect and help sustain the lifeblood of our planet. 

Raised on the coast of Maine, he was inspired as a youth to capture the essence of nature in wood. His appreciation of the innate beauty of wood helps him design pieces that maximize the beauty and grace of both the medium and the subject. He chooses from a variety of native and exotic woods. By selecting a wood that complements his subject, a synergy results that informs and guides his creative process. Then he uses various combinations of oils and waxes to give the sculpture an “almost wet” look.  Each sculpture is unique and identified for its species, numbered, dated and signed by the artist.  His work is in private and public collections worldwide.


wooden bird carvings