benefit event

Past Events

Fantastical Felted Fish Class

December 3, 2022 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

December 3, 2022 1:00 - 4:00 pm


A second class has been added! The morning class is full but there are spots available in the afternoon (1-4pm class) .

Make a Fantastical Felted Fish with Cristy Benson at the Wendell Gilley Museum on Saturday, Dec. 3. There are two sessions: 9am-Noon and 1-4pm. All materials provided. $15 for non-members and $12 for members.

An Evening with Printmaker Sherrie York

September 30, 2022 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Printmaker Sherrie York, the artist behind Moments & Reflections, the exhibit currently in the Gilley’s Special Exhibit Room, will be with us in person at the museum on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7pm to share insights, talk about her artistic process, and share stories from her artist’s journey. Join us before the presentation for a reception honoring Sherrie and her work from 5:30 to 6:45pm.

This talk is free and open to all, but registration is required. It will be livecast simultaneously. When you sign up, please indicated whether you will be attending the presentation in person or online, and if you'll be attending the reception in person.

In her linocuts, she strives to represent the interactions of living things, both as a moment in time and as a reflection of the wider experience of life on earth.

As a printmaker she has pushed the linocut medium to be uncharacteristically realistic, treating the application of color as a watercolorist might, with special interest given to strong rhythms and patterns between a subject and its environment.

Her linocuts have been chosen for national and international exhibitions, including the multiples times for the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum’s prestigious Birds in Art, and the Society of Animal Artists’ Art & the Animal. Her work is also collected in numerous museum, corporate and private collections.

She is also a naturalist and educator, who works with the Acadia Birding Festival and Maine Audubon.

People-Nature-Art with painter Michael Boardman Oct. 11

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

Michael Boardman is a master naturalist and a masterful artist who finds inspiration in wild places. “Where the wild things are – that’s what gets my creative spark going,” he says, “places that are pristine enough to support communities of life that don’t walk around on two legs. Places where you can feel humbled and unimportant.”

He will bring his passion, vision, and talent to the Gilley as the museum’s October People-Nature-Art presenter, on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 7pm. This program will be in person, and livecast simultaneously. There is no fee to attend, but registration is required. Please indicate when you sign up whether you will attend in person or online.

For more than 20 years he has field-sketched, drawn and painted animals from Baxter State Park to Eastern Africa, and what he calls “fortunate alignments” have allowed him to connect his artwork with science and conservation. He says the combination of art and science is essential to his work. His training as a Maine Master Naturalist gives him insight into the interconnected nature of wildlife and landscape, and this comes through in his work. Michael works mostly in watercolor in the field, painting when time permits or field sketching when not.

He was the Visiting Artist at Baxter State Park in 2010; the Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park in 2012; in Glacier Bay National Park in the summer of 2015 for the Voices of the Wilderness residency; and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 2019.

People-Nature-Art with Fine Art Photographer Cheryle St. Onge

September 20, 2022 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Cheryle St. Onge is a fine art photographer whose work is deeply connected to the natural world, with a focus on the crossover of art and science, and photography's ability to distill our sense of time and curiosity. She makes pictures predominantly with an 8 x 10 view camera and considers her work a collaborative process. She has been named one of the ‘Top 50 Photographers’ in the country by Time Magazine.

She joins the Gilley online as the September People-Nature-Art presenter on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7pm.

Her photographs are in many private and public collections, including the University of New Mexico Art Museum, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Cassilhaus Collection, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Her photographs have also been widely exhibited, most notably at London’s National Portrait Gallery, Princeton University, Griffin Museum, University of Rhode Island, Massachusetts College of Art, Rick Wester Fine Arts, and with the American Institute of Architects traveling exhibition. She has received numerous awards and residences, among them a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Critical Mass Finalist Exhibition Award, Polaroid Materials Artist Support Grant, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate Fellowship.

She divides her time between Durham, New Hampshire, and coastal Maine. 

Painting classes with Barry van Dusen

September 24 - 25, 2022

Award-winning artist Barry van Dusen joins us in person for a special two-day painting workshop Sept. 24-25. 

Combining a lifelong interest in nature with a formal art education, Barry has developed a style that acknowledges the importance of science and biology while maintaining the primacy of artistic expression. His paintings have been described as a unique blend of impressionism and realism, and his exhibition paintings always arise from direct personal experience. Built upon a foundation of fieldwork and strong draftsmanship, they are carefully planned but freely executed in a direct and painterly manner. 

The first day of this workshop happens at the Gilley Museum from 9am to 3pm with an hour for lunch; it will be an intensive teaching day. The second day, students will move outside to paint live animal subjects at the Acadia Wildlife Center from 1 to 4:30 p.m.; students will have more time this day to work independently, with tips and assistance from Barry.

Cost is $100 for this two-class session for non-members, and $80 for museum members. Lunch is not included. If you want to sign up for one day only, please contact Director of Engagement Melinda Rice-Schoon directly at

Mr. van Dusen is an internationally respected wildlife artist whose career has taken him all over the world. His work is frequently chosen for Birds in Art, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum's prestigious annual juried art show; in 2014 he was chosen by that museum as a Master Wildlife Artist. He is a full member of London's Society of Wildlife Artists, and his work is regularly exhibited worldwide. His articles and paintings have been featured in Bird Watcher's Digest, Birding, and Yankee magazines, and he has illustrated a variety of natural history books and pocket guides in association with the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

He 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.

In 2020 he was one of two artists to provide illustrations for the book "Birds of Maine," the first comprehensive overview of Maine’s avian inhabitants in more than seven decades. For another book published in 2020, "Finding Sanctuary: An Artist Explores the Nature of Mass Audubon," he provided all the text as well as the illustrations, based on his visits to all 60 Mass Audubon sites over more than four years.


Penobscot Artist Explores 'Sense of Place'

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

Artist James Eric Francis, Sr. explores an indigenous sense of place in the landscape, along with art that expresses that sense of place, in a presentation at the Wendell Gilley Museum on Friday, Aug. 12, at 7p.m.  This program is free but registration is required. When you sign up, please indicate whether you will attend in person or online.  

Mr. Francis is a multi-media artist, painter, graphic artist, photographer and filmmaker. He is also a researcher, and serves as the Penobscot Nation’s tribal historian. He says that Penobscot culture and an indigenous perspective on landscape and nature infuses all of his artwork.

Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Museum and Archives commissioned him and two other indigenous artists to create contemporary art for its permanent museum collection in an exhibit called “American Indians and Conservation,” which opens this year at the Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

The piece he created in acrylic on canvas commemorates the reestablishment of Atlantic salmon in the Penobscot River watershed. “Each dot that I painted represents one salmon that was able to go into the Penobscot watershed,” he says. The piece also includes a fishing spear as a cultural connection between the salmon and the Penobscot.

Mr. Francis grew up on Indian Island, the reservation of the Penobscot Nation near Old Town, and studied history at the University of Maine, then earned a Master of Fine Arts from UMaine in Intermedia Fine Arts.

Master Carver Floyd Scholz talks bird carving with us

August 16, 2022 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Master Carver Floyd Scholz is the Wendell Gilley Museum’s People-Nature-Art speaker for August. He will be at the museum Tuesday, Aug.16 at 7pm to share his journey from NCAA decathlon champion, to working as a logger, to being featured in magazines as diverse as Smithsonian Studies in American Art and People Magazine, the latter of which dubbed him “one of the world’s true Renaissance men.” This talk will happen in person, and be live cast simultaneously; registration is required. People-Nature-Art is the Gilley’s monthly speaker series that explores the space where art and nature interact.

The following day, Wednesday, Aug. 17, he will give a four-hour demonstration of his much-lauded airbrush painting technique beginning at 10am. People are welcome to attend all or part of this demonstration, but registration is required.

There is no fee for either of these events.

Much like Wendell Gilley himself, Mr. Scholz began carving as a hobby while making a living doing something else. "Since 1968 I've had the pleasure of pursuing what has become my life-long passion of transformation—taking a block of wood, and with careful planning and carving, transforming it into a beautiful bird,” he says. Mr. Scholz “quit his day job” and became a full-time carver in 1983.

He is a five-time U.S. National Champion bird carver, and won the World Master’s Best in Show Championship in 2005, and his work has been chosen for the international juried art show Birds in Art at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum. In 2014 he was named a Living Legend by the prestigious Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art.

Master Carver Offers 4-hour Painting Demo

August 17, 2022 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Master Carver Floyd Scholz gives a four-hour demo of his airbrush painting technique at the Gilley on Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 10am to 2pm.

"The art of bird carving is not 'wooden taxidermy,'" Mr. Scholz says. "Bird carving is sculpture in its highest and purest sense."

Mr. Scholz replicates a dazzling array of feather colors, patterns and plumage variation as part of his work. From the cryptic patterning found throughout the body of a great horned owl, to the brilliant blue of a male bluebird, he says bird artists are faced with the daunting challenge of replicating this on the hard surface of the carved, wooden bird.

He invites you to challenge yourself to learn more about this "most important aspect of the art form by joining me for an in-depth demonstration of dynamic color theory, and procedure including airbrush demonstrations."

The demo will include the importance of surface preparation and proper color application to bring forth the beauty and subtlety of a bird`s plumage. All aspects of the art form including design, carving, texturing and most importantly the painting process will be covered in great detail. Special emphasis will be placed upon the versatile application and magic of airbrushing.

Questions welcome.

No fee, but registration is required. You may attend all or part of this demo. 

Fun with Feathers

Have Fun with Feathers in person at the Wendell Gilley Museum on June 23 in a special hands-on workshop. 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. Children younger than 7 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Plein Air Painting Aug. 26

June 24, 2022 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

July 22, 2022 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

August 26, 2022 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join the Wendell Gilley Museum and artist Erika Rosso for a watercolor class outdoors.

This class is suitable for beginner to intermediate painters but does require curiosity and a willingness to experiment! Erika has a positive and experimental teaching style that builds confidence in budding artists, making it joyous to learn and create. This is a class for adults but also accepts mature students aged 12 and older. Registration is required and space is limited.

Flute-making Workshop with Hawk Henries June 25

June 25, 2022 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

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 25. 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.


Family Nature Journaling

June 29, 2022 9:00 - 11:00 am

Bring a little bit of the outdoors indoors with this Nature Journaling Workshop on Wednesday, June 29, from 9 to 11am taught by artist and nature-lover Erika Rosso. Gather tips and techniques for capturing your memorable moments. All materials supplied. This is a terrific family activity; children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required and class size is limited.

Birds and Books Craft Activity with the Southwest Harbor Public Library

June 29, 2022 1:00 - 2:00 pm

July 27, 2022 1:00 - 2:00 pm

We’re teaming up with the Southwest Harbor Public Library on July 27 at 1pm for a special Birds and Books at the library! Learn about feathers and make some Loon art.  Children younger than 7 must be accompanied by an adult.

Workshop size is limited and registration required, but since this event is happening at the library, please sign up directly with them HERE


Feather Art with Erika Rosso

June 10, 2022 1:30 - 3:30 pm

July 6, 2022 1:30 - 3:30 pm

August 5, 2022 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Join us to make art with feathers. Feathers can be a paintbrush or be painted, they can be the subject of the media for your special art. We provide the feathers, paint, yarn, glue and art paper. You bring your creativity. Art teacher Erika Rosso joins us for this special session to help your creativity soar. Registration required. Class size limited. All ages welcome. This is a terrific family activity. We will work in our outdoor classroom at the Gilley. 

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.

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

wooden bird carvings