award ribbons


bird perched on a branch

New speaker series explores connections between Art & Nature

The Gilley is launching a monthly series to bring painters, 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. 

This is our passion – using art of all kinds to help people connect with nature in some way. So we’ve put together a diverse group of really interesting and creative people to share how they do it.


The Gilley Turns 40!

Back on July 12, 1981, the Wendell Gilley Museum opened its doors to the public for the very first time, with a celebration that included Wendell and his wife Addie, who was responsible for saving most of the carvings that make up the core of the museum's collection of Wendell's work. Ever since then, we've worked to preserve and promote Wendell's legacy, share and teach the skills he elevated to an art form, and help people connect to nature through art.

Throughout this year we'll celebrating with special events. We hope you'll join us.

Gilley's master carver is featured speaker for Shelburne Museum


The Gilley's own master carver, Steve Valleau, is the featured artist for the Shelburne Museum's first Artist's Afternoon online event for 2021!

Join us for this exploration of the works of master carvers Elmer Crowell and Wendell Gilley, a discussion of Steve's own carving practices and current projects, and live audience Q&A on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 at 1pm. The event will be live online. It's free, but we do ask that you register with the Shelburne HERE.

If you have questions, please contact Melinda Rice-Schoon at

Visit our online Activity Library


Visit our Learn & Do page for lots of fun and inspiring online art projects, created by local artists. You'll find videos about using clay, collage and collotype printmaking to create your own birds, as well as a download-able project to make mythological bird gods and goddesses. And there's a video by Ashley Bryan featuring his book "Beautiful Blackbird." We'll be adding more videos and projects during the fall and winter, so check back often.



Exhibit highlights endangered birds


A fascinating exhibit at the Wendell Gilley Museum highlights  endangered, threatened and extinct bird species from Maine, using carvings by Wendell Gilley, Harold Haertel and Edwin Hawkes, along with full-size prints from John James Audubon’s "Birds of America.”  

Handpicked by Tammy Packie, the museum’s longtime visitor services manager, the display combines art with thoughtfully researched text to show the effect of human-avian interaction in Maine.  

Share your creations!


A lot of art has been created by visitors to the Gilley this year. And while we cannot host our usual Community Art Show, we're still featuring the creations that people have made with us this year. We invite anyone who's created something -- a print, bee house, painting or drawing, a pinwheel, or a carving to be part of the show. We're hosting an in-person show and an online one. So bring or send your creation to us by Nov. 17; if you can't send the artwork itself, send us a photo for the online gallery. Send photos to The show itself kicks off Saturday, Nov. 21, the first of three Saturdays we'll be open in November and December. The show continues during our open hour, every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 4pm, as well as on Saturday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 19.

Gilley launches Digital Scrapbook


The Gilley is excited to announce the creation of a Digital Scrapbook in honor of our artist-in-residence, Steve Valleau. Steve has been with the museum for more than 35 years, and a lot of people have taken classes with him over the years. Were you one of them? Did you take a class with him? Carve a bird you still have? Gained an insight or had some fun? We want to know about it, and we've created a special page on our website just for that purpose. Submit you memories, observations, or photos to the new page on our website HERE.


And the winner is...

...the Greater Yellowlegs!


This winsom and distinctive bird is a type of sandpiper and will star in this autumn's carving classes, which run weekly Oct. 17 to Dec. 12.

This Greater Yellowlegs was created by Wendell Gilley in 1972 for his wife Addie Gilley.



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Current newsletter

January 2020


Check out some of our past newsletters:
November 2019
October 2019 - Fall Fun
August 2019
June 2019 - People, Nature, Art and Parties
Winter 2017
Fall 2016
Summer 2016
Summer 2012
October 2011
September 2011
July 2011
May 2011

wooden bird carvings