award ribbons


bird perched on a branch

Kit Carving Classes end Sept. 13 for 2022

There are just 12 beginners' kit carving lessons with Steve Valleau left for this season before we switch to fall programming.

Classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays with our master carver, Steve Valleau, who has been sharing this art with students at the museum for 37 years. This 1.5-hour class comes with a kit that includes a bird blank and paints. Tools are available to borrow. Learn the basics of this classic American art form, and leave with something you create in our outdoor classroom. The last of these classes for this year is Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Students must be at least 11 years old; those 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $35 for non-members or $28 for members (a 20% discount off the regular price). To become a member, visit our membership page HERE.

Class size is limited to 4.

Maine Printmaker's work now on exhibit

Sherrie York

Aug. 23-Dec. 17

Sherrie York is a printmaker and a compulsive wanderer of landscapes. 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, by glazing multiple layers of transparent inks. She is especially interested in strong rhythms and patterns between a subject and its environment and pays close attention to the shapes around an object, as well as the object itself.

Her linocuts have been chosen for national and international exhibitions, including 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 corporate, private and museum collections, incluidng the Gilley's.

She is also a naturalist and educator, who works with Audubon.


Artist donates 100% of proceeds from sales to Gilley

David Speiser, whose stunning bird photographs are on exhibit at the Gilley through Aug. 20, is selling his works and donating all of the proceeds to the museum.

The images comprise a show called Birds in Focus: Maine and the Beauty of Birds. Mr. Speiser’s knowledge, talent and keen eye have resulted in works that capture moments of incredible intimacy in the lives of their avian subjects.

The images for sale are photographic prints on paper that have been face-mounted to polished sheets of acrylic. This produces a wonderful luminous effect, further enhancing the images.  

The larger prints, at 16x24, sell for $1,200 and the smaller ones which are 12x18, sell for $800.

For more information, please contact museum director Sean Charette at

Demo Days at Schoodic Institute

See how it’s done! Master carver Steve Valleau will be a special guest at the Schoodic Institute on Friday, June 17,  from 1-3pm, doing a hands-on bird carving demonstration outside the Rockefeller Welcome Center. Visit with Steve, and pick up a carving knife yourself. There is no charge to give it a try! Then visit the display of bird carvings from the Wendell Gilley Museum inside the Welcome Center. Steve has been the carver-in-residence at the Museum for 37 years.

We are open!

The museum building has been closed to the public while our HVAC was being upgraded and our new exhibits were being installed. Come see the result of all that work — and everything we've been working on all winter long.

We can't wait to see you. Beginning June 1, we’re open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10am to 4pm. We add Saturdays on a regular basis beginning June 23 from 10am to 4pm. At this time, we are requiring masks and limiting the number of people who can be inside the museum at any one time. Sign up to schedule your visit here:

Our Mask Policy

The Wendell Gilley Museum welcomes visitors of all ages and strives to create a safe and hospitable environment. At this time, we ask that everyone wear a mask while on museum property. We look forward to seeing you, and offer our thanks in advance for helping us create the safest possible experience for everyone. We will re-evaluate our mask policy as conditions in Hancock County evolve, always following the best practices recommended by experts.

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with us and Maine Audubon!

Our very own master carver, Steve Valleau, is celebrating World Migratory Bird Day this Saturday, May 14, at Maine Audubon's Fields Pond Center where he'll be doing bird carving demos and talking about carving birds and watching them in Maine. Steve will be carving from 11am-2pm, but the fun starts at the Center at 7:30. All activities are free and no registration is required. Visit their website for more information:

Acadia Birding Festival returns to the Gilley for 2022!

The Gilley is pleased to sponsor the Acadia Birding Festival again in 2022, and to serve as a location for daily talks and gatherings. The festival is June 1-5 and registration opens April 2 online. Visit the festival's website at for more information and to register. The Acadia Birding Festival is Maine’s oldest and largest birding fest, and offers a huge slate of trips on and around Mount Desert Island, from hikes around the national park to paddling and island excursions by boat, all combined with rock-star keynote speakers.


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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