award ribbons


bird perched on a branch

Art, Nature and Birds online

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Below you will find links to interesting online material and activities about art, birds, and nature. In the coming days, we will be adding more links here and also to our Facebook page and you'll also find resources local to MDI that may be helpful during this time. Here are a few key links below - more to come, and many more on our FB page...

All About Feathers - from The Cornell Lab. Fun interactive bird exploration! 

The Bird Academy - from The Cornell Lab. TONS of great bird resources. 

Audubon for Kids - lots of fun activities to help young ornithologists learn

Audubon Joy of Birds - great photos, videos, and other resources for all ages

and, speaking of Audubon...

Virtual Exhibit of Audubon Prints - Hand-colored engravings from Audubon's "Birds in America" portfolio, in a beautiful setting.

And, our local friends...

ART CLASSES ONLINE - A wonderful and varied collection of hands-on online classes from SFOA (Summer Festival for the Arts). Check it out - you WILL learn something cool. 

Schoodic Art for All - links to online classes & other artistic resources from our fabulous Schoodic friends

The museum is also working on some art projects to share with you online - check back here in the NEWS section this weekend for a fun Collage Project based on the work of noted author Ashely Bryan.  

Image by MDI artist Carol Shutt

Public Programs for March canceled

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Carving Class, Carving Club, and other public programs are canceled through the end of March. This is to keep everyone safe and to ensure we are doing our part to make this as short as possible! We will re-evaluate in in late March and will keep you posted along the way.

Covid-19 - CDC Information and Resources

Friday, March 13, 2020

The safey of our members and community is very important to us! Stay safe and help keep others safe. Please follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maine CDC websites for up-to-date information and recommendations. 

The Gilley is Hiring!

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Museum is currently hiring three part-time positions:

Communications & Admin Assistant - P/T permanent

Administrative/Development Assistant - P/T seasonal (summer)

Visitor Associate - P/T seasonal (summer)

See full job descriptions by clicking on the links above, and contact the museum at for more information. 

From the Collection - Gilley's First Painting

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

As part of our work to catalog our museum collection, we are coming across some fun and fascinating finds. 

A recent fun find is this painting of Southwest Harbor by Wendell Gilley himself.  Inscribed on the back: "For Leonard. My first attempt, Dad".

See a larger image in our facebook post on the painting. 

A Flight of Swallows 2020 - Save the Date!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A Flight of Swallows wine-tasting benefit will be held Thursday, July 30. Our annual wine-tasting benefit is a little earlier this year - mark your calendars! We'll return to the charming Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor for outstanding wines (over 50 to try), great food and sparkling conversation. Keep an eye on our website and facebook page for all the details - including sponsorship opportunities - coming soon. 

Blackbirds take flight

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Our winter/spring 10-week carving class has taken flight, with fourteen talented carvers tackling the Red-winged Blackbird under the guidance of our Master Carver Steven Valleau. On the first class, participants receive a life-size blank (rough bird shape) in basswood, a pattern, and a knife. Over the course of the class, carvers will not only shape and add details, but also create lifelike feet and glass eyes, paint the bird, and make a base (Wendell Gilley was a master at picking the right piece of driftwood for each bird) and mount their creation.

All carvers' work (along with art by local students and other members) can be seen at our May 17 Open House & Carving Show. It's always an impressive display of talent. We're excited that in this current class, we have three folks who have never carved with the Gilley before!  

From the Collection - Folding Decoy

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Check out this cool folding carving, which nicely highlights Wendell Gilley's skills. You can see from the image how the piece unfolds to store the head & beak - which in the case of a real working decoy, would be extremely useful for transport. In true Gilley style, this piece is well designed, with the pieces calibrated to move and fit perfectly, and the simple effective hardware.

See more photos of this unique piece (apparently, Gilley only made two of these) here


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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