Machias Arts group launches Love Locks public art project
MACHIAS, Maine — The newly formed Machias Arts Council is hosting its first public art event in November at Bad Little Falls Park. The park fence bordering the waterfall will become a Love Locks display, patterned after similar fences around the world. Those wishing to install a lock may visit the fence at any time but a special “locking” will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 27.
The group explained that people are urged to come to the fence with a padlock of any shape, size or color, and lock it onto the fence in honor of their love for someone. A couple can mark their initials on the locks, or a name of the beloved friend or relative, or even the name of a special pet. The locks, once clicked in place, then remain as a permanent display of love and caring. There will be a special fence post to drop the keys in, sealing the deal. A note of caution, however: use only the designated fence. Any locks placed on the bridge over the falls will be cut off and removed.
The Love Locks project is the first of many being planned by the MAC, which has the full approval of the Town of Machias. “We are blessed with so many unique and historic public spaces, from the parks to the streets to the building facings,” Town Manager Bill Kitchen said. “So many canvases to work with, and opportunities to increase personal and community engagement. We’re thrilled to support the council every way we can.”
A diverse group of artists, writers, and other creatives have been meeting to plan winter events such as campfire readings and other spoken word events, including poetry slams and local authors’ nights. In the spring, the group’s Flower Power Team hopes to plant flowers in many locations around town, and with the help of a grant, purchase and place Chatty Benches around downtown to encourage people to stop and visit. Also in the spring, MAC plans to paint many of the town’s crosswalks with bright symbols on a traditional white base, such as bulldogs in front of the Machias schools, as well as anchors, lobsters, ships’ wheels and other designs in places to be determined.
Summer projects next year will make sure that children are involved with sidewalk chalk painting contests and window painting displays. Next fall, MAC will host a community-wide tulip sale. “We are hoping businesses and community members will buy the tulips, plant them and then, when they bloom in the spring, the town will be a rainbow of flowers from one end to the other,” said MAC member Sharon Mack. Mack said there are several large projects planned for next spring and summer that will rely on obtaining grant funding to launch.
Loretta McClellan, a Machias member of MAC, said “As a writer-artist, ‘Creativity is Life’ is not just my personal tagline, but the primary lens through which I view the world. How overjoyed I am that the Machias Arts Council has emerged to provide inspiring, creative outlets to connect and enrich the region,. and beyond.”
Currently, MAC is looking for available space for future art shows and a Makers’ Space where workshops and classes could be held.
New members are welcome to share their ideas and skills and do not have to be artists. MAC is looking for craftspeople, artisans and other creatives that wish to see the arts become a focus in Machias. The group hopes to focus on a wide range of areas including visual arts, film, landscaping and beautification, community theater, and other projects. MAC has a
Facebook page where messages may be left by anyone interested in participating. Local artists may also have their work promoted on the Facebook page.
The next meeting of MAC is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, at the Machias Chamber of Commerce train station on US Route 1 in Machias. All are welcome to attend. For more information, call 207.812.2320.