Mobius magic at Miles: Last Thursday afternoon, Dec. 19, I had the pleasure of spending time in the art studio downstairs at River Arts in Damariscotta talking with and watching the artists in the Mobius Inc. Creative Expressions program. They were working on Christmas projects – ornaments, jewelry, drawings – but had recently completed artwork that will be shown in the upcoming exhibit titled “Art from the Heart” in the hall gallery at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta. The show will open Saturday, Jan. 4 and run through Feb. 7.
I learned about the group’s Miles show – its first ever – at Hannaford Supermarket in Damariscotta (a good place to catch up with people, I have found), when I ran into Eleanor Busby, who is in charge of quality control at Mobius. Busby was correct when she thought I would be very interested in the show and in visiting with the artists.
Also present at the Thursday studio time was Mobius art teacher Gina Hoffses, who was busy much of the time working alongside one of the artists, Danielle Stevenson, while she was making wet-felted Christmas ornaments.
I caught up with Hoffses by email to ask her a few questions about the upcoming show and her thoughts on working with these motivated artists. She noted that Busby was “instrumental in connecting with the Miles Memorial Hospital League Art Committee and bringing about this opportunity for Mobius Creative Expressions art students.”
In addition to Stevenson, the list of Mobius artists participating in the show is as follows: Nate Allen, Matt Braugh, Christiana Enders, Jessica Garren, Evan Horne, Glenn James, Vicki L’Heureux, Amrita Plante, Angela Reed, Heather Sprague, Ken Sproul, Michael Turner, Gladys Wall, Lester Warman, Weston Wotton, and Marlene York.
The mediums used in the exhibit are acrylics, watercolors, glitter paint, watercolor pencils, mixed media, art markers, and wax pastels.
“There are many rewarding aspects of exploring art and crafts with these individuals,” said Hoffses, who has been teaching art and crafts at Mobius since 2011. “I love seeing them enjoy what they are working on and their enthusiasm even when working with a medium they have never tried before. It is wonderful to see their sense of pride in their finished work.
“When a person who has been left out of an activity because of physical and/or developmental challenges is given proper support, it is so rewarding to see them succeed on a project!
“I love the students’ appreciation for being given the opportunity to create art, and nothing touches my heart more than when a student tells me, ‘I didn’t think I could be an artist, but I am an artist now!’”
Hoffses said the Mobius artists are “thrilled” to have their own show at Miles. “Many utilize the services there and are excited at the thought of having their artwork on the walls they often pass by,” she said. “Many of the students have expressed a lot of gratitude for being included in this community. I am also appreciative of the Miles Memorial Hospital League Art Committee for allowing us this fantastic opportunity.”
For her part, Damariscotta artist Julie Babb, who was one of the jurors for the Miles hall gallery show, said that the pieces she juried for the “Art from the Heart” show “were exceptional – vibrant and enthusiastic. … We just felt the bright, exuberant colors would brighten the hospital walls in January.”
Busby sent me a few quotes from the artists that wonderfully describe their experience:
“It makes me happy to make pretty things.” – Marlene York
“Sometimes when I am making art, I forget there are things I can’t do.” – Christiana Enders
“Art is kinda fun. We laugh all the time.” – Matt Braugh
LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus is located at 35 Miles St. in Damariscotta.
(Christine LaPado-Breglia is an award-winning journalist who has written about the arts in both California and Maine. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write her a letter in care of The Lincoln County News, P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543.)