Haystack Mountain School of Crafts

Haystack's exhibition series is an outgrowth of the school ’s commitment to supporting the dynamic work being done by makers of contemporary craft and to the creative process implicit in that. These exhibitions are an incredible resource for the community—featuring work by internationally distinguished makers—and also provide an opportunity to learn about these makers’ creative process as well. The Center for Community Programs is open on Wednesday and Friday-Sunday from 1:00–5:00 p.m. throughout the summer season, with informal receptions held every other Sunday afternoon. From time to time, we also schedule visits by appointment. These events, free and open to the public, attract a cross section of island residents and summer visitors, as well as our workshop participants.

Spring 2014

Mentor Amnne-Claude Cotty works with a student in her Oceanville studio.

Annual Haystack Mentor Program Exhibition

An exhibition of the students work from this yea'r annual Mentor Program will be held at Haystack's Center for Community Programs in Deer Isle village on Sunday April 13, 2014 from 3 - 5pm. Free and open to the public.

Each winter students work with area artist mentors in an individualized and intensive setting. This year, twenty-six students from three area high schools – Deer Isle-Stonington, George Stevens Academy, and the Bucksport High School – are participating.
Support for the Mentor Program comes from these funds of these funds of Haystack's Program Endowment: the Ann and Chuck Holland Fund, the Belvedere Fund, and the Betsy Rowland Fund.



Summer 2013

Birch bark canoe by Steve Cayard, whose work will be included in Artists of the Forest.

This summer Haystack mounted two exhibitions at the school’s Center for Community Programs. From June 2–July 7, Artists of the Forest, an exhibition based on the words, works, and images of traditional artists who live and work in the Northern Forest of the northeastern United States, was on view. Cultural Resources—a non-profit organization in Maine that helps communities and groups identify, celebrate, and preserve the cultural traditions that make them unique—coordinated the traveling show, which exhibited at the Vermont Folklife Center in 2012 and at Traditional Arts in upstate New York this February.

Artists of the Forest features sixteen traditional artists from the North Country, which includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and upstate New York. Artists include Abenaki basketmaker Jeanne Brink; Acadian woodcarver Tom Cote; rustic furniture makers Annette and Sherman Craig; birch bark canoe maker Steve Cayard; rustic furniture maker Ron Fenlong; rustic furniture maker Barry Gregson; Abenaki basketmaker Jesse Larocque; dog sled maker Karen Jones; snow shoe maker and pack basket maker Bill Mackowski; rustic furniture maker Fred Peryer; wood carver Melvin Roy; and the late Newt Washburn, Abenaki basketmaker. The show focuses on the people, places, and work that define our region, encouraging an understanding and appreciation of life in Maine, and the North Country of New England, for local residents and visitors to the Island—from the US and around the world—alike. In addition, focusing on these artists, as well as tradition and craft, allows audiences to learn about the creative processes of these artists and how skills are shared, through mentoring new generations of artists, which helps these customs and traditions thrive.

In addition to the exhibition, three of the Maine artists who participated in the show (Steve Cayard, Tom Cote, and Bill Mackowski) gave gallery talks and demonstrations on Sunday, June 30. Artists of the Forest was supported by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission’s Celebrating Traditional Arts program and Haystack’s Program Endowment.


From July 14–September 1, the exhibition They Used to Work Here: Art by Haystack’s Summer Assistants featured the work of Haystack Summer Assistants—spanning a twenty-four year period—whose creative processes have been influenced by their time at Haystack. Haystack’s Summer Assistants represent a remarkable group of makers who work in a wide range of media. During their time working at Haystack they handled a variety of tasks and responsibilities in the day-to-day running of the school. During the course of the summer programs they also met many students and teachers and experienced a wide range of creative processes. The work in the exhibition was accompanied by text in the artists’ voices explaining the impact Haystack has had on their work and creativity.

Read bios from all exhibition participants and their narratives from the show.

David S. East, who is Chair of Ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and former Haystack Summer Assistant, said, “My time at Haystack framed a significant shift in my work as an artist. Deepening my relationship to the power of the history of the field while also opening for me the innovation and diversity that existed, my time at Haystack continues to be incredibly influential in my life and career as an artist.”



Read about our Past Exhibitions