In Summer 2019 Haystack mounted two exhibitions
at the school’s Center for Community Programs
Deer Isle village


Haystack Hands: An Exhibition of New Work by Polly Apfelbaum 
July 21 – September 15

Haystack’s second exhibition of the season  was curated by Kate McNamara a featured the work of Polly Apfelbaum.

“The brain-in-the-head has always lagged behind the hands, and even now, when it seems to have overtaken them, the fingers still have to summarize for it the results of their tactile investigations, the shiver that runs across the epidermis when it touches clay, the lacerating sharpness of the graver, the acid biting into the plate, the faint vibration of a piece of paper laid flat, the orography of textures, the crosshatching of fibers, the alphabet of the world in relief.”

                                                                                -Excerpt from Jose Saramago’s The Cave, 2000

Haystack Hands is a site-specific exhibition that brought together New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum’s 2017 series, My Hands, which consists of 100 pairs of ceramic hands that have never been shown in the US, and the site and community surrounding Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Haystack Hands evolved from the artist’s ongoing experiments with glazed ceramics. They take their inspiration from the ‘floating hand of God’ in the mosaics of the basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna. Apfelbaum was fascinated by this image of the disembodied hand as the symbol of creation and intervention and used her own hands as a template for these works, creating a relationship to the artist’s touch while also engaging ideas about craft and making within a contemporary field. These hands became reengaged in Deer Isle, Maine as they sat upon painted paper circles radiating the Maine flag colors of blue, brown, red, and yellow. Throughout the duration of the exhibition visitors were invited to draw their own hands.

An essay and poster, produced by curator Kate McNamara, accompanied the exhibition.

In Residence: Selections from Haystack’s Open Studio Residency
May 25 – July 13

Haystack’s first exhibition of the summer season featured the work of ten artists, working in a variety of disciplines, who have taken part in Haystacks’ Open Studio Residency. This exhibition included work that was either made during, or inspired by, their time at Haystack.

The Open Studio Residency fosters a dynamic exchange among peers by providing two weeks of uninterrupted studio time for emerging and established artists working in the field of craft and other creative disciplines. The program extends our commitment to supporting artists and encouraging the development of new ideas.

The Open Studio Residency began in 2013 and is generously supported by Haystack’s Windgate Foundation Endowment for Programs.

Exhibiting Artists

Meg Roberts Arsenovic

Thomas Campbell

Tara Cooper

Donna D’Aquino

Bukola Koiki

Phoebe Kuo

Terry O’Neill

Christian Schmit

Tyler Stoll

Keith Simpson


DSC_0006Haystack’s exhibition series began as 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 have been an incredible resource for the community—featuring work by internationally distinguished makers—and have also provided an opportunity to learn about these makers’ creative process as well. Past exhibitions have included recycled and repaired Japanese textiles – to work by traditional artists from Northern New England – to works by artists whose creative process has been influenced by their time at, and association with, Haystack.  Exhibitions and related events, free and open to the public, have attracted a cross section of Island residents and summer visitors, as well as the school’s workshop participants.

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