NORWAY – The Western Maine Art Group will host a showing of “Laurels,” a critically acclaimed film by Toni Seger that focuses on poetry by Timothy Victor Richardson. Both men are from Lovell.

The showing at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, is part of a fall fundraising effort and coincides with a solo show of fine art by Murad Saÿen at the Lajos Matolcsy Arts Center, 480 Main St. (see accompanying story)

“Laurels” explores a crown of sonnets Richardson wrote in tribute to Michelangelo’s famous “The Last Judgment” fresco. Numerous close-ups take viewers into the enormous fresco completed in 1541 on the back wall of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Interviews with the poet and an underlying narrative are featured.

“The film is a remarkable blend of art forms: poetry, visual art, music and filmmaking. It illustrates our mission which is to be a center for the arts in all its many forms. This was the vision of our founder, Lajos Matolcsy,” said WMAG Executive Director Aranka Matolcsy.

“Laurels” was five years in the making. It was cited in a multistate competition for innovation while still a work in progress and has been shown in libraries and art galleries as well as on cable stations in a half-dozen states. X.J. Kennedy, formalist poet and former Tufts professor, has called it a “brave and original film.”

The showing will benefit the Western Maine Art Group which initiated the annual Norway Art Festival more than 40 years ago. The group’s historic building at 480 Main St. was originally constructed as an upper primary school and dates from 1880. It has hosted arts and cultural programs since 1965.

Seger, who is also founder of Western Maine Cultural Alliance, showcases Saÿen and other artists on the organization’s Web site, www.westernmaineculture.org.

Tickets for the film are $15 each or $25 per couple and are available at Books N Things, 430 Main St., 743-7197; the Maine Bookhouse, 1545 Main St., Oxford, 743-9300; and the Matolcsy Art Center. For more information, contact Matolcsy at 739-6161 or [email protected]