Museum L-A will celebrate exhibit opening with reception on Aug. 1

LEWISTON — On Saturday, Aug. 1, Museum L-A will unveil its new exhibit “Portraits & Voices: Brickyard Roads,” which tells the story of the local brickmaking industry with first-person oral histories; documentary photos; films showing the process, past and present; and commissioned artwork.

A reception open to the general public will run from 4 to 6 p.m. that day.

No museum admission fee will be charged that day.

The exhibit is the second in the “Portraits & Voices” series based on oral histories of workers in Lewiston-Auburn’s textile, brick and shoe-making industries.

The story of brickmaking in Lewiston-Auburn will be told with video and still images showing the labor-intensive manual process of the past and the current, state-of-the-art mechanized process at Morin Brick Co. Oral histories conducted by professional oral historian Andrea L’Hommedieu and portraits by documentary photographer Mark Silber capture the stories of individual brickmakers. A video captures several members of the Dennis family gathering for a group interview to share their experiences. Family histories of the Dennis and Morin families are incorporated into the exhibit.

Photographs donated by Morin Brick Co., the Morin family, the Dennis family of Dennis Brick Co. and Ralph Metayer of Rumford and others illustrate the brick-making process of old.

A timeline and map of the brickyards of the Twin Cities will give visitors a feel for the brick industry’s impact on the community – both yesterday and today. They will get a feel for the impact and the longevity of local brickyards identified on a map and a timeline dating from the 1850s to today.

Works of art created for this exhibit will be unveiled on Saturday. Artist Ray A. Michaud of Lewiston was commissioned to paint “Laying Brick in the Yard (Morin Brick).” Michaud’s medium is silica sand, iron oxide and oil on canvas. In his artist’s statement, Michaud notes, “While learning about the water-struck brickmaking process, it became clear to me that it really was a back-breaking job. Former brickworkers state with pride that the job ‘toughened them up.’ I have tried to capture that aspect of the brickmaking industry.”

Growing over the course of a year, “OF BRICK” is an art project created by Christina Bechstein in collaboration with artist-typographer Megan O’Connell. A sculptural art installation that utilizes three different kinds of brick from Morin Brick, the project includes several brick “bundle” tables where visitors can creatively participate in several handmade books, as well as a growing brick “carpet.” The brick carpet will grow over the course of the exhibit, and visitors can sign up for a series of limited workshops to carve into pre-fired bricks that then will become permanent works of art. All bricks will be part of Museum L-A’s future home.
Museum L-A is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Monday through Saturday. Call 333-3881 for more information or e-mail [email protected]

Mudmobile brings creativity to Lewiston
LEWISTON — On Saturday, Aug. 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Museum L-A will host the Mudmobile, a program through the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle. The Mudmobile is a traveling ceramics resource center in a van that allows Watershed to bring clay workshops to diverse sites and populations throughout Maine. Participants will learn the clay-making process and will create their own piece of pottery. Five sessions will be held throughout the day. The fee is $5 per person, which covers materials and the cost of creating a finished piece. Registration is required and limited to the first 100 registrants. There will be separate sessions for adults and children, with a limit of 20 participants per session. Adult sessions will be at 8 and 11 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. Sessions for children ages 3 and up will be at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. To register, call the museum at 333-3881

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