LEWISTON — The man sitting on the stonewall in Simard-Payne Memorial Park was fanning himself furiously with a baseball cap, guzzling water and occasionally wiping his brow with the crook of his arm.

Too hot for Art in the Park?

“Nope,” said the man with the hat. “I like it like this.”

He wasn’t alone. Dozens turned out for the event in spite of temperatures flirting with 90 degrees at suppertime.

“I was a little bit worried about it,” said Pat Provencher, a Lewiston artist who had her paintings on display. “But it’s actually comfortable now.”

Provencher was sitting in a lawn chair, a straw hat with a wide brim on her head. She said that a cooling breeze helped a bit — a breeze so feisty that at one point it knocked over a couple of her paintings.

A few booths away, Mike Thurlow of Auburn was toiling away at his spray paint art, contending with paint fumes on top of the heat.

Too much to bear?

“Nah,” Thurlow said, giving one of his cans a shake. “I was a firefighter. This kind of heat doesn’t bother me at all.”

It didn’t bother his wife, Jessica, much, either. Her 11-year-old son was off helping to sell raffle tickets with his little sister in tow.

“It’s safe down here,” she said, “The kids can run around. We even had a little picnic earlier.”

The event featured more than three dozen artists, crafters and jewelers, along with four food vendors, a beer and wine garden, and musical entertainment by Lindsey Montana.

For Mike Thurlow, of M.T. Spray Paint Art, it was an occasion to produce new material before an audience while also selling some of his existing work. In addition to the paint, Thurlow also uses the cans in his art, as well as a variety of other odds and ends.

“This is his passion,” his wife said. “He really is a Mike of all trades.”

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