LEWISTON — Museum L-A is in need of between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet of space to store artifacts temporarily housed in the Bates Mill complex on Canal Street, Executive Director Rachel Desgrosseilliers said in a news release.

Among the artifacts are over 600 original bedspread artwork designs Desgrosseilliers said she found in a dump truck ready to be hauled to a landfill. She was told about silkscreens in the basement of a mill, where she found the patterns being destroyed and the frames being sold for scrap.

Today, both of these collections are in position to become national treasures.

In 2010, Museum L-A purchased the original 1850 Camden Yarns Mill property — one of Lewiston’s first cotton mills — to renovate it for a museum. The organization has invested over $1.3 million toward the acquisition, environmental cleanup and stabilization of the structure and site.

The site is owned, and despite financial challenges that arose, which delayed progress on the site and museum operations, the museum is debt-free.

In search of new income streams, the museum has collaborated with Bates College to license millworkers’ silkscreen designs for the interior decor of two new residence halls.

In favor of economic growth, Museum L-A supported OriginUSA in the manufacturing company’s move back from Pakistan to Maine. A resulting collaboration the museum to license images for printing a one-time, limited edition use on OriginUSA’s Made in Maine kimonos being sold all over the world and carrying the story of L-A with each piece.

WorkArt, the Museum’s first copyrighted line of prints, are ready for production of its second batch of bedspread designs for print wall decor. The museum has recently licensed the reproduction of millworkers’ art to textile fabrics for interior design. These prints and textile reproductions will be sold in its gift shop, alongside Maine Heritage Weaver bedspreads, Museum L-A canvas bags made by L.L.Bean and local artwork

“The story being told is much larger than just Lewiston-Auburn,” Desgrosseilliers said.

Museum L-A is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment. Summer hours will be announced soon.

FMI: [email protected], call 207-333-3881.

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