August is all about art at Maine Audubon

There is a long tradition of art at Maine Audubon, and this month is full of options for all ages to connect creativity and nature.

In the Shadow of a Pine: Black Poets from Maine Respond to David Driskell

David C. Driskell (United States, 1931–2020), Two Pines #2, 1964, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Gift of David C. and Thelma G. Driskell, 2000.203. © Estate of David C. Driskell

We were delighted to be approached by our friends of the Portland Museum of Art and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance to collaborate on and create a special night of poetry inspired by the exhibition David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History. On August 25, a group of Black poets who live in Maine will share their poems in different locations around Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, near Driskell’s longtime studio in Falmouth. Driskell found inspiration in the Maine landscape, as well as in the people and experiences of the African diaspora; these poets will share work that demonstrates how Driskell’s legacy lives on in the current moment. Participating poets include Ian-Khara Ellasante, Arisa White, Samaa Abdurraqib, Myronn Hardy, and Maya Williams.  [Learn More]

The event is already sold out! But we are also creating a short art walk, made of a sampling of Driskell’s work, so visitors can view the art while walking through the sanctuary. We plan to have a printed program with the poems available after the event so that people can view the paintings, read the poems, and find their own interpretations and meaning. The art walk will be up before In the Shadow of a Pine, and run through the end of the exhibition on September 12.

Brush with Nature

Creativity and nature go hand in hand, and our sanctuaries are ideal spots to find inspiration. We’re excited to announce a special event, Brush with Nature, designed to showcase Maine’s plein air painters at our properties. Between September 9 and 12, 24 plein air painters will be at all eight of our sanctuaries, creating art in the outdoors. We invite you to visit, watch their processes, and create something of your own—sketch, paint, sing a song, write a poem, make a found-object sculpture, start a nature journal, create a dance. 

Maine artist Scott Kelley and Jane Bianco, Curator, Farnsworth Art Museum, served as jurors to select the painters. Find the full list of participating artists here. 

The paintings will be on display at the Gilsland Farm Audubon Center from September 17 through 26, and will be sold in an online auction with proceeds benefiting Maine Audubon’s education, conservation, and advocacy programs. Stay tuned for more details on how to see and bid for these unique works of nature-inspired art. 

Create with Nature Family Programs

It’s never too early to start creating art! Early Childhood Education Program Manager Molly Woodring has developed three programs for budding artists this summer, featuring projects that interweave art and science. In August, look for these programs at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth: 

August 5: Plant part art
What can we learn by observing the parts of a plant? We’ll compare some of the plants growing around Gilsland Farm and make leaf prints and seed collages.  [Register]

August 19: Shapes & shadows
Can you recognize an animal by just its shape? What makes a shadow? We’ll practice identifying animal shapes, try out shadow drawing, and create beautiful silhouette paintings! [Register]

In the Gallery

Heron Courtship,  © Dudley Warner

We’re also excited to reopen the Gilsland Farm Gallery, which holds between six and ten exhibitions per year. This summer, we are honored to show photographs by Dudley Warner. The show, “Avian Images,” opened June 5 and will be on display through Labor Day.

Dudley Warner is a freelance photojournalist who focuses on wildlife and habitat. He generously contributes to Maine Audubon’s website and publications; his spectacular aerial photographs of Maine Audubon’s eight sanctuaries can be found online, and his photograph of Cascade Falls in Saco graced the cover of the Spring issue of Habitat Magazine. 

Opening in early October, we will have three Maine watercolor painters, Jan Van Tassel, Linda Van Tassel, and Victoria Gordon; this show will be followed by Portland painter Caren Michel, from mid-November into early January. 

We look for artists who have a connection to Maine, Maine Audubon and our mission and/or nature and conservation. For a list of past exhibits, visit To submit your work for review, please email


*Header photo courtesy of Rabee Kiwan.