Twenty-four Hours in Wyeth’s World: A K–12 Educator Retreat

Monday, June 27, 2022,

Allen Island

The Colby College Museum of Art and Herring Gut Coastal Science Center are excited to offer an overnight art retreat for Maine K–12 educators on Allen Island, a private island five miles south of Port Clyde, in the Gulf of Maine.

The Maine Coastal Islands are home to the stories of artists, families, fishermen, Wabanaki, scientists, and travelers. This is a unique opportunity for K–12 educators to experience these communities and enhance their understanding of Maine’s past, present, and future. Twenty-four Hours in Wyeth’s World aims to provide an opportunity to gather, learn about Maine’s coastal ecosystem and how art influences how we see the world, and reflect on the past year. 

For generations, artists have felt a gravitational pull toward Maine. The light, the dramatic seascapes, and beautiful landscapes have been captured by artists like Alex Katz, Winslow Homer, Yvonne Jaquette, David Driskell, and so many more. Allen Island served as inspiration for numerous works by Andrew Wyeth, whose wife, Betsy Wyeth, purchased the island in 1979. 

After completing a beach trash collection assignment to clean up the island and assist in scientific research on ocean trash accumulation, participants will gather to create their own work of art about climate change and environmental issues inspired by the work of artist and science communicator Jill Pelto

Participants must be able to hike unassisted for approximately one mile. All food, art supplies, boat transportation to and from the island, and overnight accommodations will be provided. Participants are welcome to bring additional snacks and/or art-making materials to use during free time. 

Please click here to apply. The application deadline is May 23, 2022 with selected participants notified by May 27, 2022.

History of Allen Island

Allen Island has an important cultural legacy that includes being used by the Abenaki, the Native American community that resided in the region. It was the initial stop that British explorer George Weymouth made in 1605 as part of his expedition to the area now known as Maine, and it was also the site of one of the first Anglican services in North America. Allen Island grew into a thriving fishing community that supported a school, but like many year-round islands off the Maine coast, the population declined until only a handful of lobstermen and their families resided there.

Betsy Wyeth purchased Allen Island in 1979 and established a model for conservation and the preservation of Maine’s working waterfront and created an extraordinary built and natural environment. Her husband, artist Andrew Wyeth, created many works inspired by the Allen and neighboring Benner Islands. 

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