“Canoe Land” will include demonstrations and a panel discussion featuring the work of five master artisans who are based in Piscataquis and Somerset Counties.  The presenters include Steve Cayard, Birch Bark canoe maker; Barry Dana (Penobscot) Birch Bark traditional artist; Rollin Thurlow and Jerry Stelmok, wood- canvas canoe makers and Alexandra Conover Bennett, paddle maker and master Maine guide.  Demonstrations begin at 10:30 and will continue in the afternoon. The panel discussion will be held in the Moore Building from 12:00-1:00 and the demonstrations will be held outside the Monson Arts Gallery.

Alexandra Conover Bennett with her handcrafted paddles.

The event is the culmination of year-long research project conducted by Kathleen Mundell, director of Cultural Resources, based in Camden, Maine, documenting wood working traditions in the region. The project is supported by a grant from the Folk Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Prior to the panel discussion, all five makers will also be presented with a legislative sentiment from the Maine State Legislature citing their craft and skill. The sentiment notes “This Wabanaki tradition has been sustained for centuries by Wabanaki and Northwoods makers, whose creativity, skill and knowledge of materials, design and construction serve as a model for future makers and generations to come.