The Grange fellowships of rural Maine have a long history of supporting members of the community. In recent years, membership has fallen off, and as a volunteer organization it is increasingly difficult to attract younger members. The West Bath Seaside Grange is no exception. A very small dedicated group has managed keep things going; overseeing care of the building, hosting monthly suppers, and encouraging groups to rent the building for other events.
I've been teaching my watercolor classes and workshops at the Grange for the past two years, and it is a wonderful space in which to gather. My students agree with me that the Grange is a great asset to the community and we want to see it continue.
In that spirit, we held an Art Show & Sale to benefit the Grange, yesterday, June 30th. Eighteen of us displayed paintings, prints and photographs, and I must say that it was a perfectly wonderful day! We had many visitors, the Grange ladies had made home made cookies and squares, served hotdogs for lunch and there was such a lively atmosphere! It felt a bit like I think "the olden days" might have felt.
Many artists told me what a good time they had. How nice it was to get their work organized to display, see it on view for the public, and especially to be able to talk with all of the other artists, and see their work framed and exhibited. A New England musician, David Bullard came and played for us, as part of the benefit.
And we are all thrilled to know that we raised $895.00 to help the Grange with maintenance costs.
One of the artists, Susan Roux, created a painting of the Grange Hall. Prints and greeting cards of this painting are available for sale, with all proceeds going to the Grange. A lovely thoughtful act of generosity. Here is the painting.
NOTE: The Grange, officially referred to as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is a fraternal organization in the United States that encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture.