Seaside Series 2024

Seaside Series returns to Small Cove Park. Our 2024 lineup features artists, poets, journalists, and novelists with everything from an island-original picture book to the lights of Broadway and from an Asian brush painting demonstration to a Georgia O’Keeffe mystery. Seaside Series starts Wednesday, July 3, 12-1pm, and runs every Wednesday, 12-1pm, through August 28 in Small Cove Park, 6 Atlantic Avenue, Stonington (behind Camden National Bank). We’ll bring the shade and chairs, you bring a curious mind.

Frederica Marshall

Sumi-e Painting Demonstration
July 3, 12-1pm

Frederica Marshall will present a demonstration of the ancient art of sumi-e, Asian brush painting. This medium uses the Four Treasures: ink stick, grinding stone, brush, and paper. There are 270 brushstrokes in the sumi-e artist’s tool box. The basic strokes were originally used for Chinese calligraphy then adapted for painting subjects. This simple and elegant method can be used for painting every subject.  It is practiced around the world. She loves to paint Deer Isle in sumi-e. It reminds her of her home in Japan.

Frederica Marshall lived in Japan for 28 years and gained a deep understanding of Japanese art and culture. She teaches sumi-e, watercolor, Asian calligraphy, ikebana, and haiku, and she is a kamishibai storyteller. She has taught more than 23,000 students across many institutions, including for LA Metro College and Ringling College of Art. She serves on the board of the Sumi-e Society of America and is a founding member of the Haiku Project and an active member of the Deer Isle Writers’ Group. She has won international and national awards for her sumi-e and watercolor paintings. She has a gallery and art school at 81 North Deer Isle Road, where she finds great enrichment in developing the creativity of her students. Learn more about Frederica on her website.

Kathryn Lasky & Tom Ricks

New Mysteries from Bestselling Deer Isle Authors
July 10, 12-1pm

Kathryn Lasky and Tom Ricks, two bestselling Deer Isle authors, have changed genres late in their writing careers. Kathryn Lasky, beloved children’s and young adult author, releases her second book in a new Georgia O’Keeffe mystery series for adults, Mortal Radiance, this summer. Tom Ricks, renowned military historian, switches from nonfiction to fiction with a new Maine coast thriller, Everyone Knows But You. Come hear the authors read from their new novels and discuss the rewards and challenges of a late career pivot. The event will conclude with a book signing; copies of their books will be available to purchase.

Kathryn Lasky is the author of over one hundred books for children and young adults, including the Guardians of Ga’hoole series, which has more than eight million copies in print, and was turned into a major motion picture, Legend of the Guardians. Her newest book, Mortal Radiance, is the second in her Georgia O’Keeffe mystery series. The first in the series, Light on Bone, won the 2023 Maine Literary Book Award for Crime Fiction. Follow Kathryn on Instagram or learn more about her on her website.

Thomas E. Ricks, a former resident of Deer Isle, is the military history columnist for the The New York Times Book Review. He is the author of nine books, including Fiasco, First Principles, andmost recently, a thriller titled Everyone Knows But You. His latest is set on the coast of Maine and involves drugs, sharks, and the killing of a rogue lobsterman. Follow Tom on Twitter.

Ben Shattuck

The History of Sound
July 17, 12-1pm

Ben Shattuck will read from his new short story collection, The History of Sound, followed by a Q&A and book signing. Written with breathtaking humanity and humor, The History of Sound is a love letter to New England, a radiant conversation between past and present, and a moving meditation on the abiding search for home. In the collection’s final story, “Origin Stories,” the protagonist travels through Stonington and visits a woman living on Isle au Haut. The event will conclude with a book signing. Copies of his books will be available to purchase.

Ben Shattuck is also the author of Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, which was a New Yorker Best Book of 2022 and nominated for the Massachusetts Book Award. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he lives in Massachusetts, where he owns the oldest general store in America. Follow Ben on Instagram and read more about him on his website.

Melissa Jones-Bayley and Rosalie & Gavin Bayley

The Friendly Maine Lobstermen
July 24, 12-1pm

The Friendly Maine Lobstermen: A Voyage of the Kieran Scott is the first picture book by Melissa Jones-Bayley, the author, and her children Rosalie and Gavin Bayley, the illustrators. The book is a sweet tale about cooperation and sharing in the lobster industry, focusing on kindness and helpfulness. The art is inspired by the island’s landscapes and the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean, and the story draws from family history and shared experiences. They will present a reading and a discussion of the creative and collaborative processes from inspiration to publication. The talk will be followed by Q&A and a book signing. Copies of the book will be available to purchase.

Melissa Jones-Bayley is a native of Stonington, where she lives with her husband Chris and their two children, Rosalie, 15, and Gavin, 13. She and her husband are both business owners and active in community service. She is fulfilling her dream of raising her children on the island and immersing them in its vibrant artistic community. The book features Gavin’s intricate pencil sketches and precise ink lines combined with Rosalie’s evocative watercolor palette, resulting in captivating illustrations that bring the story to life.

Siri Beckman

The Art of Wood Engraving and Woodcut
July 31, 12-1pm

Siri Beckman will talk about wood engraving and woodcut with book signing to follow. She recently published The Prints of Siri Beckman: Engraving a Sense of Place with Down East Books, which includes an introduction by renowned New England art critic Carl Little. Copies of her book will be available to purchase.

As a long time resident of Stonington, many of her prints were inspired by experiences on the island throughout the years. Siri is a mid-westerner by birth, and Maine became her adopted home in 1975. She joined other artists and craftsmen in forming a co-op gallery in Stonington in 1976. She taught classes in the adult ed program at Deer Isle-Stonington High School, and worked at Haystack for several summers. She also served on the Memorial Ambulance Corps and the Stonington Planning Board.In 1992, she earned an MFA in Printmaking and Book Arts at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. For many years, she ran a picture framing business from her home studio where she also sold her prints. Learn more about Siri on her website.

Susan Tobey White & Genevieve McDonald

Lobstering Women of Maine
August 7, 12-1pm

Susan Tobey White was so captivated by the sight of a woman working hard on her fishing vessel in perfect light that she took lots of photos. It planted the seed of a new series, Lobstering Women of Maine. A former student, who had fished with her dad and now has her own boat, introduced Susan to other women and girls fishing on the Maine coast. The portrait series became a book featuring 18 women with brief stories about each. Many of the women knew of each other but had never met in person until the reception at Penobscot Marine Museum. Susan is exhibiting her artwork, including portraits from this series, August 6 through October 19 at SPL.

Genevieve McDonald, one of the women painted in the series, will join Susan in Small Cove Park to discuss the collaborative process. Their conversation will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. Copies of Susan’s book will be available to purchase.

Susan Tobey White, an artist and educator living in Belfast, Maine, worked as an elementary art teacher for 15 years and participated in art shows during the summers. When she stopped teaching, she opened High Street Studio & Gallery, where she showed her own work and that of other artists for 17 years. She now has a smaller studio and gallery in downtown Belfast which is open by chance or appointment. She has taught painting workshops on the East Coast during the past 17 years. She is known for her acrylic paintings of faceless dancers, over-large food series, and Maine scenes. Her most recent body of work resulted in a book, Lobstering Women of Maine: Paintings and Stories of Women and Girls Who Fish the Maine Coast. Learn more about Susan on her website.

Kristie Billings & Libby Edwardson

Poetry & Prose in the Park
August 14, 12-1pm

Local authors Kristie Billings, Sea Witch: Photographs, Poems and Forget-Me-Nots from a Mainer Growing Up, and Libby Edwardson bring distinct styles to their crafts from poetry and fiction to photography and painting. They will share published and unpublished poetry and prose, discuss their work, and talk about the community of writers throughout the Blue Hill Peninsula. Their reading will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. Copies of Kristie’s book will be available to purchase.

Kristie Billings, a Stonington native, comes from a long line of lovers of the sea: fishermen, clamdiggers, and sardine packers. The ocean is home. She is a poet, a photographer, and a year-round swimmer. Kristie is also a collector of both the tangible—wigs, albums, scallop shells—and the intangible—stories, emotions, memories. She currently lives in Ellsworth, Maine. Kristie is married to her best friend, Ed. They share a home with their rambunctious cats. Kristie is a collector. Her first book, Sea Witch: Photographs, Poems and Forget-Me-Nots from a Mainer Growing Up, was a finalist for the 2024 Maine Literary Award for Excellence in Publishing. Follow Kristie on Instagram.

Libby Edwardson is a multimedia artist who has called a lot of places home. She has been a cabaret singer in Dublin, a dog walker in NYC, and driven a bookmobile through the hills and hollers of eastern Kentucky. Now she lives on the coast of Maine, where she paints ghosts, writes about monsters, and wanders seaside cemeteries. Libby is writing her first novel, a quiet horror called Diving at the Starlite, which is set in the Appalachian mountains she came to love so well. Libby has six children, an embarrassing number of pets, and dreams of visiting Roswell, New Mexico. Follow Libby on Instagram.

Jack Viertel

Broadway Melody
August 21, 12-1pm

Jack Viertel’s new novel, Broadway Melody, is a show business romance crossing 7,000 miles and 70 years. Broadway Melody lands securely in the confines of Times Square and the Theater District, as a crackerjack trumpet player and a blue-collar spotlight operator vie for the love of an aspiring ingenue who holds them both in thrall for their entire lifetimes. Jack will read from his novel, talk about his Broadway career, and end with a Q&A and book signing. Copies of his books will be available to purchase.

Jack Viertel is a theater producer who worked on Broadway for 35 years and spent 20 of them also running the ENCORES! program of musical revivals at New York City Center. He has worked on such memorable productions as Angels in America, Hairspray, Dear Evan Hansen, and The Outsiders. His first book, The Secret Life of the American Musical, was a New York Times bestseller. Follow Jack on Twitter.

Colin Woodard

What Holds Us Together? Rebooting the U.S. National Story
August 28, 12-1pm

Historian, author, and journalist Colin Woodard describes how the United States became unraveled—putting the continued survival of the republic and federation in doubt—leaving many Americans wondering what can hold us together. He shares the results of his team’s in-depth research revealing a way forward via a revitalized national story tied to the ideals laid forth in the Declaration of Independence.

Colin Woodard is the director of Nationhood Lab at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University and the New York Times bestselling author of six books, including American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood, and The Lobster Coast. A veteran foreign correspondent and investigative journalist, he received a 2012 George Polk Award and was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for his work at the Portland Press Herald. A native of Maine, he is a graduate of Mt. Abram High School, Tufts University and the University of Chicago and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Read more about Colin on his website.