Current News

Current News
November 15, 2017

Museum L-A Receives $1,000 Grant from Historic New England of Boston, MA

Kathy Becvar: 207-333-3881

Museum L-A is honored to be the recipient of a $1,000 grant from Historic New England of Boston, MA to purchase a storage unit that will expand its ability to preserve artwork created by the millworkers of Bates Mill. Pictured left to right are: Emma Sieh, Museum L-A's Collections & Exhibits Coordinator, Carl Nold, President & CEO of Historic New England, and Rachel Desgrosseilliers, Executive Director of Museum L-A.

October 13, 2017

Veterans Honored in New Exhibit at Museum L-A

”The Work of War: Honoring Veterans and the Ones They Left Behind” tells the story of veterans in our local community throughout history. We are celebrating the veterans’ courage, struggle, and patriotism during America’s wars and honoring their service to our country. 

Bates Manufacturing Company kept up with military textile demands, proving the resiliency of our people and our country. Women and immigrant populations were pushed into new roles previously held by men who went to war. The exhibit allows visitors and veterans alike to acknowledge where we once were and just how far we have come.

The photograph and story elements donated by the community members of the veterans they care about showcase the valor of these men and women and ensure that none of their sacrifices will be forgotten. The historic artifacts and Museum L-A collection items displayed remind us of the changes that wartime can bring not only to those overseas, but to those who remain in the workforce and their families. 

This exhibition will feature a thank you card station for visitors of all ages to complete in recognition and thanks to veterans who have given so much for their country. These cards will be delivered to veterans hospitals and nursing homes. A display representing veterans who have passed in both war and peace time will be part of the exhibit.

”The Work of War: Honoring Veterans and the Ones They Left Behind” launches on November 10, 2017 and will be on display until December 31, 2017. For the exhibit opening, which is the observed Veterans Day holiday, Museum L-A will be extending their hours and will be open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Veterans and their families will be able to visit Museum L-A free of charge on November 10th and 11th. 

October 6, 2017

Museum L-A Hosts “New Patterns: Planning the Future of Our New Work" - A Panel Discussion

Kathy Becvar: 207-333-3881

Museum L-A invites the community to join guest curator Janice L. Moore for a panel discussion to talk about the role of the mills in Maine’s future. Panelists will include artists, creative entrepreneurs, community leaders and members who will talk about how mills are being reused and how creativity and imagination can lead this envisioning process. The panel is free and open to the public.

“With the ‘Structures & Patterns: The Remnants of Our Work’ exhibition at Museum L-A serving as the backdrop, we wanted to ask what would happen if an artist, a retired mill worker, real estate developer, and a millennial shared their ideas and visions for what their city could be?” said Moore. 

The goal of the discussion is to gather community members of different sectors and ages to share their knowledge and ideas around the future of the mills and brainstorm how new uses for old buildings can positively impact the community. 

Moore’s project uses art as a tool for action by getting people to see their community and its structures in a new light. The project aims to acknowledge the rich history and culture of industry in Maine. “This is an opportunity for connecting within the community in hopes of engaging in an intergenerational, interdisciplinary discussion about our twin cities’ future economic landscape,” she said. “The panel discussion will encourage the community to continue solving economic issues creatively and get them more invested in making the region the best it can be.” 

The panel discussion, scheduled for Wednesday, October 18th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at Museum L-A, will be moderated by Beckie Conrad, President & CEO of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Executive Director Steve Bromage of the Maine Historical Society and Misty Parker, Economic Development Specialist for the City of Lewiston will also participate as panelists.

This project was made possible with funding from the Project Grant for Artists by the Maine Arts Commission.

September 21, 2017

Museum L-A Seeking Photos for Its Veterans Honor Wall

Kathy Becvar: 207-333-3881

Museum L-A is looking to honor all veterans in a new temporary exhibit in its main gallery space. The exhibit celebrates the veterans’ fight, struggle, and patriotism during the wars as well as speaks to the history of Bates Mill in reference to war time. 

We want to give family, friends, and the community the opportunity to honor these men and women who have fought for our country. The Museum is accepting photos from all branches of the military and all conflicts. We especially want to collect photos from our veterans of the Vietnam War and beyond to ensure that no generation of veterans is forgotten. 

Museum L-A will be accepting photographs of veterans on Wednesdays from 12:00 – 4:00 pm and Saturdays from 12:00 – 3:00 pm between September 20 and October 30, 2017. If you cannot make it to the Museum during those hours, you may call 207-333-3881 to set up an appointment to bring in your photograph at another time. The Museum plans to incorporate scans of the donated photos into the exhibit on display throughout the months of November and December. 

Each donor will be limited to one photo per veteran. The photos can be of yourself, a family member or loved one, or a friend who you would like to honor on our Honor Wall for their service to our country.

PHOTO CAPTION: Gerard Cote in Bates Mill #5 - Museum L-A Archival Photograph Collection.

September 21, 2017

Museum L-A Hosts Story Collection Dates for My Maine Stories Portal

Kathy Becvar: 207-333-3881

Museum L-A’s newest temporary exhibit, Structures and Patterns: The Remnants of Our Work, is a thought provoking exhibit in collaboration with fine arts painter Janice L. Moore and photographer Mark Marchesi. Both artists and the Museum are examining the community’s relationship to industrial mills in Maine, specifically in the historical city of Lewiston in order to evoke a sense of reverence for the mills in a viewer’s eyes. The goal is to inspire conversation, discussion, and storytelling about these mill spaces between members of the community in Lewiston-Auburn. 

On September 13th (1:00-4:00 pm) and October 14th (12:00-3:00 pm), Museum L-A will work in conjunction with the Maine Historical Society (MHS) to host Story Collection dates for the new MHS storytelling portal, My Maine Stories. This online storytelling forum is a place where anyone can tell their story about Maine with text, video, audio, and photographs. Any individual who wants to have their personal story preserved can contribute to this portal, as MHS is now expanding to include individual contributors for the first time. 

During these Story Collection dates, Museum L-A invites community members, entrepreneurs, and academics to come to the Museum and share their thoughts, feelings, and stories about the mill spaces being renovated and renewed. We want to hear how people feel about how some of these historic mills are being transformed into spaces for small businesses, apartments, or restaurants, while others are still left vacant and abandoned. Museum L-A would like to extend a special invitation to business owners who currently occupy a mill space to share their stories about how they have made it work for them. 

Anyone who attends can tell their story in any format they choose; an area will be set up to facilitate any audio or video recordings here in the museum and text or photographic contributions may be dropped off at any time during the Story Collection process. To ensure that your story is collected and preserved, please contact Museum L-A at 207-333-3881 or email to schedule a short session during the Story Collection dates.

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