curtis logo

be the rain

Neil Young is an artist who has always been known for speaking his mind. You can find all kinds of examples of protest/political songs throughout his long and varied career: “Ohio” from 1970, “This Note’s For You” from 1988, and “Rockin’ In The Free World” from 1989, just to name a few.


I was fortunate enough to see Neil Young perform live several years ago. I thought it would be a “standard” concert, filled with a bunch of hits and a few rarities sprinkled in here and there. What I did see was much more like a play or a Broadway musical than a typical rock and roll show. This was the “Greendale” tour, and although I was initially thrown off by what I wasn’t seeing, I quickly got sucked in to the story, the visuals, and most importantly, the music. Simply put, “Greendale” tells the tale of a small town, a family, and activism…not exactly passive listening.


On a recent trip to Curtis Memorial Library, I was walking past the graphic novel section when something caught the corner of my eye:



I didn’t know that “Greendale” had been turned into a graphic novel, but it lends itself to the medium beautifully: the illustrations are gorgeous, and the story is told in a clear and concise manner. I ripped right through this book, and it inspired me to revisit Neil Young’s CD as well. Thanks to Curtis Memorial Library, you can do the same! “Greendale” is a town that is worth the trip.




pleasantly distracted

Looking for a pleasant distraction from what’s been getting you down? Here’s some random art to put a smile on your face! I wonder how many smiles this little non-smiley face gets in one day? I know it certainly got one from me!




Here’s an interesting bit of random art right on Pleasant Street in Brunswick: instead of painting directly on a sign or a wall, this artist decided to attach their work to a signpost with some wire. I love this idea!




These trees can be found in Portland…


tree1    tree2


…and this tree is inside the Shaw’s in Falmouth!




Here is a great series of murals celebrating the different neighborhoods in Portland…


opm1 opm2

opm3 opm4



…and there’s that banana again!




Everyone loves a teddy bear, even war heroes. My hat goes off to whoever thought Joshua Chamberlain might be in need of a cuddle with a plush toy.




Does random art like this make you as happy as it makes me? Do you have any photos or stories about random art that you’d like to share? Please include your thoughts in the comments…and while you’re at it, give Acts of Random Art a follow on Twitter and/or Instagram!


show your work

Do you live locally? If so, you can check out the awesome work that was created during “Playing With Paint” in person: there is a show hanging in the front lobby of Curtis Memorial Library until November 10th! The show went up on Monday, October 24th, and I stopped in to the library last Tuesday to see how everything looked…here’s a video of my visit! Thanks to Michael Gorzka for shooting this footage, and thanks to Melissa Hall for doing such a great job hanging this show!

Here’s a brief write-up about the class:


…and here are some photos of the finished work all in one place!







The feedback on “Playing With Paint” from class attendees, library patrons, and staff members alike has been overwhelmingly positive, and the hope is that we can do more things like this in the future. Keep your fingers crossed! Have you seen the “Playing With Paint” exhibit in person? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments section!