master of puppets

On Saturday, September 2nd, I attended a performance by Bread and Puppet Theater (the “Our Domestic Insurrection Circus”) at Fort Allen Park in Portland. This was a real treat for me, since every other time I’ve seen Bread and Puppet, it’s been in Glover, Vermont – not exactly right around the corner from Brunswick!


B&P 96


My first time experiencing Bread and Puppet was over 20 years ago (how is that possible?)  – back then, it was the “Our Domestic Resurrection Circus”. Even though all that time has passed, some things remain the same: you can still count on Bread and Puppet for bold, thought-provoking, political performance art that is filled with humor, insight, and beauty. The crowd at Fort Allen Park was treated to a spirited performance that was simultaneously biting and hopeful, calling for the formation of a new political party – the Possibilitarians – to work together for positive change. The park was full, and at times it was difficult to hear because we were so far back, but our vantage point gave us a great view of the enormous papier-mache and cardboard puppets. Packing all of that work onto their converted school bus and still having room for the troupe must be quite a feat! Here are some photos in case you weren’t there to experience it for yourself.


B&P flags

B&P big hug

B&P forest dwellers

B&P washer woman

B&P migrants


B&P donation


If you’re interested in finding out more before planning a trip to the Northeast Kingdom, a quick search on the Curtis Memorial Library website turns up several selections that are available through the inter-library loan. Check it out!

up, down, and all around

If you love art but you don’t have time to get to a museum, don’t worry: there’s plenty of art to be found on display at Curtis Memorial Library! Much like a museum, some of the art is there all the time, and some of it isn’t. Unlike a museum, you don’t have to pay an entrance fee, and you can get very close to the artwork without setting off any alarms! Take it from me, that can be a little embarrassing…but I digress.

There is quite a variety of art at Curtis Memorial Library, and no matter what you are looking for, you are likely to find something that appeals to you. Installation art? How about this piece designed by Christine Eames?

CML umbrellas 1

Street art? How about this little surprise painting at the bottom of the stairs by Olga Pastuchiv?

CML stairs

How about sculpture? Yes, Curtis Memorial Library has that as well. Papier mache animals can be found throughout the children’s area, and wood block creations by Blake Hendrickson are both upstairs and downstairs.

CML blake  CML elephant 2

There’s always something happening in the Collaboratory, too! Quilts by Joanne Suley are right at home with the tissue paper butterflies and origami birds that decorate the windows and hang from the ceiling.

CML collaboratory 4 CML collaboratory 1 CML collaboratory 2

As if all of that wasn’t enough, the Brunswick Annual All Schools Student Art Show is on display right now in the Morrell Meeting Room, and it is fantastic! This show features work from students at Coffin School, Harriet Beecher Stowe School, Brunswick Junior High, and Brunswick High School. There is a lot of creativity flowing through this town! Stop by through the month of March to see for yourself.

CML student art 3   CML student art 4 CML student art

So, dear reader, what’s your favorite work of art at Curtis Memorial Library? Feel free to share in the comments section!