'Porch Plays' latest addition to Bethel Art Fair
Bethel has won the “Maine’s Most Beautiful Porch Town” contest, sponsored by Paint Me. magazine.
The search is now on to find Bethel’s best porch, to be painted for the magazine cover.
The scenario is very believable, but in this case, fictitious. It’s the plot for this summer's production of the Bethel Performing Arts Project’s "Porch Plays," titled "Painting the Porch."
“Everybody wants to be ‘the porch,’” said artistic director/producer Ross Timberlake.
As was the case last year, the plays take place on a succession of village porches. The audience moves from one location to another, with 45 minutes between starts.
Part of Bethel Art Fair
In 2009, the plays took place in August. Beginning this year, they will be a featured event at the expanding Bethel Art Fair, scheduled for July 3.
In addition to the play,s the usual artists’ booths on the common, and the “Shy, Novice and Closeted Art Show,” there will be a first-annual exhibition of the artwork of an “Honor Figure” at the Bethel Historical Society. This year, the late Helen Morton’s work will be featured.
“She was a founding member of the Art Fair,” said Aranka Matolcsy, executive director of the Mahoosuc Arts Council, which is coordinating the fair for the first time.
There will also be an “Open Space Gallery:” Area artists who have a studio or gallery that can be opened to the public are welcome to be included on a map representing the fair’s events.
Special exhibits will be on display at the Bethel Community Gallery at the Sunday River Brewery and at the Sunday River Artisans Gallery.
The Arts Council was impressed with the Bethel Performing Arts Project’s effort to bring together a wide variety of arts and use them to try to promote the area’s economy, Matolcsy said, and the two organizations decided to collaborate.
Timberlake said he hopes village businesses will take advantage of the Porch Plays’ traveling audience to promote their businesses.
Matolcsy said promotions, such as offering coupons, could bring the people back to the businesses later.
“It could create a greater impact, rather than just that day,” she said.
Leading up to the Art Fair, MAC and the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce plan a “Discover an Artist – Discover Us” promotion.
Art work by 10 artists will be displayed in 10 businesses. Visitors who note the location of each on a card may then enter a drawing for $100.
For more on the fair, see the MAC column on Page 17, or go to www.mahoosucarts.org.