Down East 2013 ©
Whoops and whistles greeted last summer’s unveiling of this vibrant mural in a northern Maine town known for its university, international winter sports competitions, Acadian heritage — and its potatoes. No doubt many of the two hundred people who were cheering saw themselves in the thirty-five-by-fifteen-foot artwork: for decades the region’s schools have taken a three-week fall recess so students can help with the potato harvest, although in recent years some schools have ended the practice because mechanical harvesters have reduced the need for pickers. Indeed, a retired businessman who did his fair share of potato picking as a youngster spearheaded the mural project, and businesses and individuals donated $21,000 to the cause. The artist, who lives in a neighboring town, spent more than one hundred hours in the studio sketching the project and another ninety-five hours painting it. A nearby sign pays tribute to the area’s farmers, listing each by name.
If you can identify this agrarian artwork, send us a note at P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843; whip off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or post a comment at DownEast.com. We’ll feature our favorite letter in an upcoming issue — and send the winner a Down East wall calendar.
Photographed by Paul Cyr