Scarborough Library Art Sale to promote local ‘Sketchers’

Members of the Scarborough Public Library Sketch Group, left to right, Debra LaPlante, Pat Scammon, Michael Brown and John Girard, display some of their original artwork outside the library on July 20. Artists will exhibit and sell their works at a premiere each event the library hosts on Saturdays. Sean Murphy / The Forecaster

When Michael Brown, a retired designer and Madison Avenue adman now living in Scarborough, suggested starting a group at the Scarborough Public Library for local artists, he said he considered it a monthly thing – ” a bunch of light, doodling sketches to have fun for a few hours,” he said.

Three years and a pandemic later, the Library Sketching Group is still going strong and four of the group’s members, including Brown, Debra LaPlante, Pat Scammon and John Girard, will be exhibiting and selling their work at the library this Saturday, July 24. .

“Art on the Lawn” will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in four outdoor tents, each dedicated to one of the artists’ four works. Lucy Jackson Norvell, programming and communications coordinator, said the event is a first of its kind for the library. A similar exhibition had taken place inside the library from October 2020 until last month, when samples of the artists’ work were on display and for sale, with proceeds going to the library.

Norvell said she wasn’t sure how much money had been raised, she was more focused on the art being the product of a library-related group.

“We saw how the public reacted to the art,” she said.

Saturday’s event, she said, is not a fundraiser for the library, but will serve to promote the Library Sketching Group, while drawing public attention to this group and others. library-based social groups.

“The community presence of what they do is really, really important to the library,” she says.

Brown said he first ventured down a formal art-related path drawing airplanes during his time with the Air Force from 1958 to 1962. Despite a long career in advertising at his own business in New York and as an assistant professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art, he is a humble man, quick to divert a journalist’s attention to the talent of his fellow artists.

The other artists also have professional backgrounds. LaPlante is a former kindergarten teacher, Scammon is a retired social worker, and Girard is a retired pediatrician.

The group’s name is a bit of a misnomer, as the work is hardly limited to simple sketches. LaPlante, from Saco, said she works in collages, builds papier-mâché sculptures and also builds mobiles. Scammon works in a variety of mediums, from watercolor to acrylic.

“It feeds my soul, makes me happy,” Scammon said. “This is my happy place.”

Girard said he started drawing single-panel cartoons as a hobby and enjoyed doing the actual drawings digitally before producing prints.

“I think humor is good medicine,” he said. “It’s a bit like writing a short story in one picture.”

The group is set to resume monthly meetings on September 10 after being forced to cancel in-person meetings in March 2020 due to COVID-19. They meet from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the second Friday of each month in the library meeting room.

The digital world became a lifeline for the group to stay together when the pandemic hit. At its peak, the band had 10 to 15 members, and while some couldn’t keep in touch, Brown said many artists stayed in touch via email, as they had before the lockdown.

“We would do it whether there was a pandemic or not,” he said.

When asked if there would be more than four members returning to in-person meetings beginning in September, Brown replied, “I’m pretty sure there will be.”

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