Women artists enrich all of us in Maine

One of my favorite memories is of an afternoon I spent with my kids making leaf crowns. We gathered brightly colored fall leaves and glued them together so that we each had a perfectly fitted, colorful crown for our heads. We paraded around the house and showed others our beautiful art. Though I am not an artist, I spent a lot of time creating art with my kids when they were young. This came as a natural part of parenting for me – maybe partly because I am very tolerant of messiness – but I just really enjoyed it.

My kids are now grown and live on their own, but their art continues to find space in my home. My oldest daughter produces beautiful art regularly and also tutors others.

In this issue of Maine Women, we profile many female artists who live and work in Maine, their creative pursuits ranging from music and illustration to writing, event planning and hairstyling.

Meet Carol Noonan, a singer, songwriter and business owner who has found her artistic passion and life’s work in music (page 15). Noonan toured for years, but today she can most often be seen and heard at the beautiful Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, which she runs with her husband. Noonan not only performs at Stone Mountain, but also she hosts dozens of first-rate shows there every year. If you haven’t been, I would urge you to go and check it out.

Dahlov Ipcar was born the same year as World War I began. She has seen more in her lifetime than most of us can even imagine. Today, some 77 years after her first art show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Ipcar, living in Georgetown, continues to produce art regularly. She has volumes of work, including more than 40 children’s books that she has both written and illustrated. One of Ipcar’s murals – a 106-foot panorama of Maine animals – can be seen at the Narragansett Elementary School in Gorham. Read more of our interview with Ipcar on page 8.

Veronica Druchniak, an accomplished ballet dancer, told us that she never wanted to do anything else: “Ballet has absolutely been my passion since Day 1.” In addition to ballet, Druchniak is a student at the University of Southern Maine, with a double major in computer science and math. She finds parallels in her dancing and her studies in that they both require discipline and self-control. Read Veronica’s story on page 16.

There is no shortage of women artists in Maine. We are happy to introduce you to a few in this issue of Maine Women. Please write to us and let us know what you think. Next month we’ll focus on women in farming and agriculture; look for that issue on the newsstands at the end of August.

In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook and stay tuned to our website, mainewomenmagazine.com, for regular updates.

Lee Hews

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