Art Outta the Box, Penobscot Theatre Company
Starting Friday, August 10, Downtown Bangor will be dotted with some unusual art installations for all to see as Penobscot Theatre Company unveils Art Outta the Box. In collaboration with PTC, a dozen area artists have transformed old newspaper vending machines, donated by the Bangor Daily News, into unique works of art, which will be sponsored or sold by auction to support the theatre.
"We had this outside-the-box idea," explains PTC board member Mary Budd, "and it's been exciting to see it evolve and assume a life of its own through the energy and creativity of these amazing artists." The idea was born last spring when Budd and PTC staff toured the BDN's headquarters and spied a number of defunct newspaper boxes in storage. Destined for the trash heap, they seemed ripe for reinvention, so with the paper's blessing PTC issued a call to local artists. The challenge was to take a box and create something evocative of the dramatic arts and representative of the transformative effect of theatre.
The response reflects the depth and diversity of Bangor's artistic community. Painter Carol Brooks covered her box with colorful magnolia blooms, an homage to Steel Magnolias, which PTC produced at the Bangor Parish House in 1995 and again at the Opera House in 2009. Reviewer Judy Harrison called the 2009 show, directed by Nathan Halvorson, "the best production since 'Little Shop of Horrors,' also directed by Halvorson..." "Little Shop" was the inspiration for Carol Michaud, who brought to life Audrey, the blood-thirsty singing plant at the heart of the beloved musical comedy. Michaud's sculptural piece, gloriously adapted and barely recognizable as a one-time newspaper box, is set for display in West Market Square in front of the Charles Inn.
Terri Sanzenbacher's inspiration came from the great bard. "Shakespeare's famous quote, 'All the World's a Stage,' is the title and theme of my work," she explains. Well-known faces from all walks of life and from many different eras are collaged onto three sides of the box, and Sanzenbacher has artfully incorporated text to engage and delight. "My intention is to generate thought and hopefully inspire viewers to open their minds to greater possibilities for themselves."
Annette Dodd, maker of fine-art mineral and silver jewelry and co-owner of the Rock & Art Shop in Bangor, and Amanda Boudreau are also among the participating artists. Dodd was eager to help fuel a project to enliven the downtown area and attract attention to local businesses and the creative community. Her transformed box, "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," will be featured outside the Rock & Art Shop. A couple doors down, the Central Street Farmhouse is hosting Boudreau's work, an umbrella-topped box inspired by "Singin' in the Rain." Nineteen-year-old Boudreau is a PTC patron and art enthusiast.