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Museum L-A exhibit prompts fresh new look at old local mill buildings

“Lower Bates Canal,” by Janice L. Moore

Museum L-A’s latest exhibit, “Structures & Patterns: The Remnants of Our Work,” seeks to provoke viewers to consider the historic mill buildings of Lewiston-Auburn from a fresh new perspective. The exhibit features industrial landscape paintings by artist Janice L. Moore and works by photographer Mark Marchesi, juxtaposed with authentic mill artifacts and archival photographs from the museum’s collection.

The goal of the exhibit is to foster an examination of how Maine’s communities, specifically the historic City of Lewiston, view and relate to their industrial mills. Organizers hope to evoke a sense of reverence for the mill buildings, befitting their outsized roles in the histories and potential futures of their communities.

In keeping with this goal, a panel discussion on the theme “New Patterns:  Planning the Future of our New Work” will be held on Wednesday, October 18 at 5:30 p.m. Representatives from the local business, nonprofit, and creative sectors will discuss the significant impact of the growing creative-maker community and how the city’s industrial structures could help shape Lewiston’s future landscape and economy.

Museum officials hope to engage audiences of the exhibit and panel discussion in a multigenerational dialogue that spans multiple sectors. “Museum L-A believes that, rather than push ideas at our visitors, we should strive to pull ideas from them,” says Rachel Desgrosseilliers, Executive Director of Museum L-A. “We want to ask: What would happen if a real estate developer, a retired mill worker, and young people shared their ideas and visions for what their city could be?”

Throughout the exhibit, which runs through October 28, Museum L-A, in collaboration with the Maine Historical Society, will encourage visitors to share their memories of the mills of Lewiston and other Maine communities for inclusion in the “My Maine Stories” project of the Maine Memory Network.

Located at 35 Canal Street in the Bates Mill Complex, Museum L-A is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on the first Saturday of each month. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors and students. For more information, contact the museum at 333-3881 or 

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