make a go of it
Monson, Maine is a small community of about 600 people that has been in decline for the past 150 years as the slate industry vanished taking income and employment along with it. Now, most of the money comes from catering to hikers on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Monson’s prized spot on the AT has made the townspeople curious and open to strangers. So, when I was fortunate to attend the Monson Arts Residency program for the month of October I met several talkative and fascinating people.
Monson is experiencing a moment of anticipation. Most of the town is uneasy, yet hopeful for the future. Over the last year and a half, they have experienced most of the downtown and several residential properties rebuilt and restored by a non-profit who has promised nearly $10 million dollars to create Monson Arts Center. In an attempt to revitalize Maine’s poorest county, they have given the townspeople a bit of whiplash with the speed of development.
Make a go of it stems from conversations I had with Ed, James, and Lulu, who I spent a great deal of time getting to know while briefly living in Monson. I traveled to the residency during a time of personal transition and learned so much from the hope and stories these individuals shared with me, and from their connection to the woods.
Make a go of it is a small collection of works created in residence at Monson Art Center (October 2018) and exhibited as part of Proof of Thought, an exhibition with Good Manufacturing Art Collective.