Ken Wilson

    This project started when Robert Dunkelberger, University Archivist, asked me identify some photos he had from the 1975 painting and drawing class in Maine. As the search for the names of 1975 continued, my wife Dorothy found slides from the other two classes -1976 and 1979, and then I found a folder with more information on the courses.  Many letters were written to all whose addresses were available, and then these alumni answered with names and addresses.  At this point the project became a medium that revived good memories of the years I taught classes in painting and drawing for Bloomsburg State College at Moosehead Lake.

     While living and painting in this part of Maine, students were able to focus upon the uniqueness of the woods in the Moosehead Lake region and discover their own personal style.  They lived in a co-ed ski lodge and shared the cooking of meals and cleaning responsibilities.  They even provided their own musical entertainment with guitars.  This experience fostered a great outpouring of paintings and drawing: personal reflections on the primitive richness of the Moosehead Lake area.  Throughout the week I would arrive to critique their work and find notes such as "go down the dirt road until you find a bandanna tied to a pine - then walk directly down to the stream to find me."  Friday we held a critique of the work and then a big lunch was served afterwards.  The artwork was exhibited in the main dining room during the end of the session and later in the Gallery on campus.  Several pieces were purchased for the College's Permanent Art Collection.  My good memories of this era were strengthened after I began to receive many wonderful responses from those I was able to reach by letter or email.  They still remember the time spent there and felt that it was an important part of their education as well as an enrichment to their lives.  It was a very rich experience for me as well.

     I would like to thank Dorothy for her help with this project as well as her enthusiasm during the time the art courses were offered.  This included welcoming the students to our place for meals, canoe lessons, and during 1979 assisting with the graduation ceremony for seniors who were missing the summer graduation on campus.  Birch bark diplomas and gowns were made for those involved to bring a level of academia to the ceremony as we marched across the dock on the shore of Moosehead Lake.  Richard Wolfe, at that time Director of Extended Programs, approved the idea of the courses with enthusiasm and came up to visit the site before we started.  His support was very crucial at the beginning and I am grateful for his role.

     Also thanks to those on campus who were involved in getting the information for this project - Ken Schnure, Registrar; Doug Hippenstiel, Director of Alumni Affairs, and Robert Dunkelberger, University Archivist.

Ken Wilson
Professor Emeritus

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Updated 1/28/04