CMCA Artful Living Tour

This art-filled tour brings art lovers inside the homes of Maine’s contemporary artists and art-collectors
Words By Anna Mangum
Photos By Anabelle Collette

The adage about not wanting to see how the sausage gets made isn’t universally applicable. Peering behind the curtain into artists’ or art collectors’ worlds is a rare opportunity, but one that can be invaluable to those looking to build community around art. Something about stepping into an artist or collector’s personal space breaks a sort of fourth wall, and the practice of art is laid bare in all its beauty.

The CMCA Artful Living Tour is one of those opportunities where participants can engage with artists and collectors in a meaningful way. Since its inception in 2009, the tour has brought art lovers into the homes of people who specialize in contemporary art, where they informally chat with the group about the process of curating their space. This year, the 2023 tour will take a group of 45 art lovers to 4 different standout homes and artist studios in the midcoast region on July 18.

Cig Harvey’s Scout and The Wagoner, 2016.

During the 2022 Artful Living Tour, the group started the day at Jim Abbott’s home—a space that grants access into his creative mind. His home is an exhibition in-and-of itself, as every inch is covered with his three-dimensional artworks. Next, the tour led to Crosby Manor in Belfast, where collectors Carolyn and Craig Watson reside. They live with contemporary artworks and a range of historic pieces, including shadow puppets from Bali collected by Craig’s grandparents. The tour continued to Joyce Tennyson’s Rockport home and studio, where her works are created and stored. She has published collections of her works several times, and participants were able to ask her questions regarding both her well-known pieces as well as her current projects. The last stop was the home of Jana Halwick and Dave Harvey—photographer Cig Harvey’s father—in Rockport. Jana is the director of Carver Hill Gallery, and their contemporary home is filled with Jana and David’s art collection, including several of Cig’s photographs, many of which feature family members.

Madonna and Child, Italian artist unknown, from the collection of Carolyn and Craig Watson.

The tour is a wonderful way to hear personal anecdotes from collectors and artists in an engaging and light way. To spend a day among art, friends new and old, and established people in the art world is a dream of a summer’s day. Coffee, lunch, and refreshments are provided throughout, which add natural pauses to contemplate and discuss everything absorbed on the tour. After all—in the art world, peering behind the curtain, or as some say, learning about how the sausage is made, can inspire and cultivate your own curiosity and passion at home. ▪

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