If you’ve been to MDI, you’re well aware that the scenery alone is enough to awaken your inner muse. If your goal is to create a work of art, MDI is a great place to be (whatever your skill level or preferred medium).

For instance, Artwaves in Town Hill is a great place to check out, whatever your age or skill level. They offer a variety of group classes, such as Paint & Sips, Figure Drawing, and Felting, Plein Air, and even some activities for the kiddos.

Speaking of kiddos, the Summer Festival of the Arts (SFOA) in Southwest Harbor is a 3 week long festival for kids in grades 1-10 that allows them to be creative in a variety of mediums, like writing, film-making, visual arts, dance, and more. On the last day of the festival, they showcase their work for family and friends.


Acadia Workshop Center in Bernard is also open in the summer, and they offer, well, workshops. The workshops are 4-5 days long, and offerings include watercolor, oil & pastel, and more! More information about the upcoming schedule is available on their website.

For a year-long selection, MDI offers Adult & Community Education  Courses, which include selections in arts & crafts. This winter, pottery is on the course list!

Considering a membership to the Island Arts Association is beneficial if you’re an aspiring artist who wants to sell a piece or two. They promote the work of individuals while giving them a chance to network and do group shows, and you’ll have an “in” for the summer craft fairs!

If wordsmithing is more your style, the Jesup Library in Bar Harbor has what you’re looking for. Alternating every 3rd Friday of the month,  there’s “Verse Unleashed” (poetry slam) and “Words Unleashed” (story slam). Words Unleashed is a “Moth” style storytelling experience- “true stories told live,” while Verse Unleashed is more of a poetry style open mic. If you want to get feedback on your work without using a microphone, the Jesup also hosts the “Write On” writer’s group every Saturday from 9-10 a.m.

For performance artists, there are opportunities to take the stage with Acadia Repertory Theater in the summer months. There’s also  Acadia Community Theater year-round, and past performances include Shrek the Musical and The Nutcracker.


Something you may not have considered: approach a favorite local artist and ask about an apprenticeship. You might be able to help them with tasks you are skilled at in exchange for lessons. Many artists we know started as apprentices before creating their own work.

The arts are alive and well on Mount Desert Island: consider creating something yourself.

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