In response to Waterville Creates’ 2018 call for Temporary Public Art related to the theme of the Kennebec River, artists throughout the New England region submitted their proposals for consideration. Artist Maggie Libby is one of three finalists selected to install their work in the City of Waterville from June through September 2018.
Maggie Libby’s public art project uses the Kennebec River theme as content for three 12-foot willow charcoal drawings on paper. Each section will portray a river theme: a now banned log drive on the Kennebec, a factory view (factories which were economically beneficial to the area and also polluters of the river) and a current view of the river and its environment. Graphics will encourage audience participation including posing questions like “Do you have a flood or river story you’d like to share? Did you work in any of the factories along the river? What is your favorite spot on the Kennebec? How do you envision its future?” Libby will collect these stories for the duration of the project with the intention of producing a video that will be made available at Common Street Arts and later archived for future generations.
Viewers will be asked to erase the drawings with pieces of recycled Hathaway shirts, and will be asked to share their vision for the river’s future over erasures of its past. The resulting ghost drawings and overlaid visions will be installed in storefront windows until the temporary exhibition ends.