Ron Cowan named Artist of the Year for 2015

Artists / Festival Updates

In 1988 Ron Cowan was driving east on route 3. When the road crested he saw the bay in the distance. He continued to drive until he arrived in Belfast Harbor. Ron has graced Belfast ever since, not only personally, but with his arresting wooden sculptures. Using chainsaw, chisel and grinder, Ron has made a name for himself sculpting faces in old barn beams, stumps, and logs.

His route to Belfast was circuitous. Being born in Connecticut, spending a few early years in New Brunswick, Canada, attending public school in Newport, Maine, a stint in the US Army, attending the University of New Haven, Connecticut, was just the beginning. Ron owned several restaurants in Florida for a period of time. After that he and his wife Cherie moved to Vermont, followed by a stint back in Connecticut before discovering Belfast. His introduction to sculpting came while on the farm in Vermont. That’s where he carved his first life-sized face. And, he hasn’t stopped creating since.

For a number of years, folks entering Belfast on High Street were greeted by a tree with a carved face in the trunk. This represented the late Sergio Gazatua, and had been carved, by Ron, at the request of Rosemary, Sergio’s wife. Today, anyone visiting the harbor in Belfast can enjoy watching Ron’s faces, adorned with sea weed hair, emerge and disappear with the tides. This work is aptly called the “Long Breath”. And there are usually several other Ron Cowan sculptures placed around town.

Ron and Cherie live just outside downtown Belfast on a property dotted with several buildings; one their home, one Ron’s workshop, another the home of his son Ben who raises alpacas. Several faces that Ron calls “The Greeters” welcome visitors to the Cowan homestead. Ryan lives in Hampden with his wife and two children. He work at the University of Maine and he and his wife also have an all natural ice cream business, Wild Cow Creamery serving the Bangor area. Ron’s passion for sculpting has passed on to Ryan who also sculpts the iconic heads. Ron agrees that Ryan’s work, in general, presents a softer feeling than Ron’s usually rather austere creations. Ron, with a grin, claims that Ryan is his, “biggest competitor in the sculpting business“.

At present Ron is teaching art at Troy Howard Middle School while waiting for his workshop to emerge from this winter’s larger than usual snowfall. In the meantime he’s making plans and designs for another season of sculpting as soon as the, “First Warm winds of spring arrive”.

We look forward to welcoming Ron Cowan, selected Artist of the Year, back to Arts in the Park on July 11 and 12 for another year of exciting art, music and food.

A fabulous weekend at Arts in the Park

Festival Updates

On July 12 and 13 we were blessed with some of the finest days of the summer, and the people came and enjoyed all there was to offer.  This, the 19th annual event, was better and more successful thanks to the support and help from many.

First and foremost the artists, 78 of them, who set up, unpack, smile and chat with thousands of people, some who buy and some who don’t, then pack everything up again – without them there would be no Arts in the Park. THANK YOU! Also, I would like to pay a special tribute to the all-volunteer Arts in the Park committee, who work together in a happy and cohesive way all year long and then spend the weekend joyfully and tirelessly assisting artists and visitors alike – without them this event would not be the great show that it is. Our Artist of the Year, Scott Perry, has been a regular at Arts in the Park for many years, his wonderful artistic panoramic shot of the Rollie’s block in Belfast was perfect for the poster and other promotional material. Thank you, Jim LeClair for the daily Facebook posts. Then there are the musicians –the Belfast Bay Fiddlers, Aurora Jazz Project, the Bad Daddys, Leaky Boot Jug Band, 195th US Army Jazz Band, and the Uke Group – all of them entertained spectators and vendors alike. The food vendors who kept us happy in other ways – Ye Olde English Fish ‘n’ Chips, The Good Kettle, the Uproot Pie Co., Stone Fox Farm Creamery, and the Game Loft. Thanks to the city for letting us use the beautiful park on the harbor and waterfront, Kathy Pickering, the harbormaster and her crew, Norm Poirier, Gary Palmer and Parks & Rec., the Public Works department. Our security guys, Doug and Wayne;  Ray Estabrook, and the Game Loft kids who clean up during the; Scott and Ryan from the Re-Entry Center; our volunteers on the weekend: Del Hickey, Judy Beebe, David Beebe, Mary Ann Long, Lane Fisher, Dale Kuhnert, Kate Bartlett, Carol Good and Fawn Munson. Thanks to John Holmes for allowing us use of his property for artist parking. From a committee of four women, we give a huge thanks to Dennis Urick for installing all the signs, setting up the tents and so much more, and to Malcolm Gater who was on duty for three days in a row organizing all the vehicles and parking. Our sponsors for their donations and contributions, without them we wouldn’t have the music or be able to publicize the event as widely: the Bangor Daily, our media sponsor who provided terrific coverage that attracted many; Bangor Savings Bank, Cultured Canines, DelVino’s, Front Street Shipyard, Hannaford, Insight Video Productions, Rollie’s, Smart DataMap Services, Belfast Co-op, Belfast Harbor Inn, Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad, City Drawers, Colburn Shoes, Colonial Theatre, Coyote Moon, Cross Insurance, Little River Veterinary Hospital, Dr. John Lewis, Viking, Inc., Camden National Bank, Interiors by Janis Stone, Key Bank, Knox Bros. Auto Parts,  Mainely Naturals, Mainely Pottery, Mainely Used Cars, Martha Reeve, Nickerson Professional Associates.

Finally, thanks to those who support the event each year by coming and shopping, eating, listening to the music – we need you. Proceeds from AITP are utilized by Friends of Belfast Parks in support of park facilities and programs.

Media Sponsor – Bangor Daily News

Festival Updates

We are extremely honored and grateful to have the Bangor Daily News sponsor us. Thank you! Thank you! for the amazing ads in your paper.

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Scott Perry – 2014 Artist of the Year at Arts in the Park, Belfast

Festival Updates


coyote moon block Belfast




Every year the committee selects an Artist of the Year from the many, many talented artists and crafts people who exhibit their work. This is never an easy task. So much talent and so many mediums!

Scott’s expansive, panoramic photos have attracted our attention. They go that one large step beyond a painting or photo of a scene one wishes to remember or often look at. They encompass an entire vista, even more the eye can capture at a glance.

Scott worked, for a number of years, as a freelance photographer working for the Associated Press and the Maine Times. His photos appeared in many newspapers and magazines such as Newsweek, the New York Times, USA Today and National Geographic. These photos were more of the “history in the making” variety.

His work was done mostly in Maine, and he began to feel the call to “get more into my pictures than the normal window of view a regular 35mm camera could provide.” So he moved on to working with very specialized panoramic film cameras and digital cameras. These tools help Scott capture wide vistas.

He travels throughout Maine, New Hampshire and well beyond to create his art. His wide photos make you feel you are where the picture was taken. They include photos of the Maine legislature in session, the main street in small towns across New England, and many of the scenic mountains of the area, but also the occasional photo of a vista on a tropical island.

Scott prints and frames his landscapes in his studio in Farmington, Maine. He offers not only prints of his photos, framed, but also prints on canvas.

Thank you sponsors!

Festival Updates

Thank you to all our sponsors! we’ve had a terrific show of support this year.

February 1 is creeping up on us!


Artist application deadline is February 1 – if you’d like to be a part of the fabulous Arts in the Park on July 12 & 13 this year, please get your application in. We’re happy that we have many new artists who’ve applied this year.

2014 Applications are on line

Festival Updates

Applications for artists, musicians, food vendors, and community groups are now available on our website.

Booth Assignments are on the way

Artists / Festival Updates

Emails have been sent to all participating artists with their booth assignments.2013 Booth numbers

Belfast Creative Coalition supports and promotes Waldo County artists

Artists / Festival Updates

Arts in the Park’s listing on Belfast Creative Coalitions fantastic website.