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Folk Artist Exhibit at Historical Museum

by Harland Eastman

More than fifty paintings by Maine folk artist Ray-Welch will be on view at the Historical Museum, 505 Main Street in Springvale from mid-September through the end of the year. The exhibit opens with a reception at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 16th at the Museum. The public is cordially invited and admission to the event is free. Face masks should be worn.

Welch specialized in aspects of his remembered past. Such scenes became popular after New York art dealers successfully promoted the work of Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) from the 1940s until her death in 1961. Welch often called himself Grandpa Moses.

His work depicted village scenes, family events, farm life and childhood sports including swimming in the Mousam River and skating on the river during winter months. Two large paintings show masses of people outside circus tents. Others depict an auction in progress, children playing in a school yard, a baseball game, men haying, Goodall Park, and other scenes too numerous to mention.

Welch (1915 – 1996) spent most of his life in the Sanford area. He started to paint in the late 1950s and from the early 1970s was represented by Marjorie Brass, an antiques dealer in Kennebunkport who sold his paintings there and in Boston.

The guest curators of the exhibit are Richard Candee and Robert Chase of York, Maine. 

The opening of the Ray-Welch exhibit is also the date of the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society’s Annual Meeting. A few minutes of the President’s opening remarks will be devoted to the election of board members, words of acknowledgement and thanks for the Society’s many volunteers and any other matters that may need to be raised.

Following the September 16th reception, the exhibit may be viewed during Museum opening hours – Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

The Museum is handicapped accessible

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