Artist Ashley Bryan smiles brightly as he looks towards the viewer wearing a black, green, orange, and yellow top and with one of his floral paintings behind him.
Ashley Bryan, photo by Sarah Beard Buckley

Each year, the Farnsworth Art Museum presents the Maine in America award to honor an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to Maine’s role in American art. This year’s selected honoree is Ashley Bryan, painter, printmaker, illustrator, author, puppet maker, poet, and storyteller.

Immerse yourself in our rich, vibrant culture and provide vital support to the only museum in the world devoted exclusively to Maine’s role in American art.  In 2022, your support of the Maine in America Award Program entitles you to membership in the Museum’s new Patron program. As a sponsor, you will enjoy invitations to our annual award ceremony for you and your guests, talks with the curator, an exclusive art studio tour, and more.

Unfortunately, Ashley passed away earlier this year at the age of 98. Your gift will help us to honor the legacy of this incredible artist through the Maine in America Award Program, including the Beautiful Blackbird Festival. Inspired by Ashley’s most well-known and beloved book of the same name, the Festival highlights a year of collaborations with local groups and nonprofits who share our vision of service to our community.

There are lots of ways to join the celebration! Please feel free to rsvp for our free community events (links in our schedule), or press the button below to become a Patron sponsor and attend our Award Ceremony and Celebration and other Patron-only events. We look forward to seeing you at the Museum soon!

Maine in America 2022 Schedule of Events

Exhibition Preview: Welcome to Ashley’s World

Wednesday, June 1, 6:00 to 7:30pm

Explore Ashley Bryan: Beauty in Return with guest curator Suzette McAvoy. Patrons’ reception to follow.


Sunday, June 19, All Day

Free admission for everyone to honor this national day of observance. A perfect time to see the Ashley Bryan exhibition.

Celebration of Life for Ashley Bryan

Wednesday, July 13, 10:00 to 11:30am

Free for all ages

This family-friendly event will mark what would have been the artist’s 99th birthday with art activities, followed by a reception with birthday cake! 

Maine in America Award Ceremony & Reception

Friday, July 15, 5:30 to 8:30pm

Patrons and guests

Join Honorary Chairs Daniel and Marcia Minter at the Strand Theatre as they accept the Maine in America Award in Ashley’s honor. Summer party at the Museum to follow. Preview the exhibition and enjoy live entertainment.

Member Preview and Community Open House Honoring Ashley Bryan

Sunday, July 17, 11:00am to 2:00pm

Free for all ages

Members are invited to preview the exhibition and to a private reception in the library until noon. Then the Museum doors open wide at 12 pm to celebrate Ashley and his many contributions to art and culture. Enjoy a musical performance, storytelling, and more. Free admission until 2 pm.

Artist Studio Tour with Ann Craven & Lois Dodd

Thursday, August 11, 2:00 to 4:00pm

Curator, Director, and President Patrons

Meet to board our shuttle bus for a visit to Lois Dodd and Ann Craven’s Cushing studios. Following the tours, enjoy a private reception at Karma, a former church transformed into Ann’s stunning Maine gallery.

Ashley Bryan, the Poet

Friday, August 12, 6:30 to 8:30pm

Open to all Collective members and their guests

In collaboration with the Poet’s Corner, the Farnsworth Collective presents Carl Little and Portland Poet Laureate Maya Williams in a celebration of Ashley’s poetry. 

New Acquisitions in the Farnsworth Collection

Wednesday, August 24, 6:00 to 7:30pm

Patrons and guests

Join Suzette McAvoy in the galleries for an in-depth tour of the recent reinstallation and art acquisitions and hear how the Museum is expanding its collection to serve a diverse audience. Meet surprise artist guests along the way.

Beautiful Blackbird Festival at the Farnsworth

September 17 & 18

Free for all ages

In collaboration with Indigo Arts Alliance and CMCA, the Farnsworth is excited to be a midcoast Maine venue for the annual Beautiful Blackbird Festival, inspired by the works of Ashley Bryan. Bring the family for an afternoon of story reading, art making, and special programming.