Old Hallowell Day 2016 artist Nancy McGinnis describes herself as a “teller of stories” –a freelance writer/photographer sharing her observations, capturing moments, and evoking feelings through words and images.
She credits her photographer father for inspiring her from an early age to recognize and tell a story with a camera. Much later, after moving to Maine, she learned new ways of thinking about palette and composition from local artists/educators including Florence Daly and Christopher Cart. Her appreciation of local history and Maine’s unique sense of place, as well as the art of storytelling, were further cultivated through decades of lifelong learning opportunities afforded her while employed in public library settings, most notably as the Director of the Hubbard Free Library in her hometown of Hallowell. In more recent years she has devoted herself to freelance ‘storytelling’ projects, launching her own small business enterprise, ‘communicado!’
About the Old Hallowell Day print, she says: “My goal was to create a piece of art that would appeal, as Hallowell itself does, to a broad audience: offering something fresh and new but also timeless, and leaving room for subjective interpretation.”
This painterly image evolved from a photograph, inspired by McGinnis’ tranquil early morning visit to the downtown waterfront one day not long after last year’s Old Hallowell Day celebration. “I was drawn to the contrast of the colorful array of those chairs against the soft mist rising from the Kennebec, silhouetting the only other human being present: a fisherman angling for stripers,” she recalls. “Since the iconic Adirondack chairs were added to the Granite City Park boardwalk last summer, they have come to symbolize the color and character of Hallowell, and the hospitality for which we are famous,” she reflects. “Over the three decades now that my family has been privileged to call this city “home,” I am continually reminded how spending time in Hallowell is special and memorable day in and day out, year round, whether on a festive occasion with lots of “company” in town; or on a quiet day, simply taking in the surroundings.”