The Maine Art Gallery is happy to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Davis Family Foundation for restorative work on the 1807 “Old Academy Building” at 15 Warren St. in Wiscasset, which houses the nonprofit gallery.
This grant is one of several applications for funding that will be made to address the important ongoing restoration needs of the building, which has been named on the National Register of Historic Places. Because the building is owned by the town, a Wiscasset town vote to allow enactment of a 20-year lease with the gallery, instead of the 5-year lease that had been renewed for the last 67 years, proved to be an important consideration by the Davis Foundation. Grantors of capital funds require that the building be either owned by the grantee or that the grantee has a long-term lease in place.
The goal of the current project is to remediate water infiltration into the building’s basement, thereby greatly reducing humidity levels and dampness. This will preserve the structure and continue to provide a healthy space for both people and artwork within the building. Gallery trustee David Pope, chairman of the building committee will oversee the work.
A perimeter drain to direct water away from the building will be installed by Justin Leeman and Sons of Palermo Maine followed by masonry work to seal the foundation by Ed Sheridan, a masonry specialist from Belfast. Once all exterior work is completed, the gallery will install a commercial grade Energy Star dehumidifier. Restoration specialist Les Fossel is providing consultation services. Additional assistance is being provided by the Public Works Dept of the Town of Wiscasset.
The Maine Art Gallery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and preservation of the visual, fine and applied arts through exhibitions, lectures, demonstration and educational programs for children and adults since 1958. The gallery will open for the season on May 7 and run six exhibits through October, as well as lectures, classes and opening receptions. Find more information about the gallery at www.maineartgallerywiscasset.org.