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Let’s go for a drive…    Deer Isle

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I can still remember the beautiful June day when I first fell in love with Deer Isle. Driving over the bridge was slightly terrifying, but in the ensuing years I have come to appreciate the work of art that it is.  
    Some people say they have a love-hate relationship with the bridge; mine is a love-love relationship. I love it in all kinds of weather, night and day, rain or shine. I marvel at its structure, and the way it makes noises in the wind. I love approaching it on a foggy night; suddenly, it appears out of the fog, and I feel a twinge of fear as I think “I wonder if it’s all there.” Then, as I drive on, more and more of the structure emerges from the fog, and before I know it I’m on the other side and speeding towards home. Most of all, though, I love its height and length – the very real (and yet symbolic) connection between our island and the mainland.
    Your drive to Deer Isle really begins once you have made it over the bridge (it’s OK, you can breathe now!). Stop at the information booth at the curve in the road and look for more information on things to do and see. When you leave the information booth, take a right and head down to the end of Little Deer Isle to the Eggemoggin Colony, and a great view of Pumpkin Island Lighthouse. As you begin, stop at Michele Billings Studio & Gallery, next door to the Little Deer Isle post office.
    Make sure to watch for the sign for Wilson Forge on your right as you drive; Doug Wilson does beautiful functional and architectural iron work.

After that little side trip, turn around and head south again on Route 15 towards the village, located about mid-island. As you cross the causeway and head uphill; at the top of the hill, take a left onto Old Ferry Road to visit the Ronald Hayes Pearson Design Studio – featuring his gorgeous designs in gold and silver. After, continue down to Ferry Landing for another fine view along Eggemoggin Reach, with Sargentville on the other shore

(click on highlighted advertiser links below to go to their website)

 1. Auntie Charlo’s Massage
 2. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
 3. Bunzy Sherman, the Potter
 4. Buzz Masters Studio
 5. Deer Isle Artists Association
 6. Deer Isle / Stonington
     Historical Society
 7. Dowstudio Gallery
 8. Fibula Gallery
 9. Greene / Ziner Gallery
     (Reach Road)
10. Haystack Mountain School
     of Crafts
11. John Wilkinson Studio
12. Vincent’s Ear Gallery /
      Mozelle Studio Fine Jewelry
13. Pearson Legacy Gallery
14. Peter Beerits Sculpture &
 Nervous Nellie’s Jams & Jellies
15. RED DOT Gallery
16. Ronald Hayes Pearson Design Studio (1st Left after causeway from Little Deer Isle)
17. Turtle Gallery
18. Whale’s Rib Tavern
 9. Yellow Birch Farm      (Farmstand)

Download a PDF of the Deer Isle Drive here (1.1 MB).

Returning to Route 15, the next diversion takes you left at the Reach Road. About 2/10 of a mile on your right you’ll see Greene-Ziner Gallery. Melissa Greene makes beautiful earthenware pots and Eric Ziner creates sculptural metalwork. They tell us their organic farmstand has the same open hours as their gallery this year, offering produce, eggs, goat cheese and yogurt, and so much more.

Returning again to Rte. 15, and just before you get to Deer Isle village (about 5 miles from the bridge), watch for Susan Hutton’s sign on the left. Susan makes really beautiful jewelry – affordable and appealing to many tastes. Her gallery also houses work by a number of other fine artists – including paintings and photography.

Next, you’ll see Frederica Marshall’s studio sign on your left.  She exhibits her watercolors and Asian brush paintings, offers classes for kids and adults, and her husband, Herman Kidder carves name seals in the Asian tradition, as well as creating jewelry and small forged items.

Just beyond, you’ll find Turtle Gallery on your left. Owner Elena Kubler’s eye for fine art and contemporary craft is reflected in her rotating shows. Be sure to visit the sculpture garden. (Click here to read the article about Turtle’s 30th year)

Take a right turn onto Dow Road and stop at Pearson Legacy Gallery – Carolyn Hecker’s gallery offers rotating shows and the gorgeous jewelry of Ronald Hayes Pearson all in one stop.

Next door, Dowstudio Gallery is excited to open after a sabbatical year.  Co-owned by Carole Ann Fer, potter, and Ellen Wieske, metalsmith; Dowstudio offers a unique gallery setting each season, with established and emerging artists from over 65 studios across the US, as well as – for the fifth season – the artists of Spindleworks, an art center for adults with disabilities in Brunswick, Maine .

As you go down the road to the village, Susan Webster’s Studio (in the big yellow house on your left) is open by appointment only this summer.

The village of Deer Isle is home to the Lester Gallery, at the corner of Route 15 and Main Street, featuring Terrell Lester’s beautiful, original photos, as well as work from other fine Maine photographers.

Red Dot Gallery, a cooperative featuring paintings, jewelry, ceramics, and mixed media created by its 9 artist/owners, plus jewelry by other artists, is located on the corner across from the Lester Gallery.

Just two doors from Red Dot, Fibula features beautiful jewelry by owner Laura Giverts and others, as well as photography. As an added bonus, you can stop in here for a great cappuccino, espresso, or latte and light pastry!

Two doors further on, step into the Islands  Gallery at 13 Main Street to see original watercolors by Diane Kirk, as well as unique copper jewelry, and wood carvings and feather pins.  Diane says “if the flag is out, we’re open!”

Be sure to stop in at Deer Isle Artists Association’s Gallery in the building next to the library. DIAA member artists display their work in rotating shows throughout the summer.

And, of course, another not-to-miss place: Neva Beck offers cards, gifts, newspapers, and books at the Periwinkle, across from Harbor Ice Cream.

If you have time, plan to have dinner at the Whale’s Rib Pub at Pilgrim’s Inn, offering a range of delicious food from casual to more upscale daily specials.

Continuing through the village on Bridge Street (Rte 15A), Vincent’s Ear gallery has re-opened this summer in the yellow cape on the left.  In addition to fine silver jewelry by Mozelle, you can find paintings, pottery, and fibers by other artists.

Don’t miss Ray and Frankie Bradley’s gallery, located two houses further on the left.  Ray makes amazing whirlygigs and  if you’re lucky, Frankie’s paintings just might be on the walls too.

After that, turn right onto Pressey Village Road. On the right, after the turn, Carol Wainright’s River Horse Rugs studio is open by appointment.

A little further, on the left, you will find Bunzy Sherman’s barn gallery showing her own salt-fired pottery, as well as interesting work by her late husband, Irving.

If you stay on Rte. 15A towards Stonington, you will come to Marie Palluoto’s Red Door Pottery about a mile further on towards Sunset. Marie’s work is beautiful.

Just beyond Marie – on the same side – check out Wildflower Gallery, where you can see paintings by Dave Taylor and pottery by his wife, TanyaWhile you are right there, poke your head in at 44 North Coffee – on the second floor – for hot or iced coffee, or freshly roasted beans to take home. .

But wait! Let’s not get away from the village too far just yet – you’ll want to check out Bruce Bulger’s workshop and gallery, on the first floor of the Seamark Building on Church Street (Rte. 15). Also, on the second floor of the Seamark Building, Holley Mead’s Deer Isle Designs offers interior design services.

And, of course, for those of you with young children looking for fun things to do, there’s the Seamark Workshops. This great non-profit provides summer arts workshops for children and adults.

While you are right there, poke your head in at 44 North Coffee – on the second floor – for hot or iced coffee, or freshly roasted beans to take home.

Just up the road from Seamark, John Wilkinson opens his sculpture studio and garden in the lovely yellow Mansard house across from Heanssler’s. Watch for his open sign, or call ahead for an appointment …

Don’t miss a trip to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; take a left onto Sunshine Road across from the Irving station. Every Wednesday at 1 pm, there’s a walking tour of the studios. If you’ve never been out there, it’s well worth the seven mile drive. Not only is it fun to see what people are creating in the studios, but also to walk down the 100 or so steps to the flagpole at water’s edge and admire the view. Haystack also offers evening slide presentations by faculty and staff, as well as end-of-session auctions every second Friday (check our online Calendar).

On the way to Haystack, keep an eye out for signs for a few off-the-beaten-track galleries:
Your first stop is Buzz Masters Studio – newly re-opened on French Camp Road.  Watch for the sign on your right.  Her stunning paintings incorporate drawings of familiar images from everyday (boats, laundry on the line, people)with her beautiful color palette.

Next, watch for Nervous Nellie’s Jams and Jellies on your left. This funky little place is a must-stop for anyone visiting Deer Isle. Peter Beerits’ whimsical sculptures, made from salvaged wood and found objects, are scattered everywhere.

Just a little further on, Christine York Studio, on your right, features Christine’s abstract watercolors, plus jewelry, textiles, and sculpture.

Less than 2 miles more and you will see a sign for Conary Cove Glass Works on your left – where Joleen Dodge creates and shows her beautiful lamp worked beads and jewelry.

After that little jaunt, get back on Rte. 15 and watch for Carolyn Caldwell’s studio about three miles south of town on the right across the street from the old Mt. Warren church at the top of the hill. She paints some of the most luscious, beautiful pastels I’ve seen in a long time. At press time, we learned that she’s only open by appointment this year…

For a relaxing picnic away from lots of people, there’s Mariner’s Park, located on the Sunshine Road just after the turn from Route 15. The park is maintained by the Evergreen Garden Club, and provides only the basics – there is no restroom or running water, just open, rolling fields, a simple boat launch, and picnic area. Please respect this little haven – it’s maintained completely by volunteers.

Shore Acres Preserve on Greenlaw District Road, off Sunshine Road, offers a 1.5 mile trail loop through woods and along the shore. This beautiful little preserve is maintained by the Island Heritage Trust. There’s also a nice hiking trail on Goose Cove Road. And, watch for signs along Route 15A that indicate hiking trails. They should have trail maps available, and all the trails offer easy, scenic hikes.

Whatever your game – miniature golf, or regular, or even tennis – you can do it in Deer Isle! For the golf or tennis buff there’s a place for you at the Island Country Club on Route 15A.

Maybe you’d like to rent canoes, kayaks or bikes. All are available at several locations on the island, including Granite Island Guides, and Old Quarry Ocean Adventures. The islands and waters here are some of the most beautiful in the state for sea kayaking.

How about some lunch?
There aren’t many places to sit down and eat lunch in Deer Isle, but one of the busiest local spots is Harbor Ice Cream, right on Main Street in the village.… and, of course, you can always get a cold ice cream!

Latté, cappucino, and espresso addicts can stop into Sophie’s Cup on Main Street for a jolt of caffeine and some delicious pastries.  This is a great spot to meet friends – both new and old.

Out of town, on the way off-island, Madelyn’s Drive In is located on Rte. 15 about two miles north of the village.  With a full array of takeout from hot dogs and hamburgers, to ice cream, this is a welcome addition to the summer choices.

Oh my aching bones…
When all is said and done, vacationing is hard work. If you need a little T.L.C., you can get a massage from “Auntie” Charlo Davis at her studio on Route 15 (by appointment only).

Whether you like to shop, gallery hop, dine, hike, swim, kayak, or sail – there’s plenty to do here. If this is your first visit, we hope you enjoy it, and plan to come back another year.

©2010-2012 Arts Guide – a publication of Mozelle! Studio

Arts Guide • PO Box 376, Deer Isle ME 04627 • 207 460-2329 •