SOUTHWEST HARBOR – The Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor held a celebration on July 29th to honor Steven Valleauâ€™s 25th anniversary as Carver-in-Residence. The Museum galleries were packed with carvers, collectors, friends, family, co-workers and members. Close to 100 people attended, with many more sending tributes from afar. Carvings by past and current students of Mr. Valleau were on display for the evening along with the carverâ€™s own works. The party paid homage to Steven Valleauâ€™s talents as both artist and teacher. Tributes were made by the Museumâ€™s current and past board presidents, Eleanor Hoagland, Kate Briggs and Steven Rockefeller. President Hoagland remarked, â€śThe Gilley Museum has been extraordinarily fortunate to have had a gifted carver, inspiring teacher and integral member of the Museum family for the past 25 years. In the same way that one always feels Wendellâ€™s presence in the Museum, Steveâ€™s presence is vivid even when he is absent and it is hard to imagine what the Gilley would have been like without him.â€ť Mrs. Briggs praised Mr. Valleauâ€™s ability to inspire children, â€śthe future of the Museum and the community.â€ť Dr. Rockefeller expressed his deep appreciation for the â€śoutstanding contributionâ€ť made by Mr. Valleau to the Museumâ€™s programs, saying, â€śYour carving classes and demonstrations have brought to light Wendellâ€™s art and craft for hundreds of men, women and children, many of whom have been inspired to become life-long bird carvers.â€ť Steven Rockefellerâ€™s remarks were delivered by Museum Trustee, Ron Cohen, who added his own accolades, then invited others to share their experiences. More heartfelt tributes and much cheering ensued. The feted carver gave a moving thank you speech, full of reminiscences of his 25 years at the Gilley Museum. He was presented with a Filson large compartment bag, deemed durable enough to carry his tools to work for at least another 25 years. Museum Executive Director, Nina Gormley commented that the motto of the Filson brand is â€śmight as well have the best,â€ť so the gift choice was deemed appropriate for the â€śbest Carver-in-Residence.â€ť The convivial evening concluded with more memory sharing and talk about upcoming classes. To join in future programs, visit the Museum in person or at its sparkling new Website, www.wendellgilleymuseum.org.
Contact Name: Nina Gormley
Telephone Number: (207)244-7555