Time Warp: Thirty Years at Spindleworks
In the Main Space
Thirty years ago, Nan Ross, a weaver from Bath, Maine, began working with six individuals from Independence Association, an agency that helps children and adults with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives in their chosen community. Nan started off teaching spinning, weaving, and rug hooking but soon added drawing, painting, printmaking, poetry, dance and clowning. Before long, a group of people whose opinions had not previously been sought were expressing themselves through art, telling their stories in words and colors. From these beginnings, Spindleworks was born.
Today, Spindleworks is home to almost 40 artists working in a variety of mediums. The art center located at 7 Lincoln Street in Brunswick includes a woodshop and ceramics studio, weaving, painting, and drawing studios as well as a new media room where experiments in video and sound take place. The artists practice their acting and performance skills at the local Theater Project and access cultural resources throughout Brunswick to enrich their practice. Spindleworks’ gallery (the Whatnot Gallery) and store in Brunswick house exhibitions and display finished work throughout the year.
True to Nan’s original vision, the artists at Spindleworks are still telling their stories and expressing their views of the world. By making art and sharing their knowledge with others, the Spindleworkers gain confidence, pride, and a strong sense of self while also continually helping to break down stereotypes about people with disabilities. Time Warp includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, textiles, collages, garments, and videos by current and past artists. The show reflects Spindleworks’ rich history and offers a view of what is possible when artistic expression and experimentation are encouraged among all. Text is not confined by words, paint is not bound by method, and sculpture reaches beyond the limitations of materials. Meaning becomes boundless and interdisciplinary. No longer isolated by walls, both real and figurative, the artists of Spindleworks have demonstrated how vital their contribution to our creative heritage has been and continues to be.
Spindleworks is a non-profit art center for adults with disabilities and a program of the Independence Association of Brunswick Maine. Artists in the Spindleworks program come from surrounding communities including Bath, Topsham, Bowdoinham, Portland, Westbrook, Auburn, Lisbon Falls, Richmond, and Freeport. Artists attending the program receive supplies, studio space, and guidance as needed. Their work is exhibited in the Whatnot Gallery and Store at Spindleworks as well as in shows both locally and nationally. The artists receive 75% of the sale price of their work, with 25% returning to the program to purchase supplies.