MIDDLEBURY-The wet spring hasn't dampened spirits at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Boat builders got a head start on the museum's 2011 season May 26 with the launch of the newest Champlain Longboat, Maple.
The celebration, which was open to the public, showcased student boat builders, faculty members from the Hannaford Career Center's Diversified Occupations program, and LCMM boatbuilding staff paraded from the museum grounds to the waterfront at Basin Harbor.
Student boat builders described their experience in the program, and then the boat entered the water where they demonstrated their teamwork and rowing skills.
The museum's water-inspired contemporary art exhibit also opened last week.
The power and beauty of water has long inspired writers and artists.
From the Page's Edge: Water in Literature and Art reveals an array of personal connections between art, literature, and the natural world. In this fascinating interdisciplinary exhibit, 19 contemporary artists share some of the literary sources and life experiences that inspired them.
The artworks, in diverse media, range from representational to abstract. The literary selections are as well-known as an African-American spiritual or an essay by Thoreau, and as private as personal poetry.
Lake Champlain's shipwrecks inspired the poetry of UVM Professor Daniel Lusk and a painting by Vergennes artist Eloise Beil.
Curator Virginia Creighton, a New York City artist with family connections in Ripton, recalls childhood adventures in a flooded yard-"My sister and I were tomboys. We went out the side door, straight to the flooded low ground next to the garage, to wade in amongst the growing stalks of rhubarb."
Creighton's painting "Kid's House" was her response to that memory and the poem "in Just" by e. e. cummings, which evokes a youthful spring "when the world was mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful."
From the Page's Edge will be on view at LCMM through June 26.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, located at 4472 Basin Harbor Road, 7 miles west of Vergennes, is open daily.