HALLOWELL — Around a dozen people, both children and adults, folded and cut single sheets of paper to make books Sunday afternoon at Harlow Gallery as part of a monthly series of art workshops and events aimed at connecting the community and the gallery.

It was the third Second Sunday event hosted by the nonprofit organization that runs the downtown Hallowell art gallery.

“It’s just fun sometimes to get together and make things with people,” said Deborah Fahy, executive director of the organization.

The gallery previously held collage and holiday stencil workshops on the second Sundays of the last two months and has free events scheduled for 2-4 p.m. on the second Sunday of every month through May.

Fahy said the organization saw a need in the community for people to get together and get their “hands dirty and try something.”

She said they’re open to new ideas and encouraged artists or teachers who want to do their own workshops to reach out to the gallery. They’re always looking for ways to connect people to the gallery, bring people in and encourage them to make art, Fahy said.

Margo Ogden, an artist and former elementary school teacher in the Augusta school system who came up with the idea for the Second Sundays series as chair of the organization’s education committee, taught the bookmaking workshop.

Ogden, of Hallowell, said she hopes to fill out the rest of the year with events every second Sunday of each month, so it becomes something people can rely on.

“It’s second Sunday, there’s something at the Harlow. Let’s go and see what it is,” she said. “That is something I’d really like to see happen.”

Ogden said one of her goals for the event series is to reach people in the community who may not have come to the gallery before and make them more familiar with what it offers.

She said she would like the gallery to become a resource for teachers in the community to use, such as history teachers bringing their students to a show with a historical theme or English teachers using shows as writing prompts.

“To bring children into the gallery, they’re our next artists, and they’re our next buyers of art, hopefully,” Ogden said.

On Sunday, people’s experience levels ranged from young children making books for the first time to adults with prior training making more complicated books.

A few children attended the workshops, including Lucas Waterhouse, a 6-year-old who came with his grandmother, Cheryl Clukey, of Augusta. Lucas made a book with a cut-out window showing Electro, a villain in the Spider-Man comics and movies, on one page and a playground with a tire swing and twisty slide on another page.

“I like it,” Lucas said of the workshop. “The whole thing.”

Gillian Burnes, of Gardiner, who was with her 6-year-old daughter, Evelyn, said she likes doing craft projects herself because it’s relaxing. Burnes said she’s excited for the workshop in March on artist trading cards.

“I like doing a low-stakes creative project. I’m not making dinner for 16 people,” she said.

Burnes said her daughter, who made a book with the word “Love” written in marker or with stickers on most of the pages, also likes making origami and using Play-Doh at home, but this was her first time making books.

“I also can’t believe it’s free,” Burnes said.

At another table, Janet Favor and Maryanne McKinnon made more elaborate books with pictures of birds and textured paper glued on.

Favor, of Gardiner, said she took a week-long course in bookmaking at Maine College of Art, but it was hard and she felt out of her element. The workshop at Harlow Gallery was more limited and approachable, she said.

“This is kind of nice that there are all different ages of people, and that’s kind of contagious, when you get excited about art,” Favor said.

McKinnon, an ed tech and head of the art club at Lincoln Middle School in Portland, said she and Favor like to play with paper and make cards, and the bookmaking workshop was “a nice thing to do on a cold Sunday afternoon.”

“It’s really interesting to see adults and kids make art together,” said McKinnon, of Augusta. “It really does lend itself to community. Kids and adult having the same gravitas so to speak. And it’s a really interesting way to teach.”

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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