What distinguished this summer from others? There are a few ways my family and I could answer this question, but one that stands out is our rediscovery of the Waterville Farmers’ Market. It took a single return visit, luckily early in the season, to remember all we had been missing.

I have gladly pushed away from my desk on Thursday afternoons to arrive at Head of Falls RiverWalk to catch the bounty. Bins of lettuce heads the size of basketballs; neat piles of that curious creature kohlrabi; tables of delicate, perfectly imperfect tomatoes; pints and quarts of that sweet superpower, the Maine wild blueberry.

On one memorable visit to the market at the outset of Maine International Film Festival, I lingered to take in the scene. On my right was Art in the Park, Waterville Creates! mobile makers station, where a group of young artists was fully absorbed in the novel task of gluing popcorn to paper. Turning to look out at the Kennebec, I saw a girl running toward the Waterville Public Library’s Story-Time blanket, coming to rest with some urgency at the feet of children’s librarian Liz Davis and the box of books beside her. “That’s what you’d call a beeline,” I said to myself. In the midst of a busy market on a beautiful July day, someone was overdue to hear a story.

The arts mean business. That’s the thing cultural workers like me say when asked to name the value of the arts in tangible terms. But the process of making and sharing art is human nature. I turned toward home, carrying summer treasures, including a bouquet of flowers the color of sunshine in a kid’s drawing.

Beth Finch
Lunder Curator of American Art

Colby College Museum of Art

vice chairwoman

Waterville Creates! board of directors