The Maine Art Gallery has been awarded a grant from the Davis Family Foundation for restorative work on the 1807 “Old Academy Building” at 15 Warren St. in Wiscasset, which houses the nonprofit gallery.

This grant is one of several applications for funding that will be made to address the important ongoing restoration needs of the building, which has been named on the National Register of Historic Places, according to a news release from the gallery.

Because the building is owned by the town, a Wiscasset town vote to allow enactment of a 20-year lease with the gallery, instead of the five-year lease that had been renewed for the last 67 years, proved to be an important consideration by the foundation. Grantors of capital funds require that the building be either owned by the grantee or that the grantee has a long-term lease in place.

The current project aims to remediate water infiltration into the building’s basement, thereby greatly reducing humidity levels and dampness. This will preserve the structure and continue to provide a healthy space for both people and artwork within the building. Gallery trustee David Pope, chair of the building committee will oversee the work.

A perimeter drain to direct water away from the building will be installed by Justin Leeman and Sons of Palermo followed by masonry work to seal the foundation by Ed Sheridan, a masonry specialist from Belfast. Once all exterior work is completed, the gallery will install a commercial grade Energy Star dehumidifier. Restoration specialist Les Fossel is providing consultation services. Additional assistance is being provided by the Wiscasset Public Works Department.

The Maine Art Gallery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and preservation of the visual, fine and applied arts through exhibitions, lectures, demonstration and educational programs for children and adults since 1958. The gallery is scheduled to open for the season Saturday, May 7, and run six exhibits through October, as well as lectures, classes and opening receptions.

More information can be found online at maineartgallerywiscasset.org.

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