News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, August 15, 2019
Wilson Museum’s annual fundraiser adds ‘a twist’

The people have spoken

The Wilson Museum has acquired a photograph by Castine artist Helen Modesett for its permanent collection. The work, depicting local boatyard owner Kenny Eaton, was the People’s Choice at Collecting Castine.

Photo courtesy of Wilson Museum

More than 100 people gathered at the Wilson Museum campus on August 5, to participate in Collecting Castine, the museum’s annual fundraiser—with a twist—and celebration of Castine artists. Attendees nibbled hors d’oeuvres, mingled with friends, and viewed an exhibit of original artwork created by living artists either from Castine or with an association to Castine, according to a news release.

Collecting Castine, now in its fourth year, has honored an artist or artists each year for their work and legacy. This year the entire community of Castine-connected artists were celebrated.

The artists work in various media from oil painting to watercolor, bronze sculpture to woodturning, as well as jewelry design, encaustic, felting, mixed media, photography, and more.

Each year Collecting Castine attendees cast their votes for the People’s Choice work of art to be acquired by the Museum—the “twist” in this fundraising event—and added to the Museum’s permanent collection.

This year’s award went to photographer Helen Modesett’s black-and-white portrait of Kenny Eaton in his boat shop, titled “Kenny Eaton Fall 2018.”

When she accepted the award, Modesett told a story about the portrait, noting that Eaton was kind and generous and that she had “just one click” to get it right. She added, “I have spent the last year and a half working on a photo book of Castine. This is one of my favorite photos from the series. Kenny stopped for one photo between pulling boats out of the water this past fall.”

Previous People’s Choice winners include Gregory Dunham’s painting “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” Joshua Adam’s painting “Fitz-Gerald Studio,” and Susan Parish Adam’s portrait, “John Gardner.” All People’s Choice artworks will be on exhibit in the Wilson Museum main building until September 30.

Following the People’s Choice award, all other artwork was available for purchase via silent auction, and 10 pieces were sold to buyers. Proceeds from the event go to support the Wilson Museum’s collections and programs.

To learn more about the Wilson Museum, visit, call 326-9247, or email