Franco-American Collection

Local Artist to be featured at Franco - American Collection March 17

On Friday, March 17, from 1:00–2:00 pm at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, the Franco-American Collection will present a chance to enjoy tea and a discussion with artist Mercedes Gastonguay. 

The focus of the discussion will be the large oil tableau “A la mémoire de nos ancêtres” (“In memory of our ancestors”).  The work is an original historic art tribute to honor the Canadians who immigrated to the Lewiston-Auburn area, and took a year and a half to complete.  Ms. Gastonguay will give a brief history of the arrival of the Franco-Americans, and will describe the process she undertook to create the work, including research, planning, drawing, and painting.  Some of her rough sketches will be on display, and prints of the painting will be on sale.

The public is invited to visit the Collection prior to 1:00, and to stay after the discussion to join in the monthly Sing-Along featuring the Troubadours.  The event is free and open to the public. The Franco-American Collection is located at University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, 51 Westminster St., Lewiston.

This is one of many events happening throughout the week as part of “La Semaine de la Francophonie” – a week for celebrating the French language and those who speak it.  The next event at the Collection will be on Monday, March 20, when people can stop in during the day to view “French Connections: Franconnexions,” a conference taking place at the University of Vermont, highlighting the historical, cultural, and economic contributions of French Canadians from Québec to New England.

The Franco-American Collection is one of the largest repositories in the northeast for the culture of French Canadian immigrants to the United States. The Collection preserves the past and promotes the study of Franco-American culture and history.  For more information, go to http://usm.maine.edu/franco, call 753-6545, or email janet.roberts@maine.edu.