Fall 2023 Workshop

Fresco Workshop with Barbara Sullivan

Date: Saturday, October 21 and Sunday October 22, 2023

Time: 9:00AM – 4:00PM with a lunch break Noon – 1:00PM (Please bring your own lunch)

Location: Luther Bonney Hall, Room 424, Portland Campus

Workshop fee: $260 – (Cost for the two-day workshop includes materials and hand tools.)

Maximum enrollment 10

Click Here to Register Online

Fresco, "Reader's Wingback", by Barbara Sullivan
Fresco, “Reader’s Wingback”, by Barbara Sullivan


Have you ever wondered how frescos are made? Join artist Barbara Sullivan for a hands-on exploration of this age-old medium. During this two-day intensive, students will develop an understanding and appreciation of true buon fresco (painting into freshly laid wet plaster) within both an art historical context, as well as in practical applications. Students will learn the many steps involved, such as how to prepare substrates, arriccio and intonaco layers of plaster, how to grind pigments, and knowing when the plaster is ready to accept paint! All these techniques will be put into practice as students design and execute their own portable fresco panels. Instructor Barbara Sullivan taught at The University of Maine at Farmington for many years. She has been a practicing fresco painter since 1990.  Her work can be viewed at Caldbeck.com. in Rockland, ME. She is a recipient of both The Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Foundation Grant and The Pollock/Krasner Grant. She has a studio in Lincolnville, ME where she lives. 


Watercolor Brushes



Safety Glasses

All Other Materials Will Be Provided.


Sullivan is a painter and installation artist living in Maine. She works in the age–old medium of fresco, which she learned when she was the head cook at The Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting. Her relationship to the Maine art community is long and involved.

Sullivan holds a B.A. in Art and Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington (1996) and an M.F.A. from Vermont College in Montpelier, VT. (1999). She is recently retired from teaching drawing and painting foundations at The University of Maine at Farmington (2000-2022).  

In 2007, Sullivan had her first solo Museum Exhibition, at The Zillman Museum, Bangor, ME. She has shown widely in Maine including three Portland Museum of Art Biennials and in New York, “Fresh Fresco”, Ernest Rubenstein Gallery (2001), “Fresco, Off The Wall” (2014) at The Hudson Guild Gallery and at Safe Gallery in Brooklyn, NY (2019). She has received both The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Grant and The Pollock/Krasner Grant. Barbara is represented by Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, ME (1996-present).

Spring 2024 Workshop

Hardcover Journal Workshop with Cynthia McGuirl

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2024

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM with a 1-hour lunch break (light refreshments will be available in the morning, but please bring your own lunch)

Workshop fee: $50 (most materials will be provided)

Location: Luther Bonney, Room 424, Portland Campus

Enrollment: 12 students max

Click Here to Register Online.

Hardcover Journals by Cynthia McGuirl
Hardcover Journals Made by Cynthia McGuirl

Bookbinding tools that students should bring to class

  • An X-acto Knife or Breakaway Utility Knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bone folder
  • Book Awl
  • Small Scissors (optional)

Workshop Description:

Learn how to create your own books!  The journal-making process includes bookbinding techniques such as accurate folding, hand sewing, measuring, and gluing. Pre-cut papers will be provided. Each student will make their own small hardcover book. A combination of book cloth and marbled paper is glued around a precut mat board body.  The inner pages, using 100% cotton paper, are folded and stacked. Holes are sawn on the folds; the paper is assembled and sewn together with waxed thread. The binding is reinforced with glue and Japanese paper. After drying and weighing, the cover and pages are glued together. Students will go home with instructions for making and figuring their own hardcover books.

Artist Bio: Cynthia McGuirl is a teaching artist living in Thomaston, Maine. She works with paper, fiber, and metal to create art books with her own prints and paintings. Recent solo exhibits include Family Tree at the Gibbs Library in Washington, ME and Old Maid at Hedgerow Gallery in Tenants Harbor, ME.

Four images of students creating artists books during a Workshop

For more information, please contact:

Annie Lee-Zimerle, Program Coordinator

(207) 228-8014 or aemin.leezimerle@maine.edu


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