The Beverly Oracle Goes to Maine (part ii)

October 29, 2013

Artist-in-Residence Anna Schuleit Haber, winner of the NEA Arts and Cultural District Public Art Competition, and her team of Montserrat interns have been quite busy moving the project along. Please continue to check in to read the updates by Anna’s Research Intern and sculpture student Caitlyn Doolittle ’15 and follow along in their journey as they move forward with The Beverly Oracle project.

Writer Brock Clarke and Anna Schuleit Haber discussing his work, his teaching and The Beverly Oracle



The sun had yet to rise, but Anna, Caitlyn, and Finnegan were already off on another Oracle road trip on October 22. Leaving Beverly at 6am and driving up the coast to Brunswick, Maine, to visit two Oracle interviewees at Bowdoin College, we were looking forward to a great deal of activity. Once at Bowdoin, we met with Mark Wethli, painter and head of the art department. Anna had been invited to give a visiting artist talk in Mark’s art class, to which sculptor John Bisbee brought his students, too, from a neighboring class room. After an hour presentation with many slides, focusing on Anna’s large-scale installation works including the Beverly Oracle, we (minus Finnegan who was napping in Mark’s guesthouse) headed across campus to a luncheon lecture with Mark Wethli, which sociology professor Susan Bell (a friend of Anna’s who had once written a research paper about Anna’s projects) was giving to the faculty at Bowdoin. After the lecture and excellent lunch in a beautiful tall room, we then visited the writer Brock Clarke, who teaches in the English Department. After a very enthusiastic and delightful interview with Brock, the Oracle received another answer!

We then had some spare time, so we headed to a farm on Orr’s Island where Anna had had once been stationed as the visiting artist some years ago, and we went on a short hike with Finnegan. The water glistening through the pine trees was stunning, a color between turquoise and teal, and the sight was truly incredible. Finnegan was very happy about this part of our trip, he even met a new friend on this hike. What we originally thought was a stray cat… soon turned out to be a porcupine. Thankfully, our dear project dog was not stung with the barbs as he tried to play with the creature. Heading twenty minutes back to Bowdoin College, we then met with Mark Wethli for his official Oracle interview. His studio is filled with his beautiful works, many paintings, some similar pieces now hanging in galleries and collections abroad. We had a great time with Mark, talking about art and all else. He, too, gave us an answer, also on a piece of paper, to take back to Beverly. Thanking Mark for this day, we headed to Beverly after an exhausting but very productive day. Where to next?

Painter Mark Wethli in his studio at Bowdoin, discussing art and oracles with Anna

Best Oracle wishes + stay tuned for more—
Caitlyn Doolittle ’15, Research Intern
The Beverly Oracle