Wet Paint in the Wild: Artist Dee Clements Takes Us Up to Maine to Weave Baskets and Party With Gallerists

The artist takes us through a week in her life.

Dee Clements, left, with fellow artist Hannah Martin.

Welcome to Wet Paint in the Wild, the freewheeling—and free!—spinoff of Artnet News Pro’s beloved Wet Paint gossip column, where we give art-world insiders a disposable camera to chronicle their lives on the circuit. To read the latest Wet Paint column, click here (members only).

I don’t want summer to end, do you? School is back in session next week, so for one final romp of summery bliss, I handed over a camera to sculptor Dee Clements, who has spent the summer up in Deer Isle, Maine, teaching at the famous artist residency, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. What could be a better balm for the August heat than some good old-fashioned basket weaving with the art stars? Take it away, Dee!

Two wet weeks teaching at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle Maine. The cabins are very rustic and cute. The rainy weather and humidity made everything lush and green but also the cabin felt perpetually damp.

Haystack was designed by Edward Larabee Barnes and has hosted artists for decades. Some of my notable faves: Jack Lenor Larsen, Toshiko Takaezu, Olga d’Amaral, Kay Sekimachi, Lia Cook, Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks.

The iconic Haystack Flagpole.

Notes and demo pieces for my class. I forgot how to use a disposable camera flash.

I only had one day to shoot the photos. In this shot my student Anne, catching air in a sheet of plastic. If you look closely, you’ll see her basket bouncing off the surface while she captures a video. She had taken a workshop at Haystack a few years before with Anna Hepler, and the medium they were using was air.

Here is a hazy show of my class room with students working on their woven sculptures. I co-taught this workshop with my friend Emily Endo, who taught the natural dye portion. Our class was about making woven sculptures and dyeing the materials with plants.

The deck at Haystack at night. A favorite spot to sit and enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of morning coffee.

John Ollman is a gallerist in PA and on the board of Haystack. A lovely human and art collector, he threw a party at his house in Stonington. It just happens to be the oldest house in the town.

Me and Lee Milewski (Nina Johnson and Dan Milewsi’s son).

Our party host John Ollman, Lee and Cy Milewski.

The party at John Ollman’s house in Stonington, had so many delicious hors d’oevres and drinks. My gallerist, Nina Johnson on the right.

John’s house is the oldest house in Stonington.

Hannah Martin, Perry Price, Nina Johnson, friend, Lee Milewski, Camille Okhio.

A view from John’s front porch.

Lee Milewski and the best snack table I have ever seen.

Me and Hannah Martin cheezin’-n-talking about Nicola L.

It was hazy and rainy for most of the two weeks I was teaching in Maine, while back home in Chicago, it was hot and sunny.

The Lovers: Dan Milewski + Nina Johnson 4 eva!

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