July 9, 2013

Cape Elizabeth may open Fort Williams to art vendors

Up to eight vendors could operate daily under rules amended this week and up for adoption in August.

By Karen Antonacci kantonacci@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Today's poll: Art at Fort Williams

Should art vendors be allowed in Fort Williams Park?

Yes

No

View Results

click image to enlarge

Bill Thomson of Kennebunk sells his paintings of Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park on Tuesday, July 9, 2013.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

With Portland Head Light in the background, Tyler Romo, 19, of Yarmouth High School, launches a kite the shape of an owl at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth in this June 4, 2013 file photo. Proposed new rules would allow up to eight art vendors to sell their work at Fort Williams.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

As far as having to pay $4,000 to sell food in the park while art vendors would not have to pay under the current proposed rules, Sutton said he knows the First Amendment plays into it and does not mind the difference.

"I understand selling food is different than what those folks might be doing," he said.

But Bill Thomson thinks if artists come into the park to sell wares, some of their profits should help maintain the park and lighthouse.

Thomson personalizes acrylic lighthouse paintings and sells them for $10 through the gift shop. He is adamant that he is not a vendor, but a special guest of the museum. The profits from the museum gift shop go toward maintaining the park.

"Whatever the town fathers are going to do, they can do it. It's their property. But if people come here and sell their stuff, there should be some type of compensation paid to the town," said Thomson, who has worked with the museum for 12 years. "The vendors should be tied into the gift shop, because you don't want to compete with the gift shop."

Karen Antonacci can be contacted at 791-6377 or at:

kantonacci@mainetoday.com

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Today's poll: Art at Fort Williams

Should art vendors be allowed in Fort Williams Park?

Yes

No

View Results