Spindleworks artist and author Anna McDougal of Wiscasset, with her painting of a snowfall on her family farm. Maria Skillings/ Times Record.

The Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset kicks off its 2022 season with a show featuring over 100 pieces of art created by more than 40 neurodiverse artists representing the Brunswick nonprofit Spindleworks.

Neurodiverse describes individuals with neurologically atypical patterns of thought or behavior, such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia and Tourette’s syndrome, among others.

Spindleworks is a nonprofit art center for adults with disabilities that became a program of the Independence Association of Brunswick in 1978. The nonprofit works with over 40 artists from communities such as Bath, Brunswick, Topsham, Bowdoinham, Portland, Westbrook, Auburn, Wiscasset, Lisbon, Richmond and Freeport. Their artists explore multiple artistic mediums such as painting, drawing, sewing, sculpture, poetry and music.

Spindleworks artist Diana Oliver holds her multicolored square painting alongside her weaving loom. Maria Skillings/ Times Record

Multimedia artist and author Anna McDougal of Wiscasset said she has been creating artwork at Spindleworks for the past 22 years. Two of her paintings will be featured in the exhibit, titled “Time Shift.” McDougal said the subjects of her paintings are often animals and vegetables from the farm she lives on in Wiscasset.

“Animals are my passion,” she said. “I like to make people hungry for art.”

McDougal spoke fondly of her 22 years at Spindleworks and said that the nonprofit really helps in fostering community connections and friendships.


“I am accepted for who I am. I’m in a community I never had growing up,” McDougal said.

Wiscasset Maine Art Gallery Consultant Kerry Hadley said artists from Spindleworks visited the gallery often with their art mentor Deidre Barton. On one occasion, Barton invited Hadley to visit Spindleworks to coordinate the art show Time Shift.

“We like to involve the community and be as reflective of the community as possible,” Hadley said.

Spindleworks artist Diana Oliver said she is excited to share her work with the community and hopes it teaches people, “There is more art in the world.”

Spindleworks musician Mitch Pfeifle with his guitar. Maria Skillings/ Times Record

Oliver has been creating art at Spindleworks for five years and said her favorite thing to do is paint. Her paintings will be featured in the Wiscasset gallery as well. Oliver also shared with The Times Record, an art piece she has been weaving on her loom for over two years now.

Spindleworks artists and musician Mitch Pfeifle will be playing guitar with local Bath band Leopard Girls at the opening night reception of Time Shift. Pfeifle has been playing guitar for many years and said his musical roots go way back. He said his mother hung out with the Beatles and that his brother has long hair like a rock star.

“I think people with differing abilities have a voice that needs to be shared with the community and often their voices are not included,” Spindleworks Manager Brian Braley said. “The importance is to share the amazing creative skills they have because of their disabilities. Art really gives a voice to people who may also be nonverbal.”

According to an April 21 press release from Maine Art Gallery: “Spindleworks is a joyful place; the energy of creativity is contagious. Ambitious, talented, hardworking artists thrive in this supportive space where they gather, work, talk, dream and make astonishing, original art to exhibit and sell.”

Spindleworks artists Robin Albert shared her fashion scrapbook. She said she loves to design dresses. Maria Skillings/ Times Record.

Time Shift will take place May 7 – 28 at the Maine Art Gallery, located on 15 Warren Street in Wiscasset. For more information, visit maineartgallerywiscasset.org/.

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