Violin teacher Lisa Pettipaw will perform and host an “instrument petting zoo” at Arts on the Lawn July 30 at the Scarborough Public Library. Contributed / Lisa Pettipaw

The Scarborough Public Library is celebrating the arts on July 30 with an event featuring local musicians, writers, sketch artists and knitters.

“It feels like a really wonderful, unique celebration of all of us doing what we love, and being able to finally come back out into the world and share it is awesome,” said Elisa Boxer, a Scarborough author who will read from her latest children’s book, “Splash!,at the Arts on the Lawn event.

Her books, Boxer said, are about barrier-breaking women. “Splash,” for example, is about Ethelda Bleibtrey, an Olympic gold medalist in 1920 who used swimming to help her recover from polio. In 1919, she also helped strike down a law requiring women to wear stockings while swimming.

A daughter-mother violinist duo will perform on the lawn and have an array of instruments for people to try, in what they call an “instrument petting zoo.”

“We’ll have tables with teeny violins,” said daughter Lisa Pettipaw, a musician and violin teacher living in Saco. “Maybe a double bass just to kind of mix it up, have the biggest and the smallest.”

Members of the library’s Sketchers group, including Patricia Scammon and founder Michael Brown, will show off their sketches.


“I have done it all my life,” said Brown of the artform. “I started, as a young military officer, as a combat illustrator for the United States Air Force, and from that point on I never stopped doing it.”

Patricia Scammon will display her sketches at Arts on the Lawn. Drew Johnson / The Forecaster

“I was always a closet doodler,” Scammon said, having been told that sketching “isn’t real art” in the past. “(The Sketchers) sort of fuels your spirit to produce and be part of something larger than yourself.”

Library knitting group member Robin Rubinstein will have some of her work on display.

“(Arts on the Lawn) will be an excuse for us to meet and also to introduce, we hope, some people to the art of knitting,” she said. “See if they can get something out of it.”

The Scarborough Public Library is intent on hosting these groups and fostering a collaborative community that supports local artists, according to Director Nancy Crowell.

“There are just so many talented people in our community,” Crowell said. “We can get together, in a little more formalized way, to support all the artists. It’s really exciting.”


But the library isn’t just a place to gather, the artists said, but something they relied on throughout the pandemic for a sense of community and productivity.

Dianne Pettipaw, the mother in the violin duo, moved to Scarborough in December and immediately got involved with the library and its community.

“The first place I came was the library,” she said.

The knitting group met via Zoom throughout the pandemic thanks to the library’s resources. Meanwhile, Boxer used the library to research more barrier-breaking women to write about.

“We’re making these arts available for the community in-person,” Boxer said. “At a time of (arts) budget cuts and when a lot of the world is still online, it feels extra celebratory.

The Arts on the Lawn family-friendly event will take place at the library from 9 a.m. to noon July 30 with a rain date the following day.  The event is free but there will be books and artwork available for purchase.

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