Some things you just have to see to believe. But imagine 150 people sipping seltzer at Après in Portland as art teachers Pamela Moulton and Jes Ellis get into a pink-fringed sleeping bag-type sack and dance to ethereal music, simulating pink algae growing in melting glaciers.

TempoArt’s Catalyst fundraiser on April 11 recognized the nonprofit’s eight public installations since 2016 – including Moulton’s “Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea,” a sort of arboretum made of trawling nets, ropes, lobster traps and other salvaged fishing debris at Payson Park.

The $18,000 raised through Catalyst will go toward Chris Miller’s “Carousel Cosmos,” a circle of eight carved wooden animal bench seats, including a sea monster, a polar bear and an ice-cream eating dragon. Sponsors included Chappell Family Foundation, DrummonWoodsum and Maine Arts Commission.

“We’re a small nonprofit, and we get most of our funding from individuals in the Greater Portland area,” said TempoArt Manager Meredith Healy. “The funds raised at Catalyst will help support our current installation, ‘Carousel Cosmos,’ which will be installed on the Western Promenade in mid-June.”

Miller, an architect, artist and story-reading father, said, “This carousel is inspired by kindness, adventure, outer space, bedtime stories, dinosaurs and ice cream. It’s inspired by the Western Promenade’s endlessly spectacular sunsets and contemplative atmosphere.”

Over the past seven years, TempoArt has also had installations at Lincoln Park, Tommy’s Park, Kennedy Park, the Eastern Promenade, Bayside and the Franklin Arterial.

“Public art makes a name for Portland in the art world,” said host committee member Jenny Scheu, who is a painter, printmaker and architect. “I’ve love the sculptures and don’t think people realize how much work is involved.”

TempoArt’s next big event is an opening celebration for “Carousel Cosmos” on the Western Promenade on June 15 (rain date June 22) from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer from Scarborough. She can be reached at

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: