I was an Arts Festival participant junkie before I became involved with the Logo Committee, which is how I first started volunteering.
Maureen McKinnon moved to Marblehead in 1998 precisely because of the Festival of Arts. She says, “It was a complete and direct result of the Festival. I thought it was what made this town special.” Maureen lived in Boston for 13 years working as a floral designer, and every year she came to the Festival, believing there was a promising, strong art community here.
She says, “I was an Arts Festival participant junkie before I became involved with the Logo Committee, which is how I first started volunteering.” When she was asked to volunteer with the Logo Committee for a shift, she said, “Yes, I’ll work every day! And the next thing I knew, the following year, I was the chairman! How cool is that!”
Maureen chaired the Logo Committee for four years. And for one year, she was the judge of the Logo Contest. She says, “It was fun to do the judging. But, it can be a very contentious process. The role of the judge isn’t to pick the prettiest or most artful logo, but to pick the most marketable and reproducible, which is a very different kind of art.” The experience was helpful, however, and Maureen grew aware of the distinction between Fine Art and Commercial Art. To her, the Logo Contest wove the two together.
Maureen also helped with the Art Auction. She also, to this day, donates to the Festival Christmas Walk. She says, “My medium is flowers and for the Christmas Walk, I make wreathes and garlands.” She served on the Board from 2002-2004.
Currently, Maureen procures flower arrangements for events whenever possible, but for the most part, she remains an interested observer. Maureen is pleased to see that her daughter has become very interested in the Festival.”My daughter, however, is merely 13 years old and she was the ‘Vanna’ at the Art Auction last year. She is definitely a Festival Kid and future Board member. She volunteers with the Logo booth, and she helps her father with the boats. Herb Goldberg has pictures of her from when she was a baby to now.”
Maureen is happy that most of the exhibits are wheelchair accessible. She says, “They’ve made an effort to accommodate handicaps.” Now the Old Townhouse is wheelchair accessible as well.
Maureen believes that the Festival of Arts is a family. She says, “The Volunteers and Board are people that hold together this wonderful tradition. if you like plays, there’s theatre; if you like boats, there’s the Kids’ Boat Regatta!” For 15 years, Maureen has been the boat retriever for the kids’ kayaking. “I hop in the kayak and I paddle out to pick up the kids and turn them around,” she says.
Throughout the years, Maureen has decided that her favorite exhibit is Photography. She says, “Herb Goldberg and Chuck Schefreen are very good. I am very moved by many of the photos and often buy them.”
Maureen believes that the Festival has been a steady success because of the amount of love everyone has for celebrating the arts. She is especially happy that her daughter now shares the same love that initially drew Maureen.