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Thermwood

Giant fiberglass Loons

23 June 2003

Oversized sculptured loons are starting to populate downtown Wilton and Farmington. A red, white and blue loon with roses and eagles sits near another at Wilton Academy Hill School, this one painted with sky, clouds, water, mountains and a sun for each eye.

The Earnhardt-styled loon, which was once a white, fiberglass, 33-pound sculpture like all the rest, was getting a shiny coat of black on a work table at Signworks in Farmington earlier this week. As the week went on, artist Lenny Hoover of Farmington painted the late Dale Earnhardt's trademark No. 3 on the loon, adding checkered flags and red pinstripes.

A traditional Maine loon sits in front of KeyBank; a Picasso-style loon waits at the corner of Main Street and Weld Road.

They're all part of Loon Maine-ia 2003, which organizers say will be one of western Maine's largest outdoor public displays of art. The event coincides with the upcoming Blueberry Festival and the celebration of Wilton's bicentennial. The loons will be auctioned off Aug. 2 during the festival.

But for now, people are taking walking tours to view the flock. The loons spread throughout the downtown reflect the artists' style and creativity.

The sponsors, Signworks and Farmington Construction, also would be represented on the sides of the 4-foot-long and 3-foot-high loon.

Loon Maine-ia 2003 organizer Barbara Hathaway of Wilton decided on loon shapes because Wilson Lake is in the center of the town, where several real loons swim and watch over the lake and mountains. She's also emphasizing the environment and protection of Wilson Lake and the loons.






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