Summer Solstice Resident Art Show Returns After Pandemic Hiatus

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Piper Shores is excited to announce the return of the Summer Solstice Resident Art Show on Saturday, June 18, 2022, from 1-4pm. Recognizing that there is a strong connection between creativity and wellness, Piper Shores is delighted to host the event at the Bigelow Arts Center, which has continued to see significant use and engagement by residents even throughout the pandemic. Piper Shoes will open its doors to the Greater Portland area, free of charge (check-in and masks required for the health and safety of residents), to help celebrate and showcase dozens of original works by a collection of resident artists, including this year’s featured artist E.B. Moore (a.k.a. Liz).

“I love seeing all the things that people do here. The amount of talent is truly extraordinary. It’s so fun to see what people put up,” Liz said.

Meet E.B. Moore

Born in Washington, D.C., Liz was raised in the Eastern part of Pennsylvania under the watchful eye of her artistic mother, surrounded by all things art and horses. Having visited Maine periodically throughout her life in the summer months to visit friends, Liz fell in love with our great state and knew this was the place she would eventually reside.

We recently sat down with Liz to chat about her life as a sculptor, welder, and novelist, as well as her life here at Piper Shores. She was excited to talk about her past life as a sculptor and welder, her all-consuming love for writing, and her gratefulness for Piper Shores and the actions they took to keep her and her partner, Priscilla, safe during the pandemic.

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This year, Liz’s featured artwork is a beautiful steel sculpture which replicates a large horse, depicting its muscular structure in the placement of the welded rods. This hand-crafted steel sculpture is part of a series with two other horses, inspired by the biblical story of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The four horsemen of the apocalypse story appear in the Book of Revelation. Each of the horsemen represents a different facet of the apocalypse: conquest, war, famine, and death. Even though Liz was not able to finish the fourth horse structure, she was inspired by the action of the story itself.

“I have a fascination with anatomy of all sorts, with both people and animals. Horses played a big part in my life when I was growing up because I ran a boarding stable when I was a kid. It was a good way to earn money and have fun at the same time. I did a lot of horses,” Liz explained. “This one is steel, and it’s made out of welding rods, attached together with an Oxyacetylene torch. I first made the skeleton, and then drew the muscles on just as if I was drawing with pencil – which I never liked to do. I always like working with the real thing.”

Liz’s Moldable Years Working in Sculpture & Writing

In her younger years, Liz indulged in quite a few sculpture-based welding projects, but she was originally working in clay before she found her love for metal work. Liz attended The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she went through their sculpture program to learn the art of clay work. However, Liz eventually realized that the process was quite lengthy and complex, and wanted to find a more direct way to express herself creatively by using a medium that would allow her to take on bigger projects. “When I was there, there was a sculptor named Khalil Gibran, who was a relative of the poet, and he came and demonstrated this system of working with an oxyacetylene torch, and I thought that’s for me, that’s what I want to do because I can get into the detail.”

Liz then began to learn the ins and outs of welding with an oxyacetylene torch. As challenging as it was, Liz loved every minute of it. “Unfortunately, I don’t have a future in this art, which is too bad because I loved working with the tools. It was an amazing period in my life. I really enjoyed it.”Even though Liz can no longer meet the physical demand of metal work, she discovered a new passion in writing, which has now become a focal point in Liz’s life at Piper Shores.

“Creating is something that I just have to do,” Liz said, “I love doing that. And then when I could no longer do that, back when I was around 50, I went back to school and thought maybe writing would be the thing because it was less demanding on the body. At that point I had worn my body out with the heavy work my art involved. So, I went back to school with my youngest daughter, and then to Grub Street, writing school in Boston. I’ve been writing novels since then. There’s currently two published and we’re working on agreements for a third. Writing really takes over for me, and it gives me the same sense of satisfaction.”

Liz loves that she has the ability to get completely lost in her writing and was grateful for the art itself and how it kept her occupied during the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Getting through the pandemic, getting through various complications that I had during the pandemic, I didn’t have the problems that a lot of people had of feeling isolated. I was completely focused on my work, I was writing the third novel and trying to get that finished. I was totally consumed by it and all the other health difficulties made no difference at all. I just kept right on going.”

Loving Life at Piper Shores

Not only did the art of writing help Liz get through the majority of the pandemic, but Piper Shores itself was a safe place – a sanctuary that allowed Liz to unwind and indulge in her favorite hobby, with a staff and peer group that encouraged her every step of the way.

Being here is like being on a writer’s retreat such as a place like McDowell or the Vermont studio center. I’ve been to those places, and you go for a month, or a few weeks and it was absolutely amazing because it would get me away from a life that didn’t allow me as much time to work. Here it’s like being on a constant retreat. It’s terrific to have that freedom. And the support, the community here, the friendships that I have made, are just astonishing. I’m so thrilled and I feel very lucky to be here.”

Liz currently resides in her 3rd floor apartment, where she enjoys working in fresh air by the window, , spending time with her partner, and writing to her heart’s content. Liz’s first two published books are titled, The Unseemly Wife, and Stones on the Road, which are both survival stories inspired by her grandparents’ life stories. She is currently finalizing a deal for a third book.

“I’ve been a resident at Piper Shores since 2018, and I have loved every minute here. It’s been a godsend to me as things have developed over these four years and to be here during the pandemic, it was amazing. Everybody worked so hard to make the residents’ lives as easy and as safe as they could. It’s just an amazing group of administration and staff, they are truly committed to this place.”

To learn more about Liz’s featured artwork and books, make sure to pay her a visit during Piper Shores’ 3rd Annual Summer Solstice Resident Art Show on June 18th.