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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: March 13, 2017

Portland museum hosts Ashley Bryan movie as part of its kids’ film fest

Written by: Bob Keyes
Ashley Bryan  Photo courtesy of Richard Kane

Ashley Bryan
Photo courtesy of Richard Kane

A Maine-made movie about Maine artist Ashley Bryan will screen at the Portland Museum of Art on Friday as part of the Portland Youth Film Festival.

“Ashley Bryan’s World,” a 32-minute version of a longer documentary that premiered in Maine last year, tells the remarkable story of the life of the 93-year-old artist, illustrator and author, who lives on Little Cranberry Island. It screens at 7:15 p.m., preceded at 6 p.m. by “Kid Flix Mix: Shorts from the New York International Children’s Film Festival.”

The full-length version of the Bryan documentary, at 73 minutes, will screen in Lewiston on April 29 as part of the Emerge Film Festival and a two-month “Ashley Bryan Days in LA” celebration that begins in April with in-school puppetry workshops and an exhibition of Bryan’s art. Bryan has used art throughout his life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith and create a loving community.

He has illustrated more than 50 children’s books and makes puppets and sea glass windows from found objects inspired by his African heritage. He has won three Coretta Scott King Awards and a New York Public Libraries Literary Lions Award. Most recently, he won a Newbery Honor Award for his latest book, “Freedom Over Me.”

Directed by Richard Kane, the film is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists in collaboration with The Ashley Bryan Center.

Admission to the films on Friday night is free. For information, visit

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