The last Sunday of every summer month, the Fiore Art Center opens its doors to the public with family-friendly open studio days. In July, August and September the artists and writers in residence welcome visitors into their studios to see what they have been working on during their month-long residency; the center is also open for tours. Sunday, July 28, from noon to 3 p.m. will be the first open studio day of the summer, when guests can enjoy the center’s gallery, garden, music on the lawn, refreshments, and spend the afternoon at the center’s grounds on the shores of Damariscotta Lake.

For July, visual artists Mildred Bachrach and Eleanor Conover, along with academic resident Sonja Birthisel, will be opening their studios. Bachrach describes herself as an artistic pluralist who uses a variety of techniques and materials to explore the concepts of personal and environmental trauma. Eleanor Conover is a painter whose work responds to site-specificity and the human relationship to environmental space.

Dr. Sonja Birthisel is the first academic writing resident at the Art Center. She recently finished graduate school at the University of Maine, where she is currently employed. This summer, she will be working on several papers about climate change and its impacts on Maine agriculture.

Laurie McDonnell is this season’s resident gardener. From tending urban landscapes to nurturing her own small farm, she says she has relished the opportunities she has had to partner with the land, and that she looks forward to cultivating her memoir and critical essay writing practice as she tends the gardens at Rolling Acres Farm.

There will be music on the front lawn by Callahan Bridge, from Appleton: fiddler Raelin Callahan and guitarist Kevin Callahan. The daughter/father duo plays music from Irish, Scottish, Quebecois, American Old Time, and other traditions.

Open studio days take place at the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm, 152 Punk Point Road in Jefferson. Maine Farmland Trust acquired Rolling Acres in 2011 with the goal of protecting the land, then decided to expand its work to “celebrating agriculture through art.” For more information, email Anna Witholt Abaldo,, or call the MFT office, 338-6575.