Maine Bicentennial: Call for Art Inspired by Original Maine State Seal

In celebration of the Maine state bicentennial The Harlow, in partnership with Vaughan Woods & Historic Homestead, seek submissions of artwork inspired by the original Maine state seal. Submissions will be considered for an exhibition which will be held at the Vaughan Homestead. Submissions will be juried by staff members of The Harlow and Vaughan Homestead.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to May 20th, 2020 by 11:59pm. 

The exhibition will be on view inside the barn at the Vaughan Homestead in Hallowell from June 20th through the end of July, 2020 with an opening reception on June 20th which will coincide with the Homestead’s annual Garden Party. Learn more about the Vaughan Homestead at

Artists are invited to submit work inspired by the elements of the original Maine state seal design including the northern star, the farmer, the mariner, the moose, and the white pine. Artists are encouraged to consider the themes represented in these elements such as agriculture, nature, the ocean, etc. The exhibition will serve as a tribute to Maine’s legacy as it honors and celebrates the themes that make up the State’s identity.

Artists may submit up to 4 works. All media welcome including but not limited to: painting, drawing, printmaking, encaustic, illustration, mixed media, photography, and more. The submitted piece must be an original work by the submitting artist. Artists should be residents of Maine at least part of the year or otherwise have a strong connection to the state. Artists submitting from out of state are responsible for the costs of shipping work to and from the Harlow. Please note that return shipping will be actual cost plus $20 to cover staff time. Work previously shown at the Harlow is not eligible. Only original or originally printed works will be admitted; reproductions such as photocopies and giclee prints are not acceptable. Works submitted should preferably have been created within the last five years. All 2 dimensional entries, with the exception of oils and acrylics, must be framed with either glass or plexiglass. Unframed canvases are fine, as long as they are gallery wrapped with no staples visible. Frames and canvases must be wired and ready to hang (ie. with two eye screws and steel wire). Saw-tooth hangers , “clip” frames or unstable frames are not acceptable for installation.

When Maine separated from Massachusetts one of the first actions of the newly established Legislature was to decide upon the Great Seal of Maine. Benjamin Vaughan, although not a legislative committee member, proposed the emblems, still in use today, which were first crudely drawn by one of his daughters, reportedly at the dining room table that sits in Vaughan Homestead to this day. In his proposal for the seal, Vaughan argues that residents of Maine should take pride in their “northern situation.” He wrote “we are the most northern state in the Union . . . yet what is an ordinary star for all other states becomes the north star for us.” He continues “Then grow great not by the power of the sun, but by [our] habits.” This northern identity is still alive and well in Maine. The primary elements of the seal are the northern star, the farmer, the mariner, the moose, and the white pine.

Settled in 1794, Vaughan Homestead was the residence of Benjamin and Sarah Vaughan and six generations of their descendants. With its sweeping view of the Kennebec River, rolling fields, lush gardens and towering forest, it remains much the same today as when it was built. Vaughan, a physician and British Parliamentarian, advised the Founding Fathers, supported the development of Maine and the City of Hallowell and encouraged new methods of agriculture throughout the region. For the next 200 years, his descendants lived in the house on the hill, grew their food, made repairs, built trails in the woods, weathered the bad times and celebrated the good. In 2002, the non-profit Vaughan Woods & Historic Homestead was established, and a new era of Homestead history began. Today, VWHH seeks to deepen people’s sense of place by providing access to the local natural landscape and programs that both promote an understanding of the past and build a connection to the community of today. Learn more at

1. Email your submission to
2. Attach your jpg images to the email. (One image per artwork. For 3D work, you may submit more than one image for each work if you feel it will help to better understand the work.)
3. Include the following information in the body of your email:
Artist name:
Mailing address:
Phone number:
Email address:
Current member (yes/no):
For each of your 4 entries list the following information:
Title, Medium, Size (h x w, add depth if 3D), Year Created, Price** or Value if NFS (not for sale)
**The Harlow takes a 35% commission for pieces sold on behalf of current members, or 50% commission for non-members. Please price your work accordingly.
4. Pay the non-refundable entry fee of $30 for non-members and $15 for current members. The fee is per artist (not per work of art entered) and entitles you to submit up to 4 works of art.
Pay online here
or send a check payable to Harlow Gallery to:

The Harlow, 100 Water Street, Hallowell, ME 04347