Stenciled Mural on a Panel:Tales of an Itinerant Stenciler with Bee Shay

In the 1800’s itinerant stencilers roamed America and would teach many domestic arts in trade for food and lodging. It was a way common folk could educate their daughters in those arts in hopes of making for a better marriage. Rufus Porter was one of the most famous of those stencilers so we are going to take some of his cues on technique and approach to scale and create a simple marine landscape echoing early Nantucket whaling history. Whether you choose to create a whaling scene at sea, an interpretation of a page from a whaling journal or include a bit of the island shoreline, your board will tell the story you want it to tell. The stencils we will use in class are designed by instructor and based largely on images from the NHA collection.


Maximum class size: 12

Bee Shay has been a folk artist and oil painter for almost thirty years, teaching theorem painting, stenciling, and faux finishes nationally since 1991. She has apprenticed under members of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration. For nearly ten years she was involved in the Stencil Artisans League, Inc. (SALI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching and furthering traditional American folk art. Currently, Bee is a resident of Nantucket and continues teaching nationally.

The mission of the Nantucket Historical Association is to tell the inspiring stories of Nantucket through its collections, programs, and properties.

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