Over the years, the poster for the Maine Lobster Festival has changed colors, fonts and media to reflect the style of the times, but one element has remained constant: the lobster, which is always prominently displayed. This year, the festival poster has a retro feel thanks to artist Megan Rogers, who grew up in Rockland and who has attended the festival for many years.
Her poster lobster is mottled, with a yellowish green carapace and tinges of blue and red on the claws. “I had always wanted a poster for the Festival to show a live lobster, one that wasn’t red,” she said of her decision. “I also wanted to show a lobster that was fierce and powerful. The way they travel and carry themselves underwater is so different than their slow, scrambling, drooping demeanor on land. When they are under water they hold their claws up like boxers. Their antennae are up and their mouthparts move, making them so much more interesting.”
Megan grew up in an artistic family, and has painted on and off since childhood. She began painting in earnest more than seven years ago. She had never drawn a lobster before, and she prepared by sketching it first, then drawing a detailed pencil study.
“I prefer to work in oils,” she said. “They have a very flexible temperament and you can push and pull them in a way. I also like the textures created by the buildup of the oils.”
Explaining her choice of nostalgic colors and fonts, she said, “I had a lot of help from Jeffrey Thibodeau and the gang at Brio Promotions in Rockland. I gave Jeff the painting and he scanned it, tweaked the background color, and added all the retro fonts and feels. He really elevated the poster and made it perfect for the 70th year.”
Following college and time spent living in England, Megan was married and returned to Rockland, her hometown, in 2006. “There is really nothing like this area for its natural beauty and space and quiet,” she said.
Megan is an Educational Technician at Union Elementary School and is working toward certification as a teacher in Maine, with the goal to be teaching by next year. She also sings and performs with her father, Bob Stuart, and is appearing with him on stage a few times this spring, including an appearance at the Rockport Folk Festival’s reunion concert.
She looks forward to the Maine Lobster Festival every year. “Growing up here, I always loved the parade, and I’ve marched, danced and driven down Main Street in the annual parade a number of times,” she said. “Now that I have a son of my own, it’s been so much fun to experience the thrill of fire engines, candy, and so many people again with him. Also the fried dough, am I right?”