My name is Susan Brackett. I moved to Boothbay Harbor/Boothbay Region in 1977, so I am still considered and consider myself a “Person From Away”. I have owned/run Boothbay Harbor Framers Gallery, a custom picture frame shop/art gallery/antique/gift shop since 1995. I currently live in Boothbay, but once the house renovations that my partner, Bob Eisele, and I have been working on for years, are complete I will become a resident of Boothbay Harbor. I feed my passion for live performance by being a chronic volunteer at The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, where I am also a member of the board of directors.
My ex-husband of 23 years was a lobsterman, his father before him, as well, as were his father's father and grandfather before that. His family history is connected to fishermen from Monhegan Island. I have a great respect for the men that work on the water and find the fishing industry to be an important part of local heritage and the fabric of our community.
Last year’s creation was inspired by a dress and head piece worn by Priyanka Chopra at the 2018 Met Gala. Lindy Bragg, one of our talented team members, had seen Ms. Chopra walking the carpet at the Gala and thought her outfit could be loosely recreated using what is required in the "Fishin for Fashion" show/competition. The dress was made using black spinnaker sail fabric. Black fishing net embellished with pearls, shells & sea glass was used for the intricate head piece. The train on our creation, as well as the Met Gala dress, was very long. Carrie Langlois our team’s seamstress will remember its exact length, but I am remembering 16'!
At some moment in the creative process, Lindy Bragg suggested that, we as a creative team, could use this platform to express our joint concerns about the health of the oceans globally, as well as the Gulf of Maine. It was decided that plastic trash would be attached to the underside and edge of the train. Since the spinnaker fabric's purpose is to catch a breeze on a sailboat, an amazing photo was taken of our model near the water's edge with the train and attached trash billowing in the breeze.
In my opinion, and I feel that it should be obvious, that the fishing industry is as important to all of us, as farming! I continue to be hopeful that cleaning up the oceans, before it is too late, is a real possibility. That along with dedication from communities to appreciate the importance of the fishing industry and thus maintain space for working waterfront is imperative!
Since I own a frame shop/art gallery here in Boothbay Harbor, images of fishing vessels, harbors and the Maine coast etc. are an everyday part and inspiration for what I do!