Local artist showcases her works at Smiling Moose Gift Shop

By Mike Lange
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Beth Stephens has created so many works of art during the 10 years she’s lived in Maine that she ran out of room in her home. As a result, everyone can now see her creations at the newly-opened Smiling Moose Gift Shop on South Street, next to Dover True Value Hardware.

WOB-SmilingMoose-DC-39Observer photo/Mike Lange

    SMILING MOOSE — Beth Stephens has opened the Smiling Moose Gift Shop on South Street in Dover-Foxcroft, next to Dover True Value Hardware. In addition to a fine array of gifts, she also teaches art classes.

    “I love to create things; and 95 percent of the items in the shop are things I’ve made, including all the art works,” Stephens said. These include Maine-made gifts, personalized cards, paintings, jewelry, tiles, coasters and novelty items.
    Stephens, who has degrees in art and business, worked for Verizon for 10 years in Massachusetts before she decided to pursue a full-time artistic career. “I also ran a retail art supply store and gave art lessons when we lived in Massachusetts. We moved up here when my husband (Nelson, who also worked for Verizon) was transferred to Maine,” she said.  The couple has two children: Hunter and Clara Rose.
    Since her arrival in Dover-Foxcroft, she’s continued to network with home décor manufacturers and the greeting card industry where her artwork is on more than 300 licensed products. “Some of my cards are in many major retailers,” said Stephens, “but one of the new businesses I’m hoping to expand is our custom T-shirt printing.” Smiling Moose Gift Shop prints sublimation — which creates a three-dimensional effect — vapor material, or quality full-color transfers on T-shirts, tiles, mouse pads, ornaments, plaques or just about anything that can be printed on.
    The shop also has a comfortable classroom where Stephens offers instruction in a variety of art forms. To introduce the shop to the community, there will be a two free decorative painting classes on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. “You don’t need artistic experience at all,” Stephens said. “We’ll be working on some Halloween items, so it should be a lot of fun.”
    Stephens will also be conducting a floral watercolor workshop at the store on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. The cost is $45 and includes all materials. Reservations, which are needed for both classes, can be made by calling 564-2600 or emailing thesmilingmoose@myfairpoint.net.
    Stephens is also exploring the possibility of renting the classroom to other art teachers in the area.
    The Smiling Moose Gift Shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from10 a.m.–6 p.m.

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