9.22.22 | Meet Migaloo – The Whale Who Just Swam Into The Atrium

Dear Friends,

You may have noticed something a little different when you walked into the library this week. The 20+ foot long Humpback Whale sculpture hanging from the ceiling? I can’t stop staring! It is majestic and gorgeous, and I am totally smitten.

For now, we’re informally calling it Migaloo after the famous hypo-pigmented (or leucistic) Humpback Whale from the Pacific Ocean.

Our Migaloo started as a conversation among library staff about what to do with the expansive space in the library’s atrium. Various ideas were suggested, but the one that stuck was to create a hanging whale sculpture to acknowledge the beautiful whales swimming off Maine’s coast, which would capture the imagination of our patrons. Internally, the project came to be known as Project Cetacean!

The incredibly talented artists Melissa Glendinning and Erica Qualey were commissioned to bring the creation to “life,” and they did a superlative job!

Some notable facts about our Migaloo:

  • It was delivered to the library in three pieces, where it was assembled and raised to its current position. That process took over nine hours!
  • The sculpture is supported inside by a wooden “spine” and a combination of PVC piping and Pex tubing. A strip of LED lights runs along its belly, and the eyes are small fish bowls painted with sea glass paint.
  • Our Migaloo is approximately 20 feet long, or the size of a 1-2-month-old baby humpback whale. A newborn humpback weighs about 3000 lbs. Adults can be more than 50 ft long and weigh around 60,000 lbs.

I want to personally thank the Anonimo Foundation, Erica, Melissa, and the wonderful people who helped raise this beautiful sculpture to its present place of rest. Every day I am astounded by the creativity and generosity of our community. Thank you all.

Be well,

Matthew Graff