Out of the Shadows - The Legacy of Pineland Logo

Grace McKenna

Grace McKenna sits at a table wearing a white smock, painting, and smiling at the camera
Grace is an accomplished artist.

Grace McKenna counts herself “retired” now, but everyone in Freeport seems to know her. She worked at the check-in desk of the Freeport Y for two decades, greeting each person who arrived for a class or workout. Before Grace had the opportunity to become a local icon, she lived at a state institution for people with intellectual disabilities.

Two older ladies wearing bright colors and grinning at the camera, one with her arm around the other
Grace McKenna and friend Nancy Basset take a break between frames at a local bowling alley.

These days, when Grace isn’t hanging out with her buddies or enjoying the Freeport home she shares with friends, she’s often at work in the Spindleworks art center in downtown Brunswick. Her artist profile there describes Grace as “a disciplined and focused weaver whose warps incorporate a wide variety of fibers. Her paintings are delicate and ethereal, both in mark and color. Her prints are textural translations of the same style. Grace also enjoys working in ceramics, making a variety of vessels, and has taken the spool knitter to new heights— using this a needle-less knitting device to make sculptural hats, shawls, belts, vests, and rugs.”