sean hasey & Chrystina Gastelum featured in maine magazine
What a trip 2020 and 2021 have been! Oh wait, we've barely had any trips...
We were delighted to be featured for our art work and community engagement at Engine, however. To our surprise, Maine Magazine featured us heavily in an article focused on the transformative power art--and the people who encourage it--on Biddeford (and beyond).
Maine Magazine | May 2021
By: Hilary Irons
Photography: Christina Wnek
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Biddeford Artist, Sean Hasey, Exhibits Latest Work at Community Hub, Elements
August 4, 2019, BIDDEFORD, MAINE – A new solo exhibition by Biddeford artist, Sean Hasey, opens August 5 at Elements, in Biddeford, ME. The exhibition features 12 acrylic on panel paintings and will be on display until September 8. 265 Main Street, Biddeford, ME
“The image of the light bulb has many possibilities for symbolic content, and I’ll leave it to the viewer to determine where to place meaning. Within each painting is an element of landscape sometimes urban, sometimes rural, and I feel that there are a number of influences that appear in the color choices and the handling of the paint.” Sean Hasey, Biddeford Artist
Sean is a Maine-born artist whose roots coincidentally go back to Biddeford, where his paternal grandmother was born in 1917. While he was born in Bangor, he spent much of his youth in the Portland area, including majoring in Drawing and Sculpture at University of Southern Maine. He then spent a few years in New York City, where he worked as a cabinetmaker and attended massage therapy school at the Swedish Institute.
Upon his return to Maine in 2002, Sean bought a house and made his home in Biddeford – an affordable town close enough to Portland to keep in touch with both the larger massage client base and the more thriving art scene. Fed up with the stench of the garbage incinerator in 2007, Sean rented his home to UNE students and moved to Portland, but remained connected to the Biddeford community. In 2008, he made his first solo exhibition in Biddeford.
“Sean’s involvement in the Biddeford arts community spans over a decade, beginning when he had a solo show at Franklin Street Art Space, a small art space I ran personally in downtown Biddeford. At Engine, Sean has participated in group shows and storefront window installations, as well as events like our PechaKucha nights, open mic nights, and art critiques. He’s a talented and engaged artist in this community,” says Tammy Ackerman, executive director of downtown arts organization, Engine.
Sean frequently returned to Biddeford to check on the house and to see massage clients at a local business. On one of these visits, he discovered Elements, and made it his regular stop between clients or on his way into or out of town. Around the same time, he noticed the air felt cleaner and the cars weren’t coated in incinerator dust because the incinerator was shut down and being dismantled. In 2014, he decided to move back.
“Elements has been a really important place to find community in Biddeford, and Main Street has been enlivened as a result of its presence there. A quality bookstore, like Elements, provides an opportunity to be exposed to something unexpected that may even change your mind. Widening of personal experience is something I aspire to express in my paintings, and I'm grateful that they’re hanging at Elements.” Sean Hasey, Biddeford Artist
Since moving back, he has been renovating his home, building a vegetable and flower garden with pears to feed the neighborhood, and generally trying to stay connected to the community. But he was still keeping a massage office in Portland, and the drive was starting to get old.
In November 2018, Sean and his partner, Chrystina Gastelum, created a new massage business called Hark House at 180 Main Street, across from city hall. They have enjoyed a growing business, whose client list increased by 50% in just 6 months.
Yet, in all this time, Sean had never before shown his work at Elements. Elements, in addition to serving locally-roasted coffee, locally-brewed beer, and new and used books carefully curated to the town’s changing and diverse demographics, is also home to a monthly rotating gallery curated by Keiren Valentine.
“It’s truly a pleasure showing the work of an artist who is both a longtime customer and an active member of the downtown small business community. I respect how Sean uses his art to make observations about current social and cultural issues.” Katie Pinard, co-owner, Elements: Books Coffee Beer
www.seanhasey.com | www.elementsbookscoffeebeer.com
Sean Hasey or Chrystina Gastelum (Hark House), 207-558-2766 firstname.lastname@example.org or Chrystina@harkhouse.me
New Biddeford practice specializes in high-quality therapeutic massage
Business relocates to city from Portland
| January 18, 2019
By GRACE LAVERRIERE
BIDDEFORD — Main Street, the heart of downtown Biddeford, is the new location of the massage practice Hark House. The practice, formerly located in Portland, specializes in high quality therapeutic massage.
Located at 180 Main St., the practice is focused on massage, which includes educating clients about their bodies and presenting strategies for self care between appointments. The name Hark House comes from the idea of listening and recognizing our bodies in order to have more control over comfort and function, according to the owners of the business. The word “hark” can be defined as “listen” and “house” is where it happens, owners say.
Together, Hark House co-owners Sean Hasey and Chrystina Gastelum have over 20 years of experience in practicing massage and bodywork. Their work includes, but is not limited to massage forms such as deep tissue, Swedish, Thai, and Shiatsu.
After working in Portland for many years, they moved the practice to Biddeford last month.
“While I’ve enjoyed my nearly two decades of working in Portland, the signs were clear that Biddeford was ready for us,” Hasey said.
As residents of Biddeford, Hasey and Gastelum intend to be a more active in the community by building their business in where they live.
“We felt that we wanted to be a part of the community where we lived,” said co-owner Sean Hasey. “(We also) want people to be educated about their bodies — it’s useful information to transfer to folks.”
Along with community involvement, the couple moved their practice from Portland in order to use fewer resources.
“We wanted to practice sustainability by using less gas,” said Hasey. “We can walk to work now rather than using (many) gallons of gas to drive to Portland every day.”
Both licensed massage therapists have a deep passion for massage and are intrigued to learn even more.
“My interest in massage came from a deep interest in the body: how it works and how to fix it myself,” said co-owner Chrystina Gastelum. “I’m consistently participating in classes and workshops to improve my skills.”
The practice of massage itself is a very personal art that allows for comfort and healing, Hasey said.
“Massage can be a very intimate practice, and we want to be known in the community as a safe place,” said Hasey. “It’s nice when someone comes in and there’s an intimate, while boundaried, interaction.”
The Biddeford community has made the move from Portland pretty seamless, the couple said.
“Biddeford has such a great energy, and we are inspired by the community and like-minded health care practitioners in the area.” Gastelum said.
Hark House business hours are by appointment, which can be made online at www.harkhouse.me, by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 558-2766. The company also committed to offer a seated massage at the indoor Saco River Farmers Market each Saturday morning throughout the winter.
On Feb. 16 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., the practice is hosting a do-it-yourself massage workshop to participants to bring massage into their daily life.
Hark House focuses on body education, comfort, and a safe space to be relaxed. Both massage therapists truly love the work.
“It’s satisfying when people leave feeling more comfortable,” said Gastelum. “We get to directly impact people’s lives in a positive way. It’s great to have a job that I love doing.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Biddeford residents launch massage therapy practice downtown
January 11, 2019, BIDDEFORD, MAINE -- Biddeford residents Sean Hasey and Chrystina Gastelum have opened a new massage therapy practice, Hark House, in downtown Biddeford, moving from their space in Portland. Together they have over 20 years of experience practicing massage and bodywork.
Hark House is located at 180 Main Street, a building owned by Gallagher’s Rainbow (David & Carolyn Flood). The practice comprises two therapist-owners who are dedicated to providing high-quality therapeutic massage in Biddeford. Their work includes deep tissue, Swedish, Thai, Shiatsu and other modalities.
The name Hark House comes from the idea that as we recognize our bodies and listen, we can have more agency over our own comfort and function. “House” is the place where it happens and “hark,” in its simplest definition, means “listen.” Hark House helps to facilitate this experience in a meaningful, physical, and occasionally metaphysical manner. The therapist helps you to notice, or listen to, your body’s more restricted areas and helps you to release that for improved mobility, strength, and ease.
Having lived in Biddeford (off and on) for over 15 years, Sean Hasey was ready to commit to bringing his practice—and some existing clients—to Biddeford. “While I’ve enjoyed my nearly two decades of working in Portland, the signs were clear that Biddeford was ready for us,” Hasey remarked. Sean’s therapeutic work is extraordinarily focused and specific. Clients remark that they feel more in their bodies and grounded after a session with Sean. Sean has been practicing massage since 2001.
Chrystina Gastelum moved to Biddeford nearly two years ago. “I love living in a more tight-knit community. I came to Maine in 2013 by way of New York City and I appreciate the opportunities Maine life has presented to me — including the opportunity to leave my job and go to massage school a few years ago! The body has always been fascinating to me and I am grateful every day for the knowledge I have and the profound way I get to use that in my work.” While most massage sessions focus on limbs or back, Chrystina also enjoys working on the tissues in the face and works intra-orally (in the mouth) to relieve jaw tension and TMJ-related disorders. Prior to practicing massage, Chrystina worked in corporate sustainability and has been a trained yoga teacher since 2011. “I’m delighted that my Portland-based clients are curious about Biddeford and the burgeoning community we are developing and experiencing here.”
In the last two years, the couple have become more involved in the local community including the Mission Hill Community Garden, working the voting polls, and events like Art Walk, Maker Faire, Confetti and many open mic nights. This community involvement paved the way for their decision to bring their business to Biddeford.
While office hours are by appointment, Hark House has made a commitment to offer seated massage at the indoor Saco River Farmers Market at 40 Main Street each Saturday morning through the winter. For folks who like to meet their massage therapist before a full session, this is a great opportunity to combine trips and get a taste of their work. To learn more or book an appointment, please visit us at www.harkhouse.me.
Hark House will be hosting community meditations as well as workshops on massage for both practitioners and non-therapists in their space on Main Street and in collaboration with others in the area. They are eager to partner with other organizations and to help educate the community. Follow Hark House on Facebook (@harkhousemaine) and Instagram (@harkhouse) for specials, news and updates.