Ipcar receives President’s Award from booksellers

Maine artist, illustrator and author Dahlov Ipcar has received the 2010 President’s Award from the New England Independent Booksellers Association. The award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to arts and letters. Ipcar joins Robert McCloskey as the only other children’s book author/illustrator to receive the award.

“Dahlov Ipcar’s lifelong body of work is entirely inspiring,” said the association’s board president Dick Hermans, who chose Ipcar as this year’s recipient. “That she has so beautifully created books to draw children, in particular, to the joys of language and art is a further testament to her genius. Readers of all ages have delighted in Ipcar’s work for many years and because her work is so timeless, they will do so for decades to come.”

Ipcar has written and illustrated more than 30 children’s and young adult books, starting with “The Little Fisherman” (by Margaret Wise Brown) in 1945 and including “The Cat at Night,” “One Horse Farm,” “Hardscrabble Harvest,” “The Calico Jungle” and “My Wonderful Christmas Tree.”

“Dahlov Ipcar is a remarkable talent, an inspiring artist, and a wonderful lady,” said Dean Lunt, president of Maine-based Islandport Press, which is reissuing many of Ipcar’s children’s books. “It has been an honor to work with Dahlov to reintroduce her books to a new generation.”

Ipcar’s distinctively modern style helped change the role of artwork in children’s literature. She introduced children to Cubist influences, folk art and modern design with rich patterns and textures that spring from nature. Ipcar’s body of work reflects New England sensibilities; her stories are often about the pleasures of a simple life, appreciation for what the earth provides and the power of the imagination.

The booksellers association a trade group for the retail book industry in New England. Previous recipients of the NEIBA President’s Award include McCloskey, Richard Russo, Richard Ford, Tracy Kidder and Arthur Miller. The award will be presented at the annual conference on Sept. 30. The award includes a $500 grant, which Ipcar will donate to the Laura E. Richards Library in Georgetown.


Bates alumna will talk about Sri Lankan project

A Bates College alumna who used her 2009 Watson Fellowship to study performance arts in South Africa and Indonesia will discuss her experiences at 7 p.m. Friday in the college’s Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell St.

An information session about applying for the Watson follows.

Sulochana Dissanayake of Pita Kotte, Sri Lanka, was one of 40 recipients of the 2009 fellowship, a $28,000 award supporting a year of independent research abroad. Driven by her goal of creating a Sri Lankan theater company and school that will examine her own country’s social and political issues, Dissanayake used her Watson year to study performance traditions in Indonesia and contemporary theater companies in South Africa.

South Africa and Indonesia “are similar to Sri Lanka in terms of our colonized histories, and economic, social and political backgrounds,” Dissanayake said after receiving the fellowship. “But both these countries, South Africa specifically, have discovered theater as a voice of their people – something yet to be done in local English-language theater in Sri Lanka.”

Accordingly, her goal for the Watson-funded research was to observe the creative and developmental processes from start to finish, from the conception and writing of a socially relevant play to its casting and direction.

Dissanayake was one of the rare first-year students to direct a production by the student-run Robinson Players, and as a senior directed one of the college’s two annual mainstage productions – a responsibility usually undertaken by a professor of theater. All told, Dissanayake directed nine productions at Bates.

In addition, during summer 2008 she was a directing intern at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and during the previous summer apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, in Massachusetts.

Dissanayake double-majored in theater and economics, deliberately coupling creative development with coursework that acknowledges practical realities.

The Thomas J. Watson Foundation was created in 1961 by Mrs. Thomas J. Watson Sr. in honor of her late husband, the founder of International Business Machines Corp., widely known as IBM. The one-year Watson Fellowship offers college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel, in international settings new to them, to enhance their resourcefulness, imagination, openness and leadership, and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community.


Historical society presents concert by Katherine Rhoda

Hiram Historical Society will present a concert by Katherine Rhoda at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Great Ossipee Museum, 20 Historical Ridge. She will sing traditional and historical folk songs accompanied on unusual vintage instruments. Her instruments include the Marxophone, ukelin and violin-guitar, unique American play-by-number instruments sold door-to-door beginning in the early 1900s.
Items from the museum’s collection of music in Hiram will be on display. The Mount Cutler School’s marching harmonica band of the 1930s and the men’s Hiram Cornet Band of the early 1900s will be represented.

Saturday’s concerted will be preceded by a Hiram Historical Society business meeting at 2 p.m. The program is free. Call 625-4762 for more information.


Studio/gallery tour features Haystack potters Sept. 11-12

The Blue Hill and Deer Isle, Maine Peninsula Potters Studio/Gallery Tour and Sale will be Saturday and Sept. 12, and will feature many artisans affiliated with Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

In all, 12 studios and galleries with 15 or more potters will be involved.

The two-day, self-guided tour includes a variety of work from teapots to sculpture in stoneware and porcelain, all fired in electric, gas and wood kilns.

Maps can be found in local businesses and at

Potters and galleries include: Mark Bell (Mark Bell Pottery), Carole Beal, Kathy Burton (R-Place Studio), Barbro Chapman (Barbro Chapman Pottery), Melissa Greene (Greene-Ziner Gallery also showing Betsey Copp and Stephen Rodriguez), Keith Herklotz (Down to Earth Pottery), Melody Lewis-Kane (Clay Forms Pottery), Marcia Kola (Mountainville Studio), Bunzy Sherman (Bunzy Sherman, The Potter, Marie Palluotto (Red Door Pottery) Bunny Gorski and Jane Story (Brooklin Pottery Coop), Richard Talyor (Richard Taylor Ceramics), Hanna Gossard (HG Pottery).

The Peninsula Potters is a loosely knit group of potters and clay artists who have settled and established working studios in the area.


Concert series to highlight work of Muriel Havenstein

The Concerts at Jewett Series sponsored by the University of Maine at Augusta College of Arts and Sciences and UMA Senior College will present “Remembering Muriel – a Celebration of Muriel Havenstein and her beloved Jazz/Swing Music“ at 2 p.m. Sept. 26 at Jewett Auditorium. Ralph Norris (sax), John Hunter (bass), Gary Gemmiti (drums) and Gerry Wright (piano) will perform the music that Havenstein loved and share some of their favorite stories about the Maine entertainer.

Tickets cost $10, or $5 for students; 12 and younger get in free. Tickets are available at Pat’s Pizza in Augusta, Apple Valley Books in Winthrop, Mike Davis Entertainment in Waterville, and at the door. Call 621-3551, or e-mail [email protected] for information or for mail-order tickets. For information, visit


Art festival is accepting entries for Oct. 20-23 show

Entries are being accepted through Sept. 24, for the second annual Yarmouth Art Festival. The juried show, created in 2009 as a showcase for Maine’s growing arts community, will be Oct. 20-23 at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church at 396 Gilman Road.

The festival welcomes submissions – painting, sculpture, photography, etching and digital media – from any artist 18 or older who maintains a residence in Maine. The fee is $10 per person for the first piece and $5 for every additional one.

Submissions will be accepted online and must include a digital image of each entry. Participating artists are responsible for delivering their work to the show, and sculpture exhibitors are requested to place their own pieces. To access an entry form and the rules, visit

This year’s jurors are Chris Thompson, an associate professor at the Maine College of Art in Portland; Elizabeth Moss, owner of Elizabeth Moss Gallery in Falmouth; and Anne Haas, art librarian at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

In 2009, more than 100 pieces were selected from 45 artists for display and purchase. Net proceeds help support the St. Bart’s community service programs, such as its food pantry and the St. Elizabeth’s Essentials Pantry in Portland.


Winslow Homer lectures setthis Friday and on Sept. 17

Dyer Library and Saco Museum presents a two-part Winslow Homer lecture series. The first is set for 6 p.m. Friday and will feature Peter Hornby, who will discuss Homer and his time in England. The second, featuring Portland Museum of Art chief curator Thomas Denenberg, will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 17 and will focus on Homer in Maine. Visit


‘10-Minute Architect,’ free design clinic, offered today

The Portland Society of Architects sponsors “10-Minute Architect,” a free design clinic on Thursday at Bard Coffee on 185 Middle St.
The clinic is geared to homeowners and business owners who are considering when and how to use an architect for a project, or are seeking design guidance. Members of the Portland Society of Architects believe this clinic will also allow others to see how architects play a valuable role in their community.

Portland Society of Architects has held six of these sessions, which have proven popular.

“We will have more than two dozen Maine-based architects available for consultation,” said Phil Kaplan, member of the Portland Society of Architects.

Architects will spent up to 45 minutes with participants, discussing issues such as basic layouts, project budget feasibility and permitting issues. The clinic will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The clinic satisfies the architectural group’s public service mission. The Portland Society of Architects formed in 2006 with the goal of promoting design excellence in greater Portland. Current members include architects, builders and engineers in and around Portland.

To sign up or more information, visit