Four Maine artists win fellowship awards

The Maine Arts Commission has announced recipients of the 2012 Artists’ Fellowship Awards, one of the nation’s largest awards for individual artists made by a state arts agency. The four recipients each will receive $13,000.

This year’s fellows are Allen Lowe of South Portland (performing/media arts), Claire Guyton of Lewiston (literary arts), Morrigan McCarthy of Portland (visual arts) and Richard Stanley of Southwest Harbor (traditional arts).

The fellowships reward artistic excellence, advance the careers of Maine artists and promote public awareness of Maine’s creative sector. A panel of experts who live outside of Maine choose the award winners. About 200 artists applied for the grants.

Lowe is a composer, musician, author and music historian. He plays saxophone and guitar, and has recorded with Julius Hemphill, Marc Ribot, Roswell Rudd, Don Byron, Doc Cheatham and David Murray, among others.

Guyton is a freelance writer and editor. She serves as co-editor of “The Writing Life” section of Hunger Mountain literary journal, anchors “Another Loose Sally,” a blog on writers and writing, and edits and writes articles and essays.

McCarthy is a documentarian, writer and multimedia producer. She graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, where she studied photography and audio production. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Broadway World, Salt Magazine and Port City Life.

Stanley builds wooden boats. He learned his skills from his father, Ralph W. Stanley, who was the 1999 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. Stanley worked for his father and eventually took over the business in 2009.

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Portland author’s book earns Moonbeam award

“Mercy: The Last New England Vampire” by Sarah L. Thomson of Portland has earned the silver medal award in the Young Adult Fiction, Horror/Mystery category of the 2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.

The young-adult novel was inspired by the true story of a teen accused of being a vampire in 1890s Rhode Island.

Yarmouth-based Islandport Press published the book. This marks the second year an Islandport Press children’s book has won a Moonbeam award. It is one of three earned by the publisher this year.

Dahlov Ipcar’s “Farmyard Alphabet” earned a bronze medal in the Board Book category, and “My Cat, Coon Cat” was awarded a silver medal in the Picture Book, Ages 4-8 category. Last year, “The Fish House Door,” written by Robert Baldwin and illustrated by Astrid Sheckels, received the gold medal award in the Picture Book, All Ages category.

The Moonbeam awards recognize exemplary children’s books and their creators, and celebrate children’s books and lifelong reading. Thomson has published more than 25 books for young readers.


Indie Biz Awards recognize winners’ impact on Maine

Portland Buy Local announced winners of the fourth annual Indie Biz Awards at Space Gallery. The Portland Indie Biz Awards recognize leaders among Portland’s independent businesses and community organizations and showcase the impact independently owned businesses have on Greater Portland and the state of Maine.

Lucid Stage won in the category of Portland’s Best-Kept Secret. Lucid Stage operates a theater on Baxter Boulevard, and is in its second season of operation.

Other winners are Longfellow Books, Soul of Portland; Silly’s Restaurant, Flavor of Portland; Portland Farmers Market, Environmental Hero and Business with No Front; Sebago Brewing Co., Community Hero; Coffee By Design, Global Hero; Athlete’s Touch, Best New Business; and Micucci Grocery & Wholesale Foods, Portland Icon.

The Indie Biz Awards were sponsored by Coffee By Design, Angela Adams, CycleMania, 2 Note Botanical Perfumery, Tsunami Tattoo, Portland’s Downtown District, Head Games Salon, Green Clean Maine, Port Property Management, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Apothecary by Design. In-kind support was also provided by Casco Bay Frames, Mark Sayre of Walch Publishing and David Zwickerhill Photography. 

Mayo Street Arts receives $1,500 grant for new logo

Mayo Street Arts recently received a $1,500 Arts Visibility grant from the Maine Arts Commission to fund a new logo. The logo will cross a variety of communication platforms, including a new exterior sign, promotional materials, printed materials and online.

Maine artist Patrick Corrigan designed the logo with cooperation from the MSA staff, board and community. Corrigan is an artist, graphic designer and sign painter.

Funds will also be used to buy promotional materials with the new logo, including T-shirts, bumper stickers and a brochure highlighting Mayo Street Arts’ programs. 

MECA gets $40,000 grant from Quimby foundation

Maine College of Art received a $40,000 grant from the Quimby Family Foundation to support a visiting artist series and exhibition for the Institute of Contemporary Art and the master of fine arts in studio arts program in summer 2012.

This project supports the Quimby Family Foundation’s mission to increase access to the arts throughout Maine by enhancing MECA’s capacity to encourage contemporary art and dialogue.

The ICA will bring acclaimed artist Lisi Raskin to residency in summer 2012. Raskin creates large-scale, fantastical handmade environments that refer to fallout shelters and missile silos built during the Cold War. For this commission, she will draw on Maine’s distinctive militaristic history.

Every summer, the MFA invites artists and curators to campus to deliver a public lecture, teach, critique and lead workshops. Grant funds will enhance the summer MFA 2012 lecture series with nationally and internationally known artists and academic voices.