PORTLAND: MECA receives three grants for Porteous Building project

Maine College of Art recently received three grants to complete the restoration of the Porteous Building. The Maine Arts Commission provided $15,000 to equip Osher Hall, MECA’s 112-seat lecture hall, with Americans with Disabilities Act technology to ensure full accessibility.

The Quimby Foundation supported the overall Porteous project with a $40,000 gift, and the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation has issued a $200,000 challenge grant to raise the final funds needed to complete renovations on the third and fourth floors.

That will enable the college to accommodate the move of the photography department from the recently sold Baxter Building. These grants will provide capstone funding for a $10 million initiative begun in 2004, which raised $4.3 million in endowments and $5.7 million for the Porteous project.

The Sewall Challenge requires the college to raise an additional $300,000 to finish the renovations at Porteous and bring all academic and administrative offices within the former department store at 522 Congress St.

In addition, MECA also recently received $2,500 from the Maine Charity Foundation Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and a $5,000 grant from the Morton-Kelley Charitable Trust to purchase new holdings for the Joanne Waxman Library. The college is raising money to purchase 500 new titles for the library collection.


The Waxman library has about 30,000 volumes in its collection, as well as 100 periodicals, videos and other resources.


Designers will give lecture on new bridge in West End

Several Maine design organizations have come together to join the discussion about the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge replacement project. Eight professional and nonprofit organizations committed to architecture, design and engineering hope to engage discussion about a new bridge in Portland’s West End neighborhood, connecting Portland with South Portland.

The groups have scheduled a lecture for 5:30 p.m. March 30 at the Abromson Center at the University of Southern Maine, Portland. The talk, ”The Art of Bridge Design: The Best in Integrating Architecture and Engineering” will be presented by David Scott of the firm Arup and Spiro N. Pollalis of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Organizations participating in the discussion are Architalx; Portland Society of Architects; Maine Chapter of the American Institute of Architects; the Maine Section of the Boston Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects; the Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers; Structural Engineers Association of Maine; Greater Portland Landmarks and the Portland Museum of Art.


The lecture is the premier event of the 22nd annual Architalx Spring Lecture Series. For details and other information, visit www.architalx.org.


Friends of Kotzschmar name Bruce Lockwood new leader

The Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ recently named Bruce Lockwood, longtime board member and active community partner, as the organization’s new leader.

Lockwood follows in the footsteps of his father, a former board member and treasurer. Lockwood has also served as chair of the FOKO marketing committee for the past four years, and has been a board member since 2004.

Lockwood owns Portland Research Group, a market-research consulting firm.


The Kotzschmar organ was a gift to the city by publishing magnate Cyrus H. K. Curtis. It is named in memory of Hermann Kotzschmar, a German native and musician, who lived in Portland from 1849 until his death in 1908. He is remembered for leading the city in its musical awakening and development. For information, visit www.foko.org.


Perry sculptor honored at prestigious NYC exhibition

Aucocisco Galleries announced that Richard Van Buren of Perry was invited to exhibit at the National Academy Museum in its distinguished 185th annual, ”An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art.” He was then subsequently awarded the Alex Ettl Award for Sculpture for his piece ”Green Movement” at Tuesday’s opening reception. The prize is one of distinction and merit, and carries a cash award of $4,000.

The exhibition runs through June 8 at National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, 1083 Fifth Ave., New York.



Maine Historical Society plans party for Longfellow

The Maine Historical Society celebrates Longfellow’s birthday from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday with Irwin Gratz, Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s local host of ”Morning Edition”; Portland Mayor Nick Mavodones and state Rep. Herb Adams. They will read from Longfellow’s poetry, and there will be Longfellow-inspired performances by puppeteer Blainor McGough and musical act Over a Cardboard Sea.

The party is free and open to the public at Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St.

LEWISTON: Maine artist Joel Babb will discuss use of color

Maine artist Joel Babb, known for his wilderness paintings and panoramic cityscapes, will speak about the use of color at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 104 of the Olin Arts Center at Bates College, 75 Russell St.

Titled ”Color Theory in Painting Practice,” the lecture is open to the public at no cost and sponsored by the Bates College Museum of Art. Babb’s work is displayed at the museum through March 27 in an exhibition called ”Joel M. Babb: The Process Revealed.”


Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call 786-6158.

Babb graduated with an art history degree from Princeton University in 1969 and earned a master’s from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts School and Tufts University. He also studied with artists George Segal and George Ortman.

Babb is best-known for his panoramas that depict flattened, wide-angled views of Boston and Providence.

In the 1970s, Babb built a studio in Sumner, which became his permanent residence and inspiration for his large wooded landscapes.


Bates will host readings, talks by three novelists


Three established novelists, including the Bates alumna who wrote ”The Convalescent,” will read from their work in March and April in Bates College’s Skelton Lounge, Chase Hall, 56 Campus Ave., Lewiston.

The readings are part of Bates’ Language Arts Live series of literary events. Sponsored by the Bates English department, the programs in environmental studies and Spanish, the Humanities Fund, the Learning Associates Program and the John Tagliabue Poetry Fund, they are open to the public at no cost.

James Hannaham, author of ”God Says No” (McSweeney’s, 2009), will read from and discuss his work at 7:30 p.m. March 4. ”God Says No” follows gay black protagonist Gary Gray in his return to his home state of Florida as he struggles to define his own identity.

Bates alumna Jessica Anthony will read from her work at 7:30 p.m. March 18. Her debut novel, ”The Convalescent” (McSweeney’s, 2009), was selected as an Editor’s Choice by the San Francisco Chronicle and appears on the American Library Association’s 2010 Notable Book List of Outstanding Fiction.

”The Convalescent” focuses on Rovar Pfliegman, a Hungarian meatseller in Virginia who lives in his portable shop: a bus. Integrating the stories of his Hungarian ancestors into Pfliegman’s own, the tale brings together past and present.

Writer and critic Paul LaFarge will discuss his work at 4:15 p.m. April 5. LaFarge is the author of ”The Facts of Winter” (McSweeney’s, 2005), ”Haussman, or the Distinction” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001) and ”The Artist of the Missing” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999).



ROCKLAND: Nominations being taken for Poet Laureate of city

In conjunction with poetry activities at the Rockland Library and various locations around the city during National Poetry Month in April, the library announces that nominations are open for the honorary office of Poet Laureate of Rockland. Individuals who have been previously published may be nominated or seek nomination by completing an application at www.rocklandlibrary.org.

Applications are also available at the library. Applicants need to supply proof of Rockland residency. The deadline for nominations is March 30. The post of Rockland Poet Laureate, which carries no financial compensation, will be for a two-year term and the poet may be reappointed for a second term. For more information, call the library at 594-0310.


BRUNSWICK: Bowdoin festival honored with chamber music award


Lewis Kaplan, founder and director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, accepted the Adventurous Programming Award from Chamber Music America in a ceremony in New York City on Jan. 17.

The award, given annually by Chamber Music America and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, is presented to ensembles and presenters/festivals whose programming demonstrates a commitment to music written in the past 25 years. The Bowdoin festival received the award in the Large Presenter category. Four other concert presenters and performing groups joined Kaplan in the ceremony, receiving a commemorative plaque and a monetary award from Chamber Music America, the national service organization for the chamber music profession.

Contemporary composers featured during the 2009 festival included Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb, who was on hand for performances of six of his compositions in the Festival Fridays and Upbeat! series, and at the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music. Additionally, Upbeat! audiences heard the New England premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s String Quartet No. 3, Libby Larsen’s Four on the Floor (a Maine premiere), and Donald Freund’s Summersongs (String Quartet No. 4), a world premiere.


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