Maine authors earn awards for children’s literature

Five Maine authors and illustrators were honored Thursday at a children’s literature conference in Augusta. The Lupine Awards for outstanding contributions to Maine literature for young people and the Katahdin Lifetime Achievement Award were presented at the Reading Round Up Conference at the Augusta Civic Center.

Since 1989, the Lupine Award, named in honor of Barbara Cooney’s beloved Miss Rumphius, has been awarded to authors and illustrators who have made a significant contribution to Maine literature. In 2005, the award was split into two categories: Picture Book and Juvenile/Young Adult, with one award, and up to one honor book, in each category.

“The Scallop Christmas” by Jane Freeberg, illustrated by Astrid Sheckels, published by Islandport Press, received the 2009 Lupine Honor Book in the Picture Book category.

“The Circus Ship” by Chris Van Dusen, published by Candlewick Press, won the 2009 Lupine Award winner in the Picture Book category.

“Stitches: A Memoir” by David Small, published by W.W. Norton, won the 2009 Lupine Honor Book in the Juvenile/Young Adult category.

“The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg” by Rodman Philbrick, published by Scholastic, was the 2009 Lupine Award winner in the Juvenile/Young Adult category.

The Katahdin Award, begun in 1999, recognizes an outstanding body of work of Maine literature for young people. The 2009 Lupine Award Committee selected Gail Gibbons as the recipient of the 2009 Katahdin Award. According to the judges, Gibbons is a master at identifying real world topics that interest young people, researching those topics and translating that research into simple, accessible, informative, and enriching nonfiction picture books.


Clorius has two paintings chosen for gallery in Chicago

Aucocisco Galleries announced that Portland artist Tim Clorius had two paintings juried into “Visual Narrative: Fine Art That Tells A Story,” an exhibition at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. Clorius joined Aucocisco this spring and is working toward an exhibition this fall. He recently showed his work in Germany. For information, visit


Music mastering program will feature Adam Ayan

The Portland Music Foundation continues its 2010 programming with “What Exactly Is Mastering, and How Can It Make My Music Better?” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Adam Ayan will present the session, which is part of the foundation’s “Music as a Profession” educational series.

For this event, the foundation is charging a one-time $5 admission, which can be used toward an annual $20 membership. Also with this seminar, the foundation is offering a new band-level membership. The first member can join for $20, and a second $20 payment covers the rest of the band.

At Tuesday’s event, Ayan will describe the mastering process and answer questions.


Antiques Appraisal Day is May 8 at Saco Museum

Bruce A. Buxton, an authority on antiques, will bring his team of experts to the Saco Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 8 for the museum’s Antiques Appraisal Day. Buxton has auctioned and appraised antiques, fine art, decorative arts, furniture, silver and other items all over the United States for 40 years. He is considered to be one of the finest antiques experts in New England, knowledgeable in many areas, including fine art, porcelain, metals, and furniture.

Appraiser Doug Harding will also be on hand to value books, documents, and manuscripts. Beth Turner will handle jewelry and Phyllis Gaul will look at glass and ceramics. The Dyer Library and Saco Museum’s own Executive Director, Leslie Rounds, will evaluate textiles and clothing.

Bring one, two or three treasures to show the team of appraisers. Be sure that the objects are small enough to carry in your arms, and do not bring stamps, coins or bottles. Appraisal fees are $15 for one object, $25 for two objects, and $30 for three objects. All proceeds benefit the Saco Museum. The regular museum admission fee is waived until 2 p.m. on Antiques Appraisal Day.

For information, call 283-3861 or visit


UMF professor receives Maine Literary Award for Poetry

Jeffrey Thomson, an associate professor of creative writing at the University of Maine-Farmington, received the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance 2010 Maine Literary Award for Poetry. Thomson received the award in recognition of his fourth collection of poems, “Birdwatching in Wartime” (Carnegie Mellon 2009), in which he explores the way questions of beauty, grief, and desire are filtered through landscapes and natural images.

“Rough Cradle” by Betsy Scholl, “Winter Tenor” by Kevin Goodan and “Bitter Withy” by Donald Revell — all published by Alice James Books, a nonprofit cooperative poetry press affiliated with UMF since 1994 — received honorable mention.

Thomson has written four full-length collections of poetry, two limited-edition art books, and is the co-editor of an anthology of emerging poets. In recent years, Thomson has been honored with a Fellowship in the Literary Arts from the Maine Arts Commission in 2008, a Creative Artists Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in 2006 and a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2005. He has also received fellowships from the Wesleyan Writers Conference, the Sewanee Writers Conference and Writers @ Work.

Thomson’s work has appeared in Quarterly West, Isotope, Indiana Review, Sycamore Review, Brilliant Corners, Gulf Coast and Willow Springs. He received his Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Missouri.


ArtVan and VSA ME to merge, assisted by grant funding

VSA arts of Maine, a nonprofit program providing innovative and inclusive artistic, educational, and cultural opportunities to children and adults with disabilities living in Maine, will merge with ArtVan, an art therapy program that brings arts opportunities to low-income children and teens who do not have access to the arts.

To help facilitate the VSA ME/ArtVan merger, VSA ME has received a $5,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation for capacity building and strategic planning, as well as $3,500 from the Maine Community Foundation’s Regional Community Building Fund.

In addition, the Davenport Trust Fund awarded $3,500 to support ArtVan’s summer programming at the Maritime Apartments and the Hyde Park neighborhood of Bath.


Theme for photo contest is ‘Old is the New Green’

The Brunswick Village Review Board, in conjunction with the city parks and recreation department, is hosting a photo contest in honor of National Historic Preservation Month. Anyone in grade 6 or above is eligible to enter.

Entrants should submit photographs that advance the theme “Old Is the New Green.” Photos may focus on any part of Brunswick’s built environment and should advance the theme — the value of preserving older structures for environmental as well as historical reasons.

Entries should be submitted to the Brunswick Office of Planning and Development, 28 Federal St., no later than 4:30 p.m. May 5.

Eight-by-10 inch photos are preferred, but other sizes will be accepted. All entries should be the entrant’s own work and should be matted with either black or white mattes. Entries may be either black-and-white or color. The contest is open to all, but the subject matter should be limited to Brunswick structures.

All entries will be displayed in the windows of the old Grand City building May 7-27. Judging will take place in early May. Prizes for winning photographs will include items associated with Brunswick history, award certificates, and small gift certificates from area businesses.

Entry forms for the photo contest are available at the Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department and the Brunswick Planning Office on Federal Street, and through the art departments at Brunswick High School, Brunswick Junior High School, and the Maine Vocational Region 10.

For more information, contact the Brunswick Planning Office at 725-6660.


Woodcarver John Bryan to presnet illustrated talk

Yarmouth Arts presents an illustrated talk by fine artist and woodcarver John Bryan at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Yarmouth Town Hall community room. His talk is titled “Exploring Modern Woodcarving.” For information, contact Anne Tarbox at [email protected].


Male actors sought for two works: ‘Producers,’ ‘Annie’

Arundel Barn Playhouse is seeking male actors for supporting and chorus roles in “The Producers” and “Annie.” Actors and singers are asked to call the playhouse at 985-5553 for audition appointments during April and May. Auditions will include a favorite a capella song, or one performed with recorded accompaniment, and script readings provided by the playhouse. Visit for details.


Grange restoration project awarded a $75,000 grant

The Theater at Monmouth has received a $75,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist in the Grange Building Restoration Project. The money will be used to improve the structure of the Grange building, including the installation of a new foundation and heating system. In addition, the funding will provide insulation for windows and update the building’s sprinkler system, plumbing and electrical systems and assist with the construction of a ramp to accommodate people with disabilities.


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