Bates College names new art museum director

Dan Mills is the new director of the Bates College Museum of Art.

Mills comes to Maine from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he served as director of the Samek Art Gallery for nine years.

Bates President Elaine Tuttle Hansen has asked the institution to renew its emphasis on the arts as one part of Choices for Bates, a collaborative, college-wide strategic initiative.

“This is a wonderful situation, one with many opportunities for the arts and the college,” Mills said in a press release, noting that among the initiatives to emerge from Choices for Bates is the creation of a Bates Arts Collaborative of faculty and campus arts presenters.

Bates Dean of Faculty Jill Reich called Mills’s exhibitions at Bucknell “adventurous and provocative, truly ahead of the curve.”

Mills started at Bates Sept. 13.

Mills is also an artist. His work, in a variety of media, explores themes and imagery including cartography, humor, imperialism, cartoon characters, landscape and portraiture. Since 2009, he has had solo exhibitions at Sherry Frumkin Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif., the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts Museum in China and at several academic institutions. The Perceval Press, actor Viggo Mortensen’s publishing company, produced a hardcover book based on his “US Future State Atlas” series of drawings in 2009.

Mills earned his bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology and his master’s at Northern Illinois University. He previously directed the Gibson Gallery at the State University of New York, and served as curator for the art program at the First National Bank of Chicago.

He is married to Gail Skudera, an award-winning artist whose work, combining aspects of pictorial weaving with painting and photographic transfers, has been exhibited widely throughout the Midwest and eastern U.S. They have three adult children.

Mills succeeds Mark Bessire, who now heads the Portland Museum of Art.


Portland Ballet promotes its resident choreographer

Nell Shipman has been named associate artistic director of Portland Ballet Company. Shipman joined Portland Ballet in 2004 as a principal dancer, and as an instructor with the associated Portland School of Ballet. She became resident choreographer in 2007.

Executive director Eugenia O’Brien said Shipman earned the promotion with hard work and by dedicating herself to the future of the art of dance and support of Portland Ballet Company. “I am confident that Nell’s vision and enthusiasm will continue to bring great ideas and growth to Portland Ballet Company,” O’Brien said in a statement.

Shipman has a bachelor’s degree in dance performance from Butler University, and has performed and shown choreography in Portland, New York, Chicago, Boulder, Colo., Indianapolis and the Republic of Georgia. She has taught throughout the country, including Regional Dance America’s Mid-States Festival in St. Louis and Kansas Regional Ballet’s Summer Intensive. She has set two ballets on the dancers of the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas.

Shipman has performed as a principal dancer in numerous productions at Portland Ballet, including the lead roles in “Giselle” and “Carmina Burana.” In addition to Portland Ballet, her choreography has also been produced by the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, PORTopera and Bowdoin College.

The premiere of Shipman’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” will be Oct. 29 at the John Ford Theater in Portland. 

Museum’s trustees allocate family’s $3 million gift

The board of trustees of the Portland Museum of Art last week voted to allocate proceeds from the $3 million gift from the family of Emily Eaton Moore for buying art, supporting the Winslow Homer Studio campaign and investing in a fund to support museum operations.

The board earmarked $1 million toward the creation of the Emily Eaton Moore and Family Fund for the Collection for the acquisition and maintenance of art; $1 million to create an investment fund to support the museum’s general operations; and $1 million to the Winslow Homer Studio campaign to ensure the ongoing educational, curatorial and maintenance of the studio.

In addition, the fourth-floor gallery in the Charles Shipman Payson Building will be named the Emily Eaton Moore and Family Gallery. Given to the museum in June, this is one of the largest gifts made to the museum in the last 10 years.

Moore, a trustee, died in March.


Local artist designs poster for golf show in California

Steve Sunenblick has been designated as the poster artist for the Desert Golf and Travel Show, March 12-13, in Palm Springs, Calif.

Sunenblick, who lives in South Portland, is an award-winning artist and avid eight-handicap golfer. After receiving his BFA from the Maine College of Art in 1984, Steve attended several residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Massachusetts College of Art. He was selected for the 2006 biennial at the Maine Center for Contemporary Art and for a solo exhibit at the Bellas Artes in San Miguel, Mexico.

“Foursome on the Tee #2” is the image for the poster of the Desert Golf and Travel Show. It will be sold at the registration booth and at the Art of Golf display. In addition, several original golf paintings will be available for sale.

For information, visit www.DesertGolfandTravel Show.com.


Expanded bead show will be held Oct. 22-23

The newly expanded Beads & Baubles Downeast bead show will be Oct. 22-23 at the Ramada Inn. The show will include gemstone beads, porcelain beads, pearls, felt beads, vintage beads, seed beads, spacer beads, Swaroski Crystal, Czech glass beads and sterling silver- and gold-filled findings such as clasps, ear wires, beading string and wire.

Beading classes in basic stringing and basic wirework will be offered during the show. Preregistration is required for the classes. Call Christina Heiniger at 664-2404 for information and to sign up.

Ray Cooper, a lampwork beadmaker and jeweler from Blue Hill, will offer his handmade lampworked beads and buttons for sale. Glass artisan Beverly Lamoureux of Franklin will sell her lampwork glass beads and earrings, stitch markers and glass buttons. Several bead stores will offer a variety of beads and buttons.

The show will be in the newly renovated Schoodic room at the Ramada Inn, 215 High St. Show times are noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 22 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 23.

For information, call Ginger Manna at 469-2860.


ArtinMe. juried exhibition runs Oct. 16 through Nov. 16

ArtinMe., a statewide juried art exhibition, will be on view Oct. 16 through Nov. 16 at Boothbay Regional Art Foundation, 1 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor. Philip Isaacson, art critic for the Maine Sunday Telegram, and Dennis Gleason of the Gleason Fine Art in Portland and Boothbay Harbor, will judge the show, which aims to offer a fresh and selective look at contemporary Maine art in a variety of media.

Entries are due between 9 a.m. and noon Oct. 12-13 at the Boothbay Region Art Foundation. A reception and awards ceremony will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 16.

ArtinMe. is part of a fall arts and culture celebration in the Boothbay region. For information, call 633-2703 or visit www.boothbayartists.org

— Compiled by Bob Keyes, Staff Writer