Mainer chosen as 2011 artist for Louisville Derby Festival

Maine artist Sarah Lynn Richards was chosen as the 2011 artist for the Derby Festival in Louisville, Ky. The festival began Jan. 14 with the unveiling of the official poster and continues through the Kentucky Derby in May. Richards designed the poster. She attended the poster primer and signed autographs throughout the evening.

The derby artwork is available in an open edition poster, which features three horses in Richards’ stylistic watercolors, the third of which is a Pegasus, the Derby Festival mascot. The image will be reproduced on julep glasses, posters, limited-edition prints, T-shirts and other merchandise.

Richards will return to Louisville for the derby. For information, visit


MECA creates scholarships for Portland-area schools

The Maine College of Art has created the Portland Area School Scholarship for selected area high schools. It’s a new program for the school, designed to make the college appealing to local aspiring art students.

For any graduate who qualifies for admission to the undergraduate program at MECA, the college will provide a guaranteed $12,000 scholarship each year for four years or until the student completes the bachelor of fine arts degree and maintains good academic standing Tuition next fall is expected to be $29,000.

Selected schools include: Cape Elizabeth, Casco Bay, Catherine McAuley, Cheverus, Deering, Falmouth, Gorham, Greater Portland Christian Academy, Greely, North Yarmouth Academy, Portland Arts & Technology, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland, Waynflete, Westbrook, Windham and Yarmouth.

The first scholarships will be awarded for students entering the BFA program in fall 2011.

In addition to new students, the scholarship applies to currently enrolled MECA BFA students who are graduates from the selected schools.

For information on the application process, contact the admissions office at [email protected] or (800) 699-1509. The next admissions open house is scheduled for Feb. 26. 

PSO forum to discuss art, religion with work by Bach

The Portland Symphony Orchestra will host a forum from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Maine Historical Society to discuss the art and religion associated with the Passion of St. John by Bach. The orchestra will perform the piece at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Merrill Auditorium as part of its Sunday Classical concert series.

The Passion According to St. John is one of the most important works of the Baroque era. It’s a beautiful piece of choral music, but presents textual difficulties that Bach likely never intended. Wednesday’s panel will discuss those issues.

Panelists include Robert Moody, the orchestra’s music director; the Rev. Frank Strasbuger, a retired Episcopal priest from Brunswick; and Rabbi Carolyn Braun of Temple Beth El in Portland.

Bob Keyes, arts reporter for The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, will moderate the discussion.

For information, visit


Arts grant funds tour of chronicles of Paul Bunyan

With a $10,000 grant from the Maine Arts Commission, audiences in Freeport, Portland and Westbrook will soon be treated to the chronicles of Paul Bunyan.

Figures of Speech Student Ensemble, an after-school program for students from Freeport High School, has put a show together that tells the story of the mythical Maine woodsman. The ensemble, led by a group of professional artist-mentors, has previously developed and performed productions inspired by the Greek myth of Perseus, “Alice in Wonderland” and H.C. Andersen’s story “The Snow Queen.”

Ian Bannon, Figures of Speech’s director of education, said he created the story in part to keep kids connected to important American stories.

The 12-member ensemble will use a variety of media including shadow puppets, projections and dozens of tiny lumberjack figurines for the 45-minute performance.

The Paul Bunyan tour will open at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mast Landing School, Freeport. Admission is $7 students, $10 adults. The run continues at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Lucid Stage, Portland, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Warren Library, Westbrook, and at 1 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Peaks Island School.

For information, visit or call 865-6355.