LePage announces search for the next poet laureate

Less than a month from the time he booted Maine poets from his inauguration, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has issued a call for nominations for the position of Maine State Poet Laureate. Nominations will be accepted until Feb. 25.

The Maine Arts Commission and Maine State Library announced the nominations last week.

“I am quickly learning that serving as governor comes with many interesting opportunities,” LePage said in a statement. “Helping to select Maine’s next poet laureate is a great example, and I am looking forward to reading the submissions of the candidates and working with the advisory selection committee to select Maine’s next top proponent of the written word.”

The Office of the State Poet Laureate was brought into law in 1995 through Maine statute and has been occupied by Kate Barnes of Appleton, Baron Wormser of Hallowell and presently by Betsy Sholl of Portland. Serving a five-year term, each laureate undertakes individual initiatives, advocating for and illuminating the value of the written word throughout Maine.

The search for the next laureate requires that the position be held by a poet who resides in the state and who has published “distinguished poetry.” An advisory selection committee, assembled by the directors of the Maine Arts Commission and Maine State Library, will recommend an appointment to LePage.

Nominations, which may be self-generated, must be accompanied by five copies of the poet’s most recently published work, and three letters of recommendation. Submissions of materials may be in hard copy or digital formats and must be delivered to the Maine Arts Commission by Feb. 25. Details can be found at


Craft organization to hold June gathering at Eastland

A national craft organization is coming to Portland for it annual conference. The Craft Organization Development Association will bring its conference to the Eastland Park Hotel June 8-11. The conference targets craft professionals, including executive directors, educators, PR personnel, development officers, administrators, board members and artists themselves.

Keynote speaker is Andy Goodman, a communications consultant and trainer in Los Angeles. He specializes in helping nonprofits, foundations, government agencies and educational institutions communicate more effectively about all forms of media. His talk is called “Storytelling: The First Big Thing.”

The conference is called “Connecting the Dots … Collaborating … Fundraising … Telling Your Story …”

It will include many specialized sessions, one of which will discuss the results of the association’s 2011 U.S. crafts survey. Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz of Buckfield-based Eepybird will close the conference with a session on viral marketing. Eepybird has appeared on TV, won four Webby Awards and received two Emmy nominations.

For information, visit

Dave Poole tribute show to launch MECA scholarship

Some of Portland’s finest musicians will gather at Empire Dine & Dance, 575 Congress St., on Thursday to pay tribute to artist, teacher, tenor saxophonist and trumpeter Dave Poole, who died in December 2009. Proceeds will be used to establish a scholarship fund in his name at Maine College of Art, where he was an instructor.

Performers will include the Tone Kings, members of The Fogcutters Big Band, the Super Sized Chameleons and others. Doors open at 7 p.m., with music starting at 8. Minimum cover charge is $8, with a suggested donation of $15 or more.

Katherine Bradford chosen to be in New York exhibition

Katherine Bradford has been selected by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York to exhibit her work in the Invitational Exhibit, which will open March 8 and run through April 10. Aucocisco Galleries of Portland represents Bradford’s work.

The selection committee includes Judy Pfaff, Lois Dodd, Peter Saul and Thomas Nozkowski.


Sacopee Valley M.S. to host Empty Bowls to fight hunger

Sacopee Valley Middle School will host the Empty Bowls and Fine Arts Showcase from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17. Empty Bowls is a nationwide program that helps feed hungry Americans. Danette Kerrigan, an art teacher at the school, is coordinating the local effort.

For $5, participants get a bowl of soup served in a student-made clay bowl. Participants keep the bowl, and proceeds benefit two local food pantries.

Dinner will be served from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sacopee Valley Community Band will perform from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Student art work will be displayed, as well.

Tickets can be purchased at Sacopee Valley Middle School or the superintendent’s office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or on the evening of the event. For information, call Kerrigan at 625-2450 or e-mail [email protected]


Moonlight sculpture tour is Feb. 17 at Maine Audubon

Maine Audubon will host a moonlight sculpture tour at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17. Audubon naturalist, Eric Hynes and sculpture-curator June LaCombe will lead a moon-lit tour of the Wendy Klemperer exhibition at Gilsland Farm. Meet at the Nature Store. If conditions are favorable, bring snowshoes. For information, e-mail June LaCombe at [email protected] or Eric Hynes at [email protected]

The popular wildlife sculpture exhibition featuring caribou, mountain lion, deer, lynx, porcupine and wolves continues through May. LaCombe sited the sculpture along the entry drive, woodland trails and apple orchards at Maine Audubon.

The show is open at no charge.


Museum of American Art seeking volunteer docents

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is looking for volunteers to serve as docents. Free informational sessions for prospective docents will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 15, March 15, April 12. The sessions will be at the museum’s winter office at 196A York St., York. Hands-on training at the museum for those who decide to become OMAA docents will take place in late April. The museum opens for the season May 1.

For information or to register, e-mail [email protected] or call 646-4909.


Moore Park Art Show’s new website up and running

The Moore Park Art Show, set for Aug. 13, has a new website,, donated by Shane Wilson Design. The new site features a history of the show, a slide show of past winners and performers, FAQs, a Google map, exhibitor and vendor applications, volunteer information and more.


Maine Photography Show entry deadline is Tuesday

The deadline to enter the Maine Photography Show is Tuesday. This year’s show, the sixth annual, will open April 16 at Boothbay Region Art Foundation, 1 Townsend Ave.

The show is open to all photographers with a Maine address, with more than $1,000 in prize money available. For details, visit Registration is available online.