Grant will fund programs centered on Homer studio

The Portland Museum of Art has received a $100,000 grant from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation to support the first two years of educational programming for the Winslow Homer Studio at Prouts Neck.

With this grant, the museum will launch a series of ambitious programs connecting Winslow Homer and his studio practice to 21st-century artists and the community, said museum director Mark Bessire.

The Homer studio is significant in American art history. Homer lived in the studio and painted many of his masterpieces there from 1883 until his death. A National Historic Landmark, the studio is scheduled to open in September 2012, and the educational programs associated with this grant will take place in 2013 and 2014.

The programs funded by the grant are the Cannon Rock Sessions, Art in Process and the Homer High School Fellows.

Cannon Rock Sessions, a biennial residency fostering creativity, will focus on a specified theme and bring two emerging nationally acclaimed intellects to Maine for interactions with small community groups and the public. They will help inspire new ideas that influence museum programs centered on the Homer studio in the following year.

Art in Process is an intensive program for Maine high school teachers and students. It will pair classrooms with local artists. Students work with their teachers and the artists to determine the media and scope of their projects.

Homer High School Fellows is a three-week studio art and museum internship program for Portland High School students. This fellowship for a small group of highly motivated students will provide access to renowned works of art at the museum, invite conversation with the guests of the Cannon Rock Sessions and other summer museum guests and offer art-making opportunities.

Portland Ballet’s season opens with ‘Sleepy Hollow’

The Portland Ballet Company has announced its 2011-12 season schedule, opening Oct. 15 and closing April 2012.

The season opens with two performances of Washington Irving’s classic “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” featuring original choreography by Portland Ballet’s resident choreographer Nell Shipman and music by Kirt Mosier. This piece premiered in Portland Ballet’s 2010 season. A live orchestra, conducted by Robert Lehmann, will accompany the performances at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.

The ballet will present two performances of its annual “The Victorian Nutcracker,” with the Portland Ballet Orchestra and the Victorian Festival Singers, Dec. 23 at Merrill Auditorium.

The spring performance is the classic ballet “Giselle,” a story of love, betrayal, madness, revenge and forgiveness. Portland Ballet will present “Giselle” in three performances in Westbrook and one performance in Saint John, New Brunswick.

For information, call 772-9671 or visit portlandballet.org.


River Tree Arts holding a fundraising concert Aug. 7

River Tree Arts will present a fundraising concert at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7 to raise money for scholarships.

The concert will combine classical and jazz music and will feature American and contemporary jazz composers. Members of the faculty will perform, and donations will be accepted.

For information, call 967-9120. River Tree Arts is at 35 Western Ave. in Kennebunk’s Lower Village.


Printmaker Don Gorvett opens Perkins Cove gallery

Artist and printmaker Don Gorvett has opened Black Bear Fine Art Printmaking Studio and Gallery near the entrance of Perkins Cove in Ogunquit.

Gorvett, a graduate of the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, has exhibited with the Charlotte Printmakers of North Carolina and was invited by the Fitchburg Art Museum to participate in the New England Impressions exhibition, which traveled to West Germany.

His works can be found in the collections of the Boston Athenaeum, the Portland Museum of Art, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, the Cape Ann Historical Museum, the Duxbury Art Complex, the Currier Museum of Art and numerous corporate and private collections.

Along with his reduction woodcut prints, the two-story gallery features prints, drawings, paintings and sculpture from some of New England’s finest artists. Additionally, the gallery offers rare portfolios and both historic and contemporary prints for sale.

Black Bear Fine Art Printmaking Studio and Gallery is at 309 Shore Road in Ogunquit and is open daily. For information, visit dongorvettgallery.com or call 646-7278.


45 fiber destinations will be open next weekend

More than 45 fiber destinations across Maine will open to the public for a Fiber Arts Tour Weekend, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Aug. 7.

The weekend, sponsored by Maine Fiberarts, is a chance to visit working studios and farms, see demonstrations and take part in workshops, studio tours, crafts and farm life.

This is Maine’s largest open-studio tour. All activities are free and open to the public. Sites include a new yarn shop in Millinocket, a Pygora goat farm in Argyle Township, a feltmaker’s studio in Garland, natural dye demonstrations in Lovell and a rug-hooking studio on Westport Island.

Hand-dyed yarns, cashmere fiber, collectible art quilts, needlework images and freshly shorn fleeces can all be discovered during the three-day event.

Information is posted at mainefiberarts.org, including site descriptions, photos, driving directions, web links and contact information for each site.

Printed brochures listing all participants are available at Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main St., Topsham, at Halcyon Yarn in Bath or at participating sites.

A statewide nonprofit, Maine Fiberarts promotes the state’s fiber artists and farms.

On view at its gallery through Aug. 31 is “Pioneers: Quilt Art by Busch, Carlson, Chaisson, and Levy.”

For information, call 721-0678.


Ralston Gallery moving to bigger space next door

Two months after its grand opening, Ralston Gallery is moving next door to 23 Main St. and will celebrate with an exhibition of work by gallery owner Peter Ralston. On view will be a collection of Andrew and Jamie Wyeth limited-edition prints, as well as Ralston’s photographs.

Ralston said the move came about because business has been successful in the gallery’s first season, and the new space will allow the display of nearly four times the work. One highlight will be a recent revelation by Ralston concerning Andrew Wyeth’s 1943 tempera, “Summer Freshet,” being offered for the first time in more than 50 years.

The opening will be at 5 p.m. Aug. 7. Visit ralstongallery.com or call 230-7225.


ArtinMe. exhibition planned for Oct. 1 though Nov. 19

Boothbay Region Art Foundation’s annual ArtinMe. exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculpture by Maine artists will be juried by Lois Dodd, Nancy Wissemann-Widrig and John Wissemann.

ArtinMe. will open Oct. 1 and run through Nov. 19 at the Boothbay Region Art Foundation, 1 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor.

Dodd is an influential American painter whose work is included in major corporate collections and in museums in the United States and abroad.

Wissemann-Widrig is included in many publications, and her work is in more than 30 public and private collections, including the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

Wissemann is a painter, printmaker and teacher who has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions around the country.

Entries are due in late September. Visit boothbayartists.org for details. 

Boothbay art tour begins with open house brunch

The First Friday Art Tour for Boothbay will commence at Paradise Studio with an open house brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

Paradise Studio will showcase new oil paintings by Mary Ellen TK Serina. To find the studio, take Route 27 south to the traffic light, then follow Route 96 past the East Boothbay General Store for 4/10 of a mile, and turn right onto Paradise Point Road at the top of the next hill. Go 3/10 of a mile. The studio is the tall green building on the left.

For more information, go to paradisestudio.net.


Children’s book author will sign copies of 1950 classic

Artist, illustrator and children’s book author Dahlov Ipcar will sign copies of “One Horse Farm” from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 13 at the Georgetown Historical Society, 20 Bay Point Rd. Ipcar’s picture book, first published in 1950, was reissued this month by Islandport Press of Yarmouth.

“One Horse Farm” tells the story of a baby boy and a foal born on a farm on the same day. Together, Johnny and Big Betty grow up and watch the world change around them. When Johnny realizes it’s time to replace Betty with a tractor, he must decide what to do with his beloved horse.

A gentle look at both daily life and changing seasons on a farm, it’s a book that comes from the heart for Ipcar. Ipcar, who turns 94 in November, has written more than 30 children’s books.


Benefit planned to help dancer cover surgery costs

Friends and colleagues of dancer Debi Irons will host a benefit at 7 p.m. Aug. 12 at Oxford Hills High School. Irons, a prominent local dancer, had hip-replacement surgery in May.

The benefit, featuring Daielma Santos, Fred Garbo, Karen Montanaro, Amanda Huotari, Tim Rice and the Art Moves Dance Project, will help cover expenses incurred while Irons was off her feet.

The benefit will be followed by a gathering at Tucker’s Pub in Norway.


UMaine art museum names new education coordinator

Eva Wagner of Thorndike has been named education coordinator at the University of Maine Museum of Art.

Wagner is a UMaine graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art and a master’s in teaching. She has taught in public and private schools, in addition to working as education coordinator and museum educator at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. She studied painting and foundations at the Maine College of Art in Portland.

Wagner will be responsible for the museum’s education and community outreach offerings, including school tours, adult education programs, gallery talks and the popular summer and winter art camps for children.