The artists Wade Kavanaugh of Bethel and Stephen B. Nguyen of Portland have received the inaugural $25,000 Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Fellowship award. They were selected from more 200 applicants by a two-person jury of Jeffrey Peabody, vice president and director of the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York, and Alison de Lima Greene, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine arts, Houston.

The fellowship includes an exhibition at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, which also is the home of the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation. The two arts organizations formed a partnership to “bring the grant to life and share it with the broader public,” according to statement announcing the grant.

“Wade and Stephen are an outstanding choice, and we eagerly look forward to exhibiting their work at CMCA in 2018,” Suzette McAvoy, the center’s executive director, said in the statement.

Ellen Golden, president of the Ellis Beauregard Foundation, called the award “truly a defining moment for the foundation, consistent with our goal of supporting artists and communities.” The award honors the vision of foundation founders Joan Beauregard and John David Ellis.

Donna McNeil, the foundation’s executive director, said the wood-and-paper installations of Kavanaugh and Nguyen stood out for their “sophisticated use of materials, thoughtful evolution, and essential beauty.” The artists distinguished themselves with an approach to installation work that is “highly inventive, immersive and fully in command of their materials,” she said.

The artists will create a site-specific piece at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in the coming exhibition season.

Kavanaugh and Nguyen began collaborating 12 years ago at the Map Room in Portland. “We look forward to the gift of time to create more work in Maine, beginning with the exhibit at CMCA,” Kavanaugh said in the statement.

Bob Keyes can be contacted at:

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