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Maine Arts Commission


Harry Faust Art Fund Public Art Sculpture Grant Awardees

In an ongoing effort to support public art in Maine, and through a generous donation by the Harry Faust Art Fund, the Maine Arts Commission has administered a one-time competitive grant that offered up to $20,000 for artists, non-profit organizations and for-profit organizations in Maine to create or exhibit public sculpture. In January, grants ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 became available for projects promoting the quality of public spaces through the incorporation of sculptural artwork. The March 31deadline brought many excellent applications requesting a total $448,156 in support. The review committee assigned to assess the proposals chose six projects for funding.

untitled by Susan CampSusan Camp: Gourd Project, a collaborative project on a communal growing site in Belfast Maine (Waldo County).

Susan Camp will guide collaboration between students, teachers and community members involved in the Troy Howard Middle School (THMS) Garden Project. Her project stems from her sculptural practice of the past four years of growing and manipulating gourds in two-part hydrostone moulds. By expanding this activity to a public site and including a large number of participants in the creation of the pieces, she intends to extend the boundaries of her practice and stimulate reflection about our complex relationships with other species. The work also relates to issues of biotechnology, scientific practice (both contemporary and historical) and food production.

Camp is forming a partnering with Jon Thurston and Steve Tanguay, who head up the THMS Garden Project, to develop an art practice that will highlight the things already happening at the school garden (enforcing the importance of sustainable agriculture, advocating fresh locally grown food, teaching self sufficiency and independence) while expanding that focus to include the arts. The THMS Garden Project is an ideal site for this kind of endeavor. The self-sustaining entity is located on the 86 acre site of the Troy Howard Middle School. It is the largest middle school garden in the country, and in the past eight years visitors from over one hundred schools have come to explore the grounds and learn. The THMS Garden Project is well organized with an active web-based presence, and will be on the Belfast Garden Tour this fall.

In early May of 2009 Camp will meet with the students for concept and image development. From these interactions she will develop a number of prototypes that can be accommodated in two part moulds. After a final consultation on the prototypes in early June she will make 20 moulds to be used on site. The Garden team and supporters will be responsible for planting, watering, selecting proper gourds, containing, maintaining and harvesting the products. At the conclusion of the growing season, all the project participants will meet to view the gourds and celebrate the creations with the supporters and the community. The gourds will then be dried (this is a six to eight month process) and then displayed the following year (2010).

Image: Untitled by Susan Camp.

Finding a Balance by Rob LashCity of Gardiner (Jason Simcock): Sculpture in the Parks, bringing sculpture to the downtown of Gardiner. (Kennebec County)

The City of Gardiner, in collaboration with Gardiner Maine Street (GMS), and local Gardiner arts agencies will be expanding their Sculpture in the Parks program in downtown Gardiner. The project is an evolution of a GMS program that started in 2005, when GMS and the City of Gardiner joined with the University of Maine at Augusta to place student sculpture within parks. Since then the program has grown to include local professional artists wishing to temporarily exhibit their work. The program will sponsor temporary sculpture through 2012.

The Sculpture in the Parks program will continue to be a juried exhibition opportunity for sculptural work by Maine artists. Selected works will be installed between May 1 and October 30. Partnering organizations include Gardiner Maine Street, The Artdogs Studios, Johnson Hall, Maine Craft Center and the Maine Sculpture Group.

Image: Finding a Balance by Rob Lash.

Unbalanced by Sandy MacLeodSandy Macleod: Untitled, intended to install large-scale outdoor sculptures in the City of Portland. (Cumberland County)

Sandy MacLeod has been working on placing large scale public sculpture since 2000. The goal of this project is to install large- scale outdoor sculptures in and around the city of Portland. In 2002, Sandy was able to install six sculptures by four artists on the State Pier in Portland. The sculptures were well received and remained until the city began to redevelop the pier in 2007. With the help of City Councilor David Marshall, Ted Musgrave of the Portland Parks Department and The West End Neighborhood Association, four of the sculptures were moved from the pier to Harbor View Park in Portland’s West End.

The city of Portland has offered to provide sites and basic site preparation to revisit the public sculpture project. Sandy intends to install up to five more sculptures for a two year period in and around Portland that will create an outdoor sculpture show that is free and open to the public.

Image: Unbalanced by Sandy MacLeod

Pathology project installation by Catherine McDadeRobert Rainey: Path-ology, a project with UMA students to create ephemeral installations in three different natural locations over the summer of 2009.

Robert Rainey and 13 students from the University of Maine at Augusta will launch Path-ology, a traveling sculpture exhibition throughout the summer of 2009. The installation will be created using a series of 100 photographic images, mounted onto 50 signs which will be placed in a linear sequence along the side of an existing outdoor pathway. Each of the signs will be a two-sided freestanding aperture displaying an image on both the front and back, the first color image is intended to be seen when coming and the second black-and-white when going.

The intent is to have visitors of Maine’s parks and nature areas experience the spontaneity, surprise, whimsy and delight of the images in the natural context. The work will be on display for approximately one month before it changes location. Due to the temporary and ephemeral nature of the piece, it is intrinsically flexible and can be adapted quickly to whatever arrangements are necessary. The sites that have been secured to exhibit the work included Pine Tree State Arboretum, Augusta June 6-July 10; Moose Point State Park, Searsport July 11-August 8 and Lamoine State Park Ellsworth, August 10 - September 7.

Image: Image from Pathology project installation by Catherine McDade.

NuPenny process by Randy RegierRandy Regier: A Toy Store for Spaceship Earth, stylized toy store installation that will appear in four struggling downtown locations across Maine in 2010. (Traveling)

A Toy Store for Spaceship Earth will be designed to rekindle the spark of imagination and wonder that is alive within the child and latent within the adult. The toys, boxes, displays and store components will be built from found materials, objects, artifacts and ephemera from the 20th century (NOT however, from actual toys). The work will manifest itself as items that will quickly convert a previously vacant storefront into a 'suddenly discovered' vintage toy store, replete with robots, dollhouses, race cars, ships, planes, games and toy animals, etc. This installation is intended to travel, and will be both durable and elastic in the sense that it can be configured into different spaces. The installation would be available to the public, or viewable, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

The project is slated to begin January 2010 and over the course of a year will appear for three month durations in four different towns across the state. Contributors to this project include Portland based White Dog Arts graphic design company, David Wolfe Editions, and the conservator and restoration expert Peter T. Bennett. Richard D'Abati and the staff of the Maine Historical Society are aware of this project and eager to help to make it happen, and SPACE Gallery in Portland has previously sponsored a similar project ‘Now Your Spacecraft Will Be Your Peace’ and is supportive of this one too.

Image: NuPenny process by Randy Regier.

Maine Arts Commission
193 State Street
25 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0025
phone: 207/287-2724
fax: 207/287-2725
tty: 1-877/887-3878

National Endowment for the Arts The State of Maine