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December 4, 2018

Maine Arts Commission announces 2019 fellowship awards, apprenticeships

Courtesy Maine Arts Commission
Courtesy Maine Arts Commission
The Maine Arts Commission is honoring “The Summer King” opera composer Dan Sonenberg and six other artists throughout the state with its 2019 Maine Artist Fellowship Awards, announced Monday. This is a scene from a performance of “The Summer King.”

The Maine Arts Commission on Monday named seven artists as recipients of its $5,000 Maine Artist Fellowship Awards in 2019.

Selected by out-of-state expert panelists, the annual awards are designed to recognize artistic excellence and to advance the careers of Maine artists.

The Commission also announced 2019 participants in its annual Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program that matches masters with apprentices for the purpose of sustaining and passing these often endangered traditions to the next generation.

Artist fellowships

2019 Maine Artist Fellowship recipients are as follows:

  • Diana Cherbuliez of Vinalhaven, Visual Arts: Since moving to an island community off the coast of Maine, Diana Cherbuliez has incorporated themes of isolation, access, and physical and conceptual structure into her craft.
  • Lynn Duryea of Deer Isle, Belvedere Handcraft (for a craft artist located in Hancock or Washington counties, in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation): Through elemental shape and form, she uses architectural, structural and mechanical elements in a variety of scales. She plans to soon create a body of work for "Darkness and the Light," a curated group exhibition to be shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art next summer.
  • Jennifer Lunden of Portland, Literary Arts: Lunden says she believes her identity as a dual citizen raised in Canada and living in the United States—disabled for many years by a controversial and misunderstood illness—offers her a unique perspective on the issues we face in America today.
  • Jan Owen of Belfast, Craft Arts: Owen moved to Bangor in the late 1970s and worked as a graphic designer, calligrapher, and played string bass with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Soon after she began making handmade books and panels. She now resides in Belfast, where she works as a letter and book artist.
  • Sarah Sockbeson of Kingfield, Traditional Arts: Sockbeson grew up living on and off of the Penobscot Indian Island Reservation and always knew that she would one day pursue a career in the arts. With help from the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, she is now a master basketmaker who teaches apprentices to preserve the cultural heritage.
  • Daniel Sonenberg of Portland, Performing Arts: This composer, whose operas include "The Summer King," appreciates the different styles and genres of music that have inspired him throughout his life. He's lived in Portland for 15 years where he sees a remarkable level of creative activity and is inspired by the work of colleagues across the performing arts.
  • Thomas Willey of Southwest Harbor, Media Arts: A camera operator in the film and television industry since 1990, his current film projects include an interactive for the Schoodic Marine Center on the health of the Gulf of Maine, and a documentary, "The Calvineers Movie," centered around a Maine teacher, his junior scientists, and a right whale named Calvin. Willey says the fellowship is "a most wonderful surprise," and will allow him to update his well-needed camera package for future projects.

Apprenticeship recipients

This year's apprenticeship recipients are:

  • Jawad Al Fatlawi, master, and Ghasssan Al Hamdany, apprentice. Support for apprenticeship in Middle Eastern Music.
  • Brian Theriault, master snowshoe maker, and Benjamin Latvis, apprentice.? Support for crafting traditional Maine snowshoes.
  • Atiya Haji and Khadija Ibrahim, master basketmaker and textile arts, and Malyn Negye and Halima Mohamed, apprentices. Support for Somali Bantu traditional arts.
  • Thomas Cote, master woodcarver, and Kennedy Bancivenga, apprentice. ?Support for Acadian woodcarving.
  • Jeffrey Allan Miller, master blacksmith, and Hannes Dale Moll, apprentice.

About the Maine Arts Commission

The Maine Arts Commission supports artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers and community developers in advancing the arts in Maine. For more than 50 years it has encouraged and stimulated public interest and participation in Maine's cultural heritage and programs; has worked to expand cultural resources; and has encouraged and assisted freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of individuals in all parts of the state.

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