The 2021 Maine Craft Artist Award will be announced in May with an award presentation and exhibition later in the year.
In 2009, the Maine Crafts Association began to honor individual Maine craft artists each year by awarding recognition for a body of work that is exceptional. This award will confer the prestige and acknowledgement that comes with having the artist’s work achieve a distinguishing mark of excellence.
All craft artists nominated in since 2018 will be automatically considered for the 2021 award. If the artist does not have a good representation of their work or bio/resume online, follow up the nomination submission with an email to Sadie Bliss with that material at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations of BIPOC Maine craft artists are strongly encouraged.
The Maine Craft Interview Project brings emerging craft artists together with established Maine craft artists in an interview, led by the emerging artist. The project serves to support and engage emerging artists by providing a platform and structure to access firsthand craft career experiences one-on-one. The emerging artist designs interview questions and interviews an established artist of their choosing.
Jordan Carey is a Bermudian designer and artist currently based in Portland. He received his BFA in Textile and Fashion Design from Maine College of Art in 2019. He continues to work in the field as assistant designer for the Maine based fashion house Jill McGowan, through residencies, freelance work and launched the Loquat brand as a vehicle for sharing fluid cultural aesthetics and craft sensibilities.
He interviews Owen Kelly, Vice President of Product Creation at L.L. Bean.
SHOP Maine Craft: The MCA Online Gallery offers a diverse selection of handcrafted items made exclusively by the artist members of Maine Crafts Association. With hundreds of artists to choose from and 16 shopping categories (organized by medium and location of work), there are dozens of pages of unique Maine craft wares for you to peruse at your pleasure.
Looking for work by a specific artist? Simply use the search bar on our site (top right) to type in artist name, and then select an item. Once on that page, find more work by the same artist by clicking their name under TAGS.
The Ogunquit Museum of American Art (OMAA) launches its 2021 season with exhibitions that cover a variety of mediums and forms of artistic expression from painting to sculpture, found objects to photography. The museum opens May 1 with three exhibitions that continue through July 16: “One Hand Clapping: Jo Sandman,” “Remember the Ladies: Women Painters in Ogunquit, 1900-1950” and “Kahlil G. Gibran: The Surface and Below.”
The second half of the season starts July 30 with two new exhibitions and continues through October 31: “Life Streams: Alberto Rey, Cuban-American Artist” and “Art’s Ball: Wood & American Modernism, 1913-1936.”
In addition, four exhibitions will be open throughout the season, from May 1 through Oct. 31: “Light Southerly: Henry Strater in Verde Valley,” “The View from Narrow Cove,” “Charles Woodbury: Open Studio” and “In the Sculpture Park: Celeste Roberge, Chaise Gabion and Chair for Mining, Chronium.”
Ogunquit Museum of American Art is at 543 Shore Road, Ogunquit. Call 207-646-4909, or go to ogunquitmuseum.org for more information.
One Hand Clapping: Jo Sandman
May 1-July 16
Sandman’s innovative artistic practice explores complex interconnections between the physical world and the structural underpinnings of abstraction. Working with a variety of materials, including traditional artist tools and supplies, found objects, industrial hard goods and soft goods, Sandman realigns the connections between painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and assemblage with highly personal imagery. Each outcome is a supposition about the natural world and her own self-study. Sandman studied with Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell at Black Mountain College; as an artist and educator, she has taught at Wellesley College, The Art Institute of Chicago and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2018, OMAA acquired 33 of her works through the Jo Sandman Legacy Project. In this exhibition organized by OMAA, the collection is presented for the first time alongside major pieces from public and private collections.
Remember the Ladies: Women Painters in Ogunquit, 1900-1950
May 1-July 16
Women have long been the subject of art, traditionally depicted as objects of beauty, or engaged in domestic and practical arts. When regarded for their achievements as creators of fine art, women of the Ogunquit colony may be remembered as vanguards of American arts and culture throughout the 20th century. Trained at Charles Woodbury’s Summer School of Drawing and Painting and Hamilton Easter Field’s Summer School of Graphic Arts, female artists remain an integral part of Ogunquit’s standing as a leading artist collective and a major cultural influence throughout New England and the U.S. Gertrude Fiske, Nellie Knopf and Susan Ricker Knox—among the colony’s most prolific painters—became influential painters, teachers and policymakers.
Titled for Abigail Adam’s 1776 letter to her husband John Adams, “…I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them…”, this exhibition examines the politics and public policies that engendered compulsory education, civic engagement and professional opportunities for women. Presenting a remembrance “more generous and favorable” to the noteworthy contributions of female artists in Ogunquit and New England, the exhibition is organized by OMAA in association with Darin Leese.
Kahlil G. Gibran: The Surface and Below
May 1-July 16
The first focused exploration of its kind, this exhibition examines a finite selection of paintings from Kahlil Gibran’s early and formative years as a Boston Expressionist. Working in encaustic and oil—alongside contemporaries including Mark Tobey, Karl Zerbe and Maud (Cabot) Morgan—Gibran’s visual meditations on mysticism and abstraction identify the immediacy, beauty and prescience of painting. The exhibition, organized by OMAA with guest curator Anthony Moore, includes 12 works of art painted between 1948 and 1952, most of which have never been publicly exhibited.
Hélène Farrar has taught and worked in the visual arts for 20 years while exhibiting in commercial, nonprofit and university galleries in New England, New York City, Pennsylvania, Italy and England.
“While I am slowing down, I also seem to be speeding up,” she writes. “The studio is bustling. Paintings are being created for the wonderful galleries I am so happy to share my work in. My children’s book is in design mode, and I’m excited for the ‘big reveal’ later this spring.”
She continues to create works for her 2022 exhibition at the Maine Jewish Museum of my “What We Carry Project” and for “At The Edge of the Woods” at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which will run from May 1 to July 13. Her work can also be seen at Center for Maine Craft in Gardiner and Archipelago Gallery in Rockland
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) invites artists of all ages to take part in an ArtLab for All Ages workshop on Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m. March 6 on Facebook Live.
Led by ArtLab educator Alexis Iammarino, participants will create a series of colorful painted collages. Taking creative lead from from Biennial artists Meg Hahn and Jenny McGee Dougherty, draw inspiration from the most familiar of spaces and objects by exploring new ways to survey your surroundings.
In response to CDC recommendations, the workshop will stream live on facebook.com/cmcanow. For those tuning in locally, complimentary ArtKits are available for pick-up from March 3 to 5 from noon to 5 p.m. and March 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at CMCA. Participants are encouraged to explore the galleries via virtual tour at cmcanow.org/virtual-tours in advance of the workshop. For more information, email Alexis Iammarino at email@example.com.
Now that the busy holiday season is over and you have filed your sales tax, it is time to take some time to focus on long-term growth for your business. How should you do that?
The beginning of the year is the ideal time for taking a deep breath and setting goals and intentions—but often there is a gap between these large goals and actually taking the action to make them happen. Consistent, meaningful steps need to be taken to move in the right direction. As business owners, we often find it easier to work IN the business (doing client work and creating products which generate immediate results) rather than working ON the business (strategy, implementing systems, and marketing which contribute to long-term growth).
Here are four simple ways to increase your brand visibility and grow your audience online:
1. Create an online marketing strategy
A marketing strategy will help you map out the steps you need to take in order to reach your marketing goals. Your approach will vary depending on what stage of the customer journey you are focusing on. You should start leveraging your organic reach as much as possible, and you can further expand your reach with some ads on Facebook for a very targeted approach. Once your marketing strategy is clear, create a content calendar that includes how many times per week you will post, on what platforms, and what type of content you will use. A monthly content calendar can be repeated with similar themes and different content.
2. Batch create posts or videos and captions
Using your content calendar, prepare your posts in batches to save time and increase consistency. Take several photos that can be used for different purposes (or use your product/brand photos), create graphics, write relevant captions, gather a hashtag list to bring your content in front of new audiences on Instagram.
3. Schedule social media posts
Once you have prepared your content, take some time to schedule your posts a month or more at a time. This will ensure you have a consistent presence on social media, and you will save a lot of time and the mind space needed to remember that you have to post something. You can even schedule stories in advance—and the best part is that it is free to do so. You can still login to Instagram or Facebook once in a while to respond to comments, interact with some of your ideal clients, and so on, but it is a huge relief when your posts are actually lined up and ready to be posted automatically at the perfect time.
4. Analyze the results and tweak for best results
After the first month, go back and check your Analytics for Instagram and Facebook. See what type of posts had the most engagements, resulted in more followers or messages and more. Keep in mind that you need to have a varied approach to your outreach. You should not just aim for getting the maximum number of likes, but try to generate reactions, comments, actions taken in response to your post.
Anca Gooje is an e-commerce web developer who works with established women entrepreneurs to help them sell easier online by creating effective e-commerce websites that look and work great. Her signature process combines front end web development, digital marketing, and soft skills that allow her to capture the essence of a business’s brand and transform it into a high-quality user experience. Learn more at www.ancagooje.com.
Dowling Walsh Gallery will host a solo exhibition of paintings by Hilary Irons titled “Orb Weaver” from March 5 to April 24.
Hilary Irons is a painter, curator and writer living and working in Portland. She studied painting at Parsons School of Design and the Yale School of Art. Hilary is gallery and exhibitions director at the University of New England and cofounded the Able Baker Contemporary, an artist-run gallery, in Portland’s Arts District.
Dowling Walsh Gallery is at 365 Main St. in Rockland. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment on Sundays and Mondays. Visit www.dowlingwalsh.com, or call 207-596-0084 for more information.
I didn’t really notice that my world was filled with craft until recently. Thanks to the Lunder Institute for American Art, I was able to work on a project called the Makers Map. The Makers Map is an interactive map that identifies and locates makers and craftspeople to provide an online network through which both visiting and local artists can find Maine-based material experts, builders and workshops that could present useful in the production and development of artistic projects.
Working on this project enhanced my views of the world. From the ordinary wooden desk in my dorm to the clay mug in my cabinet to the small glass-blown object I bought when I was abroad, craft is everywhere. But not only is it prevalent, the art of craft is also beautiful in how it fills the world. Thinking about this allowed me to reflect more on the role of craft in my life.
I was born in Nigeria, and looking back, I was surrounded by many talented craftspeople. My aunt was a seamstress, and she was especially gifted in making Aso Oke. Aso Oke, which translates to “cloth from the top,” is a handwoven fabric that represents status in Yoruba culture. It does so because of the intricacies woven into the cloth. Due to the complex floral motifs and geometric shapes embedded in the design, Aso Oke has been popularized in Nigeria and is flexible in its use. It is commonly used for traditional wedding attire but can also be made into hats, bags or shoes. Through generations, the techniques used in making Aso Oke have been passed down. Stemming from the desire of women to clothe their families, Aso Oke has been able to cultivate the perfect blend of creative craft and domestic needs.
I find it most fascinating that craft is not always taught through formal structures but through knowledge and experience passed down through generations. Craft is historic in nature, but that history can also be easy to ignore.
Recently I stumbled onto a post by the Black Craftspeople Digital Archive (@blackcraftspeopleda), and they shared a post about the enslaved craftspeople who built the White House and the U.S. Capitol. In creating these American monuments, enslaved and free Black craftsmen were key players in their constructions. Black carpenters, blacksmiths, shoemakers, tailors, painters and many more helped build the America we live in today but are rarely recognized.
These craftsmen most likely weren’t taught craft in a conventional setting but still learned to create a life for themselves, and not only for themselves. Through apprenticeships, they were also able to pass down their material knowledge to generations after them. When I think of craft, I think of not only what it meant to the maker but to all the craftspeople before and after them. Craft benefits so many people, myself included, and makes me so grateful of the talents that came before me in making objects, places and building that enhance our lives.
Emmanuel Sogunle is from Denver, Colorado. He is a senior majoring in economics and education at Colby College in Waterville. He is the president of the Colby African Society and acts as the parliamentarian of the Student Government Association. He has been working with the Lunder Institute for American Art for over a year and is assisting the Lunder Institute Director of Artist Programs Daisy Desrosiers in the creation, development and digital support of the Maine Makers’ Map, an interactive tool to facilitate networking between visiting artists and highly skilled craftspeople in Maine.
Dowling Walsh Gallery presents Donna McNeil, founding executive director of the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, in conversation with photographer Cig Harvey.
Dowling Walsh Gallery artist Cig Harvey seeks to find the magical in everyday life. Rich in implied narrative, Harvey’s work is deeply rooted in the natural environment and offers explorations of belonging and familial relationships.
Maine Gallery + Studio Guide is in its 20th year of promoting Maine art to the world! This award-winning guide presents 188 pages of beautiful reproduced fine Maine art, easy-to-use contact info and maps. Visit the digital edition right here, right now. Don’t be afraid to use the live links on each page!
ADVERTISE WITH US
Maine Gallery + Studio Guide is the trusted guide of choice for Maine art. It is carefully distributed in a free controlled circulation that reaches readers who are locals, visitors, summer people and lovers of Maine art. MG+SG and Cafe des Artistes are responsible for increased gallery traffic, awareness, and art sales.
ORDER A GUIDE
Order your personal copy or send a gift to an art loving friend, $5.