MFT’s Fiore Art Center Announces 2020 Residencies & Jury Panel

MFT’s Fiore Art Center Announces 2020 Residencies & Jury Panel

January 6, 2020


Rachel Keidan

Applications for the 2020 residencies at MFT’s Joseph A. Fiore Art Center opened December 31st, 2019 and close March 1st, 2020. Next summer the Center will host six visual art residencies: most residency placements will go to Maine artists, a couple will go to out-of-state and international artists, and one is reserved for a Native American artist living in Maine. In addition, the Center will offer one performance/interdisciplinary arts residency and one literary arts residency (for Maine writers), as well as an academic writing residency open to applicants from New England. The Fiore Art Center residencies are competitive-- in 2019, 75 artists applied to the residency program and nine applicants were awarded a residency.

The residencies take place in July, August and September and span one month each. Residents receive a stipend, a private room, and a studio. Artists at any career stage may apply; arts applicants are selected based on the quality of their work samples, their artist statement, and demonstration that their work has a relevant connection to the environment at large, or rural Maine and agriculture specifically.

Applicants to the academic writing residency should be in the writing stages of an academic paper or dissertation focusing on subject matter related to MFT’s mission (e.g. farmland protection, access, and transfer; farm viability; food systems; agro-ecology; soil health; climate change and agriculture).

The Fiore Art Center also offers a 5-month seasonal position for a resident gardener with an affinity for the arts. For more information on this position, visit HERE.

This will be the fifth summer that the Fiore Art Center has offered the residency program. Director Anna Witholt Abaldo is excited to be working with the most expansive jury panel yet. “We chose essay and non-fiction as our focus for the literary arts residency this year,” she explains, “and are thrilled to have Maine’s celebrated author Jane Brox as our 2020 juror for this category. For our visual arts panel, we are fortunate to have noteworthy Maine realist artist, Linden Frederick, alongside interdisciplinary artist and CMCA associate curator Bethany Engstrom. Together this duo brings a depth in painting, drawing, installation and video which is a terrific fit for our multi-disciplinary residency” she added. Heather Lyon rounds out the ranks as the performing and interdisciplinary arts juror. “Not only is Heather Lyon a rising star in Maine’s contemporary art scene, as an alum of our residency program, she naturally brings a keen understanding of what kind of artist might get the most out of this residency experience on a conserved farm – and who might offer a unique contribution.” The fifth jury member on the 2020 panel is Ellen Stern Griswold, Maine Farmland Trust’s Policy and Research Director, who will be jurying the academic writing residency.

Meet the Jurors:

Linden Frederick grew up in upstate New York and studied art at Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and the Academia de Belle Arte, Florence, Italy. Frederick has been painting small town America for over 40 years. Dusk or night sets the stage for much of his work. Since moving to Belfast, Maine in 1989, Linden Frederick has been included in exhibitions at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA), Farnsworth, Ogunquit and Portland museums of art in Maine and in gallery exhibitions in Maine, New York, Texas, New Mexico, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. He is represented by Forum Gallery, NYC; his work has been acquired by public collections throughout the United States and by private collectors from the literary and film communities, among others.

Bethany Engstrom is Associate Curator at the CMCA, an artist, and an educator. Prior to CMCA, she worked with collections at the Farnsworth Art Museum. She has written about and organized a number of curatorial projects focusing on contemporary Maine art and artists including group, solo and collaborative exhibitions. She has exhibited her creative work throughout the state and actively participates in residency programs including Mildred’s Lane, Ellis-Beauregard Studio Residency, Hewnoaks, and Vermont Studio Center. Bethany received a BA in Art History in 2002, her MFA in Intermedia in 2011 and Interdisciplinary PhD in Intermedial Collaborative Practices in 2014, all from the University of Maine. She is an adjunct instructor at Unity Collage and the University of Maine Augusta.

Heather Lyon is an installation, video and performance artist based in Maine. Combining her interest in the meanings of materials (ranging from Mylar to sequins to milk to ash) and the question of the human body, she investigates relationships and the ways in which we negotiate longing, loss, desire, and vulnerability. She holds a BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has recently exhibited and performed her work at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland; The Danforth Gallery, University of Maine Augusta; The Picnic Pavilion (a parallel project to the 58th Venice Biennale), Venice, Italy; The State Silk Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia, and at Artisterium 10, Tbilisi, Georgia, for which she received an Emergency Artist Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York. She was awarded the performance arts residency at the Fiore Art Center in 2018.

Jane Brox‘s fifth book, Silence, was published in January 2019, and was selected as an Editors’ Choice by The New York Times Book Review. Her previous book, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010 by Time magazine. She is also the author of Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm; Five Thousand Days Like This One, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Here and Nowhere Else, which won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She has received the New England Book Award for nonfiction, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies including Best American Essays, The Norton Book of Nature Writing, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has taught at Harvard University and Bowdoin College, and is currently on the faculty of Lesley University’s low-residency MFA Program. She lives in Brunswick, Maine.

Ellen Stern Griswold is the Policy and Research Director at MFT. She oversees municipal, state, and federal-level policy work, as well as research projects that inform that work and support the effectiveness of MFT’s programs. Prior to MFT, she practiced federal energy regulatory law for eight years in Washington, DC, working on the development of energy policy in Congress and advising clients on energy and environmental regulatory requirements. Then her deep personal interest in the structure of our food system – and its implications for agriculture producers, the environment, and public health – led her to pursue a new career in agriculture and food policy. She obtained her LL.M. in Food and Agriculture Law from Vermont Law School, her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and her BA in Public Policy from Brown University. Ellen loves exploring Maine’s beaches, forests, and farms with her family.

Those interested in the 2020 Fiore Art Center residency program can find more information on application details, summer visitor hours and Open Studio Days during which the residents share their work HERE. Profiles of past residents can also be found here.

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