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Jefferson. Maine Farmland Trust, a statewide organization that protects farmland, supports farmers, and advances farming, recently partnered with the Falcon Foundation in Damariscotta to create an artist residency program on a protected farm.
The Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm in Jefferson will be launching its first residency for Maine-based visual artists in the summer of 2016. The program aims to connect the creative world of farming and art making, and evolve the dialogue between human and environment within the context of our current culture and time.
Falcon Foundation, a charitable foundation that holds the estate of the late artist Joseph Fiore (1925-2008), is generously supporting the establishment of the art center and residency program. Joseph Fiore was an artist and active environmentalist who, with his wife Mary, actively supported Maine Farmland Trust for many years.
David Dewey, former student and friend of Fiore and curator of the artist’s estate, will function as the Center’s Co-Director (Fine Arts Program), alongside Anna Witholt Abaldo (Co-Director, Center Operations), curator at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery since 2009.
Rolling Acres Farm sits on 130 acres on scenic Damariscotta Lake. Maine Farmland Trust purchased the Rolling Acres property to make sure this beautiful and productive land will be permanently protected and always available for farming. MFT hopes that Rolling Acres will once again become a vibrant farm, so that art and agriculture can truly interweave and cross-pollinate.
Four Maine artists granted first month-long residency during summer
For this first pilot year, the application process was open only to artists living in Maine.
“We were excited and pleasantly surprised to receive close to 25 applications in this first round,” said Anna Abaldo. “The jury was impressed with the high quality of the work.”
Of the 23 eligible applicants, four artists were selected by a jury consisting of renowned New York/Maine artist Lois Dodd and Rockland’s Caldbeck Gallery owner Cynthia Hyde.
The July artists in residence will be Robert Pollien, MFA (University of Pennsylvania), from Mount Desert, whose submissions included landscape drawings and oil paintings; and J. Thomas R. Higgins, MFA (University of Wisconsin) from Readfield, a plein air landscape painter who works in oils.
The August artists in residence will be Thérèse Provenzano, MFA, (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) from Wallagrass, whose submissions consisted of works in charcoal and pastel on paper; and Susan Smith, MFA/IPh (University of Maine, Orono) from Dover Foxcroft, who creates site-specific projects that address the environment, through the use of sustainable methods and materials.
At the end of each residency, the Art Center will host a family-friendly Artist Studio Day & Open House at the Fiore Art Center in Jefferson – a great opportunity for the public to see the new art center, visit the art studios and talk with the artists and center staff. The 2016 summer dates are Saturday July 30 and Sunday August 28, from 11am-3pm; both days will feature live music outside on the lawn, and free coffee, tea and ice cream. Bring a picnic and enjoy the Center’s magnificent grounds.
For more information on the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center and artist residencies, please visit: