Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Portland Artist Selected for International Exchange Program

Two professional artists have been selected for funding through a new international cultural exchange program that provides opportunities for creation and professional development in Maine and New Brunswick.

Shoshannah White from Portland and Mathieu Léger from Moncton, New Brunswick are the first artists to receive funding through the Maine/New Brunswick Residency Fund. White will be undertaking a three month photography project on the island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, while Léger will be working with the Bakery Photographic Collective in Westbrook Maine for the same period of time.

White, recently recognized by Americans for the Arts as one of the nation’s top public artists in 2012, was overjoyed to hear that she had been selected to participate in this program.

“I'm absolutely thrilled about this opportunity. It is a wonderful, mutually beneficial collaboration where I will have the gift of extended time to create work at the Swallowtail Keepers Society Lighthouse while giving back in the form of artwork, volunteer time and promotion of their program,” said White. “In addition to delving into new work on this rugged, raw and beautifully exposed island, I'll have a chance to connect with a new community as well as the associated Whale/Seabird Research Station. Really, there are endless possibilities surrounding this exciting, cross-border exchange.”

Laurie Murison, Chair of the Swallowtail Keepers Society, is grateful for the opportunity to both support an artist and to begin an artist in residence program at the historic lighthouse, “This fabulous location will allow Shoshannah to pursue her artistic interests, and in return she will be able to help us develop our program for future artists. This program will also allow us to strengthen collaborations with other island groups, such as our art gallery, museum and Whale & Seabird Research Station.”

This is the inaugural year where the Maine Arts Commission has formed a partnership with New Brunswick Arts Board to create an artist residency program. Artists from either Maine or New Brunswick can apply for up to $10,000 to cover a one-to-three month residency for a creation-based or professional development project outside of their participating state or province.. Artists participating in this program enjoy complete autonomy and define the objectives of their period of residence and elaborate the parameters and conditions governing its realization in collaboration with an arts or community organization in the territory where the period of residence is to take place.

The next deadline for the Maine/New Brunswick Residency Fund is April 5, 2013; full details are available on the Maine Arts Commission’s website at MaineArts.com.

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