The Maine Arts Commission today announced the recipients of the 2012 Artists’ Fellowship Awards, one of the nation’s largest awards for individual artists made by a state arts agency. The four recipients will each receive a $13,000 grant.

This year’s fellows are Allen Lowe from South Portland (performing/media arts), Claire Guyton from Lewiston (literary arts), Morrigan McCarthy from Portland (visual arts) and Richard Stanley from Southwest Harbor (traditional arts).

The fellowships reward artistic excellence, advance the careers of Maine artists and promote public awareness regarding the creative sector in Maine. The awards are made on the basis of artistic excellence. A panel of experts who live outside of Maine make the selections. This year, about 200 artists applied for grants.

Lowe is a composer, musician, author and music historian. He plays saxophone and guitar, and has recorded with Julius Hemphill, Marc Ribot, Roswell Rudd, Don Byron, Doc Cheatham, and David Murray among others. He has also produced a series of historical projects on American Popular Song, Jazz, and the Blues.

Guyton is a freelance writer and editor. She serves as the co-editor of “The Writing Life” section of Hunger Mountain literary journal, where she started and now anchors “Another Loose Sally,” a blog on writers and writing; introduced journal contributor interviews that she produces as a regular feature; and edits and writes other articles and essays. She earned her MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) in 2009.

McCarthy is a documentarian, writer and multimedia producer specializing in long-term projects. She is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, where she studied photography and audio production. She also holds a BA from Connecticut College in English Literature. She was selected to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2007 where she won an award for outstanding work. McCarthy’s work has been seen in The New York Times, Broadway World, Salt Magazine and Port City Life.

Stanley is a builder of wooden boats, who learned his skills from his father Ralph W. Stanley, who was the 1999 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. This is the nation’s highest form of recognition for folk and traditional artists. Richard worked for his father and eventually took over the business in 2009. He is now teaching his own apprentice and together they are working on a new 19’ Friendship-Sloop influenced open sailboat.

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