PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Maine artist and author Ashley Bryan will receive the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire Citizen of the Year Award on Oct. 19 as part of the Black New England Conference at the University of New Hampshire.

Bryan, 95, lives in Islesford on Little Cranberry Island, and his book illustrations and drawings are the subject of an exhibition on view at the Portland Museum of Art through Nov. 25.

The theme of this year’s Black New England Conference is “Express Yourself: Identity, Style and Adornment,” putting the focus on how style – expressed through art, music, literature, performance, speech or bodily adornment – mark identity and affiliation. The conference will explore the historical and contemporary impact of artistic expression on the development of African-American identities and cultural production.

Bryan’s books portray African tales, proverbs and African-American spirituals. He was born in Harlem in New York City, studied at Cooper Union and served in World War II in the segregated U. S. Army. He later studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. When he retired from Dartmouth College in 1988, he moved to Maine.

He makes paintings, illustrates children’s books, writes and performs poetry, and creates hand-held puppets.

For information, visit blackheritagetrailnh.org/2018-black-new-england-conference

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