JEFFERSON — Applications for the 2019 residencies at Maine Farmland Trust’s Joseph A. Fiore Art Center opened in early December and will close March 1. This summer the center will offer six visual art residencies: four for Maine artists, one of which is reserved for a Native American artist; one for an out-of-state artist, and one for an international artist. In addition, the center will offer one performance/interdisciplinary arts residency and one literary arts residency for Maine applicants, as well as a new academic writing residency open to applicants from New England, according to a news release from the center.

These are one-month residencies that will take place in July, August and September. Artist 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 new 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; agroecology; soil health; climate change and agriculture).

The center also offers a five-month seasonal position for a resident gardener with an affinity for the arts.

This will be the fourth summer that the Fiore Art Center has offered a residency program. David Dewey and Anna Witholt Abaldo, co-directors at the center, will work with yet another jury panel, according to the release.

“Since the literary arts residency is focused on poetry this year, we pulled in renowned poet and arts writer Carl Little for his expertise in both the literary and visual arts,” said Dewey, according to the release. “We felt Sarah Workneh, with her depth of experience as co-director at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, would bring a great contemporary touch and round out the panel for the visual and interdisciplinary arts,” Witholt Abaldo said, according to the release.

Workneh has been co-director at Skowhegan for nine years. She leads the educational program and related programs in New York throughout the year, and oversees facilities on campus. Previously, she worked at Ox-Bow School of Art as associate director. She has served as a speaker in a wide variety of conferences and schools. Workneh has played an active role in the programmatic planning and vision of peer organizations, most recently with the African American Museum of Philadelphia. She is a member of the Somerset Cultural Planning Commission’s Advisory Council (ME) and serves on the board of the Colby College Museum of Art.

Little is the author of more than 25 art books, including “Paintings of Maine,” “The Art of Monhegan Island” and “The Art of Maine in Winter.” Little’s poetry has appeared in many print and online journals and is included in five anthologies edited by Wesley McNair, former Maine poet laureate. Poems have recently been featured in Maine Sunday Telegram’s “Deep Water” series and “Poems from Here” on Maine Public Radio, as well as in three “Nations Anthology: Native, Canadian and New England Writers.” Little holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Columbia University, and Middlebury College. He directed the public affairs office and the Blum Gallery at College of the Atlantic for eight years before becoming director of communications and marketing at the Maine Community Foundation in 2001.

The academic writing residency will be juried by Amanda Beal, president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust, and Andrew Marshall, MFT’s David and Cecile Wang Food & Farming Fellow.

“We felt that our residency program at the Fiore Art Center provided a perfect opportunity to support academics working on important research for our farming community,” said Beal, according to the release. “The richness of an interdisciplinary experience for both the academic resident and the artists in residence will further serve to integrate agriculture and art.”

Beal’s life-long interest in how we produce food began as a child. She grew up on her family’s commercial dairy farm in Maine, and spent time on the coast of Casco Bay, where she has fond memories of digging for dinner in the clam flats alongside her grandfather and warming the bench of his smelt shanty in the winter. Before joining MFT, Beal worked for several years as a consultant on food systems-related projects for a number of fisheries, agriculture, and other food-focused organizations and businesses, and was a co-author of the publication “A New England Food Vision: Healthy Food for All, Sustainable Farming and Fishing, Thriving Communities.” She holds an Master of Science from Tufts University, having completed the Agriculture, Food & Environment program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and is a doctorate candidate at the University of New Hampshire in the Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science program.

Marshall is the 2018-19 Wang Research and Policy Fellow at Maine Farmland Trust, focusing on land use change, farmland reclamation, and climate issues. He has been ensconced in the Maine agricultural community for 15 years, serving as education director for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and field director for Land For Good. He also operates Dorolenna Farm and Forest in Montville with his family. He holds degrees from Bowdoin College and the University of California.

For more information and application details, visit mainefarmlandtrust.org.


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