Announcing the 2017 Kindling Fund Grantees
SPACE Gallery is pleased to announce its 2017 Kindling Fund grantees. The Kindling Fund is one of eleven nationwide re-granting programs established by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. SPACE has awarded a total of $65,178.50 to 14 independent, artist-organized projects during this round. Information about each of the awarded artists and projects is at the bottom of this message.
An awards reception celebrating the new grantees as well as last year’s funded artists will be held on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at SPACE Gallery from 5:30 – 7:00pm.
Visual Arts Programmer, Elizabeth Spavento reported that the Kindling Fund received 35 applications from across the state. “Artists from Maine submitted some incredibly innovative ideas that felt particularly of-the-moment. I’m proud of the projects the Kindling Fund is championing—they are building a foundation that raises the bar for contemporary artists in the region” she said. An outside panel reviewed all of the grants and selected the winning projects. Jurors included Roya Amirsoleymani, Community Engagement Director at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in Oregon and administrator for the Precipice Fund, one of the other Warhol re-granting programs; Erin Johnson, visual artist and 2016 Kindling Fund grantee; and Anne Marie Purkey-Levine, an independent arts consultant and board member of TEMPOart Portland, a Maine-based arts organization dedicated to non-permanent site-specific contemporary installations.
Former Executive Director Nat May established this grant opportunity in 2015, responding to the needs of individual artists across the state and Maine’s arts community at large. The Kindling Fund is a part of the Regional Re-granting Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This program connects Warhol Foundation support with localized partner organizations who value artist-driven contemporary and independent practices. Ten other re-granting projects around the United States fulfill a similar need.
“This year’s Kindling Fund projects will break new ground in many different ways and in many different corners around the state,” said Interim Executive Director Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. “It is exciting that SPACE is able to support these artists and their work so directly.”
SPACE Gallery was founded in 2002 as a multidisciplinary contemporary arts venue featuring live music and performance, visual art exhibitions, film, literary events, and more. It serves a need as an idea space and a community space, presenting more than 200 events each year. In 2015, SPACE purchased its building on Congress Street in Portland, preserving 31 artist studios on the upper floors.
The Maribor Uprisings: A Live Participatory Documentary
Artist: Maple Razsa and Milton Guillén
Collaborator: Mary Lampson
Twice, the people went into the streets. Twice, the police drove them away. What began as a series of protests was transformed into a series of uprisings. Anger over political corruption became unruly revolt in once-prosperous Maribor, Slovenia. This participatory documentary places its audiences in the third and largest uprising in Maribor. As crowds surround and ransack City Hall under a hailstorm of tear gas canisters, live audiences will have to decide collectively how they participate in these events and how they understand the popular unrest of our times, from the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter.
A Shared Space: A View into the Somali Bantu Community
Artist: Daniel Quintanilla
Collaborators: Hilowle Aden, Abdinoor Hassan, and Noor Salah
A Shared Space: A View into the Somali Bantu Community is the first installation of an artist-organized community project exploring minority communities in Maine. The project will produce a series of 5 short-format virtual reality observational documentaries made in collaboration with Lewiston Somali Bantu filmmakers. Inviting viewers into their community, the videos will be housed on an online portal and shared publicly in temporary sidewalk screenings using innovative virtual reality hubs. Through direct audience engagement, this project explores questions related to the physical and social spaces we inhabit and what we lose as communities and individuals when we are out of contact with one another.
New and Experimental Sound and Music Project
Artist: Leslie Ross
Collaborators: Gustavo Aguilar, Gaelyn Aguilar, Steve Norton, and Nate Aldrich
The Kindling Fund will support new and experimental sound-based projects at the Cannery in South Penobscot. In addition to its 2017 programming, the Cannery will produce a festival and an exhibition that feature multiple concerts and visual artworks. The Sound Improv Festival is a two-day, cross-disciplinary meeting of musicians, video artists and dancers who work with improvisation. Sound Installation Month at the Cannery showcases multiple exhibitions by sound artists, each in its own gallery or environment.
Artist: Hi Tiger is Derek Jackson in collaboration with Amandaconda, Nicole Antonette, PSBL, and Taylor Vesey aka SWIM
Hi Tiger combines forms, aesthetics and techniques to present work that falls outside of any one category. It isn’t a band, although the group does incorporate music. It isn’t a dance performance, yet dance is integral. It isn’t visual art, though the visual elements derive from lead artist Derek Jackson’s own personal history with portraiture and explorations of the body and how it is re/presented. Hi Tiger presents work outside of traditional spaces that may be relative to any singular aspect of the piece. In keeping with this idea of combining elements, Hi Tiger employs a diverse group of artists from various racial, sexual and religious backgrounds. The mission of the project is to transcend social norms and expectations. In TRUCK Show, Hi Tiger seeks to create a fully contained mobile installation that can be presented on sidewalks, in parks, parking lots and venues that don’t historically present art or performance.
Artist: Dylan Hausthor
Collaborators: P. Guilmoth
Wilt Magazine is Wilt Press’ print version of a gallery, a collection of art, writing and oddities compiled into a beautiful compendium and left open to interpretation. Through design and editing, the magazine packages diverse material in an emotionally cohesive manner while leaving each contributing artist’s voice untouched. The magazine is composed of work from Maine, nationally and internationally-based artists and serves as a platform for dialogue between these artists and our audience. We strive for Wilt Magazine to transcend arcane artistic hierarchies and appeal to an audience that isn’t solely academic.
The Number of Inches Between Them
Artist: Elizabeth Atterbury
Collaborators: Meghan Brady and Gordon Hall
Atterbury’s project brings New York-based artist Gordon Hall to Maine during the summer of 2017. While in residence, Hall will fabricate a large-scale sculpture and stage several performances, named “The Number of Inches Between Them,” in which the sculpture plays an essential part. There will be a corresponding exhibition of visual work by Hall in an alternative venue in Midcoast. The project will also host an evening at Hillside Farm during which Hall and other artists “lecture” in a similar mode to Hall’s ongoing project, “The Center for Experimental Lectures.” It will conclude with a collaborative publication.
Artist: Sean Harris
Collaborators: Keita Whitten and Caleb Mulkerin
Visual Tensions is a collaborative photographic project and community dialogue that pairs people of color with members of law enforcement. African American photographer Sean Alonzo Harris will create portraits as a means to confront and question cultural and racial assumptions, stereotypes and fears. The subjects of each portrait will be positioned to literally face each other, creating a heightened moment of recognition and tension. The project will provide a platform to: examine the relationship between people of color and law enforcement, publicly address injustice and implicit bias, and begin the necessary work of undoing racism and collective healing.
Artist: Nick Dalton
The schooners, “Hesper” and “Luther Little” laid abandoned in Wiscasset’s harbor from the 1930’s until the late 1990’s when they became icons of the Maine Coast. “Project: HESPER” commemorates these lost icons in the form of a public sculpture that will be installed on the waterfront in Wiscasset, Maine. The sculpture consists of insulated water pipes covered in a white pvc jacketing that will spell out the word “HESPER”. Each interconnected letter will be approximately 6′ high and 3′ wide and will terminate from the letter “R” in a public drinking fountain.
The First Coast
Artist: Galen Koch
Collaborators: Jenny Rebecca Nelson, Justin Levesque, Seth Brayton, and Henry Finch
The First Coast is a mobile studio / exhibition space that will travel to year-round coastal communities in Maine during the off-season. Through collaborations and workshops, residents will engage in conversation about their community’s working maritime identity and personal perspective of place. The First Coast is an initiative to collect sounds, stories, images, and ideas that contribute to a collective coastal memory and seek to reconstruct existing narratives and mythologies of both Maine and Mainers.
Wash and Fold Press
Artist: Vivian Ewing
Wash and Fold Press will help writers and artists reach the public by printing, binding and publishing their original works. In conjunction with book-releases, the project will organize social events for the featured writers and artists including talks, demonstrations, and a library with open reading hours. Wash and Fold Press is a laboratory not just for the production of books but also for the production of a public. Together these events and media will foster the social life of the book.
The Coast Walk
Artist: Jennifer Steen Booher
The Coast Walk is a methodical, long-term exploration of Mount Desert Island’s shoreline. Booher circumambulates the island, interviewing biologists, fishermen, historians and other stakeholders as she goes. She writes a photo-essay blog and composes still life photographs as a means of communicating the experience to her audience. The process of gathering information is central to the work, as is the artist’s physical presence on the shore. Booher began walking on January 1, 2015. The journey will cover roughly 120 miles, and is expected to take six years to complete.
Artist: Shoshannah White
CHATTERMARK is a street-art initiative bringing imagery of the Arctic and melting glacial ice to the streets of Maine. “Chatter mark” is a geological term for the groves and gouges made from glaciers dragging rock and fragments along, carving into bedrock and leaving traces of their existence in their path. This project will inject images of a continually changing Polar landscape into the busy rush of daily life—a reminder of new landscapes resulting from human impact, and a connection/disconnection we have with the inhabited world. Images are printed at mural scale and adhered to public, exterior walls with an all-natural binder meant to disintegrate with time and weather. CHATTERMARK will grow to include a small number of rural installation sites to further its reach. Each installation will point to a web presence providing context, links and varying perspectives on environmental concerns.
Surface First Tilts West: An Outdoor Experiential Exhibition
Artist: Jordan Parks
This project temporarily installs environmentally conscious, minimal impact works of art along the trails of the Little Chebeague Island. Visitors are invited to interact with the natural and manmade history, while simultaneously viewing contemporary art. The installations’ relationship with the trails, historic landmarks and plants will give the audience a unique outdoor art experience.
We Wear the Same Clothes Every Winter
Artist: Brian Doody
Collaborators: Catie Hannigan
Collaborating with a number of marginalized artists on a portrait series, We Wear the Same Clothes Every Winter is an exhibition that will be shown in a non-traditional space as well as a printed book. The photographs will prioritize women, artists, working class, and/or queer people in Maine. The artist will incorporate the artwork of his subjects into the book, the exhibition, and the photographs themselves. The project both documents a marginalized art scene and protests the professionalized landscape of the art world in our community – an art world that is further and further removed from the artistic production of the working class.