Announcing the 2015 Kindling Fund grantees

A statewide regranting program for artist-organized projects, administered by SPACE Gallery on behalf of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Network.

Announcing the 2015 Kindling Fund grantees


Portland, Maine – SPACE Gallery is pleased to announce the innagural grantees in it’s new funding program for Maine’s visual arts community. The Kindling Fund has awarded $5,000 each to 10 projects, supporting artist-organized projects that have a strong public component. The list of awarded artists and projects is at the bottom of this message.

An awards reception celebrating the artists will be held Friday, January 9, 2015 at SPACE Gallery from 5:30 – 7:30pm.

SPACE Executive Director Nat May said that the Kindling Fund received 84 applications from across the state of Maine. “We were thrilled with the range of proposals and the effort put in to writing them,” he said. An outside panel reviewed all of the grants and selected the winning projects: Sarah Montross, the Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and Sharon Hayes and Chris Doyle, both multimedia artists.

“Many of Maine’s artists are working outside traditional commercial structures, and this grant offers support for worthy projects that may be difficult to fund by other means,” May said. “SPACE has worked hard to fund artists working on projects presented at its multidisciplinary art space in Portland, and this grant gives the organization a way to encourage additional contemporary visual art projects to be presented independently, under the artists’ terms.”

The Kindling Fund is a part of the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This program matches Warhol Foundation support with localized partner organizations who value artist-driven contemporary and independent practices. SPACE joins eight other regranting projects around the United States, bringing a new kind of support to the state of Maine.

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.

SPACE Gallery / 538 Congress St. / Portland, ME / 04101

SPACE Gallery annex / 534 Congress St. / Portland, ME 04101

(207)828-5600 / / /

2015 Awardees:

Andrew Thompson


Interstices is an attempt to portray the essence of Portland, Maine as it has never been portrayed before.  Over the course of the past two years and continuing into 2015 Andrew Thompson has been collecting hour-long field recordings at every street crossing in the city at all times of the day and night. These recordings will be displayed in their entirety, with each one being played back via it’s own speaker, in an immersive sonic installation.  This nearly five hundred-channel system will initially be installed at the Emery Community Arts Center in Farmington, Maine in fall 2015.

Awarded amount: $5000


Elise Pepple, Ayumi Horie, Pilar Nadal

“Portland Brick”

What if our city could literally tell its own stories? Portland Brick is a place-based public art installation that stories the city with moments its residents deem significant. For this project, historical facts, individual memories, and future wishes for the city will be stamped into bricks that have been customized to fill the gaps in the sidewalks. A website will connect these bricks to longer form stories. Then some of the future wishes for the city will catalyze public art interventions. In this way the city’s stories literally repair the sidewalks while wishes shape new memories of its future.

Awarded amount: $5000


Sean Patrick O’Brien

“Spaceship for Spaceship Earth”

Spaceship for Spaceship Earth is a floating geodesic sculpture that will travel the coast of Maine and be moored in various locations as a transient public artwork. This floating pod, inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller, will be outfitted with photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, and a small hydroelectric generator to convert wave energy into onboard power. Batteries will be used to store energy that can later be turned into light, sound or heat. In addition, sensors will be used to record information about humidity, wave movement, temperature and location, to be converted into visual and sonic artwork.

Awarded amount: $5000


DM Witman


I aim to create conscious engagement between the public and the issue of climate change, which is perhaps, the most critical issue facing us all today, and the future. As an extension of a project in progress, MELT, I will print and mail 250 postcard-sized unfixed salt prints to residents of Maine. Recipients will be faced with making a conscious decision as to if, and how often to open the envelope, contributing to the disappearance of the image, which parallels our daily life choices contributing to the alteration of global climate.

Awarded amount: $5000


Caroline Losneck, Kelly Rioux, Chris Wright


Home/Resilience is an interactive and experiential social documentary installation and a story of and tribute to the last two 90-year old residents of the 144-year old St. Mark’s Home for Women in Augusta, Maine. The site-specific installation will be created in the historic Augusta Colonial Theater, which closed in 1969, and is undergoing revitalization. Through the stories and voices of Ruth and Nona, Home/Resilience raises questions and inspires conversations about wisdom and aging – offering insights about the social and physical structures that help shape our notions of ‘home.’ Beyond a traditional documentary film, photography show, or radio story, participants experience Home/Resilience by walking into a multi-storyline and immersive installation revolving around Ruth and Nona, dynamic women that represent aging Americans, issues of isolation and the importance of community in sustaining life. As part of the installation, the short documentary film A Home for Women (by Kate Kaminski, Betsy Carson and Caroline Losneck) will be screened on a front porch microcinema. 

Awarded amount: $5000


Andy Rosen


UNPACK is a temporary sculpture of a single dog and wolf pack perched atop abandoned dock pilings in Portland harbor. The installation is a continuation of my current series in which toy-like animals are engaged in human struggles and affected by human activity. UNPACK explores the undoing of nature and its organic communities by humanity’s odd modern relationship with the environment.

Awarded amount: $5000


Will Sears and Tessa O’Brien

“Portland Mural Initiative”

The Portland Mural Initiative will bring contemporary public art to the streets of Portland, ME. We will work primarily with local artists to create temporary and permanent murals, wall paintings, and architectural interventions. Our project places a premium on community engagement. We will host neighborhood meals and artist talks for each individual mural, to introduce the artist to the neighbors and open the lines of communication. This grant will fund our two first murals, a community dinner, and administrative work towards developing the initiative.

Awarded amount: $5000


Wade Kavanaugh

“Proposal for an Appalachian Glacier”

We will create the first self-generating glacier in the Appalachian Mountains since the Quarternary Period. The first phase of the project will explore the fundamentals of glaciology to establish a vision for a glacier that will grow, move, and ultimately transform the Maine landscape. This conceptual phase of the project will take form in a charrette, at which we will present a temporary sculpture in an indoor space that mimics the scale and presence of the proposed glacier in conjunction with technical drawings and site photographs. This exhibition will engage experts and stakeholders in the process of review, critique, and improvement of the proposal.

Awarded amount: $5,000


Chris Stiegler and John Sundling

“The Institute for American Art”

The Institute for American Art will produce a year’s worth of programming centering on artistic production and community engagement. The IfAA is an educational organization designed as a museum and located within a domestic home. Over the course of our previous season we hosted visiting artists, produced several catalogs, and welcomed well over 300 people into our space for various events. We are ramping up our calendar toward a busy and productive year in 2015. We are excited to promise more lectures, screenings, performances, and projects.

Awarded amount: $5000


Ashleigh Burskey & Jenna Crowder

“The Chart”

The Chart is a new online arts journal for artists, writers and cultural producers to write and create traditional and experimental art criticism. As a response to the scarcity of quality arts journalism in Maine, The Chart will feature critical discourse, interviews, exhibition reviews, essays on art practice and process, and features on artist-­run spaces, projects, and initiatives. The Chart will connect Maine’s artists to each other and to national and international contexts.  In short, The Chart is an extensive hub for dialogue, education, and opportunity for artists and those invested in the vitality and dynamism of Maine’s art community.

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