The 2018 Kindling Fund Projects
95 Percent: Introducing the Minority to the Majority
Lead Artist: Yoon S. Byun
This project is an opportunity to fill a void of stories about people of color living Maine. Maine is the whitest state in the nation, according to the 2015 U.S. Census estimates. Ninety-five percent of the population identifies as white. It’s also the oldest state in the nation, and its demographics are changing. This ongoing project is part, documentary, art, and cultural exchange. My goal is to chronicle the lives of at least 95 people of color across the state to help build awareness, empathy, and community, in part by sitting down and having a conversation with each person I photograph. It’s important that I also share the stories in public spaces around Maine — a way to introduce the minority to the majority. I hope it starts some dialogue, but I also hope it encourages everyone to get to know their neighbors.
The Space for Handmade Explorative Design or SHED is a seasonal project space in Wiscasset, ME. With the help of the Kindling Fund, Doublet Design will establish an artist in residence program and assist with facility upgrades to the SHED. These resident artists will occupy the SHED for one month and receive a stipend. Their responsibilities include installing an exhibition, participating in an art walk, giving a public lecture, and interacting with the public. Facility upgrades will include new seating and lighting to better serve visitors and participants during the ongoing lecture series, SHED Talks at Dusk.
CATHEDRAL is a digital curatorial platform rooted in the sensations of intimacy, privacy, and uncertainty of brief encounters with people and objects in public bathrooms. Rendered at the intersections among a zine and tape distro, an arts journal and literary magazine, and a public restroom, CATHEDRAL will be realized through a smartphone/tablet application and activated by a seasonal experimental lecture series. Prioritizing flexibility, ephemerality, and experimentation, CATHEDRAL will act as an improvisational distribution method for marginalized, outside, amateur, and experimental multimedia art and writing with Kindling Fund support.
The Chart is an online journal for art criticism by artists, writers, and cultural producers. In its third year, the publication specifically foregrounds explorations of equity, collaboration, and a practice of cultural care through critical arts writing in the form of interviews, reflections, conversations, exhibition reviews, and essays. With support from the Kindling Fund for its 2018 operations, The Chart will pilot a Critic-in-Residence program and continue its work for online critical dialogue in the state of Maine. Harnessing momentum from its first two years, The Chart is working towards a sustainable platform dedicated to tenderness, visibility, and urgency in arts writing that prefigures a more equitable art world.
“Ambergris” – Mining The Net Yard for the Roots of Addiction & New Models of Sustainable Fishing: A Multimedia Environmental Installation
Lead Artist: Michael Gorman Collaborators: Donna Daly, Eloise Sherrid Awarded: $5,000 “Ambergris” is an environmental installation and performance that explores the roots of addiction and new models of sustainable fishing. The piece is inspired by the economic devastation being caused by the ongoing opiate epidemic within commercial fishing communities in New England and beyond. Held outdoors on the working waterfront in The City of Portland, Maine, this event/installation included the performance of scenes from playwright Michael Gorman’s new play “Chasing the New White Whale”, which draws inspiration from Moby Dick, and is part of Gorman’s on-going project/arts & advocacy model. The event also featured live musical accompaniment, video and photographic projections, dance, visual art, an evolutional series of rolling boats (artistically suggestive models) including an ancient whaling harpoon boat and “The Ambergris”.
Durational Devices is a five-week performance installation that examines the underside of the human condition. The artist’s body becomes a vehicle to reflect different and varying states of being—young, old, limited or ill; lonely or depressed; contained, controlled or marginalized—and how we confront resistance with and through the body. Each of the five devices is a mobile platform that constrains movement and vision in a characteristic way. Wing-Sproul will propel these devices with toes to inch across the floor. These durational actions take place in relative silence within the Marble Block Building in Biddeford. A unique drawing tool for each device will trace an intentional, yet uncontrollable, path of marks, resulting in five distinct floor drawings contained within separate performance zones. With support from the Kindling Fund, performance images, drawing documentation and related documents will be developed into a dedicated website. The project will also host a public panel discussion with the artist and acclaimed critical writers/curators.
With Kindling Fund support, artist Alexis Iammarino and designer Maeve O’Regan will design, publish, and print a catalogue from a recent exhibition curated by Iammarino called “Hole History Show: Origins of the American-style Donut,” a collection of art, performance and writing that responded to a claim that the hole-in-the-donut was singularly invented by a 19th-century sea captain from Rockport, Maine. The creation of this catalogue will capture the scope of the project with beautifully documented plates of the 64 works of art, reproductions of memorabilia, and over 14 written submissions which include culinary history, poems, short fiction, oral history, and lecture transcriptions. Organizing, installing, and documenting this exhibition brought together people from a broad geography and energized ideas about the origins of the American culinary history. This catalogue aims to become a document of public history to be gifted to regional libraries and historical societies. At the publication’s launch, there will be an interdisciplinary event pairing chefs and artists to invent donut-inspired foods for the public.
With Kindling Fund support, New Fruit created Perm Press, a community print shop for aspiring print folks existing within the New Fruit studios. New Fruit continued our art show series entitled: “Moon Shows” and the “Quarter Days” a performance and installations series based on a celebration of the solstices and equinoxes. New Fruit is a collectively-run art space in Portland, ME which strives to cultivate expression, experimentation and community. We view art making as world-making in the pursuit of collective liberation. As a collective, we urge a discourse of ideas and risk amongst ourselves and participating artists and audiences.
Ceramic artist Juliette Walker and writer Devin Shepherd will create a socially-engaged project in which they exchange handmade ceramic cups for conversations and stories from Mainers about their experience of home. With Kindling Fund support, Walker and Shepherd will travel across Maine, working with community centers, public libraries, and other meeting places to collect stories. In addition to ceramics, the project will also generate audio and text pieces, available online and in printed books, which will be distributed to the storytellers’ communities. Walker and Shepherd aim to catalyze engagement through craft, and to shape participants’ memories and current experiences into multi-faceted, multi-media, interactive expressions of Maine as home.
Fifteen installation artists will be selected to exhibit artwork in a month long arts event called INFLUX which will be held on the Pepperell Mill campus in Biddeford, ME. The works, on view in 2018, will relate to the Pepperell Mill’s manufacturing history as well as its current state of revitalization and reimagining. The artists will engage the Maine community (specifically York and Cumberland counties, with their histories in textile production) by creating site-specific public works which reinterpret the mill’s multi-sensory experience.
Orbis Editions offers a model for a small press that focuses on using publications as a space for exhibition. With Kindling Fund support, Orbis Editions will promote and disseminate the practices of Maine-based contemporary artists. In conjunction with its publications, Orbis will organize public conversations and performances that reinforce the role of print media as both active within and responsive to its cultural context. Throughout 2018, Orbis Editions will work with five Maine artists to produce an open edition of creative works, two selected by an open call, and each accompanied by a public event.
Printers Without Margins will offer a one-month printmaking fellowship to five individuals who want to create radical printed matter for an organization or a community at large. Pickwick will provide access to their printshop, instruction, materials, creative guidance and a small stipend to each fellow. The fellowship is intended to give someone who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the equipment and community support that Pickwick provides. One edition of 100 signs, posters, pamphlets, zines, postcards, etc. will be created related to the issue they bring to the table. Possible topics can include issues around: racism, LGBTQIAA+ rights, incarceration, homelessness, gentrification, environmental change, politics, healthcare, and so forth. Distribution of the printed matter to the public will be an integral component of each residency; these could include posting in public spaces, dispersal during canvassing/community conversations, mailings via post, or any creative method of dissemination. A panel discussion will culminate the project late in the year.
Re-Past is a site-specific memorial to be held on Malaga Island. As an intervention in the form of a performative dinner, Re-Past will engage the public-at-large to remember the people of Malaga who were evicted from their homes on July 1, 1912, because they were black or mixed-race. This narrative has come to be known as the story best not told in the history of Maine. The performance will be a collaborative event including dancers, a printmaker, a sound architect, a chef and painter/cartographer. Re-Past is a memorial to the dead and the living.