The Maine Arts Commission’s Fellowships reward artistic excellence, advance the careers of Maine artists and promote public awareness regarding the eminence of the creative sector in Maine. The awards are made on the sole basis of artistic excellence. Due to the competitiveness of the Individual Artist Fellowship program, and to avoid conflict of interest, all jurors selected for this program reside out of state. Funded through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Belvedere Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, the five fellows for 2014 are:
Jason Anthony, from Damariscotta, is the Maine Arts Commission’s 2014 Literary Arts Fellow. He was selected for his Non-Fiction submission The Secret Society of Unconventional Cooks. Jason has won numerous awards for his writing and his work has been published in many anthologies and magazines. He has published one book – Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine
Alicia Eggert, from Portland, is the Maine Arts Commission’s 2014 Visual Arts Fellow. She is an interdisciplinary artist whose work primarily takes the form of kinetic, electronic and interactive sculpture. Before pursuing a career in art, she earned an undergraduate degree in interior design and practiced at an architectural firm in New York for several years. After leaving that field, she went on to receive her MFA in Sculpture/Dimensional Studies. Her artwork, which remains strongly rooted in design, focuses on the relationship between language, image and time.
Watie Akins, from Brewer, is the Maine Arts Commission’s 2014 Traditional Arts Fellow. Akins is a Penobscot elder and master singer was selected his dedication to conserving Penobscot traditional music for future generations; his ongoing teaching and documentation of traditional songs and the overall quality of his traditional art.
Sumner McKane, from Wiscassett, is the Maine Arts Commission’s 2014 Media and Performing Arts Fellow. McKane is a collector of images. A guitarist and composer with a photographer’s mind, McKane’s mental snapshots of trails traveled and times past inevitably find their way in to musical interpretations of these scenes. The vivid nature of the resulting soundscapes reveal musical and emotional themes that inexplicably straddle the line between fresh and familiar, all with fantastic facility.
Robin Martin-Cust, from Deer Isle, is the Maine Arts Commission’s 2014 Functional Craft Fellow. She is a studio jeweler. She was born and raised on a small farm in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina where she was introduced to forging steel by her grandfathers, who were both blacksmiths. Her work has been accepted into Smithsonian Craft Show, Philadelphia Museum Show, Washington Craft Show, and American Craft Council Shows. She has also been featured in several Lark Crafts publications, including 21st Century Jewelry – The Best of the 500 Series, Ornament Magazine, and Metalsmith Magazine.