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 2013 are:
For more than a decade, Penobscot elder Watie Akins has concerned himself with the research, collection and performing the traditional music of his people, using the hand drum and shaker. He has been involved in this art form for 30 years. Traditional music is important to Penobscot culture because it is one of the elements that not only define what a Penobscot person is but goes hand in hand with the language preservation programs. From what was once nearly lost now has the opportunity to thrive again in the coming generations.
Damariscotta based author Jason Anthony 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. Anthony offers a rare workaday look at the importance of food in Antartic history and culture. Anthony's tour of the Antartic cusine takes us from hoosh (a porridge of fat and melted snow) and the scurrvy-ridden expeditions of Shackleton and Scott though the 20th century to own preplanned three hundred meals for a two person camp in the Transanartic Mountains. The stories in Hoosh are linked by the ingenuity, good humor, and indifference to gruel that make Anthony's tale as entertaining as it is enlightening.
Robin Cust is a studio jeweler living on Deer Isle, where she arrived in 1991 to serve an apprenticeship with metalsmith, Ronald Hayes Pearson. This apprenticeship continued until Pearson’s death in 1996. Prior to moving to Deer Isle, she earned a BS in Industrial Technology from Appalachian State University in 1985, and continued studies in metalsmithing at Arrowmont School in Tennessee, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle and Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.Robin’s 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.
Her artwork has been exhbiited internationally at venues such as the CAFA ART Museum in Beijing, the Triennalle Design Museum in Milan, and Sculpture By the Sea is Sydney, Austrailia. Eggert has been featured in the Washington Post and in publications such as the Typoholic: Material Types in Deisn and Elements and Principles of 4d Art & Design. She is a recipient of a TED fellowshop and a Direct Artist Grant from the Harpo Foundation. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Studio Art and the Sculpture Program Coordinator at the University of North Texas.
Sumner McKane is a collector of images. A musician and composer with a photographer's mind. McKane's mental snapshots of trails travelled and times past inevitably find their way into 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. This is exhibited throughout his various multimedia projects and his new release titled "Select Visual History". Select Visual History is McKane's eleventh alnum release, and his first-not having anything to do with his film projects- since the highly praised "What A Great Place To Be," in 2008.