LA Arts News.

LA Public Art Working Group Kicks Off Planning

For Immediate Release

Contact: LA Arts

alison.gibbs@laarts.org 

(207) 782-7228

LA Public Art Working Group Kicks Off Planning 

LEWISTON, ME, March 28, 2019 – At a kick-off meeting Monday, the newly formed LA Public Art Working Group committed to using a recent Maine Arts Commission (MAC) grant award to transform the Twin Cities into a vibrant public art community.

The group formed in February, 2019 after Lewiston Auburn was awarded a $75,000 MAC Creative Communities = Economic Development Phase 2 Grant for implementation of Cultural Plan LA. Proceeds of the grant will be used to improve the image of Lewiston Auburn and spark greater private and public support for public art.  

“Public art communities are great places to live, work, recreate, and go to school,” said Rebecca Swanson Conrad, co-chair of the working group and Cultural Plan LA Advisor to the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “We’ll use this grant award to develop best practices for sustaining a robust public art process in LA.”

“We’re fortunate to already have a groundswell of excitement around public art here in LA,” added Darby Ray, co-chair of the working group, Director of the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates College, and LA Arts Board Clerk. “There’s great anticipation for the spring opening of the Hartley Block in the Lewiston Arts District with its Marsden Hartley-inspired mosaic tile installations,  for a planned sculptural walk alongside the canal and through the Bates Mills complex, and for the expansion of crosswalk murals and related projects in the downtown. These initiatives lay the groundwork for and add to the timeliness and relevance of this group’s work.”   

Appointees to the working group were made by the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, LA Arts, Arts and Culture LA, and the municipalities of Lewiston and Auburn — all partners in the implementation of Cultural Plan LA. Working group members include 

  • Sabrina Best, Recreation Director, City of Auburn
  • Shoshona Currier, Director, Bates Dance Festival 
  • Jody Dube, Art Teacher, Lewiston High School
  • William Low, Curator, Bates Museum of Art and LA Arts Board Member
  • Heidi McCarthy, Economic Development Specialist, City of Lewiston
  • Tom Platz, AIA, Principal, Platz Associates
  • Darby Ray,  Director of the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates College and LA Arts Board Clerk (group co-chair)
  • Shawn Rice, Art Teacher, Edward Little High School
  • Rebecca Swanson Conrad, Cultural Plan LA Advisor, LA Chamber of Commerce (group co-chair)
  • Sheri Withers Hollenbeck, Owner, The Curio and Founder, Sunday Indie Market 

In 2015, LA Arts was awarded the MAC Creative Communities = Economic Development Phase I Grant to develop a cultural plan. That project was sponsored by The City of Lewiston, The City of Auburn, LA Arts, and ACLA. Cultural Plan LA outlines priorities and recommendations for action which, coupled with cross-sector partnerships, will catalyze LA’s potential as a creative metropolis.

Since 1973, LA Arts, the arts agency for the cities of Lewiston and Auburn Maine, has pursued a mission to engage and inspire a vibrant community through arts and culture. The agency works with government arts agencies, city governments, businesses, and local arts and cultural organizations to create opportunities for community members across the generations to experience, learn, and participate in the arts. LA Arts organizes arts programs and initiatives, supports the work of local artists and art organizations, and highlights the essential role the arts play in shaping an economically vital, socially integrated, and forward-looking future for its community. Learn more at www.laarts.org.

The membership of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,000 area businesses. The staff and board of the Chamber have put the arts and culture at the center of many of its own programs to attract businesses to the area, to support the development of a community of young professionals, and to promote Lewiston and Auburn as a tourist destination. More information is available at www.lametrochamber.com.

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Twin City TIMES: Maine Arts Commission awards major cultural development grant to Lewiston-Auburn

February 28, 2019 – The Maine Arts Commission has awarded the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and L-A Arts a MAC Creative Communities = Economic Development (CCED) Phase 2 Grant of $75,000 for the implementation of Cultural Plan LA. Proceeds will be used to improve the image of Lewiston-Auburn and spur economic development through public art installations in each city. MORE

Local Photographer Dan Marquis to speak at L/A Arts

L/A Arts Gallery, 221 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, Maine

Thursday, February 21, 5:30-7pm

Well known photographer Dan Marquis will give a presentation on his photographic practice and photography of birds in particular at the LA Arts Gallery, 221 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, on Thursday, February 21 from 5:30 to 7pm. This event will also serve as a closing celebration for the exhibition, Dan Cake: A Tribute to the Artist in the Year of the Bird. A reception will follow the presentation. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Dan Marquis’s interest in photography was sparked by his love of nature and the outdoors. Employing both landscape and close-up styles of nature photograph, he has been an avid bird watcher and kayaker for over twenty years. Dan notes that living in central Maine provides access to all of the varied and magnificent habitats and scenery that Maine has to offer, from the rocky coast to the inland lakes and mountains.

Dan is also well known for his photography of the Lewiston-Auburn cityscapes and skyline. Reflecting on this context, he says, “There is so much great architecture here in the twin cities, and the skylines are second to none. I strive to show our communities in a way that most people just don’t see in their day to day lives.”

Dan has shown his works extensively. His works have been published in Nature Photographer Magazine and have also been chosen as winning entries many times in the seasonal photo contest at Maine.gov, the official web site for the state of Maine. A frequent contributor to Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Dan’s work also received Best in Show at the 2008 State of Maine Sportsman’s Show.

A long-time member of the Stanton Bird Club, Dan has frequently led birding walks and field trips for the club. His website can be found at www.danmarquisphotography.com

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Stanton Bird Club Celebrates 100th Anniversary

For Immediate Release

Contact: LA Arts

contact@laarts.org

(207) 782-7228

L/A Arts Gallery, 221 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, Maine

Sunday, February 3rd, 2-4pm

(Gallery Hours 12-4 Tuesdays-Fridays and 11-3 Saturdays)

The Stanton Bird Club and L/A Arts have joined together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bird Club.  On Sunday, February 3rd from 2pm-4pm there will be an open house at the L/A Arts gallery at 221 Lisbon Street with music, food and an opportunity to enjoy the exhibition of paintings, drawings, and prints, Dan Cake: A Tribute to the Artist in the Year of the Bird. The public is invited to attend.

The Stanton Bird Club began in 1919 when a New England naturalist came to Lewiston-Auburn as part of a Chautauqua community lecture and challenged the community to start a bird club.  In fact, he would not get off the stage until the audience agreed to start a club and elect officers that evening.

This was at a time when there was a national concern with the declining population of birds due to the commercial trade in birds and bird feathers.  The year 1918 saw the passage by Congress of the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect birds which made it illegal to kill migratory birds or collect any parts of these birds including feathers and nests.

The focus of the Club from the beginning was to increase the protection of wild birds and stimulate an interest in bird life.  The founders also had a dream of creating a model bird sanctuary and a desire to perpetuate the memory of Bates professor, Jonathan Stanton who was well known throughout New England for his knowledge of birds and the natural world. His bird collection, which is now housed at the Maine State Museum, was one of the finest in the northeast.

During its early years, the Club established its tradition of holding both evening meetings with speakers on the wonders of the natural world and field trips. At that time, field trip destinations were limited by the available transportation, with members often taking street cars to get to good birding spots. Speakers have included well known ornithologists Roger Tory Peterson and Owen Sewell Pettingill.

Perhaps the largest undertaking by the Club was the establishment of Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in 1921 as a result of the original gift of 45 acres of land by Bates College Professor Alfred Anthony. The Sanctuary, in Lewiston, has been open free of charge to the public since it was first created and now encompasses 450 acres.  The Bird Club also stewards over 850 acres of land including its ownership of Woodbury Nature Sanctuary, located on the Monmouth/Litchfield town line.  For the last thirty years the Club has been known for its educational activities at Thorncrag involving both school-age and college students in the community.

The public is welcome to attend this celebration.  Please call 524-2060 to register or email the Club at stantonbirdclub@gmail.com.

The exhibition, Dan Cake: A Tribute to the Artist in the Year of the Bird, will be open through Saturday, February 23rd at the L/A Arts Gallery, 21 Lisbon Street, in Lewiston. Since 1973, L/A Arts, the arts agency for the cities of Lewiston and Auburn, has pursued a mission to engage and inspire a vibrant community through arts and culture. The agency organizes arts programs and initiatives, supports the work of local artists and art organizations, and highlights the essential role the arts play in shaping an economically vital, socially integrated, and forward-looking future for its community. Learn more at www.laarts.org.