SPACE Gallery Announces 2016 Kindling Fund Grantees

The Kindling Fund

SPACE Gallery has announced the 2016 grantees in its funding program for Maine’s visual arts community. The Kindling Fund has awarded a total of $55,000 to 10 independent artist-organized projects. The list of awarded artists and projects is below.

SPACE Executive Director Nat May said that the Kindling Fund received 33 applications from across the state of Maine. “Artists from all over the state submitted their best and most innovative ideas,” he said. An outside panel reviewed all of the grants and selected the winning projects: Jenna Crowder, artist/past grantee and co-founder of The Chart, Cameron Shaw, Executive Director of Pelican Bomb in New Orleans (also a re-granting organization), and Sean Glover, a sculptor and professor of art at the Maine College of Art and at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

“We hear from lots of artists who are looking for support for their work, especially when it’s not geared toward sales or commissions. We created this grant opportunity to help respond to that need,” May said. The Kindling Fund is a part of the Regional Re-granting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This program connects Warhol Foundation support with localized partner organizations who value artist-driven contemporary and independent practices. Eight other re-granting projects around the United States fulfill a similar need.

The Chart co-founders Ashleigh Burskey and Jenna Crowder both recognize the power of the Kindling Fund to jumpstart projects that might not otherwise be able to happen. They were able to launch The Chart with the help of a 2015 grant. Both are looking forward to see how the 2016 projects develop over the coming year.

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. In 2015, SPACE purchased its building on Congress Street in Portland, preserving 31 artist studios on the upper floors.

For more information, please contact SPACE Executive Director Nat May.

2016 Projects

Erin Colleen Johnson

A Long Wait is an event series and platform for artistic inquiry that uses Fort Gorges — located at the entrance to Casco Bay outside of Portland, Maine — as context, material, and site. Erin Colleen Johnson will curate and commission video, sound, and social practice artworks by individual artists and collaborative groups for debut at Fort Gorges in Summer 2016. The public will be invited to join in weekend excursions to the fort, during which participating artists and artworks will facilitate inventive and meaningful engagement with this unique site.
Amount awarded: $6500


The Apohadion Theater is a non-traditional grassroots performance and exhibition space operated out of a studio workspace shared and maintained by more than 25 working visual artists, writers, music composers and performers. The artists who work at The Apohadion will utilize Kindling Funds to curate and produce a series of events entitled “Experimental Creators”. This series of artist organized and curated events would be open to the public and feature work by creators who work or seek to work in experimental ways.
Amount awarded: $5000

Future Mothers: Elizabeth Jabar and Colleen Kinsella

The FUTURE BRIDGES project includes a mobile tent and a series of pop up events and participatory actions within the City of Portland. The project builds on the current work of Future Mothers in creating participatory structures and vehicles for socially engaged art and civic engagement. Future Mothers is a collective vision/structure/practice that takes the form of prints, installation, books, and performance. Using printmaking as a platform Future Mothers construct densely layered objects, structures, and environments for communicating diverse narratives and responding to social-political events.
Amount awarded: $5000

Justin Levesque

ICELANDx207 is a multi-media project documenting Iceland’s recent entry into the Maine waterfront and economy. It includes portraits of Icelanders in Maine, documentation of the revitalized International Marine Terminal, and chronicles a nine-day independent residency from Portland, Maine, to Reykjavík aboard an Eimskip container ship. This work will be presented in a retrofitted shipping container to be located in Congress Square Park in conjunction with the 2016 Arctic Council meetings hosted by the Maine North Atlantic Development Office in Portland, Maine (Oct. 4–6, 2016).
Amount awarded: $5000

Jennie Hahn

In Kinship is a civic performance project that investigates migratory fish restoration in the Penobscot River. Designed to complement existing public outreach surrounding restoration efforts, the project combines community dialogue, collaboration between artists and biologists, and physical interaction with both fish and the river. A playful booklet of poetic prompts initiates multiple forms of exchange and community creation. In Kinship is an arts-based call to environmental stewardship that asks: If we view the river and its non-human populations as both characters and participants in our dialogue, how might it help us strategically care for the needs of an entire ecosystem?
Amount awarded: $6500

Amy Stacey Curtis

MEMORY is the artist’s 9th and final solo biennial of interactive installation in Maine’s abandoned mill spaces. In 1998, she began what would be an 18-year commitment to interactive installation art, nine solo-biennial exhibits from 2000 to 2016. In the end, she will have installed 81 large-in-scope, temporary, participatory works in the vast mill spaces of eight or nine Maine towns. Each biennial is 22 months of intense rigor, each exhibit exploring a different theme while inviting audience to perpetuate its nine unique installations. This 18-year work is her opus.
Amount awarded: $5000

Skylar Kelly, Sara Lemieux

The experience of viewing ‘auteur’ films has changed dramatically over the past fifty years; once occurring in college lecture halls and big city art cinemas, it now occurs (if it does) on small screens with audiences of one or two viewers. The larger-than-life image, the grain and shadow detail, the flicker of projection and rapt attention demanded by the screen are lost to the most recent generations of movie watchers. This project intends to show great films authored by serious filmmakers in a setting that both honors the work and expands the appreciation of film by considering its history.
Amount awarded: $5000


New Fruit is a women-run alternative arts space founded in March 2015 and located in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood. They urge a discourse of ideas and risk amongst collective members, artists, and audiences who identify as women, queer, trans. Their mission includes providing support, visibility, and the means to proliferate creative process in non-traditional materials or modalities. The Kindling Fund will support 2016 programming.
Amount awarded: $5500

Julie Poitras Santos

PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS is a new social practice project; it engages the local arts community in a series of inter- and cross-disciplinary conversations and activities around the idea of walking as creative provocation, practice and product. In the summer of 2016, PLATFORM PROJECTS will offer the local community a series of readings, conversations, talks and group walks exploring the history and activity of walking as creative practice.
Amount awarded: $5000

Lucinda Bliss

Tracking the Border is an interdisciplinary project based on navigation of the 611 miles that represent the Canada/US border in Maine. The artist will travel the length of the border in 4 week-long segments, running, paddling, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling, and each segment will include travel and/or dialogue with an expert from a different field (Forestry, Native community, Geology, and Border Patrol). The resulting work will take several forms: blogging, large-scale drawings, and a series of interdisciplinary lectures and panels. The project will incite a true cross-disciplinary dialogue around the increasingly important issue of borders in the world.
Amount awarded: $6500

An awards reception celebrating the new Kindling Fund grants as well as last year’s funded artists will be held Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at SPACE Gallery from 6–8pm.