Bar Harbor painter Robert Pollien is one of Acadia National Park's artists in residence this year. He has been part of the program before, in 1993, its inaugural year. COURTESY OF ROBERT POLLIEN

Acadia names 2019 artists in residence: painters, dancers and poet

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Artist Robert Pollien of Bar Harbor was Acadia’s first artist in residence, in October 1993.

Now, he is among 12 artists from around the country — and one from Canada — who have been selected for this year’s Artist in Residence program.

Asked how his art has evolved over the past 26 years, Pollien said, “I’m doing a lot more pencil drawing now. My oil paintings tend to be much more involved these days, so I do a lot more preparatory sketches and then work up to the big oil paintings in the studio.”

Many of his works are still landscape paintings of the Maine coast. But some of his more recent drawings and paintings depict western scenes.

“I’ve always been fascinated with western art,” he said. “I applied for a residency and spent the month of May last year at Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming. It was wonderful, the wide open space, the great big sky.”

“LeBalcon (after Manat)” by Erin Currier of Santa Fe, N.M., one of the 12 Artists in Residence at Acadia National Park. COURTESY OF ERIN CURRIER

Five visual artists in addition to Pollien were chosen to be artists in residence in Acadia this year. They are landscape photographer Howie Motenko, who lives in Mount Desert; painter Erin Currier of Santa Fe, N.M.; eco-artist Mariah Reading of Santa Barbara, Calif.; assemblage artist Launi Lucas of Vancouver, B.C.; and graphic artist Zoe Keller of Portland, Ore. Keller, however, has had to postpone her residency until next year.

Artist-in-residence Ingrid Hess, an assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, will work with Acadia educators on outreach materials for children.

The poet among the artists in residence is G.C. Waldrep, professor of English at Bucknell University. He has twice received the prestigious Pushcart Prize.

Dance residencies have been awarded to Candice Salyers of Hattiesburg, Miss., Ann Van Kuren of State College Pa. and the duo of Dani Robbins of Bar Harbor and Zoe Huey of Oakland, Calif.

“This year, we’re exploring how dance, choreography and movement can illuminate visitor experience at Acadia,” said Jay Elhard, the Artist in Residence program director. “In future years, we may emphasize other areas such as natural sound recording, indigenous arts and emerging technologies.”

Most of the artists in residence will visit Acadia for a week or two during the year. The park will provide housing for them for up to 14 days.

Each artist in residence must agree to lead at least one public outreach activity while they are here and to within a year donate to the park a finished work of art that depicts “a fresh and innovative new way for visitors to experience the park.”

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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