Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

OGUNQUIT, Maine - An art museum in Ogunquit has chosen a curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum to serve as its new executive director.
The Portland Press Herald reports that 42-year-old Michael Mansfield will begin his new job at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art on Feb. 1.
Museum board president David Mallen announced the hiring on Monday.

Adrian Cook

Even if you’re not familiar with Jonathan Lethem’s work, you might know his name, because he was, in 2005, a recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” grant.

Lethem’s work tends to range from pure science fiction to social realism — his latest is somewhere in between.

In “A Gambler’s Anatomy”, he tells the story of Alexander Bruno, an international backgammon hustler who finds himself pulled back to his childhood home of Berkeley, California, when a horrifying health condition threatens his life.

It’s a dark, and sometimes gory, story of identity, intimacy and place.

Screenshot, 'The Northeast by Eastern'

Wiscasset-based filmmaker Sumner McKane’s latest film, "The Northeast by Eastern," explores the story of a Belfast company that, in the early 20th century, documented small-town life in the Northeast through the medium of photo postcards.

Erik Jorgensen / Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Pioneering classical composer Elliott Schwartz has died.

A professor of music at Bowdoin College in Brunswick for 43 years, Schwartz’s work has been performed by symphony orchestras and chamber groups around the country, and has been made part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress.

ORONO, Maine — A transgender student whose battle over the right to use a girls’ bathroom led to a landmark court ruling in Maine is being featured in a new HBO documentary.

"The Trans List" premieres Monday evening and explores what it means to be a transgender American.

Nicole Maines is one of several individuals featured in the documentary.

Maines says her entire family got behind her after she was bullied over a bathroom while in secondary school. The state supreme court ultimately ruled that her rights were violated.

Bangor Daily News

By Kathleen Pierce, Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, now part of Maine College of Art, will accept its first full-time students next fall for a new graduate certificate program.

Ashley L. Conti / Bangor Daily News

By Emily Burnham, Bangor Daily News

A few years ago, Hampden residents Cory and Nok-Noi Ricker found themselves daydreaming about making a personal interest into something they do every day.

Margot Levy

In a year that’s seen a lot of negativity, Mary Latham is crossing the country looking at the positive.

Latham is a couple weeks into her “More Good” road trip, where she’s finding and documenting acts of random kindness all over the U.S. She’s a photographer who’s documenting her stories online.

The stories cheered her and her family up when her own mother was ill, and eventually she’s hoping to turn them into a book for hospital waiting rooms.

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

Bangor is one of the most famous towns in the world, though some may not realize it. Fans of renown horror author Stephen King know Bangor well, but by another name: Derry.

BOSTON — Yankee magazine and Boston’s public television station are teaming up to launch a new travel and lifestyles show exploring New England.

"Weekends With Yankee" is set to premiere nationwide on public television stations in April 2017.

The magazine and WGBH say filming will get underway later this month on 13 weekly half-hour episodes.

Michael C. York / Associated Press

Donn Fendler may not be a household name, but thousands of schoolchildren know him as the 12-year-old boy who used his wits and stamina to endure nine days alone in the Maine wilderness. Fendler died over the weekend at the age of 90, but his legacy lives on in a classic children’s book, “Lost on a Mountain in Maine.”

Brian Bechard / MPBN

Chris Kimball, the spectacled, bow-tied founder and former host of the popular PBS program “America’s Test Kitchen,” has moved on to start a new multimedia project called “Milk Street Kitchen.”

Kimball, who kicks off a national tour in Portland Thursday, spoke with Maine Public Radio’s Jennifer Rooks about his new focus: bringing bolder flavors from around the world to what he calls “new home cooking.”

To listen to the full Maine Calling, click here.

Barbara Cariddi / MPBN

A 6- to 7-foot image of Gov. Paul LePage dressed in Ku Klux Klan regalia has been spray painted on a wall along a Portland walking trail that has long been used as a place to legally post graffiti.

The wall is owned by the Portland Water District. Spokesperson Michelle Clement says, about a decade and a half ago at the request of the city, the district agreed to allow the wall to be used as a sanctioned canvas for graffiti.

She says the agency has not monitored what goes on the wall.

Consuelo Kanaga / Brooklyn Museum/Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve ever had children or ever were one, chances are you’ve cracked the cover of “Goodnight Moon,” the colorful picture book illustrated by Clement Hurd and written by Margaret Wise Brown.

Brown, who died 64 years ago at the age of 42, had connections to Maine throughout her life, including a summer home on Vinalhaven that she called “The Only House.”

This week on Vinalhaven, the community is celebrating a series of events celebrating her life and work. They include a Thursday evening talk by author Amy Gary, who is writing a biography of Brown due out next year.

Courtesy National Endowment for the Arts

An elder among Passamaquoddy artisans has died. Clara Neptune Keezer was nationally recognized as a native basketmaker and teacher.