The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Maine has hired Donna McNeil, former director of the Maine Arts Commission, curator and author, as its founding executive director.

The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation was created by John David Ellis in 2015, shortly before his death, to support the arts and to preserve and share the work of Ellis and his late wife, Joan Beauregard. They were painters who met at the Art Students League in New York City. Throughout most of their careers, they divided their time between New York and Maine, eventually settling full time in Rockland, where they lived for the last 20 years of their lives.

Ellis and Beauregard lived a private, creative life removed from the gallery and museum world. Their appreciation of the privilege that enabled that choice led them to bequeath funding to allow other artists the opportunity to make work free from other constraints. Their residence and studios in Rockland, a community fast becoming a vibrant center for the arts, are in the process of being renovated into foundation offices, archival storage, a study center and exhibition space for their work.

“Donna’s experience will be invaluable to Ellis-Beauregard as we move forward to realize our mission,” said Ellen Golden, president of the board of the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation. “We

are excited to have Donna with her varied background and deep connections to the art world as part of our team. With Donna leading the way, we look forward to putting programs in place over the next few months.”

A foundation dedicated to the advancement of the individual artist is an exceptionally rare and enlightened entity, granting the essentials of creative time and material support, said McNeil. It is the intent of the foundation to significantly advance opportunities for artists in the state and beyond, to enhance and insure the Ellis-Beauregard legacy and to be a partner in creative endeavors in the community.

“I am highly privileged and deeply honored to be a part of this exciting enterprise and look forward to the advancement of individuals dedicated to offering the public insight, understanding and transformative engagement through the language of art,” she said.

For more information about the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, visit and the foundation’s Facebook page.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or