The Maine Arts Commission has selected two Midcoast artists among the seven Maine artists from throughout the state to be recipients of its $5,000 Maine Artist Fellowship Awards. The prestigious Maine Arts Fellowships are annual, merit-based awards designed to recognize artistic excellence and to advance the careers of Maine artists. The awardees are selected by out-of-state expert panelists.

Diana Cherbuliez of Vinalhaven is a 2019 Visual Arts Fellow. Since moving to the island community, Cherbuliez has incorporated themes of isolation, access and physical and conceptual structure into her craft. The long winters; the constant of the tide and variable of the weather; and the intense and extreme physical beauty of Vinalhaven all appear in her work. Cherbuliez said she enjoys researching her projects, and working with collected and salvaged materials that stem from her respect for history, craftsmanship and conservation.

Jan Owen of Belfast is a 2019 Craft Arts Fellow. Owen moved to Bangor in the late 1970s and worked as a graphic designer, calligrapher … and played string bass in the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Soon thereafter, she began making handmade books and panels. Her books are often created on textured, handmade paper or scrolls on translucent polyester, luring the viewer with color, pattern, texture or a brush mark. Now a Belfastian, Owen continues to work as a letter and book artist. In recent years, she has collaborated with Maine poets John Tagliabue, Wes McNair and Stuart Kestenbaum. In the summer of 2019, Owen plans to contribute work to the “Darkness and the Light” exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art.

Other 2019 Maine Artist Fellowship recipients are: Lynn Duryea of Deer Isle, Belvedere Handcraft (for a craft artist located in Hancock or Washington Counties, in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation); Jennifer Lunden of Portland, Literary Arts; Sarah Sockbeson of Kingfield, Traditional Arts; Daniel Sonenberg of Portland, Performing Arts; and Thomas Willey of Southwest Harbor, Media Arts.

In addition, MAC has announced the 2019 participants in its Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program. This annual year-long, one-on-one program pairs masters and apprentices based on their experience and commitment to the traditional art form they practice, for the purpose of sustaining and passing these often endangered traditions down from one generation to the next.

This year’s apprenticeship recipients are: Jawad Al Fatlawi, master musician, Ghasssan Al Hamdany, apprentice (Middle Eastern music); Brian Theriault, master snowshoe maker, Benjamin Latvis, apprentice; Atiya Haji and Khadija Ibrahim, master basketmakers and textile arts, Malyn Negye and Halima Mohamed, apprentices (Somali Bantu traditional arts); Thomas Cote, master Acadian woodcarver, Kennedy Bancivenga, apprentice; and Jeffrey Allan Miller, master blacksmith, Hannes Dale Moll, apprentice.

For more information about the Maine Arts Commission’s programs and services, visit; follow the agency on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; or contact the offices at 287-2724. The Maine Arts Commission supports artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers in advancing the arts in Maine.

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