SOURCE: Maine Center for Creativity

March 25, 2008 12:01 ET

Maine Center for Creativity Announces Call for Entries for Art All Around™ International Design Competition

Winner Will Design Public Art Project at Sprague Energy Tank Farm in South Portland

PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - The Maine Center for Creativity (MCC), a Portland, Maine-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting the growth of the arts and creative industries in Maine, today announced the official call for entries for its Art All Around™ international design competition. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of up to $30,000 and the winning design will be painted on 16 of the most visible tanks, including tops, at the Sprague Energy Corp. tank farm in South Portland. The goal of the project is to underscore the importance of creativity as a driving economic force for Maine. Art All Around represents one of the state's largest public art projects to date.

Participants of all ages, backgrounds and locations are invited to submit designs showing how the tanks could be transformed to celebrate their prominent location and status as a gateway to Maine. To enter, contestants simply download four views of the tanks and upload their finished designs. The deadline for entries is June 25, and complete rules and entry forms can be found online at www.artallaround.com.

"Art All Around truly embodies the spirit of our efforts to cultivate Maine's growing creative sector -- a tremendous avenue of economic development and key part of my plan for Maine's economy," said Maine Governor John E. Baldacci. "When complete, this public art project will have a significant impact on the community. It's a great project and I applaud the Maine Center for Creativity for undertaking it."

"The tank farm serves as a gateway to Maine and, for many visitors arriving by land, sea and air, it's one of the first impressions they get of the state," said Jean Maginnis, executive director, Maine Center for Creativity. "We hope Art All Around will draw international attention to the state and its creative industries -- and inspire more businesses to locate in Maine and tap into our pool of talent."

There are currently more than 63,000 Maine residents employed in the creative sector, in occupations including research and development, advertising, architecture, software design, film and others.

A diverse panel of judges will select five semifinalists to come to Portland and present their concepts late this summer. Criteria for judging will include artistic excellence, originality, creative expression and practical application to the Sprague Energy tanks. Emphasis will be placed on how well the design is integrated into Maine's scenic surroundings.

The five semifinalists will receive a monetary award of $7,500 and be eligible for up to an additional $2,500 stipend for other costs and travel. The grand prize winner will be awarded an additional $20,000.

The judges are: Paco Barragán, independent curator and art consultant based in Madrid, Spain; Mark H.C. Bessire, director, Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine; Linda Earle, executive director of programs, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine; Oliver Kielmayer, director, Kunsthalle Winterthur art gallery in Zurich, Switzerland; W. Weston LaFountain, gallery director, Jameson Art Group in Portland, Maine; Edward Leger, art consultant and program officer of the arts branch for the province of New Brunswick; Sener Pasalic, manager, natural gas desk marketing, Sprague Energy Corp., Portsmouth, N.H.; Alice Spencer, artist and co-founder of Peregrine Press, a printmaking cooperative in Portland, Maine; Elizabeth M. Salamone, architect and designer liaison for Creative Office Pavilion in Portland, Maine.

"This competition fits perfectly with Sprague Energy's long history of community involvement," said Burt Russell, vice president of operations, Sprague Energy Corp. "We've been doing business in Maine for more than 100 years, so this is an excellent opportunity for us to give back and be a good neighbor."

Professional contractors will paint the winning artwork on the tops and sides of eight tanks and the tops of an additional eight. The painting phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2011, depending on weather.

With its first round of fundraising complete, MCC is working to raise the remainder of the $1.2 million necessary to paint the tanks, and continuing to seek additional donations from private individuals, corporations and foundations. The Center has partnered with several local companies to support its mission, including KG Partners; Portland Webworks; Swardlick Marketing Group; Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker; Jensen, Baird, Gardner & Henry; Mettie Whipple Designs; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios; and Perkins Olson.

About The Maine Center for Creativity

The Maine Center for Creativity is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) led by a volunteer board of directors dedicated to creating projects and programs that promote the arts and stimulate the growth of the creative industries and professions in Maine.

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