Christopher Keister, a painter from Portland, has been named the 2010 Monhegan Island artist in residence by the Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation (MARC).

Keister is a formalist painter with abstract tendencies. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007. His work has been featured in juried biennials of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (2004 and 2008) and the Portland Museum of Art (2003 and 2007). While on Monhegan, he hopes to develop new work that focuses on deluge myths and dowsing in contemporary society.

The MARC program provides lodging and stipend for a five-week residency on Monhegan Island for an emerging Maine artist each summer. This year, Monhegan Boat Lines will support the program by providing free ferry passage for the resident artist.

Thirty-five artists applied for the 2010 residency. Judges were painter and printmaker Alison Hildreth; Nathaniel May, director of Portland’s Space Gallery; and painter Marguerite Robichaux, a former Monhegan residency artist.

To mark its 20th anniversary, the Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation is hosting “MARC @ 20,” an exhibition of work by 35 previous artists-in-residence. Artists will donate a portion of sales from the show, which will run Aug. 21 through 27, to benefit the residency. MARC also will present Bill Manning in Conversation, featuring the distinguished Maine painter, at the Monhegan schoolhouse Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

MARC is a 501(c)(3) organization supported by individual donations and foundation grants. For more information, visit monheganislandresidency.org.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.