Early this April, a jury panel comprising Stuart Kestenbaum, Susan Larsen and Ariel Hall awarded eight recipients with a four-to-six-week residency at Maine Farmland Trust’s Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm, 152 Punk Point Road.

In its third year, the center received 66 applications for its summer arts residency program. The categories included visual arts, literary arts and performing arts. This year, one residency placement was reserved for an indigenous artist and one for an international or out-of-state artist.

Thu Vu, from Vietnam, was awarded the international visual arts residency. Vu first came to Maine from Hanoi Fine Arts College in 1998 as an exchange student; she attended Maine College of Art in Portland. Vu creates light sculptures made out of paper and natural materials. Her work has been exhibited throughout Asia, Europe and the United States.

Clif Travers was awarded the visual arts residency for a Maine indigenous artist. Travers grew up in the mountains near Sugarloaf.  One of his current bodies of work, The Medicine Cabinets, grew from three years of interviews with people around the country. Travers asked each person, “What would you consider to be a social malady that could be easily cured by regular folk?” The resulting “cabinets” are all connected to nature and show the malady, as well as the imagined cure.

The remaining four visual arts residencies were awarded to Carol Douglas, Michel Droge, Estefani Mercedes and Maxwell Nolin.

Douglas, who grew up on a farm, describes herself as a plein air landscape painter whose primary interest lies in the relationship between humans and their environment. Droge, by contrast, is an abstract painter whose work reflects a poetic connection to the land, climate change research and the philosophy of the sublime. Mercedes is an activist artist with deep connections to Maine. She is interested in Brooksville archives that connect to the Argentine dictatorship. Nolin is a young emerging portrait painter who most recently made a living as an organic vegetable farmer.

The Fiore Art Center’s literary arts residency was awarded to Maine writer Jodi Paloni. Paloni is working on her second book, a novel-in-stories that takes place in the 1960s and ‘70s on a farm similar to Rolling Acres Farm; and tracks three Maine women from their girlhood to contemporary midlife.

The performing arts residency was allocated to Heather Lyon, who was born on a farm in Maine; and whose short films recently were on view at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland. Her art practice is site-responsive and she plans to create new performance work at the Fiore Art Center, “responding to this unique place where the connections between art and farming can be explored and lived.”

Each year, the Center hires a seasonal resident gardener, who lives on the farm for five months and grows food for the residents. This year’s gardener will be Rachel Alexandrou, from Alna.

“We’ve been lucky to find gardeners who also have their own creative practice, and enjoy being immersed in our residency program setting,” said Anna Witholt Abaldo, co-director of the Fiore Art Center.

The mission of the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm is to actively connect the creative worlds of farming and art making. For more information on application details, summer visitor hours and Open Studio Dates, visit mainefarmlandtrust.org.

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