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Ascrizzi, Neuman selected for 2019 CAP

Jan 30, 2019
Courtesy of: Maine Crafts Association Joe Ascrizzi and Lisa Neuman are pictured in his Freedom studio.

West Gardiner — For the second consecutive year, the Maine Crafts Association, in partnership with the Maine Arts Commission, has announced a Midcoast master/apprentice pair selected for the 2019 Craft Apprentice Program: Freedom’s Joe Ascrizzi, master with apprentice Lisa Neuman (jewelry).

The Craft Apprentice Program began in 2016 to provide an in-studio educational opportunity for apprentices who demonstrate a commitment to further their abilities as craft artists. The apprenticeship lasts for seven months, March through September, and both master and apprentice are awarded funding. Applicants apply jointly, providing clear goals, a plan for how goals will be achieved and a budget for the apprentice’s honorarium. Both also must also submit resumes and images of current work.

Ascrizzi embraces diverse media, though he is primarily recognized for his layered and carved box sculptures made from wood, bone, antler and semi-precious stones. His work has been exhibited throughout Maine and the Northeast. Ascrizzi has mentored many artists since moving to Freedom from New York City in 1975, including students from Unity College where he taught sculpture, drawing and design in the early 1990s. He himself apprenticed in gold leaf, antique and frame restoration at Aldo Pistidda in Rome, Italy.

“Lisa is eager to learn lapidary pendant-making. I’ve taught this craft to a number of folks and it has served them in whatever craft or art they later pursued, and I’m delighted to create a learning experience through CAP,” said Ascrizzi.

Neuman has studied precious metal clay, brazing and welding, stone building, stained glass and various fiber arts for more than 20 years. She established a dedicated studio on her property in 2017, where she is also the founder/owner of the Roseapple Farm Project.

“An apprenticeship with Joe will deepen my commitment to craft, greatly broaden and refine my skills, build confidence and nurture my love of material possibilities,” Neuman said. “I hope this will lead to my being able to express myself in jewelry-making and related functional art towards the development of a small business.”

To close the program, all artists participate in an alumni gathering and a public exhibition of works created during the apprenticeship period. Other CAP pairs announced are: Kim Dailey, master with apprentice Jedediah Malcore (wood turning); Gabriel Frey, master with apprentice Frances Soctomah (Maine Indian baskets); Nisa Smiley, master with apprentice Lauren Beach (jewelry); and David Wolfe, master with apprentice David Connor (printmaking). Maine Magazine is the annual and exclusive magazine sponsor of the program exhibition “Masters & Apprentices: Work from Maine’s Craft Apprentice Program” (2019 location to be announced).

The 2019 program is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Maine Arts Commission funding and media sponsorship support from Maine Magazine. For more information, visit

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

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