Thursday, September 18, 2008

2009 Artist Fellows Includes New Hampshire Filmmaker

For immediate release
Contact: Jane Eklund
Programs Information Officer
New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

2009 Artist Fellows Named

CONCORD - Two writers, a filmmaker, a potter and a composer – the just-named batch of Artists Fellows is a diverse and accomplished one. With the aid of funds awarded by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the new fellows will be busy in their studios in the upcoming year, as well as sharing their talents with the people of the state.

Fiction writer Clark Knowles of Portsmouth, poet Jennifer Militello of Goffstown, potter Hideaki Miyamura of Kensington, composer Lawrence Siegel of Westmoreland and filmmaker Hilary Weisman Graham of Francestown each received a $5,000 award.

Knowles, who teaches in the English Department at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, has a novel and short story collection circulating among publishing houses. He plans to use the award to finish a new novel, “Onward and Outward,” which takes place over the course of 10,000 years. “It’s a risky piece of writing,” he says of the book inspired by the Indonesian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

Militello, a faculty member at River Valley Community College in Claremont, has published a chapbook, “Anchor Chain, Open Sail.” Her first full-length collection, “History of the Always Pain,” is due out in the spring from Tupelo Press. She’ll use the $5,000 to take the summer off from her teaching job so she can complete a new manuscript, “Body Thesaurus.” The award, she says, is a huge boost: “It’s just like somebody saying to you, Great: you’re worth some support.”

Miyamura has been conjuring up new glazes ever since his childhood in Japan, where he came across Tenmoku glazes from China’s Sung Dynasty. Right now he’s developing one he calls “Yohen Crystal.” “My goal is to try to evoke a feeling of inner peace and tranquility,” says Miyamura, who will use the award funds to help offset costs of a new, large kiln.

Siegel is known to many in the Monadnock region and across the state for his collaborative Verbatim Projects, in which he promotes civic engagement by working with towns, schools and organizations to put together performances. He plans to use his fellowship award, though, for a more solitary pursuit: composing chamber music. “I’ve made it a point to live an artist’s life,” says Siegel, who moved to New Hampshire after spending time at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough.

With a Top 10 finish in the Fox network’s filmmaking reality series “On the Lot,” Graham already has experience with the Los Angeles film world. As she writes in her artist’s statement, though, “My work is an antidote to mainstream cinema.” Her short films have been screened at festivals in cities including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York, and countries including Sweden and Portugal. She’ll use her fellowship money to complete two screenplays and shoot a short film.

Fellowships are granted in three categories: Visual & Media Arts, Performing Arts, and Literary Arts. Selections are made based on artistic excellence, as determined by work samples and professional commitment. As part of the fellowship requirement, each fellow will present a Report to the New Hampshire Community, which can be a performance, a reading, an exhibition, a blog, or some other form of publicizing the artist’s work.

The deadline to apply for a 2010 Artist Fellowship is April 10, 2009.

Funding for the awards comes from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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