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Valley artist connects art and agriculture

WALLAGRASS, Maine — Down East magazine has selected Therese L. Provenzano, art instructor at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, to participate in its third annual Art of Giving. As part of the Art of Giving, Provenzano’s painting, “Buckwheat No. 8 Cutouts, Red and Purple” is featured in the July issue of Down East magazine.

Therese L. Provenzano (Contributed photo)

Therese L. Provenzano (Photo by Darlene Kelly Dumond)

Her painting will be raffled off with three other Maine works of art to raise funds for Maine Farmland Trust and three additional community organizations chosen by the other participating artists.

The Art of Giving Gala will be held Thursday, September 1 from 5:30-9 p.m. at The Landing at Pine Point located at 353 Pine Point Rd in Scarborough. Tickets are available online at: artofgiving2016.brownpapertickets.com or at downeast.com/artofgiving.

Provenzano’s pastel painting was selected by a committee including artist Eric Hopkins, art critic Edgar Allen Beem, Maine College of Art’s Ian Anderson and Down East editor in chief Kathleen Fleury. All Art of Giving artists apply by submitting not only a piece of art to be considered, but also a write-up indicating their connection to Maine and why the community organization they chose deserves to benefit from the raffle.

Each paid admission ticket to the gala will be automatically entered to win one of the works of art; attendees may purchase additional raffle tickets at the event to contribute to the funding each charity will receive.

In addition to Provenzano, the 2016 participating artists include Roland Salazar Rose, Matthew Russ and R. Scott Baltz. Profiles of Provenzano and Rose appear in the July issue of Down East; Russ and Baltz will be profiled in the August issue.

Provenzano shared why she selected Maine Farmland Trust to benefit from the sale of her work. “The reason is twofold. It is about supporting the farmer and the artist. The preservation of farmland is critical to secure farming in Maine. Maine Farmland Trust protects and preserves Maine farmland, supports farmers, and advances the future of farming. I wanted to become involved in some small or big way in making a connection between art and agriculture.”

“All of the selected artists have deep connections to Maine, something that’s reflected in the pieces they’ve donated and that resonates with our readers,” noted Fleury. “We really feel that the Art of Giving program is much like the idea of the tide that rises all boats. We hope that we can spotlight some unique Maine artists, who in turn shine the spotlight on some great organizations helping the community here, all while coming together for a fun event where some community members who love the state win fabulous Maine art.”

Born in Long Island, N.Y., Provenzano earned a BFA from University of the Arts, an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and a CFA from the National Academy of Design School of the Fine Arts. She teaches the visual arts and history of art at UMFK. She moved from Manhattan to her great-grandfather’s homestead in Wallagrass in 2002. Her grandparents are Theresa and Willie Labbe of Wallagrass.

Recently, Provenzano has been awarded an artist residency at the Joseph Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm in Jefferson. She exhibited her work at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell this year, and her painting, “Thaw No. 1, The Raven,” was exhibited in Keen Observation at the Waterfall Arts Center in Belfast. The Maine Community Foundation featured her painting, “Buckwheat No. 5, Mellowed Green, After” for their holiday card.

For more information Art of Giving event, visit downeast.com/artofgiving.

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