Winners of Maine's Solon Center for Research and Publishing’s first book writing/art contest announced
Exhibit opening September 14th at Fukurou Gallery in Rockland
Cover of Coastal Maine in Words and Art - Photo titled Vanishing Point by Yohaku Yorozuya.
The Solon Center for Research and Publishing announced its first writing/art project in conjunction with an exhibit at the center’s gallery, Fukurou, this past spring. The challenge for writers was to choose a fine art photograph that will be exhibited and write a story based on the image. The combination marries visual arts with the written word, helping Maine’s creative economy flourish. This unique new platform for writers in Maine brings the artistic community together with wordsmiths, which offers exciting unforeseen collaborations.
The result of our contest was pleasantly overwhelming. SCRP received eighty-eight entries to go with twenty-three images. Because of the quality of the submissions we decided some of the photographs would be paired with more than one story.
The images depict Rockland and the coast in its myriad situations, moods and emotions. "Our writers told stories with depth, insight, candor, irony, wit and humor. Anyone who has every visited Maine’s coast will be able to relate to them. They’ve put humankind’s instinctive emotional connection to the sea into words," said Ramona du Houx, President and co-founder of the Solon Center for Research and Publishing.
The stories with art are published in Coastal Maine in Words and Art, which will be sold during the exhibit, on amazon, at local Maine bookstores, in the gallery, and worldwide through Ingram. Our winners herald from across Maine. Some have been published before, but for the vast majority this is their first book publication.
The writers are: Mark Aufiery, Eola Ball, S.M. Belair, M. E. Brinton, Donna Chellis, Diana Coleman, Steve Feeney, N.T. Franklin, Lee Heffner, Donna Hinkley, Khristina Marie Landers, Rosemarie Nervelle, Ed Peele, Lynn Smith, Sandra Sylvester, Lee Van Dyke, and John Holt Willey.
The opening night reception will be a book-signing night celebration with authors and the fine art photographers Yohaku Yorozuya and Ramona du Houx from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. on September 14th at Gallery Fukurou, 20 Main Street, Rockland.
Every writer published will receive a free book and promotion of their story on our multiple platforms. The exhibit will run to November. All proceeds from the sales of books and art will be placed into a fund for next year’s exhibit of the same kind. The book will be available for sale world-wide, the day of the book signing event September 14th.
The Maine Humanities Council has provided a generous grant for our project that will enable us to donate books to libraries across Maine. MHC is a statewide non-profit organization that uses the humanities, “as a tool for positive change in Maine communities.” https://mainehumanities.org/
Cellardoor Winery of Lincolnville graciously donated their delicious wine that captures the essence of Maine for the opening night reception. Cellardoor is a special local winery with a philosophy of giving back to their community and the State of Maine. Their logo, based on a Hobo symbol carved into their farm’s barn door by a traveler who left it as a signal to others that they too would find hospitality there, is the winery’s guiding spirit. As their website states, “when you see our Hobo symbol, know that you are in a safe and friendly place.”
More about a photographic artist, Yohaku Yorozuya, in the book—
Yohaku is an artist with gallery Fukurou. He is renowned for his use of classic darkroom techniques. He’s used Ansel Adams’ zone system, polarization, solarization, as well as a camera obscura and many other methods over his career. He sometimes develops his images using ocean water, following a tradition of a few of the masters. He is a true craftsman, ensuring that all his techniques are personally applied in the darkroom. Some of his images are prophetic, like the Twin Towers series, which depicts the Towers in the 1980s, when he felt compelled to extensively record them from various perspectives. His images immortalize their memory.
Yohaku (aka Takafumi Suzuki) is professor at Nihon University in Tokyo, where for many years he led the Department of Photography at the College of Art. He is the assistant dean and professor at the University of International Fashion in Tokyo, with branches in Osaka and Nagoya. He is a director of the Japan Society for Arts and History of Photography, as well as a member of Kokugakai (Society of Masters of Modern Japanese Art), the Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences, and the Photographic Society of Japan.
The back cover - Moonstruck by Ramona du Houx - the other the artist in the book/exhibit.
Fukurou means owl in Japanese as well as prosperity and health. The owl in Ancient Greece often is associated with Athena, the arts and wisdom. Our gallery represents Maine artists, and fosters cross-cultural connections with Japanese artists and others. We work to help the humanities flourish in communities across Maine. Our books have themes of long-term intrinsic value and are published through our imprint, Polar Bear & Company.
The Solon Center for Research and Publishing is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Maine Public Benefit Corporation that helps build community in Maine and beyond through educational, literary, scientific and artistic means, with publications, research, exhibits, events and other initiatives. SCRP is also a platform where people from diverse disciplines can examine issues of cultural and environmental importance, while developing connections. http://soloncenter.com/