2017 Duncan Slade
Duncan E. Slade grew up on the South Side of Depression-era Chicago. “I’m a city kid,” he'd say, recognizing how the richness of this urban environment shaped his perspective. “I like to paint things we see every day that we don’t really look at.”
Duncan was a pilot in the Marine Corps during WWII, logging 1,200 hours in the Solomon Islands, flying supplies to Guadalcanal and Bougainville and flying out the wounded. One mission earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, Duncan spent 25 years at UniRoyal, where he became manager of product design and development. He earned a graduate degree in art education, took an early retirement, and at age 51 began a second career teaching and painting. He taught art at Oxford Hills Junior High School from 1974–1983. He was nominated for Maine Teacher of the Year in 1983. Inspired by his teaching experience, he returned to school for a second Master’s degree in expressive arts therapy.
Since 1973, Duncan called several places in Maine home—South Paris, Norway, Lewiston, and Portland—painting all the while, creating an extensive body of work. “I paint the places I live,” he'd say.
2016 Bernard Langlais
The 2016 Festival returns to this tradition by honoring the work of renowned sculptor Bernard Langlais. A significant collection of his work has recently found a permanent home in Norway. Norway is on the Langlais Art Trail, a collection stretching from Portland to Presque Isle among 56 non-profit institutions, which offers the artist’s work in many different settings. In 2010, Colby College received a bequest from Langlais estate of more than 2900 artworks by the Maine artist. The Kohler Foundation, which funds preservation initiatives centered on art environments and collections, oversaw the conservation and placement of this immense body of work. The Western Foothills Land Trust, centered in Norway, was among the grateful recipients.
2014 Cyrus Tucker
This Norway native was a Civil War veteran who returned to his hometown to run a harness and saddle making business. The first to rebuild after the Great Fire of 1894, he built the brick building that housed Tucker’s Harness shop. In 2014, the building housed both Creative Media and Tucker’s Music Pub, two vibrant downtown businesses owned by Anne and Al Mallory. Ben Tucker III wrote and performed (with Margot Pullen) an epistolary play about Cyrus based on an imagined series of letters written during the Civil War.
The Festival highlighted the art that surrounds us in the architecture of our historic buildings. A walk down Norway’s Main Street is a stroll back in time, showcasing numerous examples of period architecture such as Greek Revival, Federal and Queen Anne, dating back as far as the early 1800s, but mostly built immediately after the Great Fire of 1894. Unlike many small towns with similar histories, the buildings of Norway have remained relatively intact. Downtown Norway was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
2012 Poets on the Porch
Poets on the Porch began in 2003 on the tiny porch of the Weary Club as part of the re-visioned summer festival. It featured the Poet Laureate of Maine along with 18 other poets who read their original, locally grown poetry for about 5 minutes each. The event, now held on the Norway Library porch, has become a mainstay of the Norway Arts Festival. 2012 marks the tenth year of Poets on the Porch.
2011 Tony Montanaro, Mime and founder of the Celebration Barn
Determined to open the limitations of silent mime, Tony invited students from around the country to form a new touring company. He began a new school for mime and theater. The Celebration Barn has now, forty years later, grown into an internationally recognized center for creating original theater.
2010 John Roberts, Commissioner of the Maine Dept. of Agriculture and dairy farmer
Known throughout the state for his agricultural contribution to Maine’s economy, Robert’s life was one of foresight, drive and a dedication to forwarding agricultural excellence and sustainability in Maine. It is only fitting that his farm is now the sight of Roberts Farm Preserve, part of the Western Foothills Land Trust.
2009 Looking Up In Norway
Taking a new twist, the festival looked to the skies to feature the turrets and steeples of Norway’s Historic Downtown.
2008 Lake Pennesseewassee
Many of the local artist and photographers of today and yesterday have used the Lake in their medium of choice. This was the year we featured that artwork and the significance of the Lake on the town.
2007 Minnie Libby, photographer
Life Magazine featured Minnie in 1940 when she was age 77. They said of her work at the height of her career, “that she still takes fine photographs—clear, straightforward, well-lighted, well composed.” She went on documenting the life of an old New England town and finally died at 84 after a 60 year career as a photographer.
2006 Lajos Matolcsy, artist and founder the Western Maine Art Group
His influence on the visual arts and artists in Western Maine established an environment friendly to the arts and supportive of arts and culture, which endures today.
2005 George Howe, mineralogist and naturalist
Several turns in Howe’s life lead him to minerals, which in turn lead him to co-founding the Boy Scientists with Sheavy Noyes. A predecessor of the Boy Scouts, it encouraged young people to immerse themselves in the detailed and systematic study of nature.
2004 Vivian Akers, photographer, painter and woodcarver
Although widely traveled, Akers found his inspiration in the natural surroundings of his hometown. His connections with artists who summered in the Norway area brought him acclaim outside of Maine.
2003 Mellie Dunham, snowshoe maker and fiddler
Millie was celebrated for both. His snowshoes carried Adm. Peary to the North Pole and he fiddled his way into the heart of Henry Ford. July 2003 was the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Featured Artists, People & Places
Poets on the Porch
Georgia & Cyrus Tucker
The Art in Architecture
Duncan E. Slade
Towers of Norway by Misha Tomic
Vivian Akers of Norway Eclipse
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