Founded with the visionary support of arts patron Mary-Leigh Smart and artist Beverly Hallam, and located on the coast of Maine, Surf Point Foundation is an inclusive residency program for visual artists and other professionals in the field.
Surf Point is the brainchild of Mary-Leigh Call Smart and Beverly Hallam, who, in Mary-Leigh’s 1988 Trust, commemorated their vision to transform their duplex home and surrounding property into a residency for artists, art historians, architects, critics and designers upon their passing. The zest for life, spirit of adventure, generosity, and humor that Mary-Leigh and Beverly shared give Surf Point special meaning to this day.
Mary-Leigh Call Smart (1917-2017) was a passionate supporter of the the Maine arts community, and collected the work of many Maine-based artists. She was affiliated with the Barn Gallery, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Farnsworth Museum, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Portland Museum of Art, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, University of New England, University of New Hampshire, Wellesley College, and others.
Her longtime friend Beverly Hallam (1923-2013), following a distinguished teaching career at Mass College of Art, moved to Maine in 1963 to work as an artist. An early experimenter with acrylics, she produced a wide range of works in many media including painting, photography, and graphic arts. Her key papers and notebooks are housed within the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art. A film was made about her work as part of the Maine Masters series, sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists, and a monograph by Carl Little, “Beverly Hallam: An Odyssey in Art,” illustrates her life and work.
With architects Carter + Woodruff, Mary-Leigh and Beverly designed Surf Point, a modern oceanside duplex completed in 1971. Up the rise from Surf Point stands Wild Knoll, a 20th century colonial revival which the poet and writer May Sarton rented from Mary-Leigh from 1974-1995. The buildings are set within 44 acres of coast, forest and vernal pools, protected by a Conservation Easement and stewarded by the York Land Trust.
Surf Point offers time, space and support to visual artists and art professionals for the purpose of advancing projects, connecting with peers and community, and enjoying the beauty of Maine. Visual artists are broadly defined, with a practice rooted in painting, photography, sculpture, performance, design, architecture, craft, community engagement, and more. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive arts community where members from all backgrounds can thrive.
Our inaugural residencies run from October 1-December 20, 2019 and April 1- October 20, 2020. Each session spans the 1st-21st of each month, with 3 residents per session. Residents have private space as well as access to common space.
The initial group of residents were nominated by 100 art professionals across the United States, then reviewed by a outside committee. Nomination and selection were based on artistic merit and the stated intention of how the residency time will be used.
Board of Directors
Lisa Fischman, Chair, John D. Duffy, Ellen Golden, Marc Gotlieb, Margaret Hickey, Jennifer Ritvo Hughes, Deborah F. Taylor, Mary Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine J. Watson
Yael Reinharz, Executive Director
Press and other good stuff
Artist Colony in York Will be an Oceanside Retreat (Seacoast Online, 5.13.19)
On April 26, 2019, and in keeping with the values of our founders, the Board unanimously voted to fully divest the foundation’s investments from fossil fuels, selling off assets tied to oil, gas, fracking, and other environmentally harmful industries.
Oceanfront property in York to become a retreat for artists and writers (Mainebiz.biz, 9.10.18).
Artists' Colony Becoming a Reality (Seacoastonline.com, 9.4.18).
May 4-June 29, 2018: Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation shows works by Beverly Hallam in "Celebrating Maine's Artist-Endowed Foundations", with representation by the Ellis-Beauregard Fdn, Joseph A. Fiore Art Center, Heliker-LaHotan Fdn, Bob Crew Fdn, Kenneth Noland Fdn and Stephen and Palmina Pace Fdn.
Surf Point Foundation is a proud member of the Alliance of Artist Communities.
Surf Point Foundation is a 501c3 private non-operating foundation registered in the State of Maine. Our full financial information can be found on our Guidestar Profile. Please be in touch if you are interested in making a donation of any kind, or to sign up for our email list. We can be reached at info[at]surfpointfoundation[dot]org or by mail at: Surf Point Foundation, P.O. Box 446, York, ME 03909-0446.