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.
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 is Wild Knoll, a 20th century colonial revival in which the poet and writer May Sarton lived 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.
Mary-Leigh and Beverly had a zest for life and a spirit of adventure, generosity, curiosity, and humor that imbues Surf Point with special meaning. We look forward to sharing that with the residents and guests that spend time on this site.
Our goal is to give the gifts of time, space and support to emerging and established visual artists and art professionals for the purpose of advancing projects, connecting with peers and community, and enjoying the wonder that is Maine. Surf Point plans to offer its first residencies from October 1-December 20, 2019 and April 1- October 20, 2020. Each session will run for 3 weeks (from the 1st-21st of each month) and host 3 residents. Each resident will have their own private space within the Surf Point building, as well as access to common space. Meals are provided.
The residency is open to emerging or established artists, arts professionals, curators, and arts writers. Visual artists are broadly defined, with a practice rooted in painting, photography, sculpture, performance, design, architecture, craft, community engagement, and more. The initial group of residents invited to apply were nominated by a 100 arts professionals across the United States.
Nominators are asked to prioritize women and people of color, as well as people with a connection to Maine. Surf Point is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability.
Applications are reviewed by an anonymous committee of visual arts professionals. Selection is based on artistic merit, the stated intention of how the residency time will be used, and the composition of each cohort.
We look forward to announcing our first residents over the summer and to welcoming them in October.
Board of Directors
Lisa Fischman, Chair, John D. Duffy, Marc Gotlieb, Margaret Hickey, Deborah F. Taylor, Mary Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine J. Watson
Press and other good stuff
Artist Colony in York Will be and Oceanside Retreat (Seacoast Online, 5.13.19)
On April 26, 2019, and in keeping with the values of our founders, the Trustees of Surf Point 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 with us if you are interested in making a donation of any kind, or if you would like 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.