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 vision of Mary-Leigh Call Smart and Beverly Hallam, who, in Mary-Leigh’s 1988 Trust, commemorated the idea to transform the duplex home and surrounding property into a residency for artists, art historians, architects, critics and designers upon Mary-Leigh’s passing. Mary-Leigh and Beverly’s zest for life, spirit of adventure, generosity, and humor guide Surf Point 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 that 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.
Related to our mission to be a place of making, learning and inclusivity, Surf Point Foundation acknowledges that the land on which we stand is the original homelands of the Pennacook, Wabanaki Confederacy, and Abenaki/Abenaquis tribal nations. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land.
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 architecture, craft, community engagement, design, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, 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 living and working quarters as well as access to common space.
Surf Point is currently not open to applications. As we grow our program, we will announce opportunities to our email list, so please let us know if you would like to receive updates. Our first 30 residents were nominated by 100 art professionals across the United States, then invited to apply, then reviewed by a outside committee, and finally selected based on the committees recommendations, scheduling, and balance of each group. Nomination and selection was based on artistic merit and the stated intention for how the residency would be spent. We are incredibly proud of the residents who have been chosen and look forward to sharing their work with the wider public.
Daisy Nam - Curator, September 2019
Bryan Graf - Artist, October 2019
Caleb Cole - Artist, October 2019
ShiaoPing Wang - Artist, October 2019
Cynthia Barton - November 2019
Jibade-Khalil Huffman - November 2019
Kathleen Kolb - Artist, November 2019
Anna Hepler - Artist, December 2019
Daniel Johnson - Artist, December 2019
Elaine K. Ng - Artist, December 2019
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
Kerry Eielson, Chef
October 20, 2019, 12-3pm - open house. Email sign up required at info[at]surfpointfoundation[dot]org.
November 17, 2019, 12-2pm - open house. Email sign up required.
December 14, 2-4pm - open house. Email sign up required.
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.
Thank you to the many people and entities for their support to launch Surf Point, from web design to cleaning to bookkeeping and more: Stephen Carr, Drew Cheney, Judy Coburn, Martha Dumont, Tim Ellis, Jeremy Fogg, Danny Gugger, Mary Harding, Hugh Judge, Kurt Klebe, Kevin LeConte, Nelleke Mack, Nick Mack, Donna McNeil, Hap Moore, Lenny Nelson, Jasmine Nielsen, Alina Podgornov, Richard Renner Architects, Greta Rybus, Hilary Schaffner, Persis Singh, James Trainor, Christine Vincent, Wright Ryan Construction, The Town of York, and York Land Trust.
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. And follow us on Instagram: surfpoint_maine.