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Creative Faces: March 2024

Meet Artists & Creatives working across the state

Lokotah Sanborn

Interdisciplinary Artist
Penobscot Nation, ME

Lokotah Sanborn is a Penobscot interdisciplinary artist born and raised on the Penobscot Nation reservation. Using film, music, graphic and 2-D design, and photography, Lokotah’s art celebrates the perseverance and power of the Wabanaki people amid ongoing resistance.

More about Lokotah

What inspired the art you created for this show?

The art I created for the show is inspired by the continual resistance and perseverance of the Wabanaki in the face of ongoing genocide, land theft, capitalist industry, and colonial displacement. My work is inspired by historic and contemporary community resiliency.

Is this your first gallery show at the Bangor Arts Exchange? Have you shown your work anywhere else?

This is my first gallery at the Bangor Arts Exchange. I was part of the exhibit “Kindred Futures: Through Our Eyes” at Waterfall Arts in Belfast, curated by Eli Kao and Ashley Page.

A video I directed, shot, and edited for Mali Obomsawin’s Wawasint8da is currently on exhibit through Bates College Museum of Art “Exploding Native Inevitable” a traveling exhibit featuring 15 Indigenous artists from across the country.

You mentioned in your artist bio that you grew up on the Reservation in Old Town. What’s the art community like there? Are your relatives also artists?

The Penobscot Nation, and the Wabanaki communities more broadly have many brilliant artists and craftspeople. Our community has many painters, photographers, basketweavers, club carvers, sculptors, beadworkers, and more. I was raised by my mother, who is a lifelong beadworker and craft maker. I’ve learned a lot from her and my other family members who are artists.

Are you involved with any other projects?

I am a community organizer and have been engaged in work to expand land access to Wabanaki community members. I am the secretary for Bomazeen Land Trust, the first and only Wabanaki-led land trust. I work with Conservation Organizations and Land Trusts to return land directly to the Wabanaki nations through First Light Learning Journey. I also work in documentary filmmaking via Sunlight Media. I am currently developing two short films. One is a narrative drama, and the other is an experimental documentary. I also have a new series of art pieces that will be released later this Summer.

A.R. Clark

Bangor, ME

A.R. Clark is a photographer and filmmaker who lives in Bangor, Maine. He spends his time watching the movie Heat on a loop.

More about A.R.

What got you into photography work?

Photography has always been omnipresent in my life. I still have the same Minolta film camera my mom gave me when I was 12, but it was always a casual, directionless hobby until college when I discovered my fascination with photographing people. From there it became my primary obsession and something resembling a career.

What inspires you?

I think it’s critical to always be devouring art across all types of mediums. Inspiration for me arrives from the slightest thing such as a line from a book, or the mood that a song makes me feel. I watch a movie or two almost every day of my life, and old Hollywood films inform all of my technical inspiration in regards to lighting and compositions. Ever since I saw the Nicole Eisenman painting “Ariana’s Salon” about a year ago it’s rattled in my head, so there’s a concrete example.

What are your creative goals for the next year?

I would like to do a lot more filmmaking. That’s been my dream since I first saw Full Metal Jacket as an 8 year old. Every year I crawl a little closer to it being the primary thing I do.

I see you’ve been part of the Maine Film Assoc. Winter film festival for a couple years now. What role do you play in that?

My dear friend and collaborator Brianna Fern and I competed in this year’s competition, writing and directing a short film together across one weekend. The MFA challenge is super fun, your team is assigned a genre, and everyone gets the same prop and line of dialogue. You then have 72 hours to make a film from script to render. It’s so much fun and nothing is better for giving you a crash course on how to make a film. It teaches you one of the most important rules in art; make a choice and live with it.

Do you have any other projects you’re currently working on?

One of my closest friends and a brilliant artist and myself are releasing a collaborative zine of film photos we’ve taken in the next couple of months. It’s going to be a wonderful piece.

Team Launchpad
Team Launchpad

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