2023 Museum Summer Luncheon Honorees and Participants


Shannon Haines

Recipient of the 2023 Jetté Award for Leadership in the Arts

Shannon Haines was hired as president and CEO of Waterville Creates in October of 2016. Under her leadership, Waterville Creates completed a formal merger with the Maine Film Center and the Waterville Opera House in the fall of 2018 with the goal of maximizing efficiencies across the organizations while expanding programmatic impact and reach. She also led Waterville Creates’ collaboration with Colby College on the planning, design, and fundraising for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, which opened in December 2022 and serves as the new home for Waterville Creates’ year-round film, visual, and performing arts programming. Shannon served as the executive director of the Maine Film Center from 2012 to 2016 and as the director of the Maine International Film Festival from 2002 to 2017. Prior to that, Shannon was the executive director of Waterville Main Street from 2003 through 2012, during which time she oversaw over $1 million in downtown revitalization grant programs as well as numerous community development initiatives and special events. She has served on a variety of local and statewide boards and commissions, including the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Film Commission. Shannon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Japanese from Middlebury College. She lives in Waterville with her husband Norman, her daughter Naomi.

Fred Wilson

Recipient of the 2023 Cummings Award for Artistic Excellence

Fred Wilson is a conceptual artist whose work investigates museological, cultural and historical issues, which are largely overlooked or neglected by museums and cultural institutions. Since his groundbreaking exhibition Mining the Museum (1992) at the Maryland Historical Society, Wilson has been the subject of more than 40 solo exhibitions around the globe. His work has been exhibited extensively in museums including the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Art,  Chicago; the Allen Memorial Museum at Oberlin College, Ohio; the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Institute of  Jamaica, W.I.; the Museum of World Cultures, Sweden; the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College; the British Museum, and the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His work can be found in several public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Long Museum, Shanghai, the Tate Modern in London and National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Wilson presented his exhibition Afro Kismet at the 2017 Istanbul Biennial, Turkey, which traveled to London, New York and Los Angeles. Since 2008 Wilson has been a  member of the Board of Trustees at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He represented the U.S. at the Cairo Biennale (1992) and Venice Biennale (2003). His many accolades include the prestigious MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” Grant (1999); the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture (2006) the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change fellowship (2018) and Brandeis University’s Creative Arts Award (2019). Most recently Wilson unveiled “Mother” (2022), a large-scale installation commissioned by Delta Airlines for New York’s LaGuardia airport. 

2023 Museum Summer Luncheon Program Participants

Daniel Minter

Daniel Minter D.F.A. ’23 is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage. His overall body of work often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora. Minter’s work has been featured and acquired in permanent collection by numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, The Charles H. Wright Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bates College, University of Southern Maine, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Bowdoin College Art Museum, Farnsworth Art Museum, Bates College Museum of Art, The David C. Driskell Center and the Northwest African American Art Museum. In 2021 Minter was awarded the prestigious Joyce Award. In that same year he was awarded the distinguished Caldecott Medal. Minter has traveled extensively across the African Diaspora. A travel grant from the National Endowment for the Arts enabled him to live and work in Salvador, Bahia Brazil where he established relationships that have continued to nurture his life and work in important ways.

Minter has illustrated over fifteen children’s books, many of them award winning, including the Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. He was also commissioned in both 2004 and 2011 to create Kwanzaa stamps for the U.S. Postal Service. As founding director of Maine Freedom Trails, he has helped highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in New England. For the past 15 years Minter has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1912 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. His formative work on the subject of Malaga emerges from Minter’s active engagement with the island, its descendants, archeologists, anthropologists and scholars. This dedication to righting history was pivotal in having the island designated a public preserve.

In 2018, Minter co-founded Indigo Arts Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent. To date the organization has hosted Black and Brown artists from across the globe. In 2022 the organization was one of ten nationally awarded the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts grant. Minter is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from The Maine College of Art.

Virgil Ortiz

With a career spanning four decades, Virgil Ortiz’s artistry extends across various media and boundaries—challenging societal expectations and breaking taboos. Raised in a creative environment filled with storytelling, collecting clay, gathering wild plants, and producing figurative pottery, he remains influenced by his grandmother and mother, renowned Cochiti Pueblo potters. 

Through his exploration of working with clay and various media, Ortiz fuses his Pueblo culture with sci-fi, fantasy, and apocalyptic themes, yielding thought-provoking and futuristic imagery while shaping the fantastical world he’s creating with clay and multi-media art. Ortiz teaches Pueblo history to multiple generations of viewers worldwide by telling the story of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt by introducing a cast of superheroes he’s created over the years through a series of works, including jars, busts, and now live actors portraying the characters in the story. The Blind Archers, Venutian Soldiers, Translator Army, Recon Watchmen, Runners, and Gliders—together, they depict a dystopian future 500 years after the Pueblo Revolt, in which time travelers return to the era of the revolt to gather songs, ceremonies, designs, shards of pottery, and culture to preserve and transport to the future.

Ortiz’s works are in museum collections worldwide, including the Stedelijk Museum- Hertogenbosch, Fondation Cartier pour I’art contemporain, Smithsonian Institution, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Minneapolis Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, and Colby Museum of Art. 

Paula Wilson

Paula Wilson is a multimedia artist whose densely layered, colorful, and often monumental works utilize a variety of painting, collage, filmic, installation, performance, and print techniques. Her use of image, pattern, and materials acts as a visual metaphor for the complex stratum of histories and cultures, both real and imagined, that inform her work. Wilson was born and grew up in Chicago, IL. In 2007 she moved to Carrizozo, New Mexico (population 972) where she is co-founder of the artist organizations MoMAZoZo and the Carrizozo Artist-in-Residency (AIR) program. Often collaborating with her partner and woodworker, Mike Lagg, Wilson draws from their natural and built environs as subject matter and inspiration for her work. Born in Chicago, Wilson received her bachelor of fine arts from Washington University in 1998 and her master of fine arts from Columbia University in 2005. She has served as a visiting artist at several art schools, and her growing exhibition opportunities include a two-person project with artist Nicola López at the Albuquerque Museum and the solo show, Paula Wilson: Toward the Sky’s Back Door, at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, opening July 15, 2023.