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The Belvedere Fund for Professional Development in the field of crafts at Maine College of Art was established in 2008 in memory of Deborah Pulliam of Castine, Maine. The Fund is available to all alumni who received a BFA degree from MECA within the last 10 years and who are currently working in the field of crafts, including, but not limited to: metalsmithing, jewelry, woodworking, furniture design, ceramics, or fiber arts.

Deborah was particularly devoted to needlework and functional crafts. She led workshops on textiles and spinning and was a regular contributor to Piecework magazine, a needlework publication. She was pursuing a master’s degree in material culture from the University of Maine prior to her passing. The traditional crafts were a passion for Deborah and this fund for the next generation of craftspeople assures that her legacy of support is continued.

Belvedere Fund grants support the enhancement of the professional and studio practices of artists. The 2020 selection committee was comprised of Assistant Professor of Ceramics Kari Radasch ’97, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Textile & Fashion Design Betsy Scheintaub, and Ebenezer Akakpo ’01, owner of the design company Akakpo & Co.

The 2020 awardees are Jordan Carey ’19, Aaron Patrick Decker ’12, Tim DeMuth ’17, Kincaid Pearson ’19, Naomi Russo ’19, and Sam Thompson ’13.

All awardees received grants of $950 each. Carey will use the funds to purchase a large-format color printer for printing custom fabrics. Decker will use the funds to purchase a jeweler’s microscope for small-scale, detailed enamel work. Both DeMuth and Russo will use the funds to purchase a mortising tool to expedite and improve their woodworking practices. Pearson will use the funds to purchase a tufting gun to fabricate his rug designs. Thompson will use the funds to purchase a new kiln.

Grant proposals are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria: artistic excellence, evidence that funds will advance the professional development of the applicant, and the ability to use the funds appropriately.