Engine is excited to announce Nick Blunier as the organization’s new Art Programming Director. Nick is already a familiar face to many as the founder of Common Roots Studio and the Community Art Bus. In addition to managing as many as 25 artists showing their work at the studio, he has been integral in planning Engine’s seasonal ArtWalk and running Biddeford’s annual Poker Crawl, which involves 37 downtown businesses.
Nick’s passion for art began at a young age when he recreated his mom’s favorite painting – Van Gogh’s The Starry Night – in marker. He told Saco Bay News recently, “When I gave it to her, seeing her light up and going to get it framed just showed me how creating things can have an effect on people.”
Much of Nick’s work to date has focused on not only sharing artwork with people, but sharing the experience of creating art. Since May 2017, he has been the lead art teacher for Sweetser School, teaching project and curriculum-based learning to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, including a media arts experiential learning program for high school aged students. The Community Art Bus, which Engine became a fiscal sponsor for in 2023, has delivered creative arts programming to approximately 5,000 children and adults in southern Maine who lack access to such opportunities. Nick also hosts monthly adult art nights at area restaurants and breweries.
“Engine received many amazing candidates and are very fortunate for all those who expressed interest in this position,” said Abigail Bryant, Engine Board President. “What stood out about Nick was his energy and passion for helping fellow artists, in particular his presence in the art community and strong background in fundraising and advocacy. Nick will continue to provide opportunities and growth for the art community. Engine could not be happier to welcome him as our new Art Programming Director.”
“Engine played a major role in my artistic development,” said Nick. “Through my art course at University of New England, I was introduced to the organization and its founder, who helped me take the first steps to finally feel like an artist. When I found out about this position, I was immediately drawn to the idea so I could support the local arts community further.”
Nick’s wheels are already spinning with ideas for Engine to identify creative gallery space for artists to display and sell their work, as well as developing more programs and driving fundraising efforts to fuel the creative economy. With more than 10 years of working as an artist in the area, he hopes to use the connections he has made to provide artists with critical resources and expose the community to more art.
“I am so excited about the opportunities that have arisen in my first week on the job and I encourage anyone who feels the need for support or wants to learn more about Engine to connect with me.”