Donor Inspiration – Jane ’77 & Kelly ’76 Littlefield
Jane ’77 and Kelly ’76 Littlefield have given year over year to the University of Maine in a very unique way. Their donations are prominently displayed throughout the University of Maine campus–landmarks across the landscape. Through sculpture, the Littlefields give creatively and generously to their university. In 2014, Jane and Kelly’s initial contributions of sculpture were four works in honor of the late Nat Diamond ’63, Jane’s father. These pieces can be seen in the gardens at Buchanan Alumni House in Orono.
At their Littlefield Gallery in Winter Harbor, Maine, Kelly and Jane diligently curate and display collections of art by Maine artists. Through their many connections in the art world, the Littlefields have created fresh relationships between artists and UMaine. In addition to their donations of art to the university, in 2015 Jane and Kelly created the Littlefield Gallery Sculptor-in-Residence program, which helps fund visiting sculptors to lecture and teach at the University of Maine.
Hugh Lassen was the most recent sculptor to visit the UMaine campus through this program. He brought with him his completed work, Rhino, which was carved from granite found in the Lassen’s blueberry field. Rhino was finished at UMaine so students could watch Hugh’s process.
“What we hope to do is bring sculpture to the campus, to encourage support for it here. We are unabashedly going out to encourage people to embrace the idea. We think UMaine is extremely well placed for sculpture and, in particular, stone sculpture. In doing so, it promotes the campus itself,” said Kelly.
“We want people to engage enthusiastically in the conversation in hopes that maybe the so called third phase – the creation of a new sculpture building near the Collins Center for the Arts – would be possible. Keeping the energy in the conversation, keeping it in the forefront of people’s minds, is what we have been attempting to do for years and we will continue to do that.”
In 2016, Jane and Kelly’s generous annual donation earned them membership in the Stillwater Society. For years to come, their contributions will grace the UMaine campus and lives of students, faculty, staff and visitors to UMaine.