Jamie Hook is an artist, performer and filmmaker, part-time Mainer and one busy fellow.

Hook, who grew up in Denmark, Maine, is artistic director of the Denmark Arts Center there.

We asked him about splitting his time between Maine and New York, picking just the right acts for the center and what sort of art he would make at the town dump. 

Name: James (Jamie) Hook

Age: Somewhere below 50

Lives: Denmark, Maine, and Brooklyn, N.Y.

How did you become the DAC’s artistic director? It’s a position I basically made for myself: The old board of the DAC was sorta suffering some attrition and no longer could put in the time to keep the place growing and put on new programs. Some of them would say to me, “We don’t know what to do with this place.” I would come up from NYC often and see this incredible building, in an incredible part of the world, going largely unused, and I’d think, “I can think of some things to do with this place.” So I asked if I could volunteer my services one year to program. That was 2011, and since then, I’ve just grown the position to take on more. Now it’s a four-month on-site, year-round position. Though, still grossly underpaid!

Highlight or two of the upcoming fall season? We hope to inaugurate a “drop-in and DANCE!” thing once a month. We will have our second annual Christmas Spectacular. And we will be hosting Lida Winfield, great artist-in-residence from Burlington, Vt., who will perform a show and work with the local schools to teach dance and performance.

How do you pick acts? I trust my intuition. I’ve done this a long time, so I can rely on that tool pretty well. That said, I keep a curious nose to the winds at all times, and also comb through all sorts of friendly Maine and Brooklyn networks to source interesting new things. I gotta say, 80 percent of what I find comes from the suggestions of friends.

What/who is maybe not going to play well in western Maine? Hmm. Tricky question: On the one hand, the challenge is to not put too much totally inaccessible, avant-garde, urban stuff there, for fear of just making people uncomfortable. Not that they wouldn’t like some of it, but you have to provide a context. So, if we try and host, say, some provocative, performance-art-saturated artist (think, Carolee Schneemann) here in Denmark, that is just sort of cruel to our audience. Not that folks might not like it in a proper context: I find that local audiences are super curious, sophisticated and devoted. But you have to consider the context.

On the other hand, we do hope to move the needle a bit. There are only so many contradances and rehashes of “Oklahoma!” we can offer in this state before we’re just retreading a very old wheel, and I don’t feel that benefits anyone, really. So it’s a balance, between leading and serving.

You’re about to launch “Something Rotten in Denmark,” an intriguing idea that’s going to have artists from, potentially, all over the world making art at the Denmark Transfer Station. If you were given 48 hours right now to scour the dump and create something, what would you make? I would plant flowers — bulbs that could stand the cold and would come up in the spring — literally everywhere, so that as you were dumping your garbage, you were also visiting a garden. That would be fun.

How does it work splitting your time between Denmark and New York? It’s technically tough, but I will say that it is an enviable position to be in, and I appreciate both sides immensely, especially for what they give one another. There is a lot that Denmark can teach NYC — about slowing down, about talking and listening, about not being so self-aggrandizing. Interestingly, there is just as much that NYC can teach Denmark — about accepting other points of view, about being kind to strangers, about trusting the unknown. Both places need each other.

What was your first artistic performance? Dominic the Dog in fourth grade. Disaster! My first mature artistic venture was a film I co-produced called “The Seven Mysteries of Life” by a director named Gregg Lachow.

And the reviews were . . . ? It was a really good film! It was a time-travel film, in which the film focused on the folks left behind by the time-traveller protagonist, i.e. his wife and her friend. So it was sorta a photographic negative of the typical time-travel film.

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