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Macpage llc. Celebrates 27 Years of Supporting MECA

Posted: 2014-12-22

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Recognizing MECA's Contributions to Portland, ME

MACPAGE LLC, an accounting and consulting firm with offices in South Portland, Augusta and Marlborough, MA, has a 27-year history of supporting MECA. Managing Director Tom O’Donnell feels strongly that MECA enriches Portland’s downtown, anchoring the arts community, and serving as an economic driver for the region. His wife Judy is an artist who has taken many courses through MECA’s Continuing Studies program. “Maine College of Art popularizes the arts,” Tom notes.
“For many people there is a notion that the arts are inaccessible. MECA has helped to make the arts more mainstream.”
 
Marketing Manager Bethany Mitchell, who graduated from the University of Southern Maine with her BFA in Studio Arts, has been overseeing Macpage’s art exhibitions for the past two years. The art shows started as the result of a conversation between Tom and his wife Judy as they reflected on the firm’s stock artwork and typical office decor. Now into their fifth exhibition, the shows have freshened up the walls and brought many new faces through their doors. “We’ve enjoyed the transformation of watching a bunch of
accountants develop an appreciation for the arts,” says Chief Operating Officer Ralph Hendrix. “And the artists themselves have brought a lot of diversity to the office.”
 
“Conversations” is the theme of their current exhibition, which was curated by a committee including MECA Continuing Studies faculty member Diane Dahlke, who is a featured artist in the exhibition. Several employees at Macpage have purchased work from the exhibitions, and Macpage itself has acquired a number of pieces, some of which are retained in-house as the start of a permanent art
collection, and some of which they purchase to donate to other nonprofits to be used in their fundraising efforts.

In addition to supporting MECA’s annual fund each year, Macpage also serves as a sponsor for fundraising events. This year, Macpage sponsored MECAmorphosis, the College’s spring gala. The event raised critical scholarship dollars to support current undergraduate students. “It’s nice to be able to help out,” Ralph explains modestly. “MECA is a big part of what makes Portland such a nice city.”

 

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Managing Director Thomas C. O’Donnell, Marketing Manager Bethany R. Mitchell, President Graham M. Smith,
and Chief Operating Officer Ralph R. Hendrix in front of a painting from their summer exhibition.

MAT Students at MECA Inspire and Heal Through Teaching Visual Art

Posted: 2014-12-22

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Portland, Maine ~ Making art transports the mind, body and soul to places of imagination and inspiration. While the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Maine College of Art primarily prepares teacher candidates to teach in K-12 public schools, opportunities for teaching art in local community-based settings abound. As part of the Alternative Settings class with Kelly McConnell, a group of four MAT candidates selected a placement at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland.

The group shared their enthusiasm for collaborative and individual art making by planning a group activity, followed by one-on-one projects tailored for each person.

 puzzle.jpg

 Shaun Aylward, a member of the MAT cohort, began the idea of making puzzle pieces with one common line to unify their creation.

 
As teachers in training, Adrienne Kitko, Lia Petriccione, and Tess Hitchcock set up a station for the children to learn and explore. Their lesson plans included providing the young patients with various paints, colors and brushes to design unique puzzle pieces that would form a whole. “We anticipated a low number of children to attend this activity,” Kitko said, “because it started at 6:00pm and our hospital contact mentioned that the children had a long day and are usually tired around that time. This was not the case for us; we had 10 energetic, excited children who couldn’t wait to sit down and start painting. Kitko further explained their planning process, “We chose the puzzle painting project because we knew we would be teaching a group of children who are sick and may not have the opportunity to meet each other during their stay at the hospital.  The project encouraged children to come together and participate in a fun and engaging activity. Our hope was for the children to get to know one another, make a friend or two and realize they are not alone. Our hopes were exceeded when we had more children than we expected and their family members participated in the painting, laughing, and playing around with the puzzle pieces.”

After the puzzle activity, the MAT teacher candidates worked with individual students, designing lessons that focused on art skills that would bring out personal expression and be fun to do.  Each teacher candidate used a medium that the children wanted to learn something more about.

When describing the experience, Tess Hitchcock noted, “Ashleigh wanted to learn how to paint, so I brought watercolors and a smile to the hospital one Saturday morning.” Hitchcock’s lesson built on Ashleigh’s desire to paint and extended her thinking by posing age-related provocative questions about art making like, “Is it okay to make a mess?” “Does your painting have to look like something real?”

ashleigh.jpg 

Tess Hitchcock worked with Ashleigh to learn about basic watercolor technique and to experiment with abstract design.

 

Adrienne Kitko’s reflection on the hospital experience sums up the artistic and emotional aspects of their placement.

“Tess, Lia, and I got to the hospital early to set up. While we were waiting at the nurse’s station, I heard doors slowly open, and saw tiny eyes peering at us through the sliver of the open door. We put our stuff down and immediately a curious little girl came up to us, exclaiming that she loves to paint, but only had 10 minutes before her next IV treatment. We all reacted quickly and set this little girl up with a palette of various colors of paints, brushes, a water cup, and let her pick out her own puzzle piece.

Some children collaborated on their puzzle piece together, furthering the community aspect of our project. One mother was sitting and painting with her son. Her husband was running around the ward with the other children, a 20 month-old baby among them. I had no way of knowing which child was sick, but the mother’s face and body language told me all I needed to know as she kept glancing over to the baby. At the end of the night, the family had to say goodbye to the baby and put him in a little metal crib. They thanked us profusely for giving them a night to collaborate with their children through art. That moment is when I realized why I was eager to select this teaching opportunity. 

The next day was my one-on-one lesson with a year old boy named Collin. I had met him the night before and he seemed enthusiastic about art and had some art terms under his belt. I decided to explore the subtractive and additive processes of monotype printing with him. He was shy and not as talkative as I am use to, however he was ready to learn and get his hands messy from the get-go.  He used every tool I brought to experiment with mark making and was very interested in writing “I <3 you” to his mother because he learned one has to write backwards while making a print. Collin made his print by adding paint to an inking plate and using various tools to subtract and explore line qualities and mark making.The best moment of the monotype printing-pulling lesson came when he pulled the paper back to reveal his print.”

 

sand monster.jpg

 Colin titled his monoprint "Sand Monster.” 

Maine College of Art’s nationally accredited Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed to prepare artists to recognize how their personal attributes and talents enhance and strengthen the learning environment. It is an intensive, ten-month program that blends the worlds of art and education.

Learn more about MECA's MAT program.

 

Contact: Raffi Der Simonian
Director of Marketing + Communications
rdersimonian@meca.edu
207.699.5010

 

MAT Students at MECA Inspire and Heal at Barbara Bush Children's Hospital

Posted: 2014-12-22

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Portland, Maine ~ Making art transports the mind, body and soul to places of imagination and inspiration. While the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Maine College of Art primarily prepares teacher candidates to teach in K-12 public schools, opportunities for teaching art in local community-based settings abound. As part of the Alternative Settings class with Kelly McConnell, a group of four MAT candidates selected a placement at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland.

The group shared their enthusiasm for collaborative and individual art making by planning a group activity, followed by one-on-one projects tailored for each person.

 puzzle.jpg

 Shaun Aylward, a member of the MAT cohort, began the idea of making puzzle pieces with one common line to unify their creation.

 
As teachers in training, Adrienne Kitko, Lia Petriccione, and Tess Hitchcock set up a station for the children to learn and explore. Their lesson plans included providing the young patients with various paints, colors and brushes to design unique puzzle pieces that would form a whole. “We anticipated a low number of children to attend this activity,” Kitko said, “because it started at 6:00pm and our hospital contact mentioned that the children had a long day and are usually tired around that time. This was not the case for us; we had 10 energetic, excited children who couldn’t wait to sit down and start painting. Kitko further explained their planning process, “We chose the puzzle painting project because we knew we would be teaching a group of children who are sick and may not have the opportunity to meet each other during their stay at the hospital.  The project encouraged children to come together and participate in a fun and engaging activity. Our hope was for the children to get to know one another, make a friend or two and realize they are not alone. Our hopes were exceeded when we had more children than we expected and their family members participated in the painting, laughing, and playing around with the puzzle pieces.”

After the puzzle activity, the MAT teacher candidates worked with individual students, designing lessons that focused on art skills that would bring out personal expression and be fun to do.  Each teacher candidate used a medium that the children wanted to learn something more about.

When describing the experience, Tess Hitchcock noted, “Ashleigh wanted to learn how to paint, so I brought watercolors and a smile to the hospital one Saturday morning.” Hitchcock’s lesson built on Ashleigh’s desire to paint and extended her thinking by posing age-related provocative questions about art making like, “Is it okay to make a mess?” “Does your painting have to look like something real?”

ashleigh.jpg 

Tess Hitchcock worked with Ashleigh to learn about basic watercolor technique and to experiment with abstract design.

 

Adrienne Kitko’s reflection on the hospital experience sums up the artistic and emotional aspects of their placement.

“Tess, Lia, and I got to the hospital early to set up. While we were waiting at the nurse’s station, I heard doors slowly open, and saw tiny eyes peering at us through the sliver of the open door. We put our stuff down and immediately a curious little girl came up to us, exclaiming that she loves to paint, but only had 10 minutes before her next IV treatment. We all reacted quickly and set this little girl up with a palette of various colors of paints, brushes, a water cup, and let her pick out her own puzzle piece.

Some children collaborated on their puzzle piece together, furthering the community aspect of our project. One mother was sitting and painting with her son. Her husband was running around the ward with the other children, a 20 month-old baby among them. I had no way of knowing which child was sick, but the mother’s face and body language told me all I needed to know as she kept glancing over to the baby. At the end of the night, the family had to say goodbye to the baby and put him in a little metal crib. They thanked us profusely for giving them a night to collaborate with their children through art. That moment is when I realized why I was eager to select this teaching opportunity. 

The next day was my one-on-one lesson with a year old boy named Collin. I had met him the night before and he seemed enthusiastic about art and had some art terms under his belt. I decided to explore the subtractive and additive processes of monotype printing with him. He was shy and not as talkative as I am use to, however he was ready to learn and get his hands messy from the get-go.  He used every tool I brought to experiment with mark making and was very interested in writing “I <3 you” to his mother because he learned one has to write backwards while making a print. Collin made his print by adding paint to an inking plate and using various tools to subtract and explore line qualities and mark making.The best moment of the monotype printing-pulling lesson came when he pulled the paper back to reveal his print.”

 

sand monster.jpg

 Colin titled his monoprint "Sand Monster.” 

Maine College of Art’s nationally accredited Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed to prepare artists to recognize how their personal attributes and talents enhance and strengthen the learning environment. It is an intensive, ten-month program that blends the worlds of art and education.

Learn more about MECA's MAT program.

 

Contact: Raffi Der Simonian
Director of Marketing + Communications
rdersimonian@meca.edu
207.699.5010

 

MECA Alum Designs Kinetic Rooftop Sculpture for Coffee By Design

Posted: 2014-12-17

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On December 15th Coffee By Design on 1 Diamond Street installed and unveiled their large kinetic rooftop sculpture. Jac Ouellette who earned her BFA with honors at Maine College of Art in 2002 designed the sculpture, which was fashioned out of aluminum and steel. The sculpture weighs in at 1000 pounds and was lifted onto the roof of the building with help of a construction crew.

Coffee by Design owners Mary Allen Lindemann and Alan Spear worked closely with Ouellette to collaborate on ideas for the piece. Ouellette would put together mockups on a small scale to test the kinetic nature of the piece, and after many rounds of designs a final one was chosen. Spears spoke about the process coming together, “It’s incredible to finally see the sculpture where it was designed to stand… This project was a true collaboration between so many people who turned our dream into a reality.” Lindermann also commented on the sense of community the sculpture brings to their newest location,  “Everything we do is about our love for coffee, our coffee farmers and their families, local artists and organizations and most of all, our customers. Jac’s sculpture is the next step for Coffee By Design.”

Graphic Design Students Design A Limited Edition T-Shirt For Maine Red Claws

Posted: 2014-12-10

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Autumn Frantz, Junior in Graphic Design with Dajuan Eubanks, President of the Maine Red Claws. Photo by Michael McSweeney 

On Friday, November 21, students in Design Workshop attended the Maine Red Claws home opener. The class, taught by Professor Samantha Haedrich, spent part of the fall semester designing a t-shirt for the NBA D-League team to commemorate fans as they enter their sixth season. 

 
The group of nine junior and senior design majors met with Red Claws president Dajuan Eubanks and his marketing team throughout the process. Eubanks decided to approach the College because, “We wanted to engage the students at MECA in some real life experience to help design our opening night t-shirt that we give out. Needless to say, we were very excited about the result. The students came up with terrific and creative ideas, and responded well to our critique and input.” 
 
Each student had the opportunity to present two design concepts that embodied the idea of the fan’s representing the team's “sixth man.” The final t-shirt, designed by junior Autumn Frantz, was given away to the first 1000 fans who attended Friday’s game. It featured typography in the shape of the state of Maine, with the largest text reading: You are the Reason. Autumn said of the experience, "It was wonderful working with an organization that greatly cares about Portland's community, plus it was a valuable opportunity to work with a real client to gain experience. The icing on the cake was seeing my design on t-shirts the fans received at the game we attended.”

MECA Gets Snaps from Sharon Butler's TWO COATS OF PAINT Blog

Posted: 2014-11-24

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>> Read Sharon Butler's Full Blog on Two Coats of Paint


Snaps: A visit to Maine College of Art

 

Readers may have noticed that posting slowed down a little last week. I spent a few days up at the Maine College of Art (known as MECA) in Portland, where I gave a  presentation about my work and enjoyed visiting studios of talented graduate and undergraduate students. Business Insider recently named Portland one of the top places to travel, calling it a "funky low-key destination that prizes quality food and cutting-edge art," and I sampled both on my short trip. Amid presenting, dining, drinking, and talking with students about their projects, I managed to wedge in some visits to faculty studios. 

[Image at top: Snap of work-in-progress in Prof. Gail Spaien's campus studio. ]

 Gail Spaien, Still Life #7, 2014, acrylic on linen, 38 x 40 inches. 

Chair of the Painting Program, Spaien paints delicate, finely detailed images of flowers in vases. I'm looking forward to her March 2015 exhibition at the Anthony Giordano Gallery at Dowling College on Long Island. 


In one of the undergrad studios, I was delighted to find images of Sarah Faux's paintings tacked to the wall.
 

Each morning on my way to much-loved Marcy's Diner where a single order of bacon consists of a heaping plateful and a pancake is larger than a Frisbee, I passed this chunky Anthony Caro sculpture displayed on the lawn at the Portland Museum of Art. 

Leslie Murray, Clover Explosion, 2014, 36 x 42 inches.
 
My first faculty studio visit was with Leslie Murray, who earned her undergraduate degree from MECA in 2008, then moved to NYC where she got her Masters at NYU. Now she's back at MECA as a part-time faculty member and painting facilities manager. Her sunny studio is on the top floor of a nearby office building where space costs a mere $295 per month. She recently had a solo show at Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Murray makes objects like these black sparkly rock-like forms, which she then uses as subjects for her  paintings.

 Leslie Murray, work in progress.

I gave my presentation on Thursday afternoon to a full auditorium (thanks everyone for coming!), and was pleased to see some familiar faces. Naturally we took a few selfies. To the left is Martin Mugar, the artist and blogger who coined the term "Zombie Formalism." To the right: Mark Wethli, an old Facebook friend, also stopped by. He's on sabbatic leave from his teaching position at Bowdoin College this semester.



Here is Prof. Honour Mack's spacious studio in the renovated attic of an old Victorian house. She, too, is on sabbatical, and has just started wrestling with a new series of abstract paintings that engage the circle inside the square. Some of her older work on paper is on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland through December 22.


Working horizontally on a tabletop, she pours fluid paint and lets it pool and blend in unexpected ways.


Maine is a good place to buy warm boots. Plenty of styles are on view at Reny's, a discount department store that specializes in hunting and adventure gear, right next door to MECA. If you need Carhartt or camouflage, this is the place. MECA's spacious, elegant building, on the main street in downtown Portland, was once a department store.


I visited grad student Tessa O'Brien at a building that used to house a restaurant. She paints murals on the outside and uses the inside to mix her paints and prepare her spray gun. The restaurant owner used to have copies of his favorite paintings made in China. Here's a Frida Kahlo portrait (above) that still hangs in the restroom.

 One iteration of Tessa's building.


Professor Philip Brou works in a well-organized basement studio located very near Winslow Homer's studio at Prouts Neck. Brou (pronounced "brew") has been working on a series of paintings that depict actors who play extras in movies and on TV shows. He contacts talent agencies in NYC, chooses the actors and actresses from head shots, then sets up photo shoots in the city. The photographs become the basis for his remarkable paintings.


Brou's solitary figures surrounded by a rich black paint remind me of NYC painter Matthew Miller's self-portraits, although Miller's work seems more rooted in American colonial painting while Brou's recall the flat existentialism of late1960s photorealism.


Another MECA faculty member who is working on interesting projects is art historian, curator, and Fluxer Chris Stiegler. His two main projects are Town Hall Meeting and The Institute for American Art, a curatorial project that he maintains in his Portland living room. Currently Stiegler has an installation by Sebastian Black on view (pictured above).


When I visited the Portland Museum of Art, I was greeted by large-scale Katherine Bradford, Alex Katz, and Chris Martin paintings in the lobby. Further inside,  I found other gems, including Storm, a juicy 1996-97 painting by Sir Howard Hodgkin in the "Treasures of British Art" exhibition.


In the Early American wing, which had recently been rehung, I found many sublime landscape paintings by Fitz Henry Lane, Frederick Edwin Church, and their talented cohort, as well as this little charmer, The Letter, an 1837 painting by Amasa Hewins. Doesn't it look like a colonial rendition of a Vermeer?

The Business Insider is correct about both the art scene and Portland's fantastic culinary culture. The MECA crew took me to Empire Chinese Kitchen, which specializes in Dim Sum, and Caiola's Restaurant, which features inventive cooking with locally grown ingredients. I highly recommend both.

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Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. For permission to use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

Faculty Spotlight on Art Education (MAT) Chair, Fern Tavalin

Posted: 2014-11-24

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Faculty Profile

Fern Tavalin, Professor of Art Education

 

How did you get from a B.A. degree in Economics from Franklin & Marshall to being a professor in the field of Art Education at MECA?

F&M is a liberal arts college. So, while my major was economics, I took several fine arts, language arts and foreign language classes. I especially enjoyed the sculpture studio and metal sculpting in particular. Also, I lived in Belgium and attended a Flemish high school for one year, with a heavy emphasis on aesthetics. The year after I graduated my college built a state-of-the-art photo lab and extended its use to alumni. There, I found a life-long love for photography and subsequently video.

 

What is the most challenging teaching experience you have had? What did you learn from it?

The toughest challenge I had as a teacher was analyzing student performance in social studies and realizing that my methods did not work. It was with that awareness that I turned to integrated arts and hands-on learning. I still required essay exams, so the tests did not change, but my method of teaching and learning shifted radically. As a result, student learning and engagement improved dramatically. From this experience I became an active proponent of arts integration and project-based learning.

 

Much of your professional life has been dedicated to the use of technology. Studio art classes, currently, are tactile experiences. Do you see any change in this facet of art education in the future? Are campuses becoming irrelevant?

Your question begins with a common, mistaken assumption. My approach to technology is to use tactile processes alongside virtual experiences. For instance, when I designed technology-based summer institutes, they included workshops in book arts so that there was literal copying and pasting alongside the virtual. I stressed stop-motion animation so that students could still learn about the properties of clay and other materials along with the subtlety of movement that stop-motion requires. Artists worked with teachers to build plaster body casts to project words from found poetry, generated from personal narratives. These skills and processes, when used in tandem with planning items such as sketching and storyboarding, foster the type of critical thinking and problem solving that embody new standards for student learning. Are campuses irrelevant? It depends upon how they are used. Our MAT candidates need on-site mentoring for the first semester. Student teaching is another matter, though. This year, we sent three people out of state, one as far away as San Francisco.  Given the current state of telecommunication, distance supervision works, and having classroom experiences in other locations enhances seminar discussions.

>>Learn More About Our MAT Program

Holiday Sale and First Friday (December 5 + 6)

Posted: 2014-11-18

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Portland Maine ~ The 2014 MECA Holiday Sale will take place during the December First Friday Art Walk and will run from 5pm to 9pm. The sale is open to the public and all ages are welcome to stop by on December 5th. The vendors, most of which are current students or alumni, line the halls of the school to sell their original art. The Holiday Sale is open the following morning, Saturday December 6th, from 10am until 5pm.

Creative Portland teams up with Portland’s Downtown District to close Congress Street for the Art Walk. On December 5th starting at 5pm Congress Street will be closed from State Street to Monument Square, with High Street remaining open. The December First Friday Art Walk brings in visitors far and wide to see the many galleries and artists who setup along Congress Street, even in the cold weather.

The sale takes place on the first three floors of the MECA Porteous building.

Contact: Raffi Der Simonian
Director of Marketing + Communications
rdersimonian@meca.edu

207.699.5010

SYL Exhibition Now On View In Artists At Work

Posted: 2014-11-05

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MECA's Second Year Lab courses are designed to encourage students to take skills they have developed from their foundation year and apply them to a new idea that they will follow from inception to completion. Each SYL class had different objectives and projects which will be on display in Artists At Work through November 10, 2014. You can read more about each SYL class below.

De-Construct to Re-Construct
Instructor: Paul Lewandowski
Students: Joe Donovan, Ariana Faria, Meg Hudson, Ellie Johnson, Sayre Lenard, Madeline Owen, Sarah Perry, Parker Smedley, Chelsey Taylor, Melinda Thomas, Anna Welch and Ashley Wernher-Collins

Deconstruct to Reconstruct is about exploration of garment construction, disassembly and inspiration. The students have been working on a number of projects throughout the semester. The work in this exhibit is the culmination of that research for two projects.The first project is the result of deconstructing a garment and using it as inspiration to develop a new piece – garment, artwork, or textile.  For the second project, the students were asked to purchase a garment or object from a thrift store and develop a companion piece to the first. Key themes during the semester have been inspiration, research, observation and response. 

Gathering Influences: Collections, Collectibles, Collecting, Collectors
Instructor: Pilar Nadal
Students: Aaron Siegel, And Alter, Baxter Koziol, Catherine Quattrociocchi, Daniel Iwasko, David Martinez, Elizabeth Conlin, Emma Wolfsohn, Gunnar Johnson, Hannah Howard, Margaret Hahn, Marisa D’Andrea, Martin Reynolds, Olivia Waitekus, Paige Leonas, Paul Walsh, Raven Zeh and Sara Inacio

"Objecte de Visite” - Students in this class were given the assignment to create a object that would represent their roles as an artist in the world. Each student made 100 objects to give away, barter and network with. Screen printed elements in each design, these students found ways to incorporate their skills, interests and ideas in each hand held piece. Each object contains the artist’s name, contact information and individual blog address that documents their printmaking and public engagement adventures in this lab. Our class blog: gatheringinfluences.tumblr.com contains all student links and other posts and resources of interest.

Photography: Document, Archive, Fiction
Instructor: Bryan Graf
Students: Justin Lumiere, Abbie Labonville, Claire Hartnell, Danielle Camillo, Elizabeth Johnson, Ileana Alarcon, Molly Hibler, Taylor McElhinny and Vincent Greco

This exhibition is an accumulation of the past several projects where students were encouraged to investigate the plural and malleable language of photography.

South of No North Opens November 6th in the ICA

Posted: 2014-11-05

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Honour Mack, Illumination #2

Sean Glover, The Observers


South of No North
Faculty Exhibition
November 6 – December 22, 2014
 
Works by: Honour Mack, Bennett Morris, Sean Glover, and Christopher Stiegler
 
An artist reception will be held on Thursday, November 6th from 5-7pm.
ICA entrance, events and lectures are free and open to the public.

MECA Students Rock the Vote

Posted: 2014-10-27

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Charles Melcher's Freshmen Graphic Design class Community Action: Design and Activism created posters to encourage citizens to "Get out the Vote." The posters were following the brief set out by the AIGA "Get Out the Vote" Campaign. The intention of the campaign is to get out the vote, all posters needed to urge voters to vote without a partisan slant.The posters are now on display in the Congress Street windows at the Portland Public Library. 

Visiting Artist Joshua David Bergey to speak about Pulp Fiction Artwork

Posted: 2014-10-23

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MECA Illustration is pleased to announce a lecture with visiting artist, Joshua David Bergey, in conjunction with Portland Public Library's The Pulps!—a major exhibition of rare and original pulp fiction paintings. An authority in Pulp Fiction whose grandfather was the renowned pulp artist, Earle K. Bergey, Joshua will be speaking on the visionary art that graced the covers of these iconic publications. On Friday, November 14, 7 p.m., Joshua will be coming to MECA to talk about the exhibit, his prolific grandfather, and his own journey tracking down the true story behind American Pulp Fiction.

Joshua David Bergey is an artist and author currently completing a major new book of non-fiction that reveals the life and art of his mysterious grandfather. Joshua's style of storytelling is unique and refined, drawing from his own experiences in theater and performance. A former Dean of MECA, Joshua graduated from Oberlin College and continued studies in southern France as well as in Portland, at Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Joshua teaches and lectures in the field of 20th Century American illustration art and visual storytelling.

Read Joshua's Full Bio

Visit Joshua's website 

For more information, email rdersimonian@meca.edu  or call 800.699.1509.

Chloe Beaven and Caitlin Ervin Public Engagement Fellows for 2014-2015

Posted: 2014-10-23

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Senior Chloe Beaven and junior Caitlin Ervin are the Public Engagement Fellows for 2014-2015. Sophomore Hannah Howard is the Project Assistant. They will receive a financial scholarship and academic credit to design and lead projects and initiatives that focus on building relationships between campus and community. The fellowship is supported with a grant from the Helen and George Ladd Foundation.

Chloe Beaven, a senior in the New Media program, will be partnering with MECA, Seeds of Peace, and Waynflete School in order to increase understanding and support of diversity (especially issues involving race), elevate and further contemplative dialog, and broaden student civic responsibility at MECA. Her projects will include implementing the Big Think Series, monthly dialogs hosted by an artist or academic within the field of socially engaged art or social justice; revitalizing the MECA C.A.R.E diversity group; inviting high school students to work on the Other Side of Shade workshops with the Seeds of Peace students, and develop an annual student exhibit focusing on issues of race; establishing the VIP Vote, an annual early Vote Day at MECA; and increasing programming around MLK day and the attendance at the MLK Breakfast.

Caitlin Ervin, a junior in the Sculpture program, will be partnering with Environment Maine and the MECA Trash Talkers group to focus on environmental projects and sustainability within MECA and the Portland community. Her projects will include assisting with community partner logistics and taking on leadership for Envisioning a Sustainable Society with Professor Dana Sawyer; partnering with and assisting with group projects in Paul Gebhardt's FY-IN class; and co-leading and coordinating environmental programs in MECA's residence halls.

Hannah Howard, an undeclared Sophomore, is also partnering with Environment Maine to work on environmental projects and sustainability within MECA and the Portland community. She will be assisting with all of Caitlin Ervin's projects, in addition to continuing her role as a Resident Assistant in MECA's residence halls.

The Public Engagement program has several community partners, including: Portland Trails, The Island Institute, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Environment Maine, Camp Susan Curtis, Portland Brick, Avesta Housing, King Middle School, and Seeds of Peace. There are also three Senior Capstone Project Partners, including Planned Parenthood, Waynflete School's Racial Awareness student group, and Portland Brick. Jon Rubin will also be a visiting artist for Public Engagement.

New Student Exhibits on View in Artists at Work

Posted: 2014-10-23

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Now on view in Artists at Work through October 27, 2014. 

SYL: Universe Transformed
Instructor: Rachel Katz
 
This course explores ideas of the universe and science looking specifically at how we as artists understand, track, define and explain the world around us. As a class we will look at the work of scientists past and present. We will explore the ways that artists use scientific data collection and transform it into their own work.
Students will work in small groups to create their own data collection processes based throughout the Porteous building.
 
The work produced will serve as the foundation for personal projects that explore an artist’s perspective on living in this universe.
 
SYL: The Body in Context
Instructor: Ling-Wen Tsai
 
This is a multi/inter-disciplinary introduction and exploration of the body in context. Students choose their own specific topics that relate to the human condition in contemporary life. The content can be personal, social, and cultural. Work may take the form of, but are not limited to: drawing, painting, photography, collage, sculpture, installation, fashion, performance, video and sound. Our goal is to understand the complexity of who we are as individuals and as a collective, and to give voice to our insight through diverse representations of the body.  

MECA Alum Hannah Rosengren Designs for Greenpeace

Posted: 2014-10-22

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MECA graduate Hannah Rosengren recently worked with the environmental organization Greenpeace to promote their campaign about the Tongass National Forest. Rosengren created an important informational poster which highlighted the diverse ecosystem of the forest with an emphasis on the Alexander Archipelago Wolf. Greenpeace has recently petitioned to protect this species under the Endangered Species Act, and this poster will be mailed out to their numerous supporters.

>> Learn more about the artist

MECA ANNOUNCES CAMPUS DEVELOPMENTS, GROWTH AND IMPROVEMENTS

Posted: 2014-10-13

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FALL 2014 Academic Year Starts off with Largest Incoming Class on Record, Higher Academic Standards and New Programming

Portland, Maine ~ Maine College of Art (MECA) is proud to announce its newest developments for the 2014-2015 academic year. With the largest incoming class the institution has ever seen, recent accreditation of the MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching), and new programming, MECA is determined and well-poised to provide students with more opportunities as one of the leading art schools in New England.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the State of Maine have recently accredited MECA for it’s ten-month MAT program, which focuses on helping participants meet requirements for Maine’s teacher certification, while also providing the critical and creative engagement expected on a graduate level. Teacher candidates in this program work in various community settings, from urban to rural, formal to informal, and learn to think outside of the box, to improve not only their knowledge, but their students’ learning as well. Museums, summer school programs, and non-profit organizations collaborate with the MAT program to expand candidates experiences. Spring semester student teaching internships prepare candidates to become confident art educators, with both reflective practices, and a lifetime of professional learning.

Thanks to the generous gift and collaboration with the Bob Crewe Foundation, MECA students will soon be able enjoy and explore the intersection between music and art. The new program, which will be implemented during the 2015 academic year, was discussed in April, and an MOU was signed between Dan Crewe and President Don Tuski in June. This program will cover a wide range of topics, all relating back to the relationships between music and art. Some courses for the new program include History of Contemporary Music, Applied Theory Through Composition, Music Business and Management, Ethnomusicology, and more experimental courses like Sound and Color.

Dean Anderson believes that MECA may be one of the first art colleges to explicitly engage in combining the study of contemporary art and design with music; he says, “MECA is uniquely positioned to develop this area because of our size, history and willingness to experiment. This is an exciting period of growth and innovation here at the college.”

MECA is also pleased to announce it’s new Writing Minor, now available for students to develop exceptional communication and deep reading skills. The objective of this Minor is for students to further enrich their artistic journey, culminating in a final personal writing project, intended for publication.

MECA recognizes the growing need for creative problem solvers in an ever-changing, global world, which is why MECA is stepping up to meet that need with more students, better facilities, and increased programs, all available to students so that they can pursue opportunities that go beyond what is simply taught in class. The Maine College of Art is intent on staying true to it’s mission: Educating Artists for Life.

For more information or to schedule an interview with President Donald Tuski, Ph.D., please contact Raffi Der Simonian at 207.699.5010 or rdersimonian@meca.edu.  

Located in the heart of Portland Maine’s fine arts district, MECA offers a BFA degree in 11 studio majors, an MFA in Studio Arts, an MAT, and continuing studies courses for youths and adults.  The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA and the Joanne Waxman library are free and open to the public.  For more information, please visit www.meca.edu.

 

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Founder of Matter Factory, Andy Brayman Visits MECA

Posted: 2014-10-10

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Portland, ME - The Maine College of Art proudly announces it's upcoming lecture with talented artist and founder of Matter Factory, Andy Brayman. On Thursday, October 16, at 12:15 p.m. in Osher Hall, Andy Brayman will be coming to MECA to discuss his experiences with art, ceramics, and Matter Factory.

Andy Brayman holds a BA in sociology and a BFA in ceramics from the University of Kansas (1996) and an MFA in ceramics from Alfred University (1998). His work is a combination of traditional craft, industrial processes, physical computing and contemporary art strategies. At their best, his pots demonstrate an object’s potential to be both beautiful and cerebral.

In 2005, Andy founded The Matter Factory in Kansas City; part artist studio, part laboratory, and part factory. In addition to producing objects of his design, the company contains a collaborative element. Guest designers and artists are invited to develop objects for production, which might otherwise have trouble finding an eager manufacturer.

Andy Brayman's Matter Factory

For more information, email rdersimonian@meca.edu or call 800.699.1509. 

Richard Blanco Releases New Memoir: The Prince of Ios Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood

Posted: 2014-10-02

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2014 MECA COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER, RICHARD BLANCO, RELEASES NEW BOOK

 

Announcing the release of Richard Blanco’s The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, a poignant, hilarious, and inspiring memoir from the first Latino and openly gay inaugural poet. A vivid account of Blanco's coming of age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his effort to contend with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities. This book evokes the complexities and glories—and humor—of navigating his two imaginary worlds: the Cuba of the 1950s that his family longed for and his own idealized America.

Order online now

Visiting Artist Lectures in October

Posted: 2014-10-01

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Jon Rubin, Interdisciplinary Artist

Osher Hall, 522 Congress St.
October 9 at 12:15pm
Jon Rubin is an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions into public life that re-imagine individual, group and institutional behavior. His projects include starting a radio station that only plays the sound of an extinct bird in an abandoned neighborhood, running a barter-based nomadic art school, operating a restaurant that produces a live video talk show with its customers, and co-directing another show that serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. He is currently developing a collaborative sitcom that will be shot simultaneously in Los Angeles and Tehran.
 
 
David Trubridge, Woodworking + Furniture Design
Osher Hall, 522 Congress St.
October 10, 6:30pm
David Trubridge is a furniture designer based in Havelock North, New Zealand. Trubridge graduated from Newcastle University in Northern England in 1972 with a degree in Naval Architecture. For the next ten years he lived and worked in rural Northumberland, teaching himself furniture-making while working part-time as a forester on a private estate. He went on to develop his own designs, which were exhibited around Britain. Many commissions followed, most notably from the Victoria and Albert Museum, St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, and the Shipley Galler, Newcastle.
 
 
 
Sheila Pepe, Cross-disciplinary + Installation Artist
Osher Hall, 522 Congress St
October 23 at 12:15pm
Sheila Pepe is an artist and educator living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She is a prominent figure as a lesbian, cross-disciplinary artist whose work employs conceptualism, surrealism, and craft to address feminist and class issues.

Scott Nash designs PMA family guide

Posted: 2014-10-01

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Illustration Program Chair and Assistant Professor Scott Nash recently designed the new PMA Family Guide for the Portland Museum of Art. 

Here's a little more info on the guide: 

"The new PMA Family Guide, which will be available at the Visitor Experience Desk, allows children and parents to see the museum in a new way. Developed by the PMA's Learning and Interpretation department in conjunction with Portland's Nashbox Design and Illustration, the PMA Family Guide encourages kids to lead their families through the galleries, interact with the work on display, and experience the museum as an adventure. Collector cards and an accompanying map send families hunting for iconic works of the PMA collection, and help children develop critical thinking, art appreciation, and communication skills-in addition to being nifty keepsakes and a whole lot of fun."
 
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