News + Events
Chinese Delegation of Art Educators Visit MECA This Spring
Chinese Delegation of Art Educators Visit MECA This Spring
March 31, Portland, ME—This spring, Maine College of Art will be welcoming an incoming delegation from the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts (XAFA) in China. The delegation marks the developing relationships that MECA is forging with several leading art academies in Greater China.
The President’s Delegation from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts will arrive in Portland on April 14th and includes Professor Guo Xianlu, President; Mr. Wu Shunong, Director of International Cooperation & Exchanges Office; Professor Shi Cun, Director of the Post-Graduate Office; and Ms. Chen Tianqui, International Relations and Contracts. They will stay until April 16th, and will spend the time touring the college, meeting students and faculty, and discussing the exchange program launched between the two colleges. President Guo Xianlu will also deliver a public lecture on April 15th titled, ‘Traditional Chinese Decorative Art & Design.’
This is one of three institutional relationships that MECA has formed with China in the past year. The relationship began in the spring of 2013 when MECA President Don Tuski traveled with Suzanne Fox, President of Fox Intercultural Consulting and Professor Gan Xu of MECA to Xi’an to visit the college’s campus and meet the faculty. Located in Western China, Xi’an is one of the most historically rich regions in China, famed for its Terracotta Warriors and its location on the edge of the Silk Road.
MECA has also formed partnerships with several other art academies in China this past year, including the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) at Baptist University in Hong Kong. Professor Tricia Flanagan of the AVA traveled to MECA from Hong Kong in March 2014; she spent time with numerous departments, spoke to MECA students who are keen on traveling to Hong Kong—and offered a public lecture on her artistic practice and her running of the innovative Wearables Lab at the AVA in Hong Kong.
In 2014, we are kicking off our long-term partnerships with Chinese art academies and cultural institutions with a calendar of events, talks, and East/West journeys.
China has become a major superpower. In the coming decades, we will start to see significant cultural influences emerging from the country. There are an astonishing number of museums being built in Greater China and the wider Asian region—and the art markets have firmly planted themselves in Beijing and Hong Kong. For MECA to connect with this rapidly growing cultural economy will bring long-term benefits in the future—from student recruitment to institutional connectivity, and a greater awareness among students in the globalized era.
In the past year, MECA has set up partnerships with three leading art colleges in Greater China. These partnerships offer an excellent way to forge long-term connections with China, place MECA on the map globally, bring artists from China to Maine, and offer students and staff at MECA an opportunity to travel abroad and connect with global art and cultural shifts.
Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, Xi’An (XAFA)
Following the delegation of Don Tuski, Suzanne Fox and Professor Gan Xu to Xi’An in March of 2013, we are building connections with this respected Chinese art academy. There will be an incoming delegation from XAFA to Maine in April 2014.
Academy of Visual Arts, Baptist University of Hong Kong (AVA)
Hong Kong is emerging as a major arts center in Asia. Don Tuski and Suzanne Fox visited the AVA in Hong Kong in March of 2013 and then welcomed a visit from John Aiken, Chair of the Academy (and former head of the Slade, in London) when he visited Portland in June and signed a student exchange agreement. In March of 2014, we welcomed Tricia Flanagan, who heads the international exchange program for AVA and is a respected artist and educator on fashion design and public art.
China Academy of Art, Hangzhou (CAA)
China Academy of Art is one of the most famous art colleges in China. Based by the serene lakes of Hangzhou, just 40 minutes by bullet train from Shanghai, it is a stunning campus that combines the ancient literati elements of classical Chinese art with cutting-edge innovation. Following Don Tuski and Suzanne Fox’s visit to CAA in 2013, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CAA to open up possibilities for partnership and exchange.
Spring 2014 Lecture Series Announced
Graphic Designer Dan Michaelson
March 20, 2014, 12:30pm, Osher Hall
Linked by Air: "They sorta kinda fixed it!"
Past Spring '14 lectures
February 6, 2014, 12:00pm, Osher Hall Multi-disciplinary artist Jenna Crowder '07 sponsored by Artists at Work
Visual artist and designer Jenna Crowder has attended a number of residencies and has lived and worked internationally. Her work includes Public Space: Cairo, a collaborative workshop-based project for engaging with art and design in public spaces, which took place in downtown Cairo, Egypt; design work for 826, a national youth literacy organization launched by Dave Eggers; and design work for clothing designer Jon Wye in Washington, D.C. At this lecture she and writer Douglas W. Milliken will discuss the collaborative process and influences behind a series of recent performative installations.
Friday, February 7, 2014, 7:00pm, ICA at MECA | Photographer Bryan Graf sponsored by the ICA at MECA
Bryan discusses work featured in Bryan Graf: Across the Interior, an exhibit that runs January 22 through April 6, 2014 at the ICA at MECA. His inventive and playful photography turns the prosaic New Jersey landscape into a canvas for darkroom experimentation and mystic revelation. Created in part by sandwiching B/W negatives with exposed, or partially fogged color film, the images channel the landscape’s hidden ghosts to hallucinatory effect.
Eco-artist Tim Gaudreau is passionate about the environment and the interconnections between people and nature. His work combines humor and irony with photography, video, new media, graphics, and sculpture to create collaborations that advocate for a greater awareness of eco-issues, initiating dialogue about social and environmental issues and serving as an entryway to improve our relationships with nature. Numerous awards, fellowships, and commissions have given him the opportunity to create public art projects that stimulate collaboration and interaction while challenging conventional thinking. He has participated in residencies ranging from California to India.
February 20, 2014, 12:00pm, Osher Hall | Ceramic artist Susan Dewsnap sponsored by the Ceramics Department
Susan Dewsnap’s ceramic studies began at a community clay studio in Boulder, Colorado and matured through intensive summer workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine and Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. She earned her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she taught from 2008 through 2012, and is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She has exhibited her ceramic work internationally and has received awards from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Biennial, the World Ceramic Biennale Korea International Competition, and the Strictly Functional Pottery National Exhibition.
Reenie Charriere’s installations, drawings and photographs evolve from a practice triggered by expeditions along everyday paths. Her current work includes photographic documentation followed by spotlighting the situation through fabricated sculptural installations created out of discarded packaging materials -- particularly plastic, fabric, paper, and cardboard. By sewing, cutting, fusing, reshaping, dangling, and weaving, she transforms the material into atmospheric and surprisingly organic-like structures. Her choice of materials reflects a collision of clumsiness and grace and questions how consumerism drives the world. She was recently awarded a residency by SF MOMA in San Francisco and has been awarded full fellowships by La Napoule Foundation in France and Can Serrat in Spain.
A former fashion and costume designer, Tricia Flanagan has been a practicing artist since 1996. Since earning a Master of Arts in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from Bauhaus University in WEimar, Germany, her practice has focused on working in the public sphere, including site-specific sculpture, social sculpture, sounds sculpture, sculptural installation, wearables, and performance installation. Artwork is often created on location or developed in workshops. She currently runs the Wearables Lab at the Academy of Visual Art HKBU and lives and works in Hong Kong. For her project “Transit Textiles,” she engaged eight artists from various disciplines and backgrounds, mapped their movements throughout the city of Hong Kong, and created wearable textile maps, stiching their networks of movement into the cloth.
So Percussion: "Where (we) Live"
Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Performing in conjunction with Bryan Graf’s exhibit, So Percussion has been praised by The New Yorker for their “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” redefining the modern percussion ensemble as a flexible, omnivorous entity, pushing its voice to the forefront of American musical culture. Part experimental music gig, part multimedia rock show, part happening, Where (we) Live is a freeform investigation of the places and spaces we call home.
Assistant Photography Professor Cheryle St. Onge NYC Exhibit
"Not Long Hidden"
The work of MECA assistant professor of photography Cheryle St. Onge will be exhibited at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York City. The show titled "Not Long Hidden" is a collaboration of five different photographers' work and interpretation of summertime light, color and tones. It is a refreshing show to view during this frigid season and was (unsurprisingly) put together to be "a visual antidote to Seasonal Affective Disorder" (more here). The show will be on exhibit now through March 1, 2014.
MECA Celebrates Chinese New Year with Insights Into Year of the Horse
Fox Intercultural Consulting & Maine College of Art Present:
The Year of the Horse
With Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith
Thursday, February 13, 12.00pm-1.30pm
ICA, Maine College of Art
Free and Open to All
Portland, Maine ~ To celebrate the dawning of Chinese New Year and the launch of MECA’s Year in China, we are welcoming two distinguished figures from the Chinese-American cultural scene. Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith, authors of the Pocket Chinese Almanac series, will be offering audiences insights into the Year of the Horse.
The traditional Chinese almanac, also known as the Tong Sing or Huang Li, is a centuries-old repository of cultural information from household tips to general medical remedies. But it's the almanac's predictions of which days are auspicious or ominous for a wide range of activities that has made the annual publication a mainstay in Chinese homes. For five years now, Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith have translated and decoded the almanac's predictions.
About The Speakers:
Joanna C. Lee is the founder of Museworks, a consultancy for performing artists eager to explore links between Asia and the West. Her clients include the San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Leonard Bernstein estate, San Francisco Opera, Carnegie Hall, Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has also devised publicity, translation or educational outreach projects for the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution, Holland Festival, Sydney Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Asia Society, Taiwan Contemporary Legend Theater, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Hong Kong New Vision Arts Festival, Sotheby’s HK, Beijing Music Festival, Habitat for Humanity, National Geographic, architecture historian Victoria Newhouse and the New York Asian Film Festival.
Journalist and author Ken Smith has traveled widely, covering music on five continents for a wide range of publications including the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Opera News and Time Out New York. He currently divides his time between New York, where he writes for Gramophone magazine, and Hong Kong, where he is the Asian performing arts critic for the Financial Times of London. A featured columnist for China’s Opera magazine, he also covers Western opera in China for the London-based magazines Opera and Opera Now. He had an active role in the Chinese music research for author Amy Tan and composer Stewart Wallace in their opera The Bonesetter’s Daughter based on Tan’s novel, an odyssey he chronicled in his 2008 book Fate! Luck! Chance!. He is also a cultural advisor to David Henry Hwang’s bilingual Broadway comedy Chinglish and the Bruce Lee musical Kung Fu at New York’s Signature Theatre.
In addition to the annual publication of the Pocket Chinese Almanac, they are also authors of The Pocket Confucius, The Pocket Tao, and The Pocket Te. Read more: http://asktongsing.com
Fox Intercultural Consulting promotes intercultural understanding between the United States and China through a diverse range of educational and cultural programs. Headquartered in the pristine setting of Portland, Maine, with teams in Shanghai, Chongqing and Hong Kong, we build bridges between the people of these two vast countries: www.foxintercultural.net
Maine College of Art delivers a demanding and enlivening education in visual art and design within an intimate learning community. We teach each student how to transform aspirations and values into a creative practice that serves as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals. Founded in 1882 and located in the heart of Downtown Portland's thriving Arts District, MECA offers BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in 11 studio majors, MFA (Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art), and MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) degrees. Pre-College and Continuing Studies programming are available for adults and youths. The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA, Joanne Waxman Library, and Visiting Artist and Guest Lecture Series are free and open to the public.
With thanks to our sponsors:
The Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine provides forums and outreach to promote awareness of and appreciation for Chinese culture. cafammaine.org
Creative Portland was founded by Portland City Council in 2008 to grow and support the local creative economy. Major programs include LiveWork Portland, 2 Degrees Portland, and the First Friday Art Walk, among others