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Monhegan Residency

Posted: 2015-05-04

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Alina Gallo (MFA '08), Botanical Study: Mushrooms

"The Monhegan Artists’ Residency supports the creative growth of dedicated Maine artists by providing them time and space in which to work free of interruption and constraint in the inspiring environment of Monhegan Island."

The program offers living quarters, studio space, and a $100 per week stipend for a five-week period. One residency is peak summer, one in late summer/early fall. There are three residencies per summer, two for artists and one for an art educator.

MECA alumni who recently received the residency:
2015: Justin Richel '02
2014: Victoria Statsenko '14
2013: Kristin Fitzpatrick '13
2011: Alina Gallo, MFA '08

Other alumni recipients since its inception in 1989:
Cyndi Davis '90,
Nicole Duennebier '05,
Joe Kievitt '93,
Connie Hayes '80,
Margaret Leonard '82,
Martha Miller '06

2015 BFA, MFA & MAT Commencement

Posted: 2015-04-30

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2015 BFA, MFA & MAT Commencement
Saturday, May 9, 10am
State Theater, 609 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
Reception immediately following at Maine College of Art, The Porteous Building, 522 Congress St., Portland, Maine

Thomas Moser, Founder of Maine’s Thos Moser, Cabinetmakers will deliver the Commencement address at Maine College of Art’s 104th Commencement, which begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9 at the State Theatre at 609 Congress Street.

Formerly a Bates College professor, Tom Moser left teaching in 1972 to restore the lost art of fine woodworking by making one-of-a-kind furniture in an old Grange Hall in New Gloucester, Maine. Throughout his life he had always been making things out of wood and after 15 years decided to leave academia to devote himself to his true passion, woodworking. Moser notes, “If you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life.” During the last forty years, the company has grown from a one-man operation to nearly 70 cabinetmakers (about half men and half women), with clients and collectors around the world.  
“For Maine College of Art students to hear from one of Maine’s best creative entrepreneurs as they graduate and embark on a career as an artist is a great opportunity,” said President Donald Tuski.  “Tom’s career demonstrates how art, craft, design and entrepreneurship can come together.”

Thomas Moser: Legacy in Wood opens in MECA’s ICA on July 22 and runs through September 21.  The exhibit surveys Thos Moser, Cabinetmakers 44 years of engagement with wood.  The work included in the exhibition spans four decades; in many instances walking the viewer through the growth of a chair from early design iterations through several design changes or variations on a central theme, always returning to what Moser via Plato calls "ultimate chairness." This Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art retrospective is the first exhibition to examine the central importance of Thomas Moser to the world of fine furniture craftsmanship.

The college will also confer honorary degrees on Ashley Bryan and June Fitzpatrick.

Writer, poet and illustrator of children’s books, Ashley Bryan doesn’t speak his stories, he sings them, fingers snapping, feet tapping, his voice articulating. Born in 1923, Ashley entered the tuition-free Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering, having been denied entry elsewhere because of his race. Following service in World War Two and a career of teaching art at several schools and universities, Bryan retired  in the 1980s to Maine’s Cranberry Isles as professor emeritus of Dartmouth College. He continues to paint, write, and illustrate at 92.

June Fitzpatrick owns the independent June Fitzpatrick Gallery housed within Maine College of Art, which holds a central position in the heart of Portland’s Arts District and is a destination point for local, regional and international collectors. June supports MECA students and alumni with annual exhibitions, including Ten Years After, which showcases MECA painting majors one decade after their graduation, the annual BFA Thesis Exhibition, and MECA’s annual staff show.

Donald Tuski, Ph.D, president of MECA, will confer the honorary degrees. “It is a profound honor to recognize the accomplishments of these distinguished individuals and welcome them to our alumni ranks,” said Tuski.

East to East to Open in the ICA

Posted: 2015-04-30

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East to East

The show will be open from June 5 – July 3, 2015

Curator's Statement

Two Maine artists return home – elin o'Hara slavick with After Hiroshima, a project from the Far East, and Shane C. Smith with Avi Form – a project about the Downeast Penobscot living on Indian Island, Maine.

Both artists pay special attention to the specific cultural sites on which they work or to which they refer - Hiroshima, Japan (the Far East) and the Native lands of the (near Downeast) coast of Maine. The archive, cultural memory, the past and its power in the present, loss of histories, people and lands, artifacts, the performative gestures of remembering, honoring and witnessing all play important parts in this work. East to East investigates these dynamic explorations of history, memory, loss, language that artists make as cultural storytellers and producers. The work is deeply engaged in the physical trace - be it photographic, indexical, handmade, sculptural, textual or performative.

Elin o'Hara slavick grew up in Portland, Maine, and took her first photography class at the Portland School of Art (now MECA). Slavick, who has never shown in Maine, is currently a Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in Studio Art, Theory and Practice at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she worked with Shane C. Smith on an independent study for fall, 2014 semester, in which he produced some of the work in this exhibition.

Shane C. Smith was born in Bangor and grew up in Milford, Maine, between Old Town, Indian Island and French Island. Smith, a conceptual and performance artist, utilizes an intermedia approach to investigate the subject and language within histories as they relate to place. His socially based practice has lead to designing and building a playground in Uganda, Africa and a stop-motion film featuring Penobscot Native American mythology that premiered at the Taos, New Mexico Talking Picture Show. After earning his MFA from UNC, Chapel Hill, he will continue his studio practice in New York City.

For the artists, this exhibition grows out of the mutually beneficial and equally challenging relationship between mentor and mentee. One instructs the other and the other teaches a new language.

MECA Announces 2015 Spring Gala on May 1

Posted: 2015-04-16

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MECAmorphosis Hosted on May 1 in Conjunction with First Friday Artwalk

Free and Open to the Public for the First Time, MECAmorphosis Celebrates the 2015 BFA Thesis Exhibitions while Introducing 80 Emerging Artists

Portland, Maine ~  Held in collaboration with Portland’s First Friday Art Walk this year, access to the 2015 Thesis Exhibition is free and open to the public. There will be light fare and interactive art throughout the College’s historic Porteous Building. The evening includes a ticketed Runway Fashion Show in the ICA, which premiers the collections of our majors in Textile and Fashion Design, followed by a ticketed Artist’s Party.

MECAmorphosis celebrates the 2015 Thesis Exhibition and introduces over 80 emerging artists graduating from Maine College of Art in the BFA program, as well as raises critical scholarship funds to educate the next generation of artists.

  • 5:00PM-8:00PM    BFA Thesis Exhibition, Floors 1, 2 + 3 (free + open to the public)

  • 6:30PM-7:30PM*   Runway Fashion Show in the ICA, Floor 1 (ticketed) *doors at 6:00PM

  • 7:30PM-10:00PM   Artist's Party in the Cafe (ticketed)


General Admission to the BFA Thesis Exhibition Opening, which does not include admission to the Fashion Show or the Artist’s Party is Free and Open to the Public (5:00-8:00pm).  

Runway Fashion Show Tickets, which include admission to the BFA Thesis Exhibition Opening, as well as the Runway Fashion Show and Artist’s Party, are $75 (5:00-10:00pm).   

Host Committee Tickets, which include admission to the BFA Thesis Exhibition Opening, the Fashion Show and the Artist's Party, are $150 (5:00-10:00pm).

Patron Tickets, which include admission to the BFA Thesis Exhibition Opening, the Runway Fashion Show and the Artist's Party, are $500 (5:00-10:00pm).

Dress is creative black tie -- meaning attendees are invited to dress up, but do so with a creative twist.


MECAmorphosis 2015 is generously supported by our lead sponsor, TD Bank as well as media sponsors, Maine Magazine and Maine Home + Design.

Tickets are available at brownpapertickets. For more information, email or call 207.699.5012.


2015 Merit Show Winners

Posted: 2015-04-07

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Congratulations to all the Merit Show winners this year. Participating students compete every year in the Merit Show for scholarship prizes and must meet a minimum GPA requirement. This year’s show featured the work of 46 students.

The Geary Prize:
Robert Condon, Junior, Graphic Design

Jury Select:
Jacqueline King, Sophomore, Painting

Honorable Mentions:
Ashley Wernher-Collins, Junior, Textiles & Fashion Design
Catherine Quattrociocchi, Sophomore, Metalsmithing & Jewelry
Emily Koerner, Junior Textiles & Fashion Design
Gillan Doty, Junior, Ceramics

Outstanding 2D Work:
Anna Welch, Sophomore, Printmaking

Outstanding 3D Work:
Emmett Freeman, Sophomore, Ceramics

4th Place:
Hannah Boone, Junior, Painting

3rd Place:
Peter Dore, Junior, Woodworking & Furniture Design

2nd Place:
Elana Sternick, Junior, Woodworking & Furniture Design

Best in Show:
Iva Milovanovic, Junior, Ceramics

Posted: 2015-04-06

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KENNEBUNK – The Brick Store Museum’s newest exhibition, Visual Storytelling: Celebrating Maine Illustrators, will open Friday, March 20. The exhibit will not only display the history of illustration, but feature the artwork of illustrators, artists, and cartoonists living in Maine today. The illustrated image has become a significant part of our culture and captured the imaginations of generations.
Illustrators taking part in the exhibit include current and former MECA faculty Stephen Costanza, Daniel Minter, Scott Nash. The show also features the work of MECA alumi, Jada Fitch. Also exhibited are Dahlov Ipcar, Ashley Bryan, Chris van Dusen, Wade Zahares, Melissa Sweet among others. Each artist has been invited to share 3-5 pieces of work. There are many kinds of illustration featured in the exhibit, including children’s books, political cartoons, comic books, and natural history illustration.
Visitors will be invited to create their own art inside the gallery – right on the wall! Upcoming summer illustrators’ workshops (check for future listings) will invite families, students, and adults to take part in specialized presentations by the artists themselves. Visual Storytelling is sponsored by the Captain Lord Mansion, the Captain Jefferds Inn, and Hurlbutt Designs. The exhibit will run through Sept. 27, 2015.
For more information, please contact Prof. Scott Nash (

Posted: 2015-04-06

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KENNEBUNK – The Brick Store Museum’s newest exhibition, Visual Storytelling: Celebrating Maine Illustrators, will open Friday, March 20. The exhibit will not only display the history of illustration, but feature the artwork of illustrators, artists, and cartoonists living in Maine today. The illustrated image has become a significant part of our culture and captured the imaginations of generations.
Illustrators taking part in the exhibit include current and former MECA faculty Stephen Costanza, Daniel Minter, Scott Nash. The show also features the work of MECA alumi, Jada Fitch. Also exhibited are Dahlov Ipcar, Ashley Bryan, Chris van Dusen, Wade Zahares, Melissa Sweet among others. Each artist has been invited to share 3-5 pieces of work. There are many kinds of illustration featured in the exhibit, including children’s books, political cartoons, comic books, and natural history illustration.
Visitors will be invited to create their own art inside the gallery – right on the wall! Upcoming summer illustrators’ workshops (check for future listings) will invite families, students, and adults to take part in specialized presentations by the artists themselves. Visual Storytelling is sponsored by the Captain Lord Mansion, the Captain Jefferds Inn, and Hurlbutt Designs. The exhibit will run through Sept. 27, 2015.
For more information, please contact Prof. Scott Nash (

Wheels and Heels: A Guest Lecture By Matthew Bird

Posted: 2015-04-01

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Wheels and Heels: Matchbox cars, Barbie Dolls, and what they can teach us about design

Matthew Bird will be giving a guest lecture on April 2nd at 12:00pm in Osher Hall. Matthew Bird is an Industrial Design faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design.

2015 Professional Development and Entrepreneurship Grants

Posted: 2015-03-31

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Congratulations to the recipients of the 2015 Professional Development and Entrepreneurship Grants Awards. The grant helps BFA, MFA, and Art Ed students advance their studio and professional skills by accessing opportunities and experiences beyond the MECA classroom. 

Katherine Ackley '15, Illustration
Katie will use the funds to launch her start-up, Inky Blue.

Caitlin Ervin '16, Sculpture and Public Engagement Minor
Caitlin will use the funds for a Public Engagement bike project about environmental awareness.

Sara Inacio '17, Printmaking
Sara will use the funds to participate in Braddock Tiles, a project of the Heliotrope Foundation started by Swoon.

Jonathan Novak '15, Graphic Design
Jon will use the funds on a membership at Open Bench to have studio access for six months after graduation.

Elana Sternick '16, Woodworking & Furniture Design
Elena will use the funds to attend the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.

Jacqueline Weichmann '15, Photography
Jacki will use the funds for marketing and self-promotion.


Tessa O’Brien, MFA '16
Tessa will use the funds to document the work of the organization she co-founded, The Portland Mural Initiative.

Veronica Perez, MFA '16
Veronica will use the funds to self-publish a catalogue and book of her new body of visual and written work.

Image: Sculpture by Jon Novak '15

MECA's Second Annual Youth Essay Contest

Posted: 2015-03-26

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Portland Maine ~ Last year Maine College of Art held its inaugural Summer Youth Essay Contest. After receiving over 70 submissions from young artists ranging in age from 8 to 17, MECA recognized there is a great desire for arts programming in the Greater Portland area and decided to make the contest an annual event. This year, three students will be awarded  free summer arts camps based on their essays' conviction and clarity of expression. The essay question this year focuses on students' impactful experiences with art. Students are asked to respond to the following question in 250-500 words,  “Tell us about an art experience you’ve had that you’ll never forget. How has it inspired you to want to make art at MECA this summer?”

The goal of the essay contest is to engage young artists in the community and to give them opportunities to expand their artistic skill-set. Many of the winning students last year spoke about how the opportunity to spend their summer at MECA would help them grow as people and learn as artists. Caitlyn Duffy, one of last years winners, said in her essay, “I thrive in places surrounded by other people who are just as creative as me, or more so. To have the opportunity to be surrounded by people with passion and to broaden my artistic skill would be an extremely rich experience.”

The prize for winners is a full scholarship to MECA’s many summer art camps. MECA’s youth art camps explore a wide range of disciplines, including painting, drawing, gaming, sculpture, fashion, animation, photography, printmaking, and much more.  New this year are camps that center around music composition, programming inspired by MECA's new Music minor this year, thanks to a generous gift from The Bob Crewe Foundation.

More information on the Summer Youth Essay Contest can be found at  Or call 699-5061 with questions.

You can read the essays from last year’s winners here.

Contact: Courtney Cook
Director of Continuing Studies
Maine College of Art

Professor Mark Jamra Recognized by Typographica

Posted: 2015-03-24

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Associate Professor of Graphic Design Mark Jamra has been recognized by as having one of the best typefaces of 2014. Mark Jamra is a renowned type designer and has been designing typefaces for close to 30 years. His company, TypeCulture is an independent type foundry and academic resource. Typographica reviewed Jamra's typeface "Phoreus Cherokee" which is one of the very few Cherokee typefaces available for use. The review talks about the desperate need for a quality Cherokee typeface,

"Four years ago, in a conference room filled with type enthusiasts, three representatives of the Cherokee Nation explained why the world still needs more fonts.

Of their 316,000 members (the largest tribal nation in the USA), only 22,000 native Cherokee speakers remain, and only a handful of Cherokee fonts exist, most of poor quality. Users have no way to make a headline bold or to italicize words for emphasis. Traditional Cherokee type designs are intricate and of high contrast, poorly suited for reading on screen. New, multifunctional Cherokee fonts are an essential tool necessary for the education, communication, and survival of their language.

That is why I salute Mark Jamra. He stepped up."

You can read the full review here.

You can see the full list of typeface here.

Getting Ready for the Great Maine Bike Swap in April

Posted: 2015-03-17

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The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is hosting the 2015 Portland Great Maine Bike Swap on Sunday, April 26, from 10am–1pm. The Bike Swap will be at the USM Sullivan Recreation & Fitness Complex in Portland. At the swap you can choose from hundreds of bikes in varying prices ranges. This event is the unofficial kick-off to the Maine cycling season and local bike shops will be selling helmets, bike parts, gear and accessories as well.

Maine College of Art has partnered with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine before on events such as “Bike Light Giveaway.” Where members of the Coalition educated commuters on the safety of using bike lights and remaining visible during their rides. Many MECA community members are avid cyclists and often take advantage of events hosted by the Coalition. The bike swap is a great way for fellow cyclists to connect in the community and encourage green transportation. 

You can find more information about the bike swap, including buying and selling, here.

Chinese Artist Mei Selvage Library Exhibition Expresses Wisdom in Visual Storytelling

Posted: 2015-02-27

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(PORTLAND, MAINE) Portland-based artist Mei Selvage is exhibiting her recent acrylic and mixed-media art at Joanne Waxman Library of Maine College of Art (MECA) through March 14, 2015.

Through art, Mei Selvage embodies and expresses Dharma (wisdom). The results are narratives on personal and universal levels. “Art is my way to tell stories,” she says. “I love to use words, colors, and images to reveal the interplay of hidden and perceived realities. Art empowers me and enables me express the ancient wisdom.” In February’s Maine Natural Awakening Magazine, Amy Paradysz—a writer based in Scarborough, ME—highlights Mei’s embrace of Chinese “accent” in her work.

The exhibition marks a celebration of Chinese New Year, which officially begins Feb. 19. Moira Steven, Library Director at MECA Library, is pleased to promote cross-cultural exchanges. MECA kicked off several important partnerships with Chinese art academies and cultural institutions in 2014.

About Mei Selvage:
Mei is a visual artist who was born in Sichuan, China, and moved to the U.S. in 1997. She creates artworks in acrylic painting and mixed-media. Her inspirations come from classical Chinese art, literature, and philosophy. As a co- founder and curator of Ya Ji East/West Cultural Gatherings, Mei brings a genuine artist spirit and her vision for an East/West creative hub in the New England. Mei spends her days as a research director at Gartner and co-invented more than 30 patents during her twelve-year career at IBM. For more artist information, visit

About MECA Joanne Waxman Library:
Maine College of Art’s library is located on the second floor of the Porteous Building in downtown Portland, Maine. As a full-service library, it serves as the main research center for the college community and the general public, as well as providing exhibition space for student and faculty work. It collects over 40,000 books and subscribes to 108 print magazines. For more information, visit


Professor Matt Hutton Recognized by American Craft Council

Posted: 2015-02-26

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Matt Hutton, Associate Professor of Woodworking and Furniture Design at Maine College of Art is being recognized by the American Craft Council (AAC) in their new Emerging Voices Award. The award recognizes one emerging artist, four shortlisted artists, and one emerging scholar. In addition to cash prizes, all artists and scholars will be featured in the June/July issue of American Craft.

This is the first year that the Emerging Voices Award is being presented and will be presented biennially in recognition and support of the next generation of makers and thinkers in the field of contemporary craft.

Matt Hutton earned his BFA at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana and an MFA from San Diego State University. He started working at MECA in 2002 as a Professor of the woodworking program. The Woodworking and Furniture Design program at MECA is designed to teach students to move beyond basic woodworking skills and take their concepts from sketches, to technical drawings, to finished pieces. The program takes advantage of using both classic and modern tools such as the CNC router, a machine that Matt Hutton often uses in his precisely crafted work.

To learn more about the other winners of the Emerging Artist Award read The American Craft Council’s press release here.

See more of Matt Hutton's work here.

2015 MAMM SLAM Winners Receive Opportunity to Earn Up to a $16,000 MECA Scholarship

Posted: 2015-02-25

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Portland, Maine  - The Maine Academy of Modern Music (MAMM) and Maine College of Art (MECA) have some exciting news to share with young aspiring musicians around the State of Maine:

MECA will be partnering with MAMM for the 2015 MAMM SLAM by offering annual scholarships of $10 - $16,000/year, dependent upon academic and artistic qualifications, for four years of full-time study to each member of the winning band.  

This is in addition to an already robust prize package which includes a $1000 cash prize sponsored by The Rusty Rocket Music Fund, free recording time in a professional studio, premiere gigs including a performance spot at the MAMM Stage at the 2015 Old Port Festival, a tour of Gateway Mastering studios, and much more.

Because of this exciting new development in the competition, MAMM is extending the 2015  MAMM SLAM registration deadline to March 21st so that more students can try to take advantage of this opportunity.  Students can register at  The Preliminary Rounds will start on April 11th at Bayside Bowl.  Finals are May 9th at the Asylum in Portland.  Both venues are generously donating the use of their space for the programs.

With this generous scholarship, young Maine musicians will be able to help shape the future of MECA and it’s involvement with the musical arts through the new music program starting this upcoming fall.  This music program will be the first of it’s kind in the country and will provide a unique learning experience for those who are both artistically inclined and musically gifted.  This program is made possible by an extremely generous donation of $3,000,000 from the Bob Crewe Foundation and is being facilitated by new additions to the school that will include spaces for both learning and recording.  

MECA President, Don Tuski, Ph.D said “We are thrilled to be able to offer this incentive to the winners of MAMM SLAM 2015. We hope that our newest academic program that is dedicated to exploring the intersection of art and music will attract the best and brightest of Maine’s creative scene and beyond. Partnering with MAMM Slam provides us direct access to some of the best high school talent around the State of Maine.”


The MAMM SLAM is a yearly contest and opportunity for Maine’s high school-aged musicians of all backgrounds and styles to showcase their skills and talent.  Giving teen bands and solo performers (singer/songwriters and DJ’s) a chance to compete in showcasing their songwriting, performance skills, web presence, marketing, and other aspects of being a professional touring and recording musician.  None of this would be possible without the generous sponsorship and support of, The Rusty Rocket Music Fund,, Coffee By Design, Asylum, Bayside Bowl, Crooked Cove, State Theatre, Gateway Mastering, WCYY, WBLM, Maine Magazine, WPXT-TV and MECA.

For more information or to register for the 2015 MAMM SLAM visit the official page on the MaineToday website at



If you are interested in The Maine Academy of Modern Music and their programs and other upcoming events such as those with MYRO (The Maine Youth Rock Orchestra) you can visit their website or facebook page, or contact them directly by phone or email:


FORAGED: Films about Food and You

Posted: 2015-02-20

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Sunday, March 1, 4pm Foraged: Films about Food and You at Osher Hall in MECA


Post film discussion and snacks provided by Rosemont Market and Bakery. Seating limited. To reserve a spot go to: 

Join us for an exciting documentary about the future of agriculture in America, and the impact it will have throughout the nation.

About the film:


Two farmers explore the impact of synthetic chemicals used in agriculture. My Father's Garden is an engrossing, emotionally charged documentary about the use and misuse of technology on the American farm.
More than a cautionary tale, My Father's Garden is a one-hour documentary that tells a story of hope. The memories of the past serve to teach us that we do not have to repeat the mistakes of our fathers. The present is given direction through the explanation and practice of the philosophies of sustainability. Food cannot grow forever on a damaged earth, but we can bring health and beauty back into the Garden, if we are willing to cooperate with nature's infinite intelligence.  This wisdom holds the secret to our children's future.

President Don Tuski Speaks at Eggs & Issues

Posted: 2015-02-18

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Maine College of Art's President Don Tuski Ph.D. spoke at The Portland Chamber's Eggs & Issues event on February 10, 2015. Tuski's talk was titled "Why You Might Be Crazy If You Don't Go To Art School" and he spoke about how artists make cities better and how MECA has positively influenced our community.

Geary's Summer Ale Package Design Winner Annouced

Posted: 2015-02-05

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Congratulations to RJ Condon, a junior in Graphic Design, winner of the annual Geary's Summer Ale package design competition open to all MECA undergraduates. His design will be featured on nearly 1 million bottles of beer and he receives a prize of $5,000 cash.

See other entries

Foraged: Films About Food and You Presented by Continuing Studies

Posted: 2015-01-27

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FORAGED: Films About Food and You

Continuing Studies at MECA, in partnership with Rosemont Market & Bakery and Cultivating Community, is proud to announce…

A Sunday afternoon film series exploring the origins, challenges and triumphs of the local foods movement. These films will investigate how new approaches to growing and eating food are changing our relationships with one another, as well as our region, our country and the world.



Sundays at 4:00pm in Osher Hall at Maine College of Art

Free; suggested donation $5

The films will be followed by a facilitated discussion and locally sourced, seasonal snacks provided by Rosemont Market & Bakery.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Future of Food

Genetic engineering of food crops is as controversial as ever, as many large agro corporations position themselves as the answer to the world food crisis. But are they?


Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Father’s Garden

Two farmers explore the impact of the synthetic chemicals used in agriculture. Can food grow forever in damaged soil? Does farming still require cooperation with nature’s infinite intelligence?


Sunday, March 26, 2015

The Real Dirt on Farmer John

A maverick Midwestern farmer becomes an outcast before gradually transforming his land into the birthplace of a revolutionary farming community.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

In Organic We Trust

This film digs deep to explore the true meaning of the organic label. What is organic food? Is it better? Why?

Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah Opens in the ICA

Posted: 2015-01-21

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Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah featuring canadian artist Karen Kraven and curated by Nicholas Brown. This show is coming to the ICA from Fonderie Darling in Montreal.

The show will be open from January 21st to April 5th, 2015

The opening reception is on Wednesday January 21, 6–8pm featuring an artist talk with Karen Kraven and curator Nicholas Brown at 6:30pm.

Curator's Statement

Karen Kraven - Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah 
Curated by Nicholas Brown

Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah elicits a boisterous form of misdirection. The first half of the exhibition’s title references organized sports and warfare, strategies designed to confuse the opponent through aggressive motion and dramatic flair. Equally boisterous, Sis Boom Bah is the prototypical cheerleading chant that describes a fireworks display. Together, these words convey the enthusiastic subterfuge of Karen Kraven’s new exhibition at ICA @ MECA.

Karen Kraven’s works set up unexpected encounters between sculptures and images, uncanny resemblances and misleading juxtapositions. Like a stage or film set that’s been frozen in time these spaces confound and delight, borrowing the tactics of a con artist. Kraven exploits the illusion and attraction found in such pursuits as horseracing, hunting and fishing, and counterfeiting. These motifs take the guise of everyday items, handmade surrogates and decoys. Shifting and mutating, they collapse upon one another, mesmerizing us as they reappear enlarged, divided, transubstantiated, inflated, and flattened.

First presented at the initiative of Montreal’s Darling Foundry in 2014, Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah has been reconfigured and expanded with new work produced onsite at MECA.

Born in London, Ontario, Karen Kraven holds an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she was the recipient of the Dale & Nick Tedeschi Fellowship. Based in Montreal and represented by Parisian Laundry, she has also exhibited at Centre Clark, Montreal, Leonard & Ellen Bina Gallery, Montreal, Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga, and Neubacher Shor Contemporary, Toronto. She is in residence at the Darling Foundry’s Montreal Artist's Creation Studio (2013-2016).

Nicholas Brown is a Canadian curator recently based in New York. He was one of the curators of the multi-site exhibition “Shaping Community” at Yale University in 2012. Nicholas curated "You had to go Looking for it" in Toronto's financial district for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011. He was the founding Director/Curator of Red Bull 381 Projects in Toronto (2008-2010). Nicholas has contributed essays and reviews to Fillip, Hunter and Cook, and Cura. In 2012, he was awarded the Darling Foundry’s Residence of the Americas, sponsored by the Conseil des Arts de Montréal.

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