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Posted: 2013-05-01

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An innovative collaboration between internationally-known design experts,
graphic design majors, and faculty yields a bold new visual identity.

The Maine College of Art unveiled a new institutional logo at a press conference hosted on campus (522 Congress Street, 2nd Floor Osher Hall) at 11am on Friday, May 3, 2013. An innovative collaboration between internationally known professional graphic designers, and a select group of MECA design faculty and majors has resulted in a new visual identity for an historic institution that has been a pillar of the New England arts scene since 1882. MECA’s new mark reflects the institution’s strongest assets: an extraordinary community of artistically-gifted individuals and a mission dedicated to promoting academic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.

The new mark is the culmination of combined efforts that transpired over an intensive three-day charrette* hosted on campus in early February, 2013. Orchestrated under the guidance and vision of internationally known designer, Eddie Opara, Partner at Pentagram (the world’s largest interdisciplinary design firm) and MECA graphic design faculty led by professors Margo Halverson and Charles Melcher, a group of MECA graphic design majors were selected to participate. According to Eddie Opara, “The whole process is to establish a way that the students can start to understand how the real world actually works.”

Professor Charles Melcher noted, “This is an avant-garde approach to developing an institutional identity that, to the best of our knowledge, has never before been attempted in North America. What better way to celebrate MECA’s mission than through creating an unprecedented legacy that highlights the college’s creative force and trust and support for our students and faculty.”

Inspired by MECA’s distinctive sense of place and the critical role MECA serves as an anchor in the Arts District of Portland Maine, the new visual identity captures the creative energy that pours out of the historic Porteous building 24/7 into our increasingly interconnected local and global communities.

Rebecca Swanson Conrad, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, believes that the introduction of a new visual identity is a historic moment for MECA. She said, “The purpose of developing a new mark that more effectively communicates the vibrant pulse of our community is not only to cultivate unity and a sense of pride, but to reaffirm the common thread that holds us all together as a greater sense of whole.”

“The uncommon process employed to develop MECA’s new mark exemplifies creative problem-solving at its finest and underscores the distinctiveness of what makes this such a special place.” said MECA President Donald Tuski. “Not only does our logo signify the unparalleled educational experience and wealth of professional development opportunities found at MECA, it also symbolizes several of our most important defining attributes: the five-pronged ‘E’ represents the five core tenets of our educational philosophy statement —studio, agency, place, community, and ethics; the five floors of the historic Porteous building; and the five educational areas — BFA, MFA, Art Ed, Continuing Studies, and Pre-College, while paying tribute to the iconic red stairwell that unifies each of the departments and majors.”

Graphic design major Sarah Mohammadi ‘13, was honored and proud to have been involved in such an important project. “Having the opportunity to work with professional designers and faculty members on a project that had never been done before was truly amazing. As a student, being part of the collaboration that rebranded the school we represent was an experience that is irreplaceable. It was an experience that none of us will ever forget and we all will be proud of for years to come.”

*What is a charrette?
Thought to originate from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 19th century, the word charrette refers to an intensely collaborative period of design activity where a group of design professionals work towards drafting a solution to a design problem.

 


MECA Announces New Major

Posted: 2013-04-27

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New for 2013, MECA is now offering a major in Textile and Fashion Design.  The program is focused on imparting a deep understanding of the designing and making of textiles, extensive study of the field of apparel, and, ultimately, an exploration of fashion as the contemporary response.

Textile and Fashion Design students at MECA are engaged in the process of designing collections, building portfolios, and preparing for the future through internships, sponsored studios, and guided entrepreneurship. Students receive specialized instruction from top industry professionals while developing a robust studio and design practice supported by historical and cultural references as well as thorough research and experimentation.

This new major is made possible thanks to the generous support of Maine-based philanthropist, Roxanne Quimby.

According to Program Chair and Professor, Anne Emlein, here is what a prospective student might find at MECA:

At MECA, I believe we are all very “on the ground”. The student who chooses MECA will be included in a community of people—faculty, staff and fellow students who are all artists at heart. We are all very involved in the processes that make up what we do. The prospective student will find a spirit of intimacy and involvement at MECA that permeates every aspect of the college and the teaching of Art.

Student Affairs Leadership Awards

Posted: 2013-04-26

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Student Affairs would like to congratulate the recipients of the first annual Student Affairs Leadership Awards.

The Leadership Awards were created by Student Affairs as a way of thanking, appreciating and acknowledging some of our students, student clubs and organizations and faculty and staff for their outstanding contributions to the MECA community over the course of the 2012-2013 academic year. Nominations for all the awards were collected from the MECA community.

Please join us in congratulating the 2012-2013 recipients:

* Outstanding Student Group or Organization: MECA C.A.R.E. (Celebrating all Realms of Ethnicity)

*Outstanding Event or Program of the Year: Rob Doane for The Peninsula School

*Outstanding Faculty or Staff Involvement: Jeff Waites for his commitment to the Free Radicals Futbol Club

*Outstanding Contribution to Diversity: MECA H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People to Equality)

*Outstanding Student Employee: Andi Croak

*Outstanding Student Leader: Chloe Beaven

* Outstanding Contribution to Community Service: Carlin Soos

* Outstanding Contribution to MECA Life: Kyle DiMare & Jerrica Demers

We also want to send a shout out to everyone for doing your part in helping us all have a wonderfully successful year at Maine College of Art!

MECA Alum Ahmed Alsoudani's Painting to be exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art

Posted: 2013-04-23

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Ahmed Alsoudani
United States, born Iraq, 1975
Untitled, 2011
charcoal and acrylic on canvas
72 1/2 x 62 1/2 inches
Collection of Iris and Adam Singer. ©Ahmed Alsoudani. Photo Courtesy of Haunch of Venison, New York.


The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) has announced that on September 7, 2013, the museum will present Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted, the first major museum exhibition of the work of American-Iraqi artist and Maine College of Art graduate Ahmed Alsoudani (BFA, 2005). The exhibition will feature nearly 20 of the artist’s tumultuous and innovative paintings, which reflect on the horrors of war with a unique artistic voice. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted will be on view through December 8, 2013, in the PMA’s Third Floor Gallery for Contemporary Art.

“Challenging the viewer with nuanced art historical arguments and blatantly difficult, abject, and grotesque imagery, Alsoudani does what few artists can do: he successfully translates the complexity of contemporary politics into meaningful painting,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire.

Through his personal experience as a child and adolescent in war-torn Iraq, Alsoudani developed a keen sensitivity to the effects of war, violence, terror, and political unrest on a global scale. His paintings reflect his experiences as well as the mediated nature of war in our time. “I’m not just commenting on Iraq but on an experience that becomes universal,” Ahmed Alsoudani said, referring to Untitled, 2007, a loose, nearly abstract rendering of the moment the infamous statue of Saddam Hussein fell in Baghdad in 2002. His splintered compositions, and the overwhelming and sometimes harrowing scenes represented in a bright, near-primary palette, address the uneasy balance in our culture between scenes of disaster and objects of beauty.

 

Fundraising Dinner Hosted on April 14 to Support Chef Michael Crowley

Posted: 2013-04-10

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WHO:  The entire MECA community, Michael Crowley's firefighting and faith communities.

WHAT:  Italian Dinner Fundraiser for MECA Cafe' employee and Saco Volunteer Firefighter Michael Crowley ("Chef Michael")

Suggested Donations
$20 per person
$50 for a family of 3 or more
$10-$20 for students (sliding scale )
 
There will also be a raffle of donated MECA student, staff and faculty artwork.
 
Donations may also be sent directly to "Michael Crowley Cancer" Fund at Saco Valley Credit Union

WHY: MECA Cafe' employee and Saco Volunteer Fire Fighter Michael Crowley ("Chef Michael") has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Michael is currently undergoing chemo and radiation therapy and is unable to work. Please join the MECA community in our efforts to raise funds for Michael and his family during this difficult time.

WHEN:  Sunday, April 14 from 4pm-6pm

WHERE: Cafe' at Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street, Portland Maine


Sculpture senior Kyle DiMare presents his Public Engagement Capstone project

Posted: 2013-03-25

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Designed to Play: An Exploration in Community Communication Through Sculpture

Wednesday, March 27 at 12 noon, Osher Hall

Kyle DiMare, a senior in Sculpture, worked with the local organization Learning Works / Youth Build Alternatives in Portland. Kyle designed and led a series of workshops on the design process and sculptural building. Using a model of co-creation students worked collaboratively on sculptural forms as a platform for building social relationships, and developed critical communication, problem solving and creative skills.

Unique class brings art to community

Posted: 2013-03-23

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Printmaking Professor Adriane Herman's titled her Fall 2012 SYL class: "Gathering Influences: Collecting, Collections, Collectors, Collectibles" and challenged her students to consider new aspects and audiences of their art.

The class became a community art project at Bayview Heights affordable senior housing community in Portland. Herman, along with her teaching assistant Pilar Nadal, challenged 11 MECA students and 15 Bayview seniors to discuss the objects we collect and why we collect them. 

After prompting conversation with their handmade zines, the students created collagraph prints that were framed and donated to the senior center. 

The class was sponsored by MECA's Public Engagement program.

The following students took part in this unique class:

Anthony Zambrana
Ari Chasan
Emily Martel
Grace Hager
Hannah Hermes
Hannah Rowlett
Kelsey Haley
Kristina Buckley
Mason Hainey
Megan Daigle
Rochelle Garcia

For a compelling and comprehensive article about the project, click here

 

MAINE BASED ILLUSTRATOR, DANIEL MINTER, EARNS 2013 CORETTA SCOTT KING ILLUSTRATOR HONOR

Posted: 2013-03-15

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Maine College of Art will host a Special Reception on Monday, March 18 at 6pm to Celebrate the Award
 
Portland, Maine - The prestigious 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor has been awarded to MECA Adjunct Instructor in Illustration Daniel Minter whose illustrations in Ellen’s Broom accompany Kelly Starling Lyons’ words that tell the story of a young girl who learns the new meaning of freedom during the time of the Reconstruction. The Coretta Scott King Award, named for the wife of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., brings attention to one of Maine's most accomplished contemporary artists.
 
Members of the Media are invited to attend a special reception hosted in honor of this highly acclaimed accolade on Monday, March 18 at 6pm on the 2nd Floor of Maine College of Art's Porteous Building (522 Congress Street).  Hosting this reception is Chair of MECA's Illustration Department, author, illustrator, and designer, Scott Nash.

***
WHO: Media representatives, Literary/Arts/Illustration Community, Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Special Guests

WHAT:
 Exhibit and Opening Reception for Daniel Minter, MECA Illustration Professor and Recipient of the 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor

WHERE: 
 Maine College of Art, 2nd Floor Porteous Building, 522 Congress Street,  Portland Maine, 04101

WHY: 
To celebrate and recognize an honor of distinction earned by Maine-based illustrator, Daniel Minter

WHEN:
 Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6pm

MECA Alum Creates iOS Game

Posted: 2013-02-13

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Joseph Rosshirt just released his first iOS game for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The all-ages interactive game is now available for download in the App store.

Rosshirt graduated from MECA's Illustration program in 2011.

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