MECA Commencement Speaker Writes about Creativity, Courage and Following your inner compass
John Coleman, founder of local advertising and marketing company the VIA Agency, spoke at MECA's Commencement Ceremony on May 11. Coleman started the agency without ever setting foot in an advertising firm. It's now an award-winning and highly innovative leader in the advertising industry.
He spoke about his logic-defying decisions and the importance of unplugging from the world to find creative inspiration and how to plug into yourself to find motivation and guidance. He shared his inspiring speech with Fast Company.
In 2007, artist Stephen Pace and his wife Palmina donated their Stonington home to Maine College of Art to use as an educational facility for the arts. This summer, the College will continue its programming of the space as an artist residency and as a gallery. The artist residency provides MECA alumni, faculty and staff with time and space to make their work. The schedule of artists this season includes Jude Valentine ’78 from June 3-28, faculty member Scott Peterman from July 1-15, Anne Ireland ’94 from July 21-27, Anthony Bragg ’07 from August 1-28 and Andrew Haviland ’12 and Emma Sampson ’11 from August 29 through September 4.
In addition to using the facility for the residency, the College opens parts of the home and gallery for the public to view selected works by Stephen Pace. Located at 90 Indian Point Road in Stonington, the gallery will be open to the public on Wednesday evenings from 5:00-7:00pm and on Saturdays from 10am-2pm while artists are in residence. The Stephen Pace Gallery is open from July through September for the 2013 season.
About Stephen Pace
Stephen was born in 1918 in Missouri and studied at the Art Students League in New York and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. He settled in New York and became an acclaimed artist known for his Abstract Expressionist work. In later years he devoted himself to more representational paintings and drawings. Stephen and his wife, Palmina, bought the Stonington house, a turn-of-the-century sea captain’s residence set on a ledge overlooking the Penobscot Bay, in 1943. They summered there for sixty-four years, until their relocation to Indiana.
Professor Scott Nash's "Blue Jay the Pirate" reviewed in the Guardian
Scott Nash, Assistant Professor and Illustration Program Chair, recently released his book the High Skies of Adventure by Blue Jay thePirate. The illustrated book was met with accolades from critics and young readers.The most recent review was published in the Guardian last week, in which the reviewer wrote:
"The plot is very well thought-through, with each chapter finishing at a vital moment! The characters are very amusing with lots of depth."
Graduating senior Kristin Fitzpatrick SELECTED FOR 2013 MONHEGAN RESIDENCY
Photo by Gabriella Sturchio '12
Graduating senior Kristin Fitzpatrick from Portland and Daniel Anselmi from Belfast have been named the 2013 Monhegan Island artists-in-residence by the Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation. Thanks to a new initiative supported by the Maine Arts Commission, Melinda Campbell from Old Orchard Beach will take the first-ever art teacher residency offered by the program. Fitzpatrick, a recent graduate of the Maine College of Art printmaking department, will be on Monhegan June 1-July 5; Anselmi, an abstract painter, August 31-October 4; and Campbell, a teacher in the Auburn School Department, July 6-20.
This year’s fellows will lodge in two new studio spaces, Elva’s Old P.O. and the Shumaker Cottage, both of which feature outdoor working spaces overlooking the island’s distinctive landscape.
Now in its 23rd year, the Monhegan Artist’s Residency program is supported by individual donations and grants from the Quimby Family Foundation, the Lida P. Underhill Trust, and the Maine Arts Commission.
For information, visit www.monheganartistsresidency.org.
MAINE COLLEGE OF ART UNVEILS NEW INSTITUTIONAL LOGO
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
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 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
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
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")
$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