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MECA Equips Maine Seeds of Peace With Art, Media Tools for Social Change

Posted: 2014-05-19

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Read full article on Seeds of Peace website

PORTLAND | How do art and peace-building overlap? Five Maine Seeds recently discovered when they participated in a day-long printmaking workshop in partnership with the Maine College of Art (MECA).

The workshop, which took place on April 12, came as part of a greater collaboration between Seeds of Peace and MECA. The “It Starts With ME” project series aims to educate students on how to use art and media as tools for social change within their own state of Maine.

“It Starts With ME” emerged in response to the negative stereotypes of immigrants and refugees in Maine. By taking photos of themselves with inspiring messages, Seeds students hope to positively portray the current face of Maine, one that includes an increasingly diverse youth population with their own unique ambitions and dreams. The project presented the perfect opportunity to partner with MECA, as their Public Engagement Minor integrates art, real-world problems and community partners.

MECA Professor Elizabeth Jabar described how the College’s students use “collaborative methods and participatory models to take action as citizens, artists, and designers.”

“As a result, each student gains the skills and confidence to directly impact their culture and society.”

As part of this fifth workshop in the series, the Seeds were able to work with Jabar and Shawn Brewer, a graduate of MECA, to learn printmaking techniques.

In earlier sessions, the Seeds worked with professional photographer and artist Sean Alonzo Harris to take photos following prompts such as “I Am … ”, “I Want to … ”, and “I Will … ”. The Seeds enjoyed a full day of learning how to print the images, working in the darkroom, and playing around with various methods of printmaking to accomplish their desired effect for their project.

The day also included lunch and many chances to sit and discuss art, photography, and the Seeds’ goals for the project.

“I was incredibly excited when I heard Seeds of Peace was beginning to integrate this photography program, because it includes my belief that photography has the power to effect change in a unique way just as effective and sometimes more meaningful than words, speech, and dialogue,” said Sophia Warren, a 2011 Seed.

“Photography, when used right is a very strong way to bring ideas that can sometimes be controversial to a large audience,” said AJ Yarn, a 2013 Seed. “I can talk all day about what I believe and what I stand for but until people see it, they will never really understand.”

At the next workshop, the Seeds will embed text answers to the three prompts over the photos of themselves to create their own personalized works of art. The workshops will ultimately lead up to a culminating public exhibition, which will give Seeds and their peers a public space to tell their stories and display their work.

As the workshop series has progressed, the Maine Seeds feel they have developed their personal relationships and aim to promote this feeling of community through their images. In planning for the gallery show, the Seeds hope for the presentation of the photos to be as interactive as possible. Thus, they can involve the greater Maine community in the artistic and peace-building goals of the project, as Sophia describes:

“Through this program I have discovered a space and community that is both entirely artistic, and entirely committed to a cause of humanitarian causes … we are directing the power of the conversation by showing you what we see through a camera’s lens.”

- See more at: http://www.seedsofpeace.org/?p=19125#sthash.2RJ9Xpmm.dpuf

Good Idea Grant Winners

Posted: 2014-05-15

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Congratulations to MECA alums Tina McLuckie and Aaron T. Stephan, and MECA faculty member Gary Robinov on winning the Maine Arts Commission's Good Idea Grant. Ten out of thirty five applicants won the grant, which is a program used to foster the growth of Maine’s artists by supporting the creation of new work or professional development.

Their Good Ideas: 

Tina McLuckie of Portland: To support sharing individual stories of physical and mental trauma through body castings and recorded interviews.

Aaron T. Stephan of Portland: To support the production of three large-scale sculptures for an upcoming exhibit.

Gary Robinov of Portland: To support a series of documentary conversations with creators about why they do what they do.

 

>>For more info on the grant

>>For more on McLuckie

>>For more on Stephan

>>For more on Robinov

 

 

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2014!

Posted: 2014-05-13

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Maine College of Art held its 2014 Commencement at the State Theater this last Saturday, May 10. The Commencement Address was given by poet Richard Blanco, who was President Obama's Inaugural Poet in 2013. 

We would like to congratulate all of the graduates of 2014! 

 

>>For photos of Commencement

For more details on graduates and speakers: commencement-program-2014-web.pdf

Honorary Degree Recipients of Commencement 2014

Posted: 2014-05-07

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The following are this year's Honorary Degree Recipients: 

Richard Blanco (speaker), Inaugural poet for Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration. 

>>Read more on Richard Blanco

Bob Crewe, Songwriter, producer, and recording star

William R. Dill Ph.D., President emeritus of Babson College

Janet Conlon Manyan, Artist and MECA Continuing Studies faculty member

Roxanne Quimby, Entrepreneur and philanthropist

 

The 2014 Commencement Ceremony for the BFA, MFA and MAT programs will be at 10:30am, Saturday, May 10th at the State Theatre (609 Congress Street Portland Maine). Directly following the ceremony MECA welcomes graduates, families and guests to enjoy a reception in the Porteous building. 

 

Directions to Maine College of Art, Porteous Building:

Portland Map

From the North
Take Interstate 295 to Exit 7, Franklin Street

From the South
Take the Maine Turnpike northbound to Exit 44, Interstate 295. Follow Interstate 295 to
Exit 7, Franklin Street

Directions to the Porteous Building at 522 Congress Street:

Stay on Franklin Street until you hit the top of the hill and take a right onto Congress Street.
You will pass City Hall on your right; continue on Congress several more blocks, past
Monument Square. Porteous is the large building on the left with a brown awning.

Parking: 

There is a public parking garage at 45 Spring Street, on the right just past the Cumberland County Civic Center. To go to the Porteous Building from the parking garage, leave the parking garage through its rear exit, onto Free Street; the Porteous Building will be immediately across the street from you.

On-street 2-hour parking is available on Congress, Casco (directly across from the Porteous Building entrance) and surrounding streets.

For more information on the ceremony, please click here. Questions may be directed to Anna Schwartz, Director of Student Involvement:aschwartz@meca.edu

MFA Student Charley Young Named One of Canada's "30 Under 30"

Posted: 2014-05-06

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For being only 28 years old, MECA MFA student Charley Young has had a prolific career. Young was just named one of the ARTINFO Canada's "30 Under 30" artists—an honor she shares with other young talents such as artist and curator Petra Collins. Young is an interdisciplinary artist who works in drawing, sculpture, and public installation. Her work includes “large-scale mono-prints of historic building facades, intimate portraits of vanishing mountains, and small-scale hand casts that record the space between the body and its environment.”

Young has been an artist-in-residence at the Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture, the Vermont STudio Centre, Spark Box Studios, and the Banff Centre. In June, she will participate in the Arctic Circle Program to create work in Svalbard, Norway. Young will complete her MFA at Maine College of Art this spring. 

>>For more on Charley Young

>>For more on "30 Under 30"

Senior Victoria Statsenko Awarded Summer Residency by Monhegan Artists' Residency Corporation

Posted: 2014-05-06

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Maine College of Art senior Victoria Statsenko has been awarded a summer residency by the Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation! The residency program is aimed at emerging visual artists working in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, or the digital arts. “An important goal of the program,” says board chair Susan Danly, “is to enhance the careers of serious artists who have yet to gain wide recognition.” 
 
Quality of work is the primary criterion for selection. The 2014 jurors were photographer and installation artist Elizabeth Atterbury; photographer Bryan Graf, who teaches at the Maine College of Art; and Monhegan watercolor painter Bruce Kornbluth.
 

MECA Film Festival Award Winners

Posted: 2014-05-01

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2nd Annual MECA Film Festival!

 

Justin Carey - Best Narrative "How To Show Emotion':

 

Sabrina Volante - Best Documentary - "Selfies":

 
 
 
Chun-Hua Chang / O'Chang Comics - Best Experimental / Animated - "Smoke Show":
 
 
 
 
 
The Awards were designed and built by:
Rangely Morton - '14 - Woodworking and Furniture Design
David Martinez - '15 - Metals
Sam Richardson - '15 - New Media
 
Festival Logo and Poster Designed by Sabrina Volante

 

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