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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

 

MECA Student's Animate Video Makes Maine News

Posted: 2014-04-30

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Maine has a green crab problem— a big one. Due to warmer climates, over the last several years, Maine's soft shell clam industry has taken a hit from what MECA student Chun-Hua Chang calls a "voracious army" of green crabs. Chang did an independent study on the invasive species with Doug Vollmer. The result of this study is a charming and informative short animated video made by Chang that sums up what she learned about the green crab and its relation to the Maine shellfish industry. Chang posted her cartoon on Youtube and after a short period of time the Bangor Daily News wrote an article about it and shared the video. 

>>Read the article here 

MECA Alum Edwige Charlot Debuts First Solo Exhibition in Portland

Posted: 2014-04-29

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Edwige Charlot '10 debuts new works in exhibition entitled N.O.W (New Old World). This is her first solo exhibition in Portland. New Old World features intaglio, woodcut and monotype prints, drawings, and collages by Edwige Charlot. This collection of drawings, prints and collages incorporate material or technique to create hybrid works on paper. Unlike a traditional printmaker, Charlot uses printing methods to produce a rich lexicon of motifs and images. Her botanical compositions are inspired by her blended Haitian Catholic and French heritage,  temperate and tropical landscapes, West Indian culture, and textiles
 
The exhibit is on view at 3 Fish Gallery from First Friday May 2nd to May 31st, 2014. A reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, May 8th, 2014 from 5-7pm. In conjunction with this exhibition, the gallery will host an artist talk entitled “Visual Creole”on Saturday, May 10th from 2-3pm.
 
 
 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The Bob Crewe Foundation Awards Major Gift to MECA

Posted: 2014-04-29

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THE BOB CREWE FOUNDATION AWARDS MAJOR GIFT TO MAINE COLLEGE OF ART

$3,000,000 Gift Will Establish a New Area of Study
that Explores the Intersection Between Art and Music


Portland, Maine --  The Bob Crewe Foundation has awarded a $3,000,000 gift to Maine College of Art (MECA) to develop a new program that focuses on the study of contemporary music and its relation to visual art. This transformational gift will support an innovative field of study in honor of internationally-known musician, artist, and entrepreneur, Bob Crewe, while supporting students from a wide range of backgrounds wishing to pursue a career in music, art or both.

Inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1985 and credited with a string of top ten hits including “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, Bob Crewe’s influence went far beyond his contributions in the field of music composition, performance, and production.

Most recently, Crewe has been featured as a supporting character (played originally by Peter Gregus) in Jersey Boys, the multiple Tony Award-winning, long-running Broadway musical based on the story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons that has become an international hit. Crewe is credited as the show's lyricist.

Bob’s career in the visual arts began as a student at Parsons School of Design in New York City. After art school, Bob became one of the many musicians who also used visual art as an inspiration for his music. In addition to his countless accolades in music, Crewe has also achieved recognition as an artist, having designed a number of album covers as well as having had highly successful one person gallery showings of his paintings at the Earl McGrath Gallery, Thomas Soloman's Garage and Jan Baum Gallery in Los Angeles.

Bob Crewe’s brother, Dan Crewe, has served on MECA’s Board of Trustees since 2011. Having worked alongside his brother for many years as his right hand man and business partner, Dan Crewe is confident that this gift is the perfect way to celebrate his brother’s legacy and life-long passion as well as explore the intersection of art and music. Dan Crewe said, “I strongly believe in creativity and how different art forms interact to create something unique. I believe my brother Bob’s career demonstrates this in a powerful way. The Bob Crewe Foundation and Maine College of Art are embarking on something really special and original in academia by blending the two areas with an evolutionary design.”    

President Don Tuski Ph.D. believes this gift will have a significant impact towards reinforcing much of what makes Maine, Portland, and MECA a place of true distinction: excellent creative talent and a great cultural arts scene. According to Tuski, “Recognizing the integration of art and contemporary music is not something colleges or universities have engaged with directly. However, students, musicians and artists have done so for a long time and with the help of The Bob Crewe Foundation we want to facilitate this happening more in Portland, ME.  We think this is a rare opportunity to make an important contribution within a new creative frontier. By consciously focusing on art and music together, new art forms can be created and MECA will continue to create the cutting edge of society, not just be on the cutting edge.”

Tuski explained, “The program will also include The Bob Crewe Student Scholarship in Art and Music and a faculty position titled: The Bob Crewe Endowed Chair of Art and Music. Additionally, the gift will support the construction of The Bob Crewe Gallery as well as music practice rooms and a soundstage -- all located in the lower level of the Porteous Building at MECA. The Bob Crewe Gallery will feature a permanent narrative of the Bob Crewe story along with his countless musical awards and a selection of his visual art. The space will also include exhibited works from other artists who are also musicians.”

“As MECA completes its Five Year Strategic Plan, it is clear that a program as unique as art and music can have an enormous positive impact on students, artists, musicians, MECA, Maine and beyond.” said President Tuski.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Ian Anderson, is thrilled about the opportunity to promote the legacy of Bob Crewe to a new generation of creative entrepreneurs. Dean Anderson said “Music and visual art are intimately connected to the culture and history of every civilization. These cultural phenomena run in parallel throughout all societies and express a culture's perception of time, symbolic structure, and its social structure and norms. Our research also shows that art and design colleges like MECA have, since the 1960’s, been incubators and inspiration for dozens of successful musicians.”

The curriculum will explore a wide range of topics and subject matter relating to the interplay between music and art. A sampling of courses for the new minor include History of Contemporary Music, Applied Theory Through Composition, Music Business and Management, Ethnomusicology, and experimental courses like Sound and Color.

Dean Anderson believes that by creating curricular and co-curricular experiences for students in art and music, MECA can be the first art college to explicitly engage in combing the study of contemporary art and design with music. He said “MECA is uniquely positioned to develop this area because of our size, history and willingness to experiment.”

Anderson said, “One of the things that makes MECA unique is its ability to combine, integrate, and synthesize multiple disciplines. I see ways in which all of our eleven undergraduate majors and two graduate programs will overlap and integrate with The Bob Crewe Program in Art and Music. This is an exciting period of growth and innovation here at the college.”

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Raffi Der Simonian (Director of Marketing & Communication) at rdersimonian@meca.edu or 207.699.5010.

Click here to watch '207' interview (WCHS 6)

MECA President Don Tuski Ph.D. with Dan Crewe

 

MECA President Don Tuski Ph.D. with Dan Crewe

MECA Sr., Savanna Pettingil '14 (Photography) speaks about student impact of major gift.

Mayor Michael Brennan speaks about the impact this gift will have on the City of Portland and State of Maine.

 

###

 

ABOUT MECA

MECA’s mission is to educate artists for life. We believe in the transformational power of an arts education to serve as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals. Our educational philosophy recognizes the growing demand for creative problem solvers. We combine a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum, immersive studio practice, and wealth of professional development opportunities to provide an educational experience that embodies artistic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.  MECA has invested $20M in downtown Portland to attract over 400 students annually to the BFA, MFA, and MAT programs. Over 40% of degree-seeking students are from Maine and 60% of alumni remain in Maine, making the college a net importer of young people to the State. Additionally, 1,200 Continuing Studies students annually, ranging in age from elementary school children to teens, adults, and elders take studio courses for professional development and personal enrichment; over 50 Maine nonprofit and school community partners work with our Public Engagement curriculum; and the public is served through programs free of charge in the Institute for Contemporary Art; the Visiting Artist Lecture Series and the Library.

 

Press: 

Portland Press Herald

Maine Public Broadcasting Network

WMTW

WCSH

Seattle Pi

Maine Biz

Bangor Daily News

Portland Daily Sun

The Washington Times

Chelsea Clarke '09 Receives Artist Residence On Research Cruise

Posted: 2014-04-23

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Printmaking alum Chelsea Clarke '09 will be the artist in residence on a research cruise with physical oceanographer Robert Pickart of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution starting this May. Clarke will be spending six weeks in the Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea off Alaska on the US Coast Guard ship Healy, which is specifically dedicated to ocean science. During the cruise, scientists will be studying the sea ice, currents and the spring plankton blooms. Clarke will be drawing the individual plankton organisms and exploring their importance in the food chain as well as the ice scapes and scenery. There will be an outreach website updated daily with reports from the cruise that will include Clarke's drawings and writings. This will be Clarke's personal blog for the trip. Check it out for updates!

>> For more on the artist

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