An illustration by MECA 2013 grad Hannah Rosengren has gained a lot of attention online over the last several months. When Hannah first shared her illustration "Plant These to Help Save Bees" on her Tumblr last November, it didn't get many hits. But when a nonprofit based in Valencia, Spain got a hold of the image, the illustration was shared over 14,000 times in one night. Since then Hannah has received hundreds of emails from around the world regarding the print and her Etsy account has been so overwhelmed with daily purchases that the young artist has trouble keeping up with them.
"I think people have been so attracted to the image and so inclined to share it because it's something useful and informative" Hannah explains "I wanted to not only make pieces that were aesthetically interesting, but were meaningful to me personally. My growing understanding of colony collapse disorder and an interest in botanical illustration led to "Plant These to Help Save Bees."
Want your own copy of the print? Check out Hannah's Etsy account here.
Illustration Professor Rob Sullivan Hosts First Solo Show in NYC
"A Troubling Calm: The Recent Works of Rob Sullivan"
This Thursday, January 23 (6-9pm), MECA Illustration professor Rob Sullivan opens a new show at the Good Question Gallery in Chelsea, New York. The show titled "A Troubling Calm" will be featured in the main gallery space through February 22, 2014 and is Sullivan's first solo show in the Big Apple.
Behind each piece of artwork hanging in the community room at Bayside East is a story. There’s the story of the treasures brought home by a young man stationed overseas, or the story of a cultural tradition transplanted in a new community. And there’s the simple story of preserving a community’s history through newspaper clippings.
Looking at the 11 prints on the walls, the stories might not be apparent. But for the residents of the Portland senior community, the artwork represents memories of cherished items collected over the years, as seen through the eyes of local art students.
From September to December, a class of Maine College of Art students spent several hours talking with a group of residents of Bayside East and seeing first-hand the objects that hold special meaning for them. Residents brought odds and ends gathered over the years, like collections of old newspaper clippings, gifts given to them by loved ones, and even colorful traditional African clothing made by hand.
Through stories and questions, the students learned why these objects were so important to their owners. Then, they created original prints using the objects and stories as influence.
The semester-long project wrapped up in December with a potluck party at the property. The students unveiled their art to the residents and talked about their process. Each student made multiple prints so that the residents could also hang one in their apartment.
One of the residents, Bill, had showed students a geisha doll he’s had for over four decades, purchased overseas when he was serving in the Navy. The doll became a source of inspiration for one student, who made a black-and-white print of its likeness that now hangs in the community room kitchen.
“My 45-year-old gal – it’s nice to see her out,” said Bill.
This partnership is just one way Avesta has been exploring community partnerships to help enhance our residents’ sense of home through art. The importance of art goes beyond aesthetics – it’s a vital part of creating a sense of community and making our residents feel at home.
Partnerships with other organizations also strengthen relationships between our residents and members of the larger community, creating connections that can have a lasting impact. The residents visited the students in their studio to see first-hand how printmaking is done. They also got a personalized tour of the college’s facilities on Congress Street, which was especially meaningful for one resident, who used to work in the building back when it was the Porteous department store.
“It’s community development for both, for us and for (Maine College of Art),” said Bill of the project. “What it brings to the room is what we were looking for. This is extremely nice to have.”
Kate, a student, said they were all initially nervous about leaving the classroom and “stepping out of our comfort zone,” but those feelings quickly dissipated as they spent more time with the residents. “We had a really fun time, they were interested people we wouldn’t normally interact with,” she said. “They were fun to talk with – they always had something interesting to say.
“Every time you have students get out somewhere else, it’s beneficial to your art,” she added.
Maine College of Art students pose with a resident of Bayside East dressed up as Santa Claus
Rod, one of the residents, said the opportunity to interact with young people held more meaning for him now that he’s getting older and most of his own children have moved away. “Getting to know them has been really great. They’re obviously a really great bunch of kids,” he said. “I think programs like this are really great — this way, you don’t just house older people and forget about them.”
The connection that developed between the residents and the students was great to see, and I’d like to thank Professor Pilar Nadal and her students for enhancing the lives of our residents through art. And a big thank-you to Bill, Phil, Doug, Rod and the other residents who participated in this project and shared their time, energy and hospitality.
Avesta looks forward to working with the Maine College of Art to repeat the program with another group of residents next fall.
* Thank you to Pilar and her students for providing some of the photos for this blog post.
Adam Kitzerow, Every Which Way (detail), acrylic and mixed media on canvas
MECA Student Designs John Waters' Holiday Ornament
For a class assignment, Illustration student Declan McCarthy '14 drew a portrait of filmmaker John Waters. Pleased with the result, he sent it to him not expecting a response. He was surprised when he received a personal phone call from John Waters, asking to purchase the rights to the image for use on a holiday ornament. Waters is known for his holiday cards and ornaments which are a coveted item by those on the receiving end.
Dana Bell MFA '04 Awarded New York Foundation for the Arts' (NYFA) Fellowship in Choreography
THE NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS (NYFA)
AWARDS 91 FELLOWSHIPS TOTALING $637,000
THROUGH THE ARTIST FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Awards made in literary, performing and
visual arts categories
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 28th annual Artist Fellowships Program. A total of $637,000 has been awarded to 91 artists or collaborative teams in the disciplines of Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design, Choreography, Music/Sound, Photography and Playwriting/Screenwriting. In addition to the Fellows, three Finalists, who do not receive a cash award, were named in each of the five categories. The Fellows and Finalists were selected by state-wide peer panels from 2.922 applicants. A complete list of recipients and their counties of residency follows.
The program is open to artists at all stages in their careers and each Fellow or team receives an unrestricted cash grant of $7,000 to use in any way they desire to further their creative work. As Kristoffer Diaz, a Brooklyn-based playwright whose playThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was a Pulitzer finalist in 2010, noted, “It's an unbelievable honor to be selected as a NYFA Fellow. It's never easy to make a living as an artist, especially in New York; NYFA fills a huge need in letting writers write.” His remarks were echoed by Joyce Hwang, an Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design recipient from Buffalo, who said, “I am honored to be selected as a NYFA Fellow this year, and excited that the award will enable me to continue constructing an urban habitat project that I have had to put on hold until now.”
First launched in 1985, NYFA’s Artist Fellowship Program, has provided over $27 million in unrestricted cash grants to artists in 15 disciplines at critical stages in their careers. Awards are made in five disciplines a year on a triennial basis. Past recipients include the winners of five Academy Awards, five Tony Awards, eight Pulitzer Prizes and 17 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships.
“We are so grateful to the New York State Council on the Arts and our other funders for making it possible for us to administer this award which has such a significant impact on the lives of artists throughout the state,” said NYFA Executive Director Michael L. Royce. “By giving artists the support they need, we all get to enjoy, learn from and be inspired by the fruits of their labors.”
NYFA’s 2013 Artists’ Fellowships are administered by NYFA with leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation and one anonymous donor.
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) was founded in 1971 to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives. Each year we provide over $1 million in cash grants to individuals and small organizations. Artspire, our fiscal sponsorship program is the largest and most established in the country and helps artists and organizations raise and manage over $3.5 million annually. Our NYFA Learning programs provide thousands of artists with professional development training and our website, NYFA.org, received over 1.5 million unique visitors last year and has information about more than 11,000 opportunities and resources available to artists in all disciplines.
Graphic Design Students Partner with Casco Bay High
Graphic design students parntered with Casco Bay High students to redesign the logo for the expeditionary learning school. Graphic Design faculty member Margo Halverson and Illustration faculty member Mary Anne Lloyd guided the students in a four week collaborative process that included brainstorming, research and sketching. The final logo encompasses the core qualities of the high school - progressive, unique, explorative, and adventurous.
MFA Student Wins Travel Grant
MFA student Kathleen Daniels won the Roderick Dew travel grant. She will visit the El Yunque rainforest located in Puerto Rico, one of the most complex ecosystems on earth. While there, she will observe the relationship between flora and host trees. Her current studio practice focuses on the disturbances in the landscape that affect plant life essential to human survival. Using bamboo armatures covered in paper, Kathleen creates futuristic biological plant forms that are a result of cross-breeding and mutation. The funding is made possible by alum Roderick Dew. Recognizing the importance of travel for artists’ professional development, he awards this grant annually. Roderick graduated with a BFA degree from MECA in 1980 and an MFA degree in 2000.
MFA Student Completes Residencies
Charley Young, a student in the MFA program, recently completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Spark Box Studios in Ontario. As an interdisciplinary artist, Charley is interested in drawing, printmaking, and public installation. To date, her work includes large-scale monoprints of historic building facades, that document a site's appearance prior to its destruction. She is currently an artist in residence at the Banff Centre. In 2014, she will participate in the Arctic Circle Program Expedition.