John Coleman of Portland’s VIA Agency to Address Newest Crop of MECA Grads: Honorary Degrees Granted to Betsy Evans Hunt and Christopher M. Hunt, MD.
Portland, Maine - John Coleman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the The VIA Agency in Portland, Maine, which was named Ad Age’s 2011 Small Agency of the Year delivered the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Maine College of Art’s 102nd Commencement, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11 at the State Theatre at 609 Congress Street.
John Coleman founded The VIA Agency in 1993 and has since led the Portland, Maine-based agency to its current stature as one of the two best small agencies in America. He’s worked with organizations ranging from nonprofits to political movements as well as marketing giants like Samsung, Unilever, Disney, HBO, Discover, Welch’s, DuPont and others. John is a world traveler and yet a proud native of Maine, who holds both an M.B.A. and a B.S. in mechanical engineering. John has served on MECA’s board of trustees since 2001.
The college also confered honorary degrees on Betsy Evans Hunt and Christopher M. Hunt, MD.
Betsy Evans Hunt served on MECA’s board for 17 years and successfully led the recently concluded capital campaign to finish the consolidation of all academic and administrative services within Porteous. Betsy received her undergraduate degree in art history from Colorado College and went on to serve as Director of the Simon Lowinsky Gallery in San Francisco and as Manager of the Robert Mapplethorpe Studio in New York. She has worked as a sailmaker, cataloguer, curator, and interior designer. She holds a certificate from Sotheby’s American Art Program. She is the Executive Director and Owner of The Evans Gallery in Portland, which maintains and supports the photographic archives of Todd Webb.
Christopher M. Hunt, MD serves on the Board of Directors of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed graduate research at the University of Pennsylvania, Institute for Environmental Medicine and his Internship and Residency in Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has continued his study of promoting health with Postgraduate Studies in Alternative Medicine, Yoga, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Meditation, Stress Management, Death and Dying, Philosophy of Change, and Jungian Psychology.
Donald Tuski, Ph.D, president of MECA, will confer the honorary degrees. “It is a profound honor to recognize the accomplishments of these three distinguished individuals and welcome them to our alumni ranks,” said Tuski.
Located in the heart of the Portland Arts District, MECA offers a BFA degree in 10 studio majors, an MFA in Studio Arts, a PostBaccalaureate in Art Education and continuing studies for youths and adults. The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA and the Joanne Waxman Library are free and open to the public. For more information, see www.meca.edu or contact firstname.lastname@example.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.
Maine's Only Women's Film Event to be held at MECA
Bluestocking Film Series Osher Hall, Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street, Portland, ME www.bluestockingfilms.com
Screening: May 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $9/general | $6/student FREE Women in Film Symposium: May 19, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
BLUESTOCKING FILM SERIES BRINGS 2 DAYS OF WOMEN IN FILM
The Bluestocking Film Series has found a new venue at Osher Hall at Maine College of Art, Maine’s only women’s film event is expanding to two days, celebrating the accomplishments of women in film with an international roster of provocative, award-winning short films on Sat., May 18 and a free-to-the-public symposium on Sun., May 19 titled “Why We Need The Bechdel Test Now.”
The Bluestocking will once again showcase woman-directed short films from the US and around the globe. “This is our biggest, boldest screening yet,” Kaminski says, “with stories that run the gamut from the darkest of dark comedies to thoughtful dramas and more.” There will also be a raffle fundraiser with fun prizes.
"To go alongside such a strong roster of films, it seems the right time to bring about some public discussion of the importance and value of gender equality not just behind the camera but to what’s on-screen as well.” Which is why Kaminski organized “Why We Need the Bechdel Test Now,” the May 19 symposium the day after the Bluestocking screening event. Helping to lead that conversation will be Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch, a magazine devoted to an “engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture” (bitchmagazine.org) and Kyna Morgan, founder of Her Film Project, a “global project to support women filmmakers and build audiences for their films” (herfilmproject.com/).
Use of the Bechdel Test can be a catalyst for shifts in how women’s on-screen characters are perceived by viewers and filmmakers alike. “The more this idea percolates into the public consciousness, the more likely it is that real change will be seen on the screen,” Kaminski says. “It’s become clear that television is now the primary medium where well-rounded, flawed, and complex women characters flourish –– we want to see the same thing happen on the big screen.”
The Bluestocking films will screen in Osher Hall at Maine College of Art at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Tickets are $9/general and $6/student and are on sale via Brown Paper Tickets - brownpapertickets.com/event/371184 - or at the door the evening of the screening. Some of the featured filmmakers will also be on-hand for a post-screening Q&A. The symposium will take place in Osher Hall on Sunday, May 19 at 4:00 p.m. and is free to the public.
Thos. Moser Freeport Showroom to exhibit art by Maine College of Art Alumni
R. Eastman,Solace in Blue,oil on canvas over panel
An art exhibition featuring Maine College of Art alumni will be on display at Thos. Moser’s Freeport Showroom, with an opening artists’ reception on May 8 from 6 – 8 p.m. and will run through July 8, 2013.
The show will feature 18 Maine College of Art alumni, spanning more than 30 years of graduating classes. The exhibiting artists include Beatrice Abbott, Leon Anderson, Kate Beck,Felice Boucher, Louise Bourne, Ashley Curry, Cynthia Davis, Lisa Dombek, Rachael Eastman, Joshua Ferry, Julie Freund, Peyton Higgison, Anne Ireland, Jenny Moore, Scott Moore, Francine Schrock, Bridget Spaeth and Noa Warren.
The show offers an eclectic mix of art, including oil paintings on canvas and linen, watercolor paintings, framed works on paper, mixed media, work in plaster, wood sculpture and photography. The artists’ work will be hung interspersed with one another, which invites side-by-side comparison of art by varied graduating classes.
The Thos. Moser Showroom is located at 149 Main St., Freeport, and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 865-4519 or visit www.thosmoser.com.