Alumna Vivian Beer '00 wins $25,000 Fellowship from Society of Arts and Crafts
The Society of Arts and Crafts is pleased to announce the 2013 recipient of the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship is Vivian Beer, a 2000 graduate of Maine College of Art.
Beer is an innovative furniture maker based in New Hampshire. She aspires "to create handmade, one-off objects that manifest the nostalgia of history, the speed of progress and the memory of the human hand".
John D. Mineck was a past President of The Society of Arts and Crafts Board of Trustees and a beloved member of Boston's cultural community. In an effort to support the art that John loved and the people who make it, the Foundation has created a fellowship to encourage and support a young-in-career furniture artist with the financial assistance to help him/her succeed in his/her journey. The fellowship has been designed to help support a talented furniture artist looking to fulfill an apprenticeship, develop his/her own skills, and/or make the transition to independence. The John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship of $25,000 is awarded annually to one artist and is administered by The Society of Arts and Crafts.
Illustration Students Chosen to Collaborate with National Animation Studio
Two MECA Illustration majors have been chosen by internationally renown Frederator Studios to develop ebooks for their series "Bravest Warriors" featuring the character catbug.
The students are being commissioned to create original content featuring catbug drawn in their own style which then will be produced and recorded in New York of LA.
Frederator Studio is an animation studio known for an array of popular cartoon shows, including Fairly Odd Parents, Chalk Zone, and My Life as a Teenage Robot.
The Portland Museum of Art Presents the First Museum Exhibition by MECA alum, Ahmed Alsoudani '05
(Portland, Maine) The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) 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. The exhibition features 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 celebrated 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. Alsoudani cites historical figures Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, and George Grosz, as well as more contemporary painters Philip Guston and Francis Bacon as major influences. Like his predecessors, he seeks to create works that depart from the glorification of violence and the heroism of warfare. Instead, his large-scale paintings offer graphic, often disturbing imagery that includes disembodied hands or all-seeing bulging eyes juxtaposed with random mechanical parts and other recognizable but misplaced imagery.
Ahmed Alsoudani was born in Baghdad in 1975 and grew up under the regime of Saddam Hussein. He left Iraq as a teenager and lived in Syria before immigrating to the United States in the late 1990s. He studied in Maine at the Maine College of Art (BFA, 2005), and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2006), and graduated with a MFA in painting from the Yale School of Art (2008). In 2011, his work was featured in the Iraq Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, in the exhibition The World Belongs to You, and at The Francois Pinault Foundation at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice. His other major international exhibitions include: La Route de la Soie at Tri Postal in Lille, France (2010); Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East at the Saatchi Gallery in London (2009); as well as shows at the National Gallery of Saskatchewan, Canora, Canada (2007) and the Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea (2007). He lives and works in New York.
The exhibition is co-organized and co-curated by Mark H.C. Bessire, Director of the Portland Museum of Art and Dr. Sara Cochran, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition was on view in Phoenix from March 13 through July 17, 2013. A full-color catalogue will accompany the exhibition and is available in the PMA Store for $19.99.
This exhibition was co-organized by Phoenix Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Generously supported by Louise Bessire in memory of Henry E. Bessire and Sabre Yachts & Back Cove Yachts. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted is also sponsored in honor of the Maine College of Art by: Patricia and Cyrus Hagge, Chris and Betsy Hunt, Horace and Alison Hildreth, and Candace Karu. Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Corporate Sponsors: The Bear Bookshop, Marlboro, VT and The VIA Agency.
MECA Community Featured in 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piecework
This fall the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is featuring 30 artists selected from nearly 900 applicants for the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work. Ten of the artists are MECA alumni and two are faculty.
Kate Beck '96 (Attended), Harpswell, ME Matt Blackwell '77, Brooklyn, NY Allison Cooke Brown '01, Yarmouth, ME Alina Gallo MFA '08, Portland, ME Bryan Graf, Portland, ME, Assistant Professor of Photography Julie Gray MFA '12, Saco, ME Adriane Herman, Portland, ME Associate Professor of Printmaking Alison Hildreth '76, Portland, ME Joe Kievitt '93, Portland, ME Sage Lewis '04, Columbus, OH Justin Richel '02, Rangeley, ME Aaron Williams '94, Ridgewood, NY
Selection of the artwork for Piece Work followed a new process this year. The jury process was conducted internally by Jessica May, the PMA’s first Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art. The goal of the exhibition is to explore one very strong, deep thread of contemporary practice that has relevance both regionally and nationally. Many of the artists in Piece Work live in Maine for all or part of the year; for others, the state has been an important part of their biography or artistic practice.
On view October 3, 2013 through January 5, 2014, the Biennial will feature more than 70 works, ranging in media from painting and drawing to photography and video.
Groundbreaking Bluestocking Film Series Brings Award-Winners to MECA
Astronauts? Check. Zombies and lesbians? Check. WWII resistance fighters? Check. Teenage girls on the prowl, a grandmother with an unconventional diet, and a businesswoman on an obstacle course to work? Yes. The Fall 2013 Bluestocking Film Series has that.
Returning to MECA's Osher Hall on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m., the biannual film event has a whole new lineup of award-winning Bechdel-tested short films by talented women directors for Portland’s cinema lovers.
With the help of an international judging panel, the six films were carefully curated by founder-organizer Kate Kaminski, chosen specifically to prove that films about women can tackle difficult subject matter and be powerful and cutting-edge.
This fall will also mark a first in Bluestocking’s 2-year history: audience members will vote their favorite film in two categories and two lucky filmmakers will walk away with cash prizes. Kyna Morgan of Her Film Project (a global project to support women filmmakers) will sponsor the bigger of the two prizes. The Bluestocking also awards a $100 gift each season to a female New Media student at MECA. “Our goal is to support in any way we can those women who choose to compete in such a male-dominated field.”
The screening event will take place in Osher Hall at MECA at 7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) on Saturday, October 19. All tickets are $5 if purchased in advance via Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are $7 if purchased at the door the evening of the screening. Some of the featured filmmakers will also be on-hand for a post-screening Q&A.
FMI, contact Kate Kaminski, founder/organizer. Watch trailers for past and upcoming events: bluestockingfilms.com
Contact: Kate Kaminski, Organizer |email@example.com | 207.772.1326
MECA Alum's Style and Product Photography Feature Real World Models
LK Weiss ('11) is a photographer and designer whose work challenges mainstream conceptions of beauty. She owns multiple businesses, including branding and design company The Portland Designer. But it was Weiss' Jack Tar 207 that recently caught th attention of the international site, the Huffington Post. Her work often represents people from Maine's Queer community, and it is her bravery and acceptance of non-traditional beauty that coach and writer Mary Gorham Malia emphasizes in the article.
"The people that show up in Jack Tar 207 shoots aren't strictly queer, they do shoot straight folk too, but LK notes they are intentionally leveraging the stunning style of the queer community in the Portland area. With a mission to use non-traditional models they are attracting a wide variety of clients who love what they create and the visual voice it creates for their products and brands," Malia wrote.
Maine College of Art and The Portland Public Library will present the special exhibition Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons. The exhibition features 50 works by the legendary author and illustrator, accompanied by 50 statements from celebrities, authors, and noted personalities on the influence of Sendak’s work, all in celebration the 50th anniversary of his universally revered book, Where the Wild Things Are.
The exhibition includes 50 original works from Where the Wild Things Are in a variety of mediums including sketches, illustrations, and works on paper, and showcases highlights from Sendak’s career and the diverse art forms in which he was renowned. Many of the works are from private collections and friends of the artist, offering a survey of his range as an artist and author.
From children’s literature, animated films, and textbooks to Broadway and opera, Sendak garnered worldwide acclaim for his genius and insight. Among the contributing commentators to the exhibition are playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, comedian Stephan Colbert, artist Robert Crumb, director Spike Jonze, President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor/director Tom Hanks, and author Lemony Snicket.
MECA Alum Cultivates Community through Art
Hannah Merchant, a Portland resident and 2013 graduate of the Maine College of Art (MECA), developed artistic projects to support Cultivating Community’s mission over the four years of her undergraduate career as she pursued MECA’s new minor in public engagement, as well as a major in woodworking and furniture design. Cultivating Community is a Portland-based nonprofit that works to end hunger, promote sustainability and empower community members.
Merchant worked in some of our farming spaces while also taking pictures of young people in the organization's youth leadership programs. She found that “growing and making food with the youth, eating it, and documenting the act with photography was a powerful experience that really stayed with me.” As a result, Hannah created Cultivating Community’s summer 2012 Recipe Book, and is developing a new, expanded version for 2013.
For her Public Engagement capstone, she designed the Mobile Farm Stand that is revving up our food access work starting in summer 2013, providing a tricycle-powered, movable venue for the distribution and sale of locally-sourced, organically grown produce to people who need it. The mobile farm stand will be launched this summer.
Professor Matt Hutton to show work in upcoming exhibit
"Silhouette", 2013 Maple
Photo: Jay York
Professor Matt Hutton's fine-art furniture work has been selected to be part of the upcoming show, "Fearless Furniture," the first juried exhibition of its kind at the Indiana State Museum Fine Arts.
Matt Hutton is an Associate Professor in woodworking at MECA, and studied woodworking and furniture design at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana. His work is among the thirty benches, tables, chairs, clocks and more will be featured in this expansive range of designs by 21 juried and three invited artists.
The Indiana State Museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture. The show is open to the public, with an opening on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at the Indiana State Museum.
For more about the Indiana State Museum, click here.
Five Alumni Selected to show work
Five MECA alumni will show their work at the Shaw Jewelry gallery in Northeast Harbor, Maine; located near Acadia National Park. The five working artists from Maine College of Art will demonstrate Maine's artistic legacy in a variety of compelling styles and techniques.
The featured artists are: Connie Hayes Margaret Lawrence Mark Marchesi Holly Ready Justin Richel
The show will run from August 15- September 11, with an opening reception on August 15 from 5-7pm.
SHAW JEWELRY 126 Main Street Northeast Harbor, Maine 207.276.5000 Open daily until 6:30pm
Sarah Mohammadi wins AIGA Bone Show Award
Recent graduate Sarah Mohammadi has won an AIGA Bone Show Award for her cookbook Turkmen Damegh. The bi-annual show celebrates the best of New England design. Sarah designed the book as an independent study after visiting her family in Iran. The exhibit is on view at Boston University's 808 Gallery until July 20.
Sarah Mohammadi graduated this spring with a degree in Graphic Design. Originally from Iran, she lives in Maine. For more about Sarah: http://sarahmohammadi.com/
The AIGA is a professional association for design. For more about AIGA:
Two MECA alums awarded Emerging Artist Grants
Two MECA alums won Emerging Artist Grants from the Saint Botolph Club Foundation in Boston this year! Edwige Charlot '10 and Pilar Nadal MFA '13 were both awarded grants from the Boston-based organization that recognizes and supports New England based artists.
Charlot is an artist printmaker. Born and raised in France and of Haitian heritage, her work has been shown in Maine, Connecticut, and New York.
Nadal is a recent MFA graduate who works in multiple mediums. She is originally from upstate New York.
MECA Illustration Professor Introduces 'The Detached Muse Project'
Boston Based Galatea Fine Arts Presents the Work of MECA Illustration Professor Rob Sullivan
July 5 - 28, 2013
(muse): a woman, or a force personiﬁed as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.
MECA Illustration professors' paintings reframe the subject at hand as a metaphorical transfiguration away from their representation. This moves beyond mere surface, as he engage with painting’s history and technical narrativity, bridging it conceptually across a contemporary vernacular. The Detached Muse suite of paintings represents that fusion.
The mythology of the Muses began in the Hellenistic era as nine goddesses who embodied fields of artistic endeavor. In the 19th Century, they were referred to as forms of inspiration, often with creators speaking of their own personal “artistic muse.” This figure was regularly personified by the artist’s female model, and the one-to-one interaction between artist and model was a relationship recorded in paint over the course of history.
The Detached Muse Project represents Sullivan's efforts to reify the muse in painting while subverting it away from modern expectation.
Reception: Friday, July 5, 6-8 PM
460B Harrison Ave, #B-6 Boston, MA 617 542 1500 www.galateafineart.com
Molly Vogel BFA '09 selected for the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show
Molly Vogel BFA '09 was selected for the emerging artist category this year at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show.
The 37th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show includes 195 premiere artists from the United States, selected from more than 1,000 applicants. All work is for sale.
Molly Vogel is a jewelry designer living in Connecticut, whose work has been shown in Maine, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Kentucky.
For more: http://www.mollyvogel.com/ http://pmacraftshow.org/artist/emerging-artists/2013/molly-vogel-jewelry
RECENT ALUM JENNIFER KOWTKO GIVEN ART EDUCATION AWARD
The Maine Art Education Association awards committee has announced that recent MECA graduate Jennifer Kowtko is being recognized as the 2013 Maine Art Education Association – Higher Education Student Art Educator of the Year.
"Jennifer's dedication, experiences and personal educational philosophy reflect her commitment to the advancement of art education in Maine.This is to be commended and we are happy that we are able to celebrate this with her, our community and the State," wrote the MEAA.
She will receive the award at the MAEA Awards Celebration to be held Friday evening at the Fall Conference at Haystack (Sept 13-15).
Portland Named Top 10 Destinations for Gay Travelers
TravelNerd is kicking off Pride Month by highlighting underrated cities for gay travelers looking for fun. Instead of focusing on popular cities like New York City and San Francisco, we looked at underrated cities with thriving gay communities that boast great events and cultural sights.
Maine, one of the 5 states that have legalized gay marriage, has embraced the community. In fact, demographer Gary Gates at the Williams Institute named Portland, ME the third gayest city in the U.S., after heavyweights San Francisco and Petaluma, CA. On June 15, the entire city will celebrate the Southern Maine Pride Parade and Festival, complete with a mass marriage ceremony.
Be sure to participate in the town’s thriving arts scene with the sale from Maine College of Art’s Summer Art Sale on June 6 – 9 to purchase original art from MECA students, alumni and faculty. Then take a trip to the popular gay resort town of Ogunquit just 45 minutes away.
Columbus may surprise you by being on this list, but the city is actually very gay-friendly, with a full 1.0% of households that have same-sex partners. Head to the Gay Pride Parade, Columbus Pride, on June 21 and 22, and participate in the Run for Pride 5k. Leading up to the pride parade, celebrate with various events like a screening on the film “You Are Not Alone” with the filmmaker.
Join the locals at the fun restaurant Level, a gay-popular lounge with Broadway Sundays. Be sure to stop at the local LGBT community center Stonewall Columbus for events like Ballroom Dance classes and other games. Stop in the Short North neighborhood for galleries like 83Gallery and PM Gallery, which have ties with the queer community.
With a rating of 91 on the Equality Index and a gay household percentage of 2.3%, it’s no wonder that city is great for gay travelers. The Twin Cities’ Pride celebrations go on for a full week, starting June 19 to June 30. On June 29, check out the Pride Festival for drag shows, music and dancing, and on June 30, be sure to participate in the Pride Parade.
Stop in the North Loop neighborhood to find trendy boutiques and bars to mingle with the locals. Then head over the Loring Park for a day in the sun, and eat at the nearby Café Lurcat.
Milwaukee is coming into its own as a travel destination with the largest pride festival in the nation, Pridefest, happening this year on June 7 – 9. Be sure to stop by to dance and see acts like the Indigo Girls. Additionally, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee hosts an annual LGBT Film/Video Festival, usually in September or October.
For fine arts and performance theater, head to the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center. Art exhibitions switch every 6 weeks, and hours vary, so call ahead to make an appointment. Walker’s Point is the main gay residential areas and hosts many hot nightlife spots.
New England has been a bastion of liberalism, and the city of Providence is no different, with a gay former mayor, David Cicilline, currently serving in Congress. Rhode Island’s PrideFest is coming up on June 15, complete with a parade. In downtown, AS220, a multi-use space with food, galleries and a printshop, also hosts a popular gay bar, The Stable.
Best of all, Providence is a short trip away from popular gay travel destinations like Boston and Provincetown.
Miami is known for its hopping nightlife and gorgeous beaches, and it’s working hard to draw in the gay contingent. Stop by the LGBT Visitor Center in South Beach to find the latest events in town. The world-famous White Party Week, November 27 to December 2 this year, is the most fun fundraiser for HIV/AIDS.
We know why you’re going to Miami: the beaches. 12th Street Beach is the most famous – and most popular – gay-friendly beach, but for those looking for a little more quiet, head 20 minutes north to the Haulover Beach Park. Warning: there is a clothing-optional section, for those a little shyer.
Atlantic City, NJ
While Atlantic City may be known for gambling and conventions, it’s currently resurging as a top travel destination on the Jersey shore. Since New Jersey legalized gay marriage in 2007, Atlantic City has been focusing on drawing in LGBT travelers.
The first gay nightclub opened in 2011, the Prohibition Bar at Resorts Casino Hotel right near the Boardwalk. The Risque Atlantic City Pride Parade kicks off on the Fourth of July and lasts all weekend, and includes boating, shows and dancing.
Eugene, the second-largest city in Oregon after Portland, is a hotbed of counterculture, including a thriving gay community. Eugene’s PRIDE Annual Celebration is held on August 10 this year at Alton Baker Park on the Willamette River. Show to for a raffle, entertainment and lots of excellent food.
Mother Kali’s Bookstore provides a great arts culture with poetry slams, drumming circles and political organizing, and the Sorumundi Lesbian Choir performs throughout the state. The Soromundi Lesbian Choir performs throughout the state. Check out Queer Eugene to find more events.
While Lansing doesn’t have the liberal cred of Ann Arbor, which is home to the University of Michigan, Lansing is the center of Michigan’s LGBT community. Michigan Pride is hosting the largest White Party in the state on June 7 – be sure to go for the outdoor foam party.
The Pride Festival is held in August, in Old Town, and provides vendors, food stations and even a beverage tent.
Las Vegas, NV
Sin City, the party-lover’s paradise. While Vegas is the ultimate getaway for all travelers, some attractions are now specifically catering to the LGBT crowd. The Wynn and the Encore provide “pride concierges”, and the Luxor has LGBT pool parties during the summer. Come June 15, Krave Massive, the world’s largest gay club will be opening with a massive bash.
The Las Vegas Pride Parade is later that the others, hosted on September 6and 7 this year. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Stop by June 22 for the SNAPI Saturday for dancing, Jell-O shots and a drag show, or July 3 for a family BINGO night.
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.