Poet Richard Blanco Speaks at Maine College of Art
May 2014 Commencement Ceremony
Portland, ME ~ Maine College of Art proudly announces that US Poet Laureate Richard Blanco will speak at the May 2014 Commencement.
Blanco was the inaugural poet for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration where he read his performed “One Today,” an original poem written for the occasion. Blanco is the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and openly gay writer to hold the honor.
Blanco has written and performed for organizations such as the Fragrance Awards, the Tech Awards, and Freedom to Marry and has received numerous awards and honors for his writings including a Florida Artist Fellowship, a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellowship and a doctorate from Macalester College.
Maine College of Art 2014 Commencement will be held on May 10th at 10:30am at the State Theater in Portland, Maine.
Short bio on Blanco:
Richard Blanco was born in Madrid in 1968, immigrating as an infant with his Cuban-exile family to the United States. He was raised and educated in Miami, earning a B.S. in civil engineering and a M.F.A. in creative writing from Florida International University. Blanco has been a practicing engineer, writer and poet since 1991. He has traveled extensively in his adult life, living and working throughout Europe and South America. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, Writer’s Center and Central Connecticut State University. Blanco currently resides in the tranquil mountains of Bethel, Maine.
His books, in order of publication, are: City of a Hundred Fires(1998), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), One Today (2013), Boston Strong (2013), and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey (2013).
In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, following in the footsteps as such great writers as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. Blanco performed One Today, an original poem he wrote for the occasion, becoming the youngest, first Latino, immigrant and openly gay writer to hold the honor.
Following the inauguration, he continued connecting communities through occasional poetry. He has written and performed occasional poems for such organizations as Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards and the Fragrance Awards. In May of 2013, Blanco wrote Boston Strong, an occasional poem he performed at the TD Boston Garden Benefit Concert and at a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Following his performances, he released a limited edition Boston Strong chapbook, with all proceeds going to those most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.
Blanco has received numerous honors for his writings and performances, including an honorary doctorate from Macalester College and being named a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. His first book, City of a Hundred Fires received the prestigious Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize. His second book, Directions to the Beach of the Deadwon the PEN / American Beyond Margins Award. His third book,Looking for The Gulf Motel received various accolades, including the Tom Gunn Award, the Maine Literary Award and the Paterson Prize. His poems have appeared in countless literary journals and anthologies, including Best American Prose Poems and Ploughshares.
Blanco continues to write and perform for audiences around the world. In addition to his occasional poetry and performances, he is currently working on a full-length memoir and is collaborating with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey on a children’s book.
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.
Public Engagement Receives EPA Grant
The Public Engagement program received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to embed issues of environmental stewardship and climate change into the curriculum. Faculty members Samantha Haedrich, Charles Melcher, Paul Gebhardt and Elizabeth Jabar are launching creative projects in their classrooms and in the community, working with community partners Environment Maine and Portland Trails. The EPA focused work also includes several co-curricular events and initiatives: film screenings, launching the student group MECA SOAP (Students Organized Against Pollution), energy saving and waste reduction efforts on campus, and the Take the Pledge green commitment. In addition, MFA alum and eco artist Tim Gaudreau will be a visiting artist in the spring semester working with the Public Engagement students.
Summer and Fall Internship Placements
Students are encouraged to conduct an internship during their time at MECA to help inform their studio practice. These academic experiences span 15 weeks and require 135 hours of focused, supervised learning in exchange for three academic credits. Below are internship sites for Summer 2013 and Fall 2013:
Betsy Lewis at her Brooklyn Metal Works Internship
Aucocisco Galleries, Portland, ME Belmont Day School, Belmont, MA Brooklyn Metalworks, Brooklyn, NY Catalyst for Peace, Portland, ME Douglas Thayer Designs, Westhampton, MA Dutille's Jewelry, Lebanon, NH Franny Peabody Center, Portland, ME Janice Grzyb, New York City, NY Kris Johnsen, Portland, ME Maine College of Art, Portland, ME Might + Main, Portland, ME New England Sculpture Services, Chelsea, MA Out for Justice, Portland, ME PERCH Studio, Portland, ME Pickwick Independent Press, Portland, ME Pizzuti Studios, Lowell, MA Rollin Leonard, Portland, ME Sandy Macleod, Portland, ME Sarah Bouchard, Portland, ME Studio 24b, Portland, ME The Art Department, Portland, ME University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME Uwe Berger Antique Prints, Berlin, Germany VIA, Portland, ME
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:
Professor Jamie Hogan Announces Release of "Here Come the Humpbacks!"
As the humpback whales head towards the Gulf of Maine, professor and Maine illustrator Jamie Hogan will be celebrating the big arrival of her new children's book with a free family event on June 1st, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM in the Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library.
Ever wonder how big these marvelous mammals are? Young readers will get a chance to stand beside (and inside) a life-sized humpback as part of an outreach program of the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine. Educators from the museum will talk about the daily routine of Istar the Whale, including what she eats, the places she travels, and who she spends her time with. MECA Illustration Professor Jamie Hogan will present her illustrations for the new picture book Here Come the Humpbacks!
"I have always known that humpbacks were astounding creatures, but researching the illustrations for Here Come the Humpbacks! left me in awe of these mammals," said illustrator Jamie Hogan, "Now when I'm crossing Casco Bay, I imagine the families of whales swimming out in the deep. They are fascinating, intelligent, and utterly worth caring about."
The community is invited to attend the book launch and celebration: Saturday, June 1st, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library.
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.
Beginning to Performance Art class presents 'performance feast'
Come check out the Beginning to Performance Art class' show.
performance feast 2013| April 02-April 11 | 55 Oak Street, Portland, Maine
Students from Beginning Performance Art class at Maine College of Art present performance feast 2013. The exhibition includes live performances and performance-based works in photography, text, video, sculpture, and installation.
Artists: Ally Stallcup, Ashley Roger, Chloe Beaven, Elana Shorey, Hannah Rowlett, Robert Bennett Jr., Taylor French Benoit, Victoria Koronkiewicz.
Exhibition: Performance-based work in photography, text, video, sculpture, and installation will be on displayed throughout the duration of the exhibition: April 02- April 11, 2013.
Live Performance Schedule: (open to the public) - Tuesday (04/02) 6-9pm: live performances followed by discussions - Thursday (04/04) 6-9pm: live performances followed by discussions - First Friday (04/05) 5-8pm: live Performances
Gallery Hours: - Tuesday (04/02) 6-9pm - Thursday (04/04) 6-9pm - First Friday (04/05) 5-8pm - By chance or appointment
It is time for the 2013 Nothing Major Show!!
The Nothing Major Show at MECA is an annual student-run exhibition. This show is open to any first or second year student. If you are a non-major, SUBMIT your ART! You can be a junior that is undeclared and still enter. Each student can submit one work or a cohesive series.
This year the show theme is IDENTITY and is titled WHO WE ARE.
Who we are and what motivates us are central questions for all of us. This investigation of self is particularly prevalent in art school, where our own work can be seen and understood and an extension of ourselves. We struggle to find our personal originality and uniqueness that can inform and create our art practice.
Here are some possible questions you could consider when selecting the art to submit: What does identity mean? Who dictates this identity? Who are you, and how does your art reflect that?
And finally, here are some important dates and details to remember:
Art Submissions: February 11 - 14 in the Administrative Center with Erin Hutton, Associate Director of Artist at Work and Special Programs.
Installation: February 15 - 17. Volunteers will help with hanging work.
Show Dates: February 18 - March 7, 2013 on the 2nd floor and first floor front window
Opening Reception: First Friday, March 1, 2013, 5-8PM, Open to the public
MECA Alumni Adriana Warner Curates 'The Other Side of Shade'
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Other Side of Shade On View Through February 16, 2013 opening reception Friday, February 1, 5-8PM first floor lobby gallery Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street, Portland, ME
PORTLAND, ME -- MECA alumni Adriana Warner curates The Other Side of Shade, a collection of works that interpret and reflect the issues of race, oppression and power. Using a range of visual strategies from subtle to controversial , the artists in the exhibition bring the challenging and often uncomfortable issue of race in America to the surface. The Other Side of Shade will use the format of the exhibition to bring people together to discuss these complex issues with the goal of creating awareness that leads to positive action. The exhibition is part of a larger project and community partnership between Maine College of Art and the NAACP Portland, MLK Youth Fellows. Students, faculty and staff from both organizations will collaborate on curriculum and visual projects that respond to the ideas in the exhibition. Artist and exhibition organizer Adriana Warner and participating artist Edwige Charlot will give a gallery talk on Tuesday, February 12 at 12 noon, and artist Derek Jackson will give a public lecture on Friday, February 15 at 630PM, Osher Hall at MECA.
This exhibition is presented by the Public Engagement Program at Maine College of Art (MECA) , and the NAACP Portland Branch with generous funding from the Edward H. Daveis Benevolent Fund, Maine Community Foundation.
# # # The mission of Maine College of Art (MECA) dates back to 1882 and is rooted in delivering a transformative learning experience that prepares students to thrive in the areas of artistic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement within an intimate and demanding educational environment.
MECA earned top honors at the 2012 Window Walk competition sponsored by Portland's Downtown District.
Under the guidance of MECA Graphic Design professor, Samantha Haedrich, MECA Graphic Design students collaborated with organizers of the annual Holiday Sale to produce the visual identity for this year's event. An important aspect to this assignment included dressing MECA's large window facing Congress Street in anticipation of the holidays.
Watch the video below to see the behind the scenes of the creation of this year's holiday window.
Using community service as currency was the concept behind the Yankee Swap Pop Up Shop on Free Street during last friday's Art Walk. The one-night-only shop sold handmade goods and art created by MECA students, purchased in exchange for volunteer time.
Each year, the D.L. Geary Brewing Company hosts a competition on campus for the design of the packaging for the Geary's Summer Ale. All undergraduate students are allowed to submit a design. The winning design is then featured on the labels of one million bottles of beer, as well as on the six-pack and 12-pack boxes. The student with the winning design is awarded $5,000. This year, there were more than 60 entries to the contest. The winner is selected in January and works with Geary on bringing the concept to production for a launch in late spring. See all the entries.
Best in show Victoria Statsenko, Junior, Painting Work»
Harley Flaws David Twiss, Junior, Printmaking Joshua Yurges, Freshman, Woodworking and Furniture Design Forest Gagne, Junior, Woodworking and Furniture Design Jacob Michaud, Junior, Woodworking and Furniture Design Work»
Baxter Furbish Rangeley Morton, Junior, Woodworking and Furniture Design Work»
Artist-to-Artist Kyle Dimare, Senior, Sculpture Abby Mechanic, Senior, Woodworking and Furniture Design Stephen Fisk, Senior, Sculpture Clare Finin, Senior, Metalsmithing and Jewelry Miles Spadone, Senior, Ceramics Work»
Honorable Mention Chun-Hua Chang, Junior, New Media Daelyn Bell, Senior, Illustration Emmeline Solomon, Senior, Printmaking Hannah Rosengren, Senior, Illustration Isaac Atkins, Junior, Painting Work»
Maine Type Lab, First Friday Vote Button Booth
Maine Type Lab, First Friday Vote Button Booth Provoke the Vote
Maine Type Lab members designed a series of buttons for October First Friday at Maine College of Art as part of the “Provoke the Vote” event. The buttons were handed out to the public and passersby were encouraged to customize their buttons with their political beliefs. Students created over 50+ designs and distributed nearly 500 buttons to the public, for free.
Maine Type Lab received support from Public Engagement, who purchased the button supplies and invited us to participate.
Participants: Cassondra Amicone, Kaitlin Callender, Trisha Cobb, Klarizza Cruz, Molly Feole, Sarah Mohammadi, Annie Mora, Rangeley Morton, Sheyenne Rivers
MEGAWORDS Workshop with Anthony Smyrski
Maine Type Lab members participated in a Sunday workshop with MEGAWORDS’ co-creator Anthony Smyrski. Students learned how to create an assemble a zine using lo-fi, hands-on methods. Everyone contributed a spread and walked away with a copy of the zine. The zine is also on display at MECA ICA.
First year students at MECA engage community with mural project
This striking new mural recently appeared as a result of a community partnership and MECA's Public Engagement efforts at the corner of Preble Street and Cumberland Avenue, a block off of Monument Square.
Two of MECA’s FY-In sections have teamed up with Wright Ryan to create a temporary public installation on the exterior of the new Preble St Teen Center. Paul Gebhardt and Adam Manley’s classes collaborated to create a 48 foot Mural to be mounted on the side of the building at the corner of Preble and Cumberland Streets. Students worked together to come up with a mural spoke to both the residents of the center and the general population of Portland. After a group brainstorming session, the students were divided into groups of two, each of which was assigned a letter, as well as a language commonly spoken in Portland to act as a visual prompt for the painting of their letter. The mural is divided into 4’ x 4’ squares, each containing one letter, and the individual artworks that developed around each of these letters is based on the students’ extensive research into the visual language of the assigned cultures.
Wright-Ryan superintendent Rob Barrett was a driving force behind the initiative. He said, "The building renovations required his crew to remove the first-floor facade and erect a temporary plywood shed. Instead of having a blank wall, it seemed like a perfect canvas for a community art project, so I contacted a couple of instructors at MECA. Members of the freshman class then teamed up in pairs to paint the mural's individual panels, each of which honors a different nationality from the diverse immigrant community at the nearby Portland High School."
"It was a way to get incoming freshmen introduced to Portland, and introduced to the Preble Street Resource Center, with a community-based arts project," explains Barrett.
From June 14-16, Maine College of Art will host the Furniture Society conference:Design, Community & the Sublime. The conference includes a dynamic range of intensives, lectures, demonstrations, presentations, and exhibitions. The unforgiving coastline of Maine gave birth to communities of skilled shipbuilders, uniquely rugged and determined. The Shakers, in a tradition of simplicity and functionality, contributed to the style, in fact, the very grain of the state and the last of these communities in the country still calls Maine home. There are deeply held values in these life and work choices, those of the Shakers, the boat builders, and all those who coax wood: a fierce independence that is predicated on the strength of community and tradition. The Furniture Society’s 2012 conference, Design, Community, and the Sublime, will celebrate these traditions and intersections of craft, community, and design in a setting of natural beauty and contemporary culture.
Maine College of Art is hosting the Furniture Society Conference: Design, Community, and the Sublime from June 14-16. In addition to a dynamic range of intensives, lectures, demonstrations, and presentations, there will also be several exhibitions on view locally. Each gallery will hold an opening reception on First Friday Art Walk, June 1 at 5pm.
New Works: Matt Hutton, Jamie Johnston and Adam John Manley June 1 - June 23 June Fitzpatrick Gallery at MECA 522 Congress Street
New Works represents the most recent creative output of three local artists working in and around the world of woodworking and furniture. Bound by history and medium, Matt Hutton, Jamie Johnston, and Adam John Manley explore ideas of place, materiality, function, and time through divergent means. This exhibition highlights the three as a group while investigating the unique approach of each through three respective new bodies of work.
Where are You Going, Where Have You Been? June 1- June 30 Lewis Gallery at Portland Public Library 5 Monument Square
The Furniture Society and Maine College of Art present an exhibition of collaborative works: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? is an exploration of work in all mediums by pairs and/or groups of artists at different points in their career, ranging from emerging to established artists through collaborative projects.
Participants By groups: William Huston and Saer Huston Peter Handler and Karen Singer Hayami Arakawa and Vivian Beer Karen Ernst and Sue Amendolara Aaron Miley and Steven Sander Charles Radtke and Sarah Perkins Jordan Gehman and Mali Mrozinski Amelia Toelke and Arielle Toelke Seth Keller and Michelle Janssens-Keller Laura Johnson Drake and Duan Haiyan Owain Harris and Robert Dworkin Matthew Hebert and Donald Fortescue Brian Chan, Ken Stone and Hayami Arakawa William Doub, Anne Long, Susan Pratt-Smith and Jeff Jelenfy
Then & Now: Alumni and Student Work from Maine College of Art June 1-June 29 Rose Contemporary 492 Congress Street
Then and Now is a juried exhibition of work by alumni and current students of MECA who are investigating furniture in all mediums or working sculpturally with wood. This exhibition will be held at Rose Contemporary in Portland, Maine in conjunction with the 2012 Furniture Society Conference, hosted by Maine College of Art. The exhibition was juried by Chair of Woodworking & Furniture Design Matt Hutton, Visiting Assistant Professor of Woodworking & Furniture Design Adam Manley, and Owner of Rose Contemporary Virginia Sassman Rose and was coordinated by Tina McLuckie ’12.
The selected artists are Steven Anderson ’11, Vivian Beer ’00, Sarah Bouchard ’11, Nicole Farrand ’11, Forest Gagne ’14, Jordan Gehman ’06, Ted Lott ’05, Tina McLuckie ’12, Abby Mechanic ’13, Hannah Merchant ’13, Oliver Percival ’10, and Tanner Price ’12.