When it came time for the Portland Pirates to create a new logo to celebrate their 20th anniversary, the hockey team approached Maine College of Art. Portland Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek said, "I could go to Boston or New York or I could go to the world class institution located right across the street."
Students in Samantha Haedrich’s graphic design class, Design Workshop, spent the fall semester collaborating on the identity assignment. The group of nine juniors and seniors conducted research, presented ideas and participated in critiques with the Pirates organization. The chosen anniversary logo integrates the Salty Pete mascot and his iconic pirate flag, a fan favorite.
The logo, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the inception of the Portland Pirates franchise in 1993, will be included in all aspects of operation, including Pirates merchandise, and on a special alternate jersey to be worn for select games during the 2012-13 season.
"We are thrilled to partner with MECA students, faculty, and staff over the last few months to design this emblem," said Petrovek. "We are very pleased with the work of Samantha Haedrich and her graphic design students on the logo. We feel it accentuates the true spirit of the Pirates relationship with the great hockey fans of Portland over the last 20 years. We thank the students for all of their hard work in creating a truly fitting symbol to celebrate a franchise milestone."
The logo was unveiled during a press conference in the Karu Media Collective at the College on February 27.
Students Participate in Collaborative Printmaking Project
A new exhibition of prints at Rose Contemporary in Portland will highlight works selected from the flat files of the Peregrine Press and Zea Mays Printmaking studios, and introduce the Maine College of Art Flat File Project featuring work by printmaking students. Flat files are where unframed prints are stored in large file drawers for viewing by collectors, other artists, and those interested in printmaking. Additional work by the participating artists will be available for sale and public viewing in a Flat File at the gallery for the duration of the exhibit.
The exhibition runs from March 1 to March 31 with an opening reception on Friday, March 2 from 5pm to 8pm.
In the weeks prior to the exhibition printmaking students from Maine College of Art (MECA) will work with artists from the Peregrine Press to learn about the history and importance of the Press, view members’ work and connect with the art community beyond the college. The collaborative nature of the project provides the MECA students with a valuable model for professional practice as part of MECA's newly launched Public Engagement minor.
There will be a free public lecture by Liz Chalfin, printmaker and founder of Zea Mays, at Maine College of Art on Saturday, March 3 at 6:30pm. The lecture “Growing a Sustainable Printmaking Community”, will be given at the Osher Lecture Hall at MECA. The lecture is funded by the Kate Mahoney Memorial Fund of the Peregrine Press.
Image credit: Christine Beneman, Book of Flowers #32, monotype (Peregrine Press)
MECA Students to Exhibit in Detroit
Eight Maine College of Art students will display their work at Studio Couture in Detroit in a show titled “Mile 916: Painting and Photography from the Maine College of Art.” Studio Couture is a multi-purpose arts incubator with a gallery, design studio, and community arts space. Co-founder Blake Almstead is a 2007 graduate of Maine College of Art.
The exhibition, juried by Daniel Fuller, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art, includes the work of painters and photography majors Graham Almstead, Harlan Crichton, Susan Kanaga, Angela Rosensweig, Megan Reinhold, Reesa Wood, Gabriella Sturchio and Zak Taillon.
The show is on view March 2 through March 25 with an opening reception on March 3rd from 6pm to 10pm. Maine College of Art Photography faculty members Justin Kirchoff and Peter Shellenberger will join the students on a road trip from Maine to Michigan to assist in the installation and celebration of the student exhibition. Several painting students will travel directly from their New York field trip to Detroit to attend the opening.
"The show at Studio Couture Detroit is exactly the kind of professional development Maine College of Art students need to help them navigate their careers after they graduate. To have the opportunity of being selected by a respected curator and traveling almost a thousand miles to exhibit outside of New England is sure to have a lasting impact on their educational experience," said Justin Kirchoff, Chair of the Photography department at Maine College of Art.
"As an alum of Maine College of Art I couldn't be more excited to bring Portland Maine to Detroit Michigan. Detroit's art scene has been rapidly growing and leading the nation in so many exciting ways. We can't wait to be able to provide this opportunity to the students of Maine College of Art, an institution that shaped/guided me to where I am today," says Studio Couture co-founder Blake Almstead.
Studio Couture, founded in 2011, is brings together educators, professionals, businesses, and students to promote innovation and design thinking in entrepreneurship. Founders Blake Almstead and Peter Beaugardare both instructors at Lawrence Technological University. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6pm.
Image credit: Photograph by Gabriella Sturchio '12
Dedication for Karu Media Collective
On February 3 at 5pm, the college will officially dedicate the Karu Media Collective and to thank the Karu family for their generosity. Located on the third floor of the Porteous Building, the Karu Media Collective provides studio space for students majoring in Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, and New Media. All are invited to attend the dedication, hear remarks from faculty, staff, and students and tour the spaces.
Portland INSIDE/OUT Exhibition and Screening
This fall, MECA partnered with TedxDirigo to respond to artist JR’s TED Prize wish “to turn the world inside-out using art." Students in the Public Art Studio Class interviewed Portland residents about what they want their community to be. The temporary public art project featured voices and portraits shared on the streets of Portland, on the web, and on the radio.
During the First Friday Art Walk on February 3, the college will host an exhibition, film screening, and celebration of the project from 5pm to 9pm on the second floor of the Porteous Building. Join us in celebrating our partnerships and project process, listen to our collective voices and pick up a copy of your photo at this multi-media installation. The documentary film, by No Umbrella Media, will be screened at 7 and 8pm.
Metalsmithing & Jewelry Faculty Jeffrey Clancy Exhibition and Book Launch in Brussels
Metalsmithing & Jewelry faculty member Jeffrey Clancy is exhibiting his work at Elsa Platteau & Cie Gallery in Brussels from February 2 through March 2. An opening reception is scheduled for February 1 which includes a book launch for Clancy's "Making a Bowl by Raising and Crimping." This limited edition book includes texts written by Annie Larmon and Lauren Fensterstock, the Academic Program Director of the Masters of Fine Arts program at MECA. Clancy was also selected by the Smithsonian American Art Museum for the upcoming exhibition "40 under 40: Craft Futures" opening this summer at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.
Photography Faculty Collaborate for Exhibition
Maine College of Art Photography faculty member Peter Shellenberger and artist-in-residence Caleb Charland are collaborating on a body of work to be exhibited at the Addison Woolley Gallery in Portland. Both artists incorporate unconventional materials and processes in their imagery. The exhibition, curated by Bruce Brown, opens with a reception on February 2 and continues through February 26. Shellenberger and Charland will discuss their process at an artist lecture on February 12 at 2 pm.
Faculty Member Elizabeth Jabar Exhibits in Waterville
Printmaking faculty member Elizabeth Jabar presents "Kindred" an exhibition of her work at Common Street Gallery in Waterville through December 28. In “Kindred” Jabar poignantly captures diverse narratives and interprets what it means to be in kinship with our cultural ancestors.
Jabar is a Waterville native and returns to her roots to mount an exhibition of prints, paper cuts, and artist books that reflect on the ideas of kinship, ancestry and cultural heritage. Working from a narrative framework, She uses a lexicon of abstracted and representational forms that come from a diversity of sources including, nature, folk art traditions, textiles, and the human figure. Her densely-layered, vividly-colored works are made using a combination of print techniques—woodcut, silkscreen, and lithography, as well as the use of dyes, wax, and thread. Her works also expand the conventions of the print medium, and utilize nontraditional formats including cut paper, book objects, and unframed wall compositions.
Jabar's unique approach to both form and format creates a multi-sensory experience for the viewer. She explains that her work conjures multi-layered narratives that lead us away from the ordinary into a contemplative space full of color, potent symbols, and a unique visual language that is not easily categorized. These formal and material strategies underscore what Jabar states is her goal of “reflecting upon the richness and complexities of cultural identity.” Her work is in various collections throughout the United States and Canada, and she has won several grants and awards and residencies.
Matt Hutton, program chair of the Woodworking & Furniture Design program at MECA, will give a lecture at 3pm on December 7 in the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art. Hutton's work is included in the current exhibition, "A Perpetual Present" on view through December 23.
Hutton earned his BFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana and an MFA from San Diego State University. Matt has also studied woodworking in England and Japan.
Recently, Matt has taught at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and lectured at Rochester Institute of Technology, the Herron School of Art and Takumi Juku in Japan. Matt was also recently awarded the Artist Award from the Society of Arts & Crafts and the Searchlight Award from the American Craft Council.
Students in Ling Wen Tsai's class "Introduction to Drawing" will show their work at Bakery On the Hill Gallery through January 29, 2012. All works were inspired by and created in the bakery. Participating students include: Brian MacMillian, Brittany Jasmin, Caitlin Hathaway, Cecil Cates, Cecilia Vazquez, Dylan MacLeod, Emily Armstrong, Emma McCabe, Ezequiel Rodriguez, Franceska Nebel, Gianna Caranfa, Hailey Howard, Hayley Cummings, Johanna Stacey, Lucas Greco, Lyndsey McElreath, Richard Ehman, Sarah Oppelt, Shadell Segree, and Wesley Cunningham.
MECA, Telling Room and Library Partner for Teen Exhibition
The 10-month post-baccaluareate program at MECA prepares students to become art teachers. In addition to the classes on campus and the student teaching in classrooms, the future teachers also participate in community collaborations. This fall, students in the Art of Teaching Art class with Paul Gebhardt partnered with the Portland Public Library and the nonprofit writing organization The Telling Room to conduct a series of workshops for teens. The work focused on the theme of The Telling Room's yearly anthology “Searching for Maine: Searching for Me.” First, students wrote their personal stories of identity. Then MECA students helped them create silhouettes and cut them out. To complete the project, they wrote their stories inside their silhouettes and exhibited them in the gallery at the library. “For a lot of these teens, they never understood the concept of a gallery opening,” said Telling Room creative director John Holdridge. “There was this great moment where there was a room full of high school students, Telling Room staff, MECA students and professors all in the space together, viewing the work, having conversations – classic art opening conversations about the work and some not about the work. It was good to provide a space where significant cross-sections of this Portland community can come together, high school students, higher education students and professionals; we wanted to provide a hub for all of these people to be able to come together.”
Printmaking Pop-Up Shop for the Holidays
Students in MECA’s Second Year Lab, Power to the Print, will install a temporary exhibition and retail space inspired by the market phenomenon known as the pop-up shop. POW! Print Lab will create a distinct visual presence and offer a unique opportunity for viewer participation. Just in time for the holiday season, this exclusive two-day event will feature an eclectic collection of student-made printed works ranging from wood-cuts to silk screened posters, limited edition bags, t-shirts, buttons, stickers and even ornaments.
POW! Print Lab represents the conclusion of a semester's exploration of printed matter and its power as a tool of communication, dissent, and alternative culture from political protest to the entrepreneurial ethos of DIY culture and pop-up shops.
POW! Print Lab opens first Friday December 2, in the Free Street Gallery at Maine College of Art. Come early Friday evening for surprise special events! Sale continues on Saturday, December 3. All profits support the work of the student artists.
Professor Agnes Bushell Publishes Book
Liberal Arts Faculty member Agnes Bushell published "Death in Arcadia." Set in Portland, the mystery involves politically motivated performance artists, idealistic art students, eccentric old ladies, and the death of a trustee. This is the 11th novel for Bushell.
Her earlier work, "Local Deities" was hailed by the book reviewer for The Nation as "a potboiler like the best of Dostoyevsky’s." It is based on her friendship with two of Maine’s most notorious radicals.
She co-founded Maine's political journal, "The Dissident" and Littoral Books, an independent press.
Posterama: A Student Exhibition and Art Sale
MECA students will host the exhibition Posterama! from October 24th to November 20th. Posterama! is both an exhibition and sale of printed matter designed and created by MECA students. The front window and lobby of Porteous will house the exhibit. The sale will take place on November 4th during the First Friday Art Walk. The exhibition is a collaboration of MECA students with support from faculty and staff. Students from Professional Studio Seminar, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Printmaking, and New Media are taking leadership, organizational, and curatorial roles to develop their skills. Students will receive 60% of sales, while the remainder is divided among MECA scholarship support and funding of visiting artist lectures and workshops. Maine College of Art is committed to teaching their students to think about a better future, become involved within their community, and problem-solve for society. The Posterama! sale will take place from 5 to 8pm on November 4th on the sidewalk outside of MECAʼs Porteous building, located at 522 Congress Street. The sale will offer affordable art consisting of posters and cards ranging from $5 to $30.
INSIDE/OUT Public Art Project
In response to artist JR’s TED Prize wish “to turn the world inside-out using art," Maine College of Art’s Public Art Studio Class partnered with TEDxDirigo to create Portland INSIDE/OUT.
This temporary public art installation will feature the portraits and voices of everyday Portlanders, representing diverse groups within the city who may not always be heard. These portraits and quotes will be documented through social media and shared throughout the city on posters and banners of various dimensions.
Portland INSIDE/OUT provides a unique opportunity for community members to express their ideas about positive change in time with the November mayoral election. The installation will begin November 4th, and will continue through the 19th, and will take place throughout the city.
Major support for Portland INSIDE/OUT comes from Creative Portland Corporation, Portland Color, and VIA. The INSIDE/OUT MECA artist team is collaborating alongside Portland neighbors, organizations and building owners including The City of Portland, Creative Trails, Cultivating Community, Parkside Neighborhood Center, Company of Girls, The Telling Room, the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA, Mark Marchesi, Pete Nenortas, Michael Berube, Parallax Partners, No Umbrella Media, Winky Lewis, and many, many more.
Graphic Design faculty member Mark Jamra was one of 53 winning type designers in the 2nd Type Design Competition of the Association Typographique Internationale. More than 500 submissions were considered in this juried contest to find the best typefaces of the last decade from around the world.The contest aims to provide a wide-angled snapshot of the state of typeface design around the globe ten years after the 2001 competition, and to promote typographic excellence and best professional practices. It also intends to raise awareness about the role of typography at encouraging and maintaining cultural diversity.
Visiting Artists: Little Friends of Printmaking
MECA, the USM Art Department and AIGA Maine present the visiting artists Little Friends of Printmaking for a lecture on Thursday, October 27 at 12:30pm in Osher Hall. You can easily spot The Little Friends of Printmaking in a crowd—their inky hands and clothes are a dead giveaway. Their artwork is just as distinctive. Husband-and-wife team J W & Melissa Buchanan first made a name for themselves by designing and printing silkscreened concert posters, but soon branched out into further fields, designing fancy junk for whoever would pay them money. In addition to their work as illustrators and designers, these art-school refugees continue their fine art pursuits through exhibitions, lectures, and artists’ residencies throughout North America, spreading the gospel of silkscreen to anyone inclined to listen. Their awards include honors from the Art Directors’ Club, American Illustration, and Communication Arts. Also, their work has been published in the books New Masters of Poster Design, Juxtapoz: Poster Art, and Handmade Nation, among others. The Little Friends currently live in Milwaukee, WI with two very round cats. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Book club with Chris Thompson's "Felt"
The Maine Arts Commission, the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and Artists in Context present a OneBook Club event featuring the book "Felt: Fluxus, Joseph Beuys, and the Dalai Lama" by MECA faculty member Chris Thompson. Read the book, and then join the author and your community of fellow readers for a discussion. The event takes place on Thursday, October 27 from 7pm to 9pm at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick.
"Felt" centers on a highly publicized yet famously inconclusive 1982 meeting between German artist Joseph Beuys and the Dalai Lama. Thompson—an associate professor of art history at Maine College of Art in Portland—explores the interconnections among Beuys, the Fluxus movement, and Eastern philosophy and spiritual practice.
Students in the Community This Fall
The community is an extension of our campus. Below you will find examples of where our students are working on projects with local businesses and nonprofits that make Portland unique.
All first year students at MECA are required to take the class FYIn, which introduces them to each other, the college, and the local community. The class of more than 120 students is divided into six groups, each with a community partner and real world project. This year’s partners are: Cultivating Community, Spiral Arts via Youth Alternatives, King Middle School, Space Gallery and The Portland Freedom Trail.
Students in Samantha Haedrich's Graphic Design class are working with the Portland Pirates to create a new logo in celebration of the hockey team's 20th anniversary.
Scott Nash’s Illustration students are working with Portland Rotary on designs for the public clock in Monument Square.
Students in Dana Sawyer’s philosophy course The Potentials of Human Consciousness are partnering with the Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Portland.
Students in Elizabeth Jabar’s Second Year Lab collaborated with Pickwick Independent Press (founded by alum Lisa Pixley ‘07). Students carved letter forms and make a giant outdoor letterpress to print tweets on canvas sheets that were then strung on rope and hoisted to the top of the Artist Studio building during Block Party. They are also partnering with the League of Young Voters on creating printed matter related to voting issues.
Paul Gebhard's students in The Art of Teaching Art will be partnering with The Telling Room and local Portland youth on their anthology and exhibit Searching for ME.
Maine College of Art students will have an exhibition of work in the Monument Square branch of Key Bank in November. As the official sponsor of the popular First Friday Art Walk, Key Bank is partnering with a different arts organization each month.
Students in Christina Bechstein’s Public Art class are partnering with TedXDirigo and the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA to participate in INSIDE OUT, a large-scale art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. This global project asks local communities to produce black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal, and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. The students are identifying subjects for large photographic portraits related to issues of voice and audience in the first Portland mayoral election. Look for them around the city during the first week of November.
Students in Matt Hutton’s Woodworking & Furniture Design elective class Design: A Sustainable Approach are working with Allagash Brewing Company. As part of their process for the Curieux ale, Allagash uses 30-gallon whiskey barrels. This fall, students are tasked with using these discarded barrels as their case study for the semester. Research includes understanding the origin of the product, developing a prototype, and then producing a new object, either sculptural or functional. Finished pieces will be on view at the Allagash retail store in late winter.
Faculty Lecture: Adriane Herman
Adriane Herman, Associate Professor of Printmaking and Foundation at MECA, will give a lecture in Osher Hall on September 15 at 12:30pm. Herman investigates conscious and unwitting forms of consumption and collection. She has had solo exhibitions at Western Exhibitions in Chicago, the Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art, The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York. Sites of group exhibitions include International Print Center New York; The Dalarnas Museum (Sweden); Portland Museum of Art; Ulrich Museum of Art (Wichita); The Brooklyn Museum, Rose Contemporary, and chosen barren land in Tainen, Taiwan. Herman’s work has been collected by The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, The Progressive Corporation, Sprint, Inc., The Walker Art Center, and The Whitney Museum of American Art.
Herman has received grants from the Maine Arts Commission, the Charlotte Street Foundation , and the Avenue of the Arts Foundation. Her solo and collaborative work has been written about in numerous journals, including The New Yorker, Art on Paper, Art Journal, The Kansas City Star and Art New England, as well as the following books: Printmaking at the Edge: 45 Artists/16 Countries/A New Perspective; Imprint of Place: Maine Printmaking 1800-2005; The Best of Printmaking; Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall, and Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Processes.
Herman's independent efforts to normalize consumption of fine art dovetail with collaborative curatorial efforts such as SlopArt.com and projects she has undertaken with students and colleagues, such as “Long Overdue: Book Renewal,” which recycled myriad books, yielding 175 artworks temporarily collectible through Portland Public Library and Inter-Library Loan. Another book-based collaborative project Herman recently initiated is called Plunder the Influence and can be browsed online or viewed in the Joanne Waxman Library until the end of September.
Herman has lectured and conducted workshops at over fifty institutions. She holds a B.A. from Smith College, an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Level II certificate in the Wilton Method of Cake Decorating. She offers limited edition multiples in barter for intimate details about others’ lives in the form of grocery or “to do” lists.