Visiting Artists News + Events
Chinese Delegation of Art Educators Visit MECA This Spring
Chinese Delegation of Art Educators Visit MECA This Spring
March 31, Portland, ME—This spring, Maine College of Art will be welcoming an incoming delegation from the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts (XAFA) in China. The delegation marks the developing relationships that MECA is forging with several leading art academies in Greater China.
The President’s Delegation from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts will arrive in Portland on April 14th and includes Professor Guo Xianlu, President; Mr. Wu Shunong, Director of International Cooperation & Exchanges Office; Professor Shi Cun, Director of the Post-Graduate Office; and Ms. Chen Tianqui, International Relations and Contracts. They will stay until April 16th, and will spend the time touring the college, meeting students and faculty, and discussing the exchange program launched between the two colleges. President Guo Xianlu will also deliver a public lecture on April 15th titled, ‘Traditional Chinese Decorative Art & Design.’
This is one of three institutional relationships that MECA has formed with China in the past year. The relationship began in the spring of 2013 when MECA President Don Tuski traveled with Suzanne Fox, President of Fox Intercultural Consulting and Professor Gan Xu of MECA to Xi’an to visit the college’s campus and meet the faculty. Located in Western China, Xi’an is one of the most historically rich regions in China, famed for its Terracotta Warriors and its location on the edge of the Silk Road.
MECA has also formed partnerships with several other art academies in China this past year, including the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) at Baptist University in Hong Kong. Professor Tricia Flanagan of the AVA traveled to MECA from Hong Kong in March 2014; she spent time with numerous departments, spoke to MECA students who are keen on traveling to Hong Kong—and offered a public lecture on her artistic practice and her running of the innovative Wearables Lab at the AVA in Hong Kong.
In 2014, we are kicking off our long-term partnerships with Chinese art academies and cultural institutions with a calendar of events, talks, and East/West journeys.
China has become a major superpower. In the coming decades, we will start to see significant cultural influences emerging from the country. There are an astonishing number of museums being built in Greater China and the wider Asian region—and the art markets have firmly planted themselves in Beijing and Hong Kong. For MECA to connect with this rapidly growing cultural economy will bring long-term benefits in the future—from student recruitment to institutional connectivity, and a greater awareness among students in the globalized era.
In the past year, MECA has set up partnerships with three leading art colleges in Greater China. These partnerships offer an excellent way to forge long-term connections with China, place MECA on the map globally, bring artists from China to Maine, and offer students and staff at MECA an opportunity to travel abroad and connect with global art and cultural shifts.
Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, Xi’An (XAFA)
Following the delegation of Don Tuski, Suzanne Fox and Professor Gan Xu to Xi’An in March of 2013, we are building connections with this respected Chinese art academy. There will be an incoming delegation from XAFA to Maine in April 2014.
Academy of Visual Arts, Baptist University of Hong Kong (AVA)
Hong Kong is emerging as a major arts center in Asia. Don Tuski and Suzanne Fox visited the AVA in Hong Kong in March of 2013 and then welcomed a visit from John Aiken, Chair of the Academy (and former head of the Slade, in London) when he visited Portland in June and signed a student exchange agreement. In March of 2014, we welcomed Tricia Flanagan, who heads the international exchange program for AVA and is a respected artist and educator on fashion design and public art.
China Academy of Art, Hangzhou (CAA)
China Academy of Art is one of the most famous art colleges in China. Based by the serene lakes of Hangzhou, just 40 minutes by bullet train from Shanghai, it is a stunning campus that combines the ancient literati elements of classical Chinese art with cutting-edge innovation. Following Don Tuski and Suzanne Fox’s visit to CAA in 2013, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CAA to open up possibilities for partnership and exchange.
Spring 2014 Lecture Series Announced
Graphic Designer Dan Michaelson
March 20, 2014, 12:30pm, Osher Hall
Linked by Air: "They sorta kinda fixed it!"
Past Spring '14 lectures
February 6, 2014, 12:00pm, Osher Hall Multi-disciplinary artist Jenna Crowder '07 sponsored by Artists at Work
Visual artist and designer Jenna Crowder has attended a number of residencies and has lived and worked internationally. Her work includes Public Space: Cairo, a collaborative workshop-based project for engaging with art and design in public spaces, which took place in downtown Cairo, Egypt; design work for 826, a national youth literacy organization launched by Dave Eggers; and design work for clothing designer Jon Wye in Washington, D.C. At this lecture she and writer Douglas W. Milliken will discuss the collaborative process and influences behind a series of recent performative installations.
Friday, February 7, 2014, 7:00pm, ICA at MECA | Photographer Bryan Graf sponsored by the ICA at MECA
Bryan discusses work featured in Bryan Graf: Across the Interior, an exhibit that runs January 22 through April 6, 2014 at the ICA at MECA. His inventive and playful photography turns the prosaic New Jersey landscape into a canvas for darkroom experimentation and mystic revelation. Created in part by sandwiching B/W negatives with exposed, or partially fogged color film, the images channel the landscape’s hidden ghosts to hallucinatory effect.
Eco-artist Tim Gaudreau is passionate about the environment and the interconnections between people and nature. His work combines humor and irony with photography, video, new media, graphics, and sculpture to create collaborations that advocate for a greater awareness of eco-issues, initiating dialogue about social and environmental issues and serving as an entryway to improve our relationships with nature. Numerous awards, fellowships, and commissions have given him the opportunity to create public art projects that stimulate collaboration and interaction while challenging conventional thinking. He has participated in residencies ranging from California to India.
February 20, 2014, 12:00pm, Osher Hall | Ceramic artist Susan Dewsnap sponsored by the Ceramics Department
Susan Dewsnap’s ceramic studies began at a community clay studio in Boulder, Colorado and matured through intensive summer workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine and Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. She earned her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she taught from 2008 through 2012, and is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She has exhibited her ceramic work internationally and has received awards from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Biennial, the World Ceramic Biennale Korea International Competition, and the Strictly Functional Pottery National Exhibition.
Reenie Charriere’s installations, drawings and photographs evolve from a practice triggered by expeditions along everyday paths. Her current work includes photographic documentation followed by spotlighting the situation through fabricated sculptural installations created out of discarded packaging materials -- particularly plastic, fabric, paper, and cardboard. By sewing, cutting, fusing, reshaping, dangling, and weaving, she transforms the material into atmospheric and surprisingly organic-like structures. Her choice of materials reflects a collision of clumsiness and grace and questions how consumerism drives the world. She was recently awarded a residency by SF MOMA in San Francisco and has been awarded full fellowships by La Napoule Foundation in France and Can Serrat in Spain.
A former fashion and costume designer, Tricia Flanagan has been a practicing artist since 1996. Since earning a Master of Arts in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from Bauhaus University in WEimar, Germany, her practice has focused on working in the public sphere, including site-specific sculpture, social sculpture, sounds sculpture, sculptural installation, wearables, and performance installation. Artwork is often created on location or developed in workshops. She currently runs the Wearables Lab at the Academy of Visual Art HKBU and lives and works in Hong Kong. For her project “Transit Textiles,” she engaged eight artists from various disciplines and backgrounds, mapped their movements throughout the city of Hong Kong, and created wearable textile maps, stiching their networks of movement into the cloth.
So Percussion: "Where (we) Live"
Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Performing in conjunction with Bryan Graf’s exhibit, So Percussion has been praised by The New Yorker for their “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” redefining the modern percussion ensemble as a flexible, omnivorous entity, pushing its voice to the forefront of American musical culture. Part experimental music gig, part multimedia rock show, part happening, Where (we) Live is a freeform investigation of the places and spaces we call home.
MECA Celebrates Chinese New Year with Insights Into Year of the Horse
Fox Intercultural Consulting & Maine College of Art Present:
The Year of the Horse
With Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith
Thursday, February 13, 12.00pm-1.30pm
ICA, Maine College of Art
Free and Open to All
Portland, Maine ~ To celebrate the dawning of Chinese New Year and the launch of MECA’s Year in China, we are welcoming two distinguished figures from the Chinese-American cultural scene. Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith, authors of the Pocket Chinese Almanac series, will be offering audiences insights into the Year of the Horse.
The traditional Chinese almanac, also known as the Tong Sing or Huang Li, is a centuries-old repository of cultural information from household tips to general medical remedies. But it's the almanac's predictions of which days are auspicious or ominous for a wide range of activities that has made the annual publication a mainstay in Chinese homes. For five years now, Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith have translated and decoded the almanac's predictions.
About The Speakers:
Joanna C. Lee is the founder of Museworks, a consultancy for performing artists eager to explore links between Asia and the West. Her clients include the San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Leonard Bernstein estate, San Francisco Opera, Carnegie Hall, Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has also devised publicity, translation or educational outreach projects for the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution, Holland Festival, Sydney Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Asia Society, Taiwan Contemporary Legend Theater, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Hong Kong New Vision Arts Festival, Sotheby’s HK, Beijing Music Festival, Habitat for Humanity, National Geographic, architecture historian Victoria Newhouse and the New York Asian Film Festival.
Journalist and author Ken Smith has traveled widely, covering music on five continents for a wide range of publications including the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Opera News and Time Out New York. He currently divides his time between New York, where he writes for Gramophone magazine, and Hong Kong, where he is the Asian performing arts critic for the Financial Times of London. A featured columnist for China’s Opera magazine, he also covers Western opera in China for the London-based magazines Opera and Opera Now. He had an active role in the Chinese music research for author Amy Tan and composer Stewart Wallace in their opera The Bonesetter’s Daughter based on Tan’s novel, an odyssey he chronicled in his 2008 book Fate! Luck! Chance!. He is also a cultural advisor to David Henry Hwang’s bilingual Broadway comedy Chinglish and the Bruce Lee musical Kung Fu at New York’s Signature Theatre.
In addition to the annual publication of the Pocket Chinese Almanac, they are also authors of The Pocket Confucius, The Pocket Tao, and The Pocket Te. Read more: http://asktongsing.com
Fox Intercultural Consulting promotes intercultural understanding between the United States and China through a diverse range of educational and cultural programs. Headquartered in the pristine setting of Portland, Maine, with teams in Shanghai, Chongqing and Hong Kong, we build bridges between the people of these two vast countries: www.foxintercultural.net
Maine College of Art delivers a demanding and enlivening education in visual art and design within an intimate learning community. We teach each student how to transform aspirations and values into a creative practice that serves as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals. Founded in 1882 and located in the heart of Downtown Portland's thriving Arts District, MECA offers BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in 11 studio majors, MFA (Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art), and MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) degrees. Pre-College and Continuing Studies programming are available for adults and youths. The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA, Joanne Waxman Library, and Visiting Artist and Guest Lecture Series are free and open to the public.
With thanks to our sponsors:
The Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine provides forums and outreach to promote awareness of and appreciation for Chinese culture. cafammaine.org
Creative Portland was founded by Portland City Council in 2008 to grow and support the local creative economy. Major programs include LiveWork Portland, 2 Degrees Portland, and the First Friday Art Walk, among others
Author Peter Korn Speaks at MECA on Thursday, January 30 at 7pm
Peter Korn: Why We Make Things and Why It Matters
In this moving account, Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer/maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and finally founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected, non-profit institution.
This is not a 'how-to' book in any sense. Korn wantsto get at the why of craft in particular, and the satisfactions of creative work in general, to understand their essential nature. How does the making of objects shape our identities? How do the products of creative work inform society? In short, what does the process of making things reveal to us about ourselves? Korn draws on four decades of hands-on experience to answer these questions eloquently, and often poignantly, in this personal, introspective, and revealing book.
Join us for an evening with Maine craftsman and author Peter Korn to discuss his book and share your thoughts on the creative process and get your books signed.
Sue Lennox, CEO & Co-Founder of OzGREEN, added to Spring '13 Lecture Series on 4.19 at 6:30pm
Sue Lennox is co-founder and co-CEO of Australia’s OzGREEN and a member of the Centre for Social Impact Advisory Council. She has 30 years of experience innovating environmental education and community building in urban, regional, remote, and indigenous communities in Australia, India, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Pakistan. In 2007, Sue was named as one of Sydney’s Top 100 Most Influential People by the Sydney Magazine.
The lecture will bet at 6:30pm on Friday April 19th in Osher Hall.
The workshop will expand upon the issues discussed in the lecture and will offer participants the opportunity to reflect upon their own gifts and potential actions around the issues of climate change. She will be doing a one day version of the Leading with the Heart Workshop described in this flyer: click here
Note: The workshop will be from 9am to 5pm on Sunday April 21st and will be free for MECA students faculty and staff and offered to community member by donation. There will be a potluck style lunch so participants are asked to bring a dish to share. For more information, please contact Lilly Morrow at email@example.com.
Two Future Mother Events at the ICA
Thursday DEC. 6th, 12:30pm Artist Talk with Elizabeth Jabar & Colleen Kinsella at the ICA @ MECA
Faculty Lecture Series:
Elizabeth Jabar & Colleen Kinsella – Thursday, December 6, 12:30 -1:30pm
Jeffrey Clancy – Tuesday, December 11, 2-3pm
Adam Manley – Thursday, December 13, 1-2pm
Maine College of Art • 522 Congress Street • Portland, Maine 04101 • firstname.lastname@example.org • 1.800.699.1509
Saturday DEC. 8th 7PM ***ALHAN MIDDLE EASTERN ENSEMBLE***
ICA Gallery @ MECA
Maine College of Art • 522 Congress Street • Portland, Maine 04101 • email@example.com • 1.800.699.1509
On Dec. 8th at 7PM, the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art will host Middle Eastern Ensemble ALHAN, created and driven by Arabic singer Madeline Hanna and Tom Kovacevic formerly of Cerberus Shoal and Tarpigh. Alhan will perform a concert of Turkish and Arabic music featuring violin, oud, darbuka and nay.The members of Alhan have studied with master teachers from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, bringing varied musical backgrounds to their interpretation of Middle Eastern Music. They offer a truly rare opportunity to experience the rich and beautiful traditions of the Middle East.
ALHAN Middle Eastern Ensemble will perform on Saturday evening at 7pm
to celebrate the completion of FUTURE MOTHERS, Tent/ Text/ Totem a collaborative installation by Elizabeth Jabar & Colleen Kinsella.
The Institute of Contemporary Art Gallery at Maine College of Art will host ALHAN as part of The World Over , 2012 MECA Faculty Exhibition.
Future Mothers, Tent /Text /Totem is a book in the form of a tent. Made entirely of hand-dyed, hand-printed cloth, the tent is a contemplative space within a space. Printed fragments were sewn into an impermanent dwelling based on nomadic Bedouin tent forms.
Kinsella & Jabar tell a story using an index of images. The exterior walls read as a lexicon, giving keys to the sprawling murals of creation, destruction and rebirth that cover the interior walls of the tent. The texts and totems serve to mark and further inform the narrative.
This project was made possible with the assistance of the ICA, Maine College of Art BFA Students & Alumni, Stitch Gatherings & Z fabrics.
Elizabeth Jabar's background is rooted in Waterville's Lebanese community. Cultural symbols and references to the Middle East are spread throughout her alarmingly beautiful work. Her books and works on paper are part of NY Center for Book Arts 2013 Symposium on Books.
She is Assistant Dean, Chair of Printmaking & Public Engagement at MECA.
Colleen Kinsella's interest in temporary nomadic structures like Beduoin tents, stems from her experience with various musical groups like Cerberus Shoal, Fire on Fire and Big Blood. She has toured and exhibited throughout the US and Europe since 1999 with her printmaking, installations,and performances. Her work was featured in the 2011 PMA Biennial and she is an Instructor at MECA
This work was created in the last 6months but culminates over 11 years of working alongside each other in MECA's Printmaking Department for over 10 years.TO SEE MORE images of the tent in-progress go to:
All ICA Events at MECA are FREE and open to the public.
Future Mothers will be selling beautiful hand printed posters and ephemera to support the event.
Future Mothers, Tent /Text /Totem is part of The World Over, 2012 Juried Faculty Exhibition at Maine College of ART.
Please contact ICA Director Daniel Fuller for more details @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.800.699.1509
Maine College of Art • 522 Congress Street • Portland, Maine 04101 ••
MECA Announces Fall Lecture Series
MECA’s Visiting Artist and Guest Lecturer Series invites professional artists, educators, curators, thought leaders, and creative entrepreneurs to present on topics of interest and importance to the MECA community. All lectures in this series are open to the public at no charge. RSVPs to email@example.com are encouraged, as seating is limited. Call 207.699.5010 for more information.
Art for the
As the director of Long Now, Alexander has facilitated projects such as the 10,000 Year Clock, The Rosetta Project, Long Bets, Seminars About Long Term Thinking, Long Server and countless others. Alexander shares several design patents on the 10,000 Year Clock with Danny Hillis, the first prototype of which is in the Science Museum of London. His experience also includes serving as an artist in residence at Silicon Graphics Inc., a project manager for Shamrock Communications, and a founding partner of Inertia Labs. Alexander has attended the Art Center College of Design and graduated with a bachelor of arts honors degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Industrial Design in 1995.
A Day With The Public Engagement Department
Scott Berzofsky is a recent SMACT graduate from the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology. His work explores the relation between art, ecology and urban spatial politics. Before coming to MIT, Scott lived and worked in Baltimore, where he co-organized several artistic and activist initiatives including campbaltimore, Participation Park, The City from Below and STEW. His writing has appeared in Third Text, Critical Planning and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.
Printmaking, Book Arts, and Sculpture
Materials and Process
Leeanna Morris is currently in her first year of the MECA MFA program. She earned a BFA in Studio Art concentrating in photography and a minor in Art History from Southern Methodist University (SMU). After graduating Leeanna was a Studio Resident in ceramics at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. In her work, she is currently exploring ideas of installation and limitation through materials and process. She works in a variety of mediums, ranging from photography, ceramics, fibers, and drawing.
The Inspiration of Edward Gorey & The High Skies Adventure of Blue Jay the Pirate
Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey comes to Portland
Portland, ME ~ The Bank of Maine proudly presents Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey opening on Friday, October 5, 2012, and continuing through December 29 on display at Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery. The exhibition is free of charge to the general public and features original illustrations, preparatory sketches, unpublished drawings and ephemera by the internationally celebrated artist and author Edward Gorey. This highly acclaimed exhibit is made possible by generous support from The Bank of Maine and a collaboration between Maine College of Art (MECA) and Portland Public Library.
Elegant Enigmas pays tribute to the work of Edward Gorey (1925 – 2000), best known for his brilliant drawings and witty, quirky stories. Described as “incredibly sophisticated…stylish and inventive” by the New York Observer, Gorey’s signature pen-and-ink illustrations and macabre wit has led him to be considered one of America’s most imaginative and eccentric artists of all-time. During his lifetime, Gorey published over 100 works, designed sets and costumes for countless theatre productions, created popular animations, and illustrated works for a wide array of artists ranging from Charles Dickens and John Updike to Virginia Woolf and H.G. Wells.
Elegant Enigmas includes approximately 180 original works, including selections from The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest, The Unstrung Harp, The Gilded Bat, and other well-known publications, drawn primarily from the extensive archives of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust and significant private collections.
Chairman and CEO of The Bank of Maine, John Everets, one of many local Gorey enthusiasts said, “We are proud to sponsor this exhibit and delighted to help share the fascinating genius of Edward Gorey with the Greater Portland community. We hope that people take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to experience Elegant Enigmas for themselves.”
or to schedule an interview with Gorey expert and chair of MECA’s illustration department, Scott Nash, please contact Raffi Der Simonian at 207.699.5010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Exhibition has been organized by the Edwards Gorey Charitable Trust and the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Artist who designed Sprague oil tanks speaks at MECA
Jaime Gili, the artist who designed the art for Sprague Energy Corporation’s oil tanks that line Casco Bay between Portland and South Portland, will visit Maine this coming week, spoke at MECA's Osher Hall on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. The event was hosted by the Maine Center for Creativity, in partnership with Maine College of Art.
The Maine Center for Creativity, in ground-breaking collaboration with the Sprague Energy Corporation, sponsored the Art All Around® project. It is a bold initiative launched in 2008 to spearhead an international design competition. It’s goal: to transform 16 oil storage tanks on Portland harbor into an integrated ‘canvas’ of color and design at the gateway to the state’s largest city – and to all of Maine.
The first phase was an open design competition that received 560 submissions from 80 countries. Designs were evaluated by a select, international panel of judges. Five semifinalists, including two from Maine, each received a $10,000 prize award. Jaime Gili, a young Venezuela-born artist living in London, was selected as the final winner – and received the $20,000 grand prize.
To date, five tanks of the 16 tanks have been completed, and Gili is visiting Maine to talk about the project, his inspiration, and how it compares to his other artistic endeavors.
About Jaime Gili
Jaime Gili was born in Caracas in 1972 and lives in London. His work has been described as continuing a tradition of Latin American abstract art, especially the Venezuelan optical artists from the 20th Century. Critics have described his work as a mix of Pop, Minimalism, Vorticism, Futurism and graffiti Art. Gili received his MA in painting from the Royal College of Art in 1998, after studying in Caracas and Barcelona, and has exhibited since in the UK, the USA, Brazil, Switzerland, Spain, Argentina and Venezuela. Art All Around® jurors selected Gili’s work from among 560 submissions from more than 80 countries during the Maine Center for Creativity’s international competition to transform the Sprague industrial site into the world’s largest public art painting.
About the Maine Center for Creativity
Through its support of arts and industry collaborations, the Maine Center for Creativity (MCC) harnesses the power of talent and innovation to drive economic development and growth of the creative economy in Maine. By developing projects and educational programs that support the vibrancy of creative industries and the arts, such as Art All Around®, Pecha Kucha, and the inaugural Maine Creative Industries Award on September 13, 2012, MCC nurtures innovative companies, engaged communities, and creative people. For more information visit www.mainecenterforcreativity.org or call 207.730.0694.
Visiting Artist: Sarah Pierce
Maine College of Art welcomes Visiting Artist Sarah Pierce back to her homestate of Maine for a lecture on Saturday, December 3 at 6pm in Osher Hall. Since 2003, Pierce has used an umbrella term, The Metropolitan Complex, to describe her practice which uses archives, exhibitions, and papers–often opening these structures up to the personal and the incidental. Central to her activity is a consideration of forms of gathering, both historical examples and those she initiates.