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Startup Weekend Women's Edition at MECA

Posted: 2015-05-28

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Startup Weekend Women's Edition

Friday, June 12 - 14, 2015 
Event starts at 5:30pm 
Maine College of Art Cafe
522 Congress Street Portland, ME 04102 

Join us to explore your talents, break the rules, and experience starting a business with a team.

Startup Weekend: Women’s Edition is an adventure where women can explore their talents, break the rules, and work with a team to develop creative ideas into successful business plans.
  • Friday night begins with an open mic for 60-second pitches that results in small teams forming around the best concepts.
  • Teams spend Saturday and Sunday focusing on customer development, validating ideas, and designing prototypes with the help of experienced mentors (our coaches).
  • Sunday afternoon, teams pitch their ideas and receive valuable feedback from a panel of judges and prizes are awarded. 

Sign up now.

MECA Hosts Panel Discussion for Maine Startup + Create Week (6.25.15)

Posted: 2015-05-27

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Design Accelerant: The Role of Art and Design in Value Creation, Differentiation and Scale

This panel brings together three talented and experienced designers who are applying their creative skills to business problems in very different ways. Brian Wilk from Hasbro develops games that mainly live in the physical world, Ben Jordan develops digital experiences for large clients, and Catherine D’Ignazio applies design and technology to improve civic engagement. Come hear where these three visionaries overlap in their approaches and experiences, and where they don’t!


Catherine D'Ignazio

Catherine D'Ignazio is an Assistant Professor at Emerson College, a Research Fellow at the Engagement Lab, and a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab. She investigates how data visualization, technology and new forms of storytelling can be used for civic engagement. Her recent projects include the "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck!" hackathon, designing a water quality sensing toolkit for journalists, and leading performative walks to visualize climate change.

Her art and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation,, the LEF Foundation, and Dream It, Code It, Win It. In 2009, she was a finalist for the Foster Prize at the ICA Boston. Her work has been exhibited at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, Museo d’Antiochia of Medellin, and the Venice Biennial. D'Ignazio received her MFA from the Maine College of Art


Ben Jordan

Ben Jordan is President & Director of Experience at nGen Works. Ben has 15+ years of digital design and development expertise, and is a valued industry consultant who has been sought out for his vision by major Fortune 500 companies including Whole Foods, American Airlines, Neiman Marcus and Apple.

Prior to nGen, Ben served in several design leadership positions, including VP of Customer Experience at InVision and Executive Creative Director at Credera, where he won multiple industry awards for his work. He boasts an eclectic skill set that he puts to use everyday building meaningful digital solutions to his clients toughest challenges.


Brian Wilk

Brian Wilk is the VP of Design and Development, Games Division at Hasbro Inc.

After almost twenty years in the field, there is hardly a type of game that Brian has not worked on. Some of the brands he's been involved with include Star Wars, Transformers, GI Joe, Playskool, Play Doh, Mr. Potato Head, Monopoly, Beyblade, Furby, Marvel Comics, Kre-O, Mighty Muggs, Attacktix, Spider-Man, Starting LineUp, Jurassic Park, RescueBots, Scrabble, Sesame Street, Risk, Operation, and the Game of Life.

Brian is currently responsible for gaming development across Hasbro, and leads a large  team of the best designers and developers in the industry. His goal is to deliver the world's best gaming experiences based on customer insight, and he works with producers, writers, designers, developers, licensees, and inventors to bring Hasbro's products to market.

Brian loves his work because gaming brings play to kids and kids at heart of all ages all around the world, and is another way to tell stories and extend the experience of brands. For Brian and Hasbro, customer delight and maximum return on investment are one and the same.

SWARM — Erin Hutton + The Press Hotel

Posted: 2015-05-22

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Watch video here.

SWARM is a permanent two-story typewriter installation within the Press Hotel located in Portland, Maine. SWARM is designed by artist Erin Hutton in collaboration with Artists at Work at Maine College of Art. SWARM features sixty two vintage typewriters acquired from Tom Furrier of Cambridge Typewriters in Arlington, MA. Spanning the era of the late 1800’s to 1960’s and are mounted in a circular swarm pattern. Condensed and dark machines toward the center, and lighter in color as they appear to move and spread across the wall. The swarm protrudes out into the space as it grows out from the swarm. Steel and wood mounts angle the typewriters out toward the viewer. 


Erin Hutton '98 - Artist & Project Management
John Nelson '12 - Steel Fabrication
Nicole Farrand '11 - Wood Fabrication
Sabrina Volante '14 - Design Assistant
Matthew Doucette - Assistant

Portfolio Day 2015

Posted: 2015-05-11

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On Friday, April 10, a group of 100 creative professionals and students gathered in the ICA at Maine College of Art to participate in Portfolio Day. The event, co-hosted by MECA and AIGA Maine, was open to MECA, SMCC and USM students majoring in graphic design, photography, illustration, and new media.

The event offered students the chance to share their portfolios with a broad spectrum of professionals ranging from creative directors, to independent artists, local publishers and in-house teams. Nearly 50 reviewers participated in the event, representing forty companies from the region, including three from neighboring New Hampshire. New participants this year included the visual effects studio Infusion Studios, mobile marketing firm Liquid Wireless, and the creative agency Kingspoke.

MECA student Alexander Brooks, who participated in Portfolio Day for the first time, said, “It was a huge learning experience for me, and a great opportunity to have a dialog about my work with professionals.” Brooks, a New Media major, reflected, “The feedback I got was useful and on point, and I was able to make connections to the game industry that led to a summer internship."

Portfolio Day is an ongoing collaboration between MECA’s Artist at Work program and AIGA Maine which began three years ago. Samantha Haedrich, Education Director for AIGA Maine and a faculty member at MECA, says, “It has been exciting to watch this event grow each year. From the perspective of both organizations, Portfolio Day is an opportunity to continue to expand the conversation surrounding creative excellence within Maine. I believe that professionals can play a key role in the development of student and recent graduates – whether by participating in an event like Portfolio Day, connecting through classroom experiences, hosting internships, or becoming a mentor.” 

Gallery of images

2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition Opens at MECA

Posted: 2015-05-06

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2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition To Open At MECA

Portland Maine ~ A reception will be held on Friday, May 8th, from 6 to 8pm, to celebrate the opening of the MFA Thesis Exhibition. The work was created by students who are graduating from the Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts program.

The show includes work from MFA students Laura Blair Bodden, Audra Christie, Stratton McCrady, Brandon Pierce, Alena Shaughnessy, Aaron Smith, and Matthew Tanzi. The MFA program granted students an interdisciplinary approach that encourages them to think across traditional academic boundaries and challenge their art practice and intellectual curiosity.

The 2014 MFA Thesis Exhibition will be open for viewing through May 31st: Wednesday – Sunday, 11am-5pm, Thursday until 7pm.

Laura Blair Bodden

The photographs and projection work in Laura Blair Bodden's series Thresholds exaggerates the time and space of twilight. In this body of work the liminal is explored as a space between spaces, as space of waiting. Bodden uses constructed sets to produce images that embrace the nature
of the shadow landscape.

Audra Christie:  Audra Christie has a hybrid art practice that utilizes process, encounter, engagement, community, and her experience living in rural Maine. Her social design practice and specifically the Tiny House Studio
project seeks to stimulate interaction and foster a communal experience. Christie's work connects the viewer with the moment and acts as a reminder of the interconnectedness of humanity. The Tiny House Studio can be seen at MECA's green space, just down the street from the ICA.

Stratton McCrady: Following in the path of artists such as Diane Arbus and Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec, McCrady's project Acting Out: Performances, Debaucheries and Lies grew from the desire to study and to illuminate the fringes of local society and specifically the Burlesque community in the Portland area.  
He portrays the humor, sexuality, generosity, the curiosity and the beauty of his subjects. 

Brandon Pierce: Brandon Pierce is a conceptual artist using elements of performance, self-experimentation, and drawing to explore the limits  of rationality in the understanding of the self and its place in society. His current
work is two-fold. In his performance work he is cataloging and exploring the nature of the barriers he imposes between himself and his identity as an artist. In his sculptural work he is exploring the physical and social effect that aesthetics, essentially his output as an artist, plays in the speciation and maintenance of social structures, particularly class.

Alena Shaughnessy: Alena Shaughnessy's work brings the outside world inside and makes the internal world visible.  Her work is made of visual fragments of life to include outdoor pieces like skies, indoor pieces like carpet and in between pieces like doors. Time and space are altered. Shaughnessy's installations are domestic spaces that become universes.

Aaron Smith: Aaron Smith is a photographer and installation artist who makes phenomena visible by creating relationships between light, space object and the viewer. His Synergy project consists of small simple machines that manipulate light in order to change the way objects and space are perceived. The meditative state evoked by his work present viewers with realities that lie outside of their immediate physical grasp and can be accessed through their imaginations.

Matthew Tanzi: Matthew Tanzi's animations ask the question 'what dictates reality'— and specifically what are the differences between the invented realities put forth through the medium of film and our perceived realities in the physical world. His animation The Witlessly Automated Adventures of the Extra Ordinary Hectkor uses social satire and humor to allow the audience to consider these questions for themselves.  

For more information or to schedule an interview with any of the featured artists, please contact Nicole Holmes (

Monhegan Residency

Posted: 2015-05-04

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Alina Gallo (MFA '08), Botanical Study: Mushrooms

"The Monhegan Artists’ Residency supports the creative growth of dedicated Maine artists by providing them time and space in which to work free of interruption and constraint in the inspiring environment of Monhegan Island."

The program offers living quarters, studio space, and a $100 per week stipend for a five-week period. One residency is peak summer, one in late summer/early fall. There are three residencies per summer, two for artists and one for an art educator.

MECA alumni who recently received the residency:
2015: Justin Richel '02
2014: Victoria Statsenko '14
2013: Kristin Fitzpatrick '13
2011: Alina Gallo, MFA '08

Other alumni recipients since its inception in 1989:
Cyndi Davis '90,
Nicole Duennebier '05,
Joe Kievitt '93,
Connie Hayes '80,
Margaret Leonard '82,
Martha Miller '06

2015 BFA, MFA & MAT Commencement

Posted: 2015-04-30

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2015 BFA, MFA & MAT Commencement
Saturday, May 9, 10am
State Theater, 609 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
Reception immediately following at Maine College of Art, The Porteous Building, 522 Congress St., Portland, Maine

Thomas Moser, Founder of Maine’s Thos Moser, Cabinetmakers will deliver the Commencement address at Maine College of Art’s 104th Commencement, which begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9 at the State Theatre at 609 Congress Street.

Formerly a Bates College professor, Tom Moser left teaching in 1972 to restore the lost art of fine woodworking by making one-of-a-kind furniture in an old Grange Hall in New Gloucester, Maine. Throughout his life he had always been making things out of wood and after 15 years decided to leave academia to devote himself to his true passion, woodworking. Moser notes, “If you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life.” During the last forty years, the company has grown from a one-man operation to nearly 70 cabinetmakers (about half men and half women), with clients and collectors around the world.  
“For Maine College of Art students to hear from one of Maine’s best creative entrepreneurs as they graduate and embark on a career as an artist is a great opportunity,” said President Donald Tuski.  “Tom’s career demonstrates how art, craft, design and entrepreneurship can come together.”

Thomas Moser: Legacy in Wood opens in MECA’s ICA on July 22 and runs through September 21.  The exhibit surveys Thos Moser, Cabinetmakers 44 years of engagement with wood.  The work included in the exhibition spans four decades; in many instances walking the viewer through the growth of a chair from early design iterations through several design changes or variations on a central theme, always returning to what Moser via Plato calls "ultimate chairness." This Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art retrospective is the first exhibition to examine the central importance of Thomas Moser to the world of fine furniture craftsmanship.

The college will also confer honorary degrees on Ashley Bryan and June Fitzpatrick.

Writer, poet and illustrator of children’s books, Ashley Bryan doesn’t speak his stories, he sings them, fingers snapping, feet tapping, his voice articulating. Born in 1923, Ashley entered the tuition-free Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering, having been denied entry elsewhere because of his race. Following service in World War Two and a career of teaching art at several schools and universities, Bryan retired  in the 1980s to Maine’s Cranberry Isles as professor emeritus of Dartmouth College. He continues to paint, write, and illustrate at 92.

June Fitzpatrick owns the independent June Fitzpatrick Gallery housed within Maine College of Art, which holds a central position in the heart of Portland’s Arts District and is a destination point for local, regional and international collectors. June supports MECA students and alumni with annual exhibitions, including Ten Years After, which showcases MECA painting majors one decade after their graduation, the annual BFA Thesis Exhibition, and MECA’s annual staff show.

Donald Tuski, Ph.D, president of MECA, will confer the honorary degrees. “It is a profound honor to recognize the accomplishments of these distinguished individuals and welcome them to our alumni ranks,” said Tuski.

East to East to Open in the ICA

Posted: 2015-04-30

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East to East

The show will be open from June 5 – July 3, 2015

Curator's Statement

Two Maine artists return home – elin o'Hara slavick with After Hiroshima, a project from the Far East, and Shane C. Smith with Avi Form – a project about the Downeast Penobscot living on Indian Island, Maine.

Both artists pay special attention to the specific cultural sites on which they work or to which they refer - Hiroshima, Japan (the Far East) and the Native lands of the (near Downeast) coast of Maine. The archive, cultural memory, the past and its power in the present, loss of histories, people and lands, artifacts, the performative gestures of remembering, honoring and witnessing all play important parts in this work. East to East investigates these dynamic explorations of history, memory, loss, language that artists make as cultural storytellers and producers. The work is deeply engaged in the physical trace - be it photographic, indexical, handmade, sculptural, textual or performative.

Elin o'Hara slavick grew up in Portland, Maine, and took her first photography class at the Portland School of Art (now MECA). Slavick, who has never shown in Maine, is currently a Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in Studio Art, Theory and Practice at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she worked with Shane C. Smith on an independent study for fall, 2014 semester, in which he produced some of the work in this exhibition.

Shane C. Smith was born in Bangor and grew up in Milford, Maine, between Old Town, Indian Island and French Island. Smith, a conceptual and performance artist, utilizes an intermedia approach to investigate the subject and language within histories as they relate to place. His socially based practice has lead to designing and building a playground in Uganda, Africa and a stop-motion film featuring Penobscot Native American mythology that premiered at the Taos, New Mexico Talking Picture Show. After earning his MFA from UNC, Chapel Hill, he will continue his studio practice in New York City.

For the artists, this exhibition grows out of the mutually beneficial and equally challenging relationship between mentor and mentee. One instructs the other and the other teaches a new language.

Reggio-Inspired Conference at MECA

Posted: 2015-04-22

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>> Friday, August 14, 2015 through Sunday, August 16, 2015

Maine College of Art presents a conference designed to inspire conversation about the role documentation can play in helping diverse populations understand each other. Together we will explore stories of immigrant populations in Reggio Emilia and Pistoia, Italy, as well as in Portland, Maine.

This groundbreaking look at documentation is designed for educators, school administrators, social service providers, and anyone working with communities of refugees and immigrants.

By witnessing and recording, the process of documentation can ultimately lead to understanding the shifts in learning within communities. The practice of documentation as a means of assessment and interpretation has served to inform early childhood educators in Reggio Emilia and Pistoia, Italy for decades. The Reggio Emilia approach is based in part on the view that children are capable, competent learners.  This conference explores the notions of "making learning visible" within a variety of collaborative, educational settings through documentation. Documentation, when utilized in authentic, project-based teaching and learning, transcends early childhood practice and is now embraced by artists at work in socially-engaged, collaborative, community-based endeavors and in the new framework of Design Thinking.

Keynote speakers:
Lella Gandini, Ed.D,
United States Liaison for the Dissemination
of the Reggio Emilia Approach
Susan Etheredge, Ed.D, Professor and
Chair of the Department of Education and Child Study at Smith College.

The conference registration price for three days is $180, with limited housingavailable.

Conference includes a Friday night reception with hors d'oeuvres
and light breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Other meals are not included.

Click here for more information and to register.

Presented by the Master of Arts in Teaching Programat MECA, an accredited,
ten-month program that blends the worlds of artist, educator and scholar.

MECA Announces 2015 Spring Gala on May 1

Posted: 2015-04-16

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MECAmorphosis Hosted on May 1 in Conjunction with First Friday Artwalk

Free and Open to the Public for the First Time, MECAmorphosis Celebrates the 2015 BFA Thesis Exhibitions while Introducing 80 Emerging Artists

Portland, Maine ~  Held in collaboration with Portland’s First Friday Art Walk this year, access to the 2015 Thesis Exhibition is free and open to the public. There will be light fare and interactive art throughout the College’s historic Porteous Building. The evening includes a ticketed Runway Fashion Show in the ICA, which premiers the collections of our majors in Textile and Fashion Design, followed by a ticketed Artist’s Party.

MECAmorphosis celebrates the 2015 Thesis Exhibition and introduces over 80 emerging artists graduating from Maine College of Art in the BFA program, as well as raises critical scholarship funds to educate the next generation of artists.

  • 5:00PM-8:00PM    BFA Thesis Exhibition, Floors 1, 2 + 3 (free + open to the public)

  • 6:30PM-7:30PM*   Runway Fashion Show in the ICA, Floor 1 (ticketed) *doors at 6:00PM

  • 7:30PM-10:00PM   Artist's Party in the Cafe (ticketed)


General Admission to the BFA Thesis Exhibition Opening, which does not include admission to the Fashion Show or the Artist’s Party is Free and Open to the Public (5:00-8:00pm).  

Runway Fashion Show Tickets, which include admission to the BFA Thesis Exhibition Opening, as well as the Runway Fashion Show and Artist’s Party, are $75 (5:00-10:00pm).   

Host Committee Tickets, which include admission to the BFA Thesis Exhibition Opening, the Fashion Show and the Artist's Party, are $150 (5:00-10:00pm).

Patron Tickets, which include admission to the BFA Thesis Exhibition Opening, the Runway Fashion Show and the Artist's Party, are $500 (5:00-10:00pm).

Dress is creative black tie -- meaning attendees are invited to dress up, but do so with a creative twist.


MECAmorphosis 2015 is generously supported by our lead sponsor, TD Bank as well as media sponsors, Maine Magazine and Maine Home + Design.

Tickets are available at brownpapertickets. For more information, email or call 207.699.5012.


2015 Merit Show Winners

Posted: 2015-04-07

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Congratulations to all the Merit Show winners this year. Participating students compete every year in the Merit Show for scholarship prizes and must meet a minimum GPA requirement. This year’s show featured the work of 46 students.

The Geary Prize:
Robert Condon, Junior, Graphic Design

Jury Select:
Jacqueline King, Sophomore, Painting

Honorable Mentions:
Ashley Wernher-Collins, Junior, Textiles & Fashion Design
Catherine Quattrociocchi, Sophomore, Metalsmithing & Jewelry
Emily Koerner, Junior Textiles & Fashion Design
Gillan Doty, Junior, Ceramics

Outstanding 2D Work:
Anna Welch, Sophomore, Printmaking

Outstanding 3D Work:
Emmett Freeman, Sophomore, Ceramics

4th Place:
Hannah Boone, Junior, Painting

3rd Place:
Peter Dore, Junior, Woodworking & Furniture Design

2nd Place:
Elana Sternick, Junior, Woodworking & Furniture Design

Best in Show:
Iva Milovanovic, Junior, Ceramics

Posted: 2015-04-06

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KENNEBUNK – The Brick Store Museum’s newest exhibition, Visual Storytelling: Celebrating Maine Illustrators, will open Friday, March 20. The exhibit will not only display the history of illustration, but feature the artwork of illustrators, artists, and cartoonists living in Maine today. The illustrated image has become a significant part of our culture and captured the imaginations of generations.
Illustrators taking part in the exhibit include current and former MECA faculty Stephen Costanza, Daniel Minter, Scott Nash. The show also features the work of MECA alumi, Jada Fitch. Also exhibited are Dahlov Ipcar, Ashley Bryan, Chris van Dusen, Wade Zahares, Melissa Sweet among others. Each artist has been invited to share 3-5 pieces of work. There are many kinds of illustration featured in the exhibit, including children’s books, political cartoons, comic books, and natural history illustration.
Visitors will be invited to create their own art inside the gallery – right on the wall! Upcoming summer illustrators’ workshops (check for future listings) will invite families, students, and adults to take part in specialized presentations by the artists themselves. Visual Storytelling is sponsored by the Captain Lord Mansion, the Captain Jefferds Inn, and Hurlbutt Designs. The exhibit will run through Sept. 27, 2015.
For more information, please contact Prof. Scott Nash (

Posted: 2015-04-06

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KENNEBUNK – The Brick Store Museum’s newest exhibition, Visual Storytelling: Celebrating Maine Illustrators, will open Friday, March 20. The exhibit will not only display the history of illustration, but feature the artwork of illustrators, artists, and cartoonists living in Maine today. The illustrated image has become a significant part of our culture and captured the imaginations of generations.
Illustrators taking part in the exhibit include current and former MECA faculty Stephen Costanza, Daniel Minter, Scott Nash. The show also features the work of MECA alumi, Jada Fitch. Also exhibited are Dahlov Ipcar, Ashley Bryan, Chris van Dusen, Wade Zahares, Melissa Sweet among others. Each artist has been invited to share 3-5 pieces of work. There are many kinds of illustration featured in the exhibit, including children’s books, political cartoons, comic books, and natural history illustration.
Visitors will be invited to create their own art inside the gallery – right on the wall! Upcoming summer illustrators’ workshops (check for future listings) will invite families, students, and adults to take part in specialized presentations by the artists themselves. Visual Storytelling is sponsored by the Captain Lord Mansion, the Captain Jefferds Inn, and Hurlbutt Designs. The exhibit will run through Sept. 27, 2015.
For more information, please contact Prof. Scott Nash (

Wheels and Heels: A Guest Lecture By Matthew Bird

Posted: 2015-04-01

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Wheels and Heels: Matchbox cars, Barbie Dolls, and what they can teach us about design

Matthew Bird will be giving a guest lecture on April 2nd at 12:00pm in Osher Hall. Matthew Bird is an Industrial Design faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design.

2015 Professional Development and Entrepreneurship Grants

Posted: 2015-03-31

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Congratulations to the recipients of the 2015 Professional Development and Entrepreneurship Grants Awards. The grant helps BFA, MFA, and Art Ed students advance their studio and professional skills by accessing opportunities and experiences beyond the MECA classroom. 

Katherine Ackley '15, Illustration
Katie will use the funds to launch her start-up, Inky Blue.

Caitlin Ervin '16, Sculpture and Public Engagement Minor
Caitlin will use the funds for a Public Engagement bike project about environmental awareness.

Sara Inacio '17, Printmaking
Sara will use the funds to participate in Braddock Tiles, a project of the Heliotrope Foundation started by Swoon.

Jonathan Novak '15, Graphic Design
Jon will use the funds on a membership at Open Bench to have studio access for six months after graduation.

Elana Sternick '16, Woodworking & Furniture Design
Elena will use the funds to attend the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.

Jacqueline Weichmann '15, Photography
Jacki will use the funds for marketing and self-promotion.


Tessa O’Brien, MFA '16
Tessa will use the funds to document the work of the organization she co-founded, The Portland Mural Initiative.

Veronica Perez, MFA '16
Veronica will use the funds to self-publish a catalogue and book of her new body of visual and written work.

Image: Sculpture by Jon Novak '15

MECA's Second Annual Youth Essay Contest

Posted: 2015-03-26

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Portland Maine ~ Last year Maine College of Art held its inaugural Summer Youth Essay Contest. After receiving over 70 submissions from young artists ranging in age from 8 to 17, MECA recognized there is a great desire for arts programming in the Greater Portland area and decided to make the contest an annual event. This year, three students will be awarded  free summer arts camps based on their essays' conviction and clarity of expression. The essay question this year focuses on students' impactful experiences with art. Students are asked to respond to the following question in 250-500 words,  “Tell us about an art experience you’ve had that you’ll never forget. How has it inspired you to want to make art at MECA this summer?”

The goal of the essay contest is to engage young artists in the community and to give them opportunities to expand their artistic skill-set. Many of the winning students last year spoke about how the opportunity to spend their summer at MECA would help them grow as people and learn as artists. Caitlyn Duffy, one of last years winners, said in her essay, “I thrive in places surrounded by other people who are just as creative as me, or more so. To have the opportunity to be surrounded by people with passion and to broaden my artistic skill would be an extremely rich experience.”

The prize for winners is a full scholarship to MECA’s many summer art camps. MECA’s youth art camps explore a wide range of disciplines, including painting, drawing, gaming, sculpture, fashion, animation, photography, printmaking, and much more.  New this year are camps that center around music composition, programming inspired by MECA's new Music minor this year, thanks to a generous gift from The Bob Crewe Foundation.

More information on the Summer Youth Essay Contest can be found at  Or call 699-5061 with questions.

You can read the essays from last year’s winners here.

Contact: Courtney Cook
Director of Continuing Studies
Maine College of Art

Professor Mark Jamra Recognized by Typographica

Posted: 2015-03-24

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Associate Professor of Graphic Design Mark Jamra has been recognized by as having one of the best typefaces of 2014. Mark Jamra is a renowned type designer and has been designing typefaces for close to 30 years. His company, TypeCulture is an independent type foundry and academic resource. Typographica reviewed Jamra's typeface "Phoreus Cherokee" which is one of the very few Cherokee typefaces available for use. The review talks about the desperate need for a quality Cherokee typeface,

"Four years ago, in a conference room filled with type enthusiasts, three representatives of the Cherokee Nation explained why the world still needs more fonts.

Of their 316,000 members (the largest tribal nation in the USA), only 22,000 native Cherokee speakers remain, and only a handful of Cherokee fonts exist, most of poor quality. Users have no way to make a headline bold or to italicize words for emphasis. Traditional Cherokee type designs are intricate and of high contrast, poorly suited for reading on screen. New, multifunctional Cherokee fonts are an essential tool necessary for the education, communication, and survival of their language.

That is why I salute Mark Jamra. He stepped up."

You can read the full review here.

You can see the full list of typeface here.

Getting Ready for the Great Maine Bike Swap in April

Posted: 2015-03-17

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The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is hosting the 2015 Portland Great Maine Bike Swap on Sunday, April 26, from 10am–1pm. The Bike Swap will be at the USM Sullivan Recreation & Fitness Complex in Portland. At the swap you can choose from hundreds of bikes in varying prices ranges. This event is the unofficial kick-off to the Maine cycling season and local bike shops will be selling helmets, bike parts, gear and accessories as well.

Maine College of Art has partnered with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine before on events such as “Bike Light Giveaway.” Where members of the Coalition educated commuters on the safety of using bike lights and remaining visible during their rides. Many MECA community members are avid cyclists and often take advantage of events hosted by the Coalition. The bike swap is a great way for fellow cyclists to connect in the community and encourage green transportation. 

You can find more information about the bike swap, including buying and selling, here.

Chinese Artist Mei Selvage Library Exhibition Expresses Wisdom in Visual Storytelling

Posted: 2015-02-27

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(PORTLAND, MAINE) Portland-based artist Mei Selvage is exhibiting her recent acrylic and mixed-media art at Joanne Waxman Library of Maine College of Art (MECA) through March 14, 2015.

Through art, Mei Selvage embodies and expresses Dharma (wisdom). The results are narratives on personal and universal levels. “Art is my way to tell stories,” she says. “I love to use words, colors, and images to reveal the interplay of hidden and perceived realities. Art empowers me and enables me express the ancient wisdom.” In February’s Maine Natural Awakening Magazine, Amy Paradysz—a writer based in Scarborough, ME—highlights Mei’s embrace of Chinese “accent” in her work.

The exhibition marks a celebration of Chinese New Year, which officially begins Feb. 19. Moira Steven, Library Director at MECA Library, is pleased to promote cross-cultural exchanges. MECA kicked off several important partnerships with Chinese art academies and cultural institutions in 2014.

About Mei Selvage:
Mei is a visual artist who was born in Sichuan, China, and moved to the U.S. in 1997. She creates artworks in acrylic painting and mixed-media. Her inspirations come from classical Chinese art, literature, and philosophy. As a co- founder and curator of Ya Ji East/West Cultural Gatherings, Mei brings a genuine artist spirit and her vision for an East/West creative hub in the New England. Mei spends her days as a research director at Gartner and co-invented more than 30 patents during her twelve-year career at IBM. For more artist information, visit

About MECA Joanne Waxman Library:
Maine College of Art’s library is located on the second floor of the Porteous Building in downtown Portland, Maine. As a full-service library, it serves as the main research center for the college community and the general public, as well as providing exhibition space for student and faculty work. It collects over 40,000 books and subscribes to 108 print magazines. For more information, visit


Professor Matt Hutton Recognized by American Craft Council

Posted: 2015-02-26

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Matt Hutton, Associate Professor of Woodworking and Furniture Design at Maine College of Art is being recognized by the American Craft Council (AAC) in their new Emerging Voices Award. The award recognizes one emerging artist, four shortlisted artists, and one emerging scholar. In addition to cash prizes, all artists and scholars will be featured in the June/July issue of American Craft.

This is the first year that the Emerging Voices Award is being presented and will be presented biennially in recognition and support of the next generation of makers and thinkers in the field of contemporary craft.

Matt Hutton earned his BFA at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana and an MFA from San Diego State University. He started working at MECA in 2002 as a Professor of the woodworking program. The Woodworking and Furniture Design program at MECA is designed to teach students to move beyond basic woodworking skills and take their concepts from sketches, to technical drawings, to finished pieces. The program takes advantage of using both classic and modern tools such as the CNC router, a machine that Matt Hutton often uses in his precisely crafted work.

To learn more about the other winners of the Emerging Artist Award read The American Craft Council’s press release here.

See more of Matt Hutton's work here.

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