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Upcoming Exhibition to feature the work of MECA Alum Deborah A. Bates

Posted: 2013-10-15

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Deborah Bates, Persis, acrylic and charcoal on panel, 40" x 30", 2002.


FROM THE GROUND: ARCHITECTURE OF A FAMILY features paintings by Deborah A. Bates '83 (1938-2013).  The exhibition will be on view in the Charles C. Thomas Gallery on the second floor of the Porteous building from October 17, 2013 through February 20, 2014.  

An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 15, 2013 from 4-6pm.  

Bates has incorporated various techniques in her work, including collage, drawing, and painting, in order to highlight the relationship between the structural geometry of architecture and the geometric shapes that represent shared DNA.  Finding particular inspiration in the fact that a maternal line of women bestowed upon her family four generations of continuity, Bates grounded her art in personal experience and delved into her consciousness to process the experience of her homecoming.  In so doing, Bates acknowledged the constancy of women and argued that their silent contributions not go unnoticed. 

Posted: 2013-10-11

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MECA is collaborating with SPACE Gallery to bring a new Illustration film series to SPACE Gallery. The series begins with a film about illustrator Tomi Ungerer, known for his "witty", "weird" and "subversive" illustrations of movie posters, children's books, and anti-Vietnam War material. 

The Portland Press Herald featured the screening and the documentary in a recent article. In it, MECA's Scott Nash said, "“I see him as one of the most important illustrators of our time. He’s really a fascinating figure – with one foot in kids’ literature and one in erotica. Coming from the European background, he had no trouble moving from one to another. He was a product of the dark age of illustration in the 60s, along with people like Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak who were rogues not just trained in children’s literature. His work wasn’t cloying or cutesy at all – there’s some real subversiveness in it.”

Next Tuesday, SPACE Gallery will be screening “Far Out Isn’t Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story” at 7:30pm.

For more about the film and the series, check out Portland Press Herald's article here.

MECA'S JAMIE HOGAN'S CHILDREN'S BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS NAMED IN "100 GREAT CHILDREN'S BOOKS"

Posted: 2013-10-10

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The New York Public Library has announced the "100 Great Children’s Books | 100 Years" featuring "inspiring tales that have thrilled generations of children and their parents." Among those, "Rickshaw Girl"- illustrated by MECA's Jamie Hogan and written by Mitali Perkins has been honored. Maine has been the home to classic and contemporary children's book creators, including "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White, "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey, and "The Giver: by Lois Lowry. Jamie Hogan is a professor in MECA's Illustration Department. 

"To see my name on the list of children's book authors and illustrators I grew up with and stories that my daughter was raised on, put me over the moon," said Jamie Hogan, "What astounding company."

The "100 Great Children’s Books | 100 Years" list was chosen by children’s librarians at The New York Public Library and published on the occasion of The New York Public Library’s acclaimed exhibition "The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter."

Find more information & the complete list by clicking here. 

Posted: 2013-10-09

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Maine College of Art was recently featured in "Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers." The book, published in its fourth edition and is aimed at college-bound creative students and provides the information and and tools necessary to pick the right arts program.

College Coach and Author Elaina Loveland scrutinized art programs from across the country and ultimately selected more than 250 art, drama, dance, music and creative writing programs in arts conservatories, liberal arts colleges and universities to recommend to potential students. MECA is among those selected.

The book is available for purchase at:

Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Borders

For more about the book, click here. 

Alumna Vivian Beer '00 wins $25,000 Fellowship from Society of Arts and Crafts

Posted: 2013-10-08

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 The Society of Arts and Crafts is pleased to announce the 2013 recipient of the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship is Vivian Beer, a 2000 graduate of Maine College of Art. 

Beer is an innovative furniture maker based in New Hampshire.  She aspires "to create handmade, one-off objects that manifest the nostalgia of history, the speed of progress and the memory of the human hand".

John D. Mineck was a past President of The Society of Arts and Crafts Board of Trustees and a beloved member of Boston's cultural community. In an effort to support the art that John loved and the people who make it, the Foundation has created a fellowship to encourage and support a young-in-career furniture artist with the financial assistance to help him/her succeed in his/her journey. The fellowship has been designed to help support a talented furniture artist looking to fulfill an apprenticeship, develop his/her own skills, and/or make the transition to independence. The John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship of $25,000 is awarded annually to one artist and is administered by The Society of Arts and Crafts. 

Illustration Students Chosen to Collaborate with National Animation Studio

Posted: 2013-10-04

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Two MECA Illustration majors have been chosen by internationally renown Frederator Studios to develop ebooks for their series "Bravest Warriors" featuring the character Catbug.
 
The students are being commissioned to create original content featuring Catbug drawn in their own style which then will be produced and recorded in New York of LA. 
 
Frederator Studio is an animation studio known for an array of popular cartoon shows, including Fairly Odd Parents, Chalk Zone, and My Life as a Teenage Robot. 
 
 
 

The Portland Museum of Art Presents the First Museum Exhibition by MECA alum, Ahmed Alsoudani '05

Posted: 2013-10-03

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(Portland, Maine) The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) will present Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted, the first major museum exhibition of the work of American-Iraqi artist and Maine College of Art graduate Ahmed Alsoudani. The exhibition features 20 of the artist’s tumultuous and innovative paintings, which reflect on the horrors of war with a unique artistic voice. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted will be on view through December 8, 2013, in the PMA’s celebrated Third Floor Gallery for Contemporary Art. 

“Challenging the viewer with nuanced art historical arguments and blatantly difficult, abject, and grotesque imagery, Alsoudani does what few artists can do: he successfully translates the complexity of contemporary politics into meaningful painting,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire.

Through his personal experience as a child and adolescent in war-torn Iraq, Alsoudani developed a keen sensitivity to the effects of war, violence, terror, and political unrest on a global scale. His paintings reflect his experiences as well as the mediated nature of war in our time. “I’m not just commenting on Iraq but on an experience that becomes universal,” Ahmed Alsoudani said, referring to Untitled, 2007, a loose, nearly abstract rendering of the moment the infamous statue of Saddam Hussein fell in Baghdad in 2002.  His splintered compositions, and the overwhelming and sometimes harrowing scenes represented in a bright, near-primary palette, address the uneasy balance in our culture between scenes of disaster and objects of beauty. Alsoudani cites historical figures Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, and George Grosz, as well as more contemporary painters Philip Guston and Francis Bacon as major influences. Like his predecessors, he seeks to create works that depart from the glorification of violence and the heroism of warfare. Instead, his large-scale paintings offer graphic, often disturbing imagery that includes disembodied hands or all-seeing bulging eyes juxtaposed with random mechanical parts and other recognizable but misplaced imagery.

Ahmed Alsoudani was born in Baghdad in 1975 and grew up under the regime of Saddam Hussein. He left Iraq as a teenager and lived in Syria before immigrating to the United States in the late 1990s. He studied in Maine at the Maine College of Art (BFA, 2005), and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2006), and graduated with a MFA in painting from the Yale School of Art (2008). In 2011, his work was featured in the Iraq Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, in the exhibition The World Belongs to You, and at The Francois Pinault Foundation at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice. His other major international exhibitions include: La Route de la Soie at Tri Postal in Lille, France (2010); Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East at the Saatchi Gallery in London (2009); as well as shows at the National Gallery of Saskatchewan, Canora, Canada (2007) and the Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea (2007). He lives and works in New York.

The exhibition is co-organized and co-curated by Mark H.C. Bessire, Director of the Portland Museum of Art and Dr. Sara Cochran, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition was on view in Phoenix from March 13 through July 17, 2013. A full-color catalogue will accompany the exhibition and is available in the PMA Store for $19.99.

This exhibition was co-organized by Phoenix Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Generously supported by Louise Bessire in memory of Henry E. Bessire and Sabre Yachts & Back Cove Yachts. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted is also sponsored in honor of the Maine College of Art by: Patricia and Cyrus Hagge, Chris and Betsy Hunt, Horace and Alison Hildreth, and Candace Karu. Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Corporate Sponsors: The Bear Bookshop, Marlboro, VT and The VIA Agency.  

 

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