Ceramics alum Greg Giegucz '97 was awarded a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant. The grant extends for one year and will be used to develop new drawings and paintings for a solo exhibition at Big Bunny Fine Art in April 2012 which will coincide with the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Giegucz shared the news with MECA and said, "I am so grateful and proud of the many positive life changing experiences at MECA. I continue to carry the fondest memories of Maine."
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.
Maine Art Teacher Exhibit at MECA
The exhibition of work by Maine Art Teachers ""My Other Hat" is now on display at Maine College of Art in the Zand Head and Hall Galleries through October 21st.
An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 7th from 5- 8 pm during First Friday Artwalk and is courtesy of the MECA Advancement Office.
This exhibition brings together the creative work of 45 Art educators from around the state and celebrates the studio practice and exploration that takes place beyond the classroom. This show features a variety of media including: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, collage, mixed media, ceramics and sculpture. Artists represented in this show teach in Maine's public and private schools and universities and are members of the Maine Art Education Association, an arts advocacy organization that encourages innovation and research in art education, the exchange of ideas and practices among teachers, and promotes the artistic learning of children.
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.
Jugglers at MECA
Brothers Matthew and Jason Tardy have created a show that features everything from high tech juggling and fire eating to physical comedy and full body contortion. They will give a public performance on September 24 at 7pm in Osher Hall. Suggested donation of $5-$15. All proceeds support the Nagaloka Buddhist Center in Portland.
MFA Alum Curates Judy Taylor Exhibition
MFA alum Nancy Nesvet has curated an exhibition of work by Maine artist Judy Taylor. Taylor's 11-panel Labor Mural was removed in March from the headquarters of Maine's Department of Labor by Governor Paul LePage. A large-scale reproduction of the mural, preliminary drawings, labor paintings and supporting work will be on view through September 20th at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland.The show will include an opening reception on September 8th, an artist talk by Judy Taylor on September 10th and a panel discussion on September 15th focusing on the intersection of art and politics. Panelists include Georgetown University Labor History Professor Joe McCartin; Julian Spirer, an attorney who has argued cases on art in the public sector; Don Tuski, President of Maine College of Art and Penny Harris, former President, League of Women Voters, Maine.
Alumni Biennial Exhibition
The 2011 MECA Alumni Biennial will take place August 24-October 9, 2011 in the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA and will feature the work of five alumni: Quinlan Corey MFA ’06, Kreh Mellick ’05, Andrea Raynor ’92, Edward Lott ‘05, and Aaron Williams’94. In addition, a video submitted by Brett Walker ‘06 will be featured as part of one of the Thursday evening programs at the ICA. An opening reception is scheduled for August 25 at 6pm.
This themed exhibition was juried by distinguished jurors Camilo Alvarez, Owner/Director of Samsøn Projects; Aaron Stephan MFA ’02; and Sarah Workneh, Executive Director of Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, who were extremely impressed by the high quality of the work submitted. Out of sixty proposals, the jurors endeavored to select three to five artists whose work evinced a superior degree of artistic vision and accomplishment fused by a common theme. The overlapping themes identified in this year’s show include a focus on identity, memory, erasure, projected narrative and the architecture of image.
6pm in the ICA
September 1: Quinlan Corey September 22: Andrea Raynor September 29: Edward Lott October 6: Aaron Williams October 8: Kreh Mellick
Image credit: Andrea Raynor '92
Tala Madani Screening in ICA
The ICA at MECA will host a screening of Tala Madani's short animations on August 1 at 5pm as part of the exhibition "Drawn to Disaster." Stylistically ranging from lush painterly expressionism to loose, almost comical line drawing, Iranian-American Tala Madani, conveys her politically controversial subject matter with a genuine innocence and empathy. Appropriating the preconceptions of racial and gender difference as a departure point into the bizarre and surreal, Madani uses her position of ‘other’ to draft her own elaborate fantasies, detailing a riotous underworld of cliquey sect-like subterfuge.
This year her work has appeared in the 54th Venice Biennale, Danish Pavilion, Venice, Italy and the Singapore Biennale, Open House, Singapore. Last year her work was at The Drawing Center, in Greater New York, MoMA PS1, and the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK.
Scott Nash Summer Exhibitions
Illustration faculty member Scott Nash has a solo exhibition at the Centerville Historical Society Museum on Cape Cod. The show "Bedtime Stories for Pirates" is on view through September 23 and includes original illustrations, drawings, and 3-D marquettes all related to the process he follows to illustrate a final published children's book. His work is also included in the University of New England exhibition of children's book illustrators through October 30.
An accomplished illustrator with a distinctive vibrant style, Scott has illustrated more than 30 children’s books, including Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp and The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields, Over The Moon by Rachel Vail, Betsy Who Cried Wolf! by Gail Carson Levine, Snow Day!, Beach Day!, Rainy Day! and the just released Camping Day! by Patty Lakin, and the Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown.
Interview with Justin Richel '02
Justin Richel '02 recently completed two installations this summer, one at the DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum and the other at the Oqunquit Museum of American Art. He was recently profiled on theNew American Paintings blog to describe his work and inspirations. Read the interview.
ICA Director Wins Curatorial Research Grant
ICA at MECA Director Daniel Fuller was awarded an Etant donnes curatorial research grant. Etant donnes is a French-American fund for contemporary art dedicated to nurturing and supporting outstanding programming of contemporary artists from France and the United States.
In his first five months at the ICA new Director Daniel Fuller has executed a video screening with Parisian artist Mircea Cantor and has organized upcoming exhibitions with both Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Pierre Bismuth, also of Paris. The ICA seeks and values cultural diversity in its exhibition program and has identified France, with Paris in particular, as rising towards a significant period of tremendous creativity and experimentation in regards to video and performance art.
It is especially imperative that the ICA accommodates artistic interactions with France in an attempt to best serve our community and surrounding regions. Maine is second only to New Hampshire in the percentage of French American residents in the United States and also has a greater proportion of people speaking French at home than any other state in the nation. This grant would allow us an opportunity to forge a stronger connection with an often-ignored regional constituency.
The culmination of this research will result in a series of rapidly changing video installations focusing on these experimental video artists currently residing in France.
Visiting Artist: Anthony Campuzano
Anthony Campuzano, one of the participating artists in the exhibition "Drawn to Disaster" in the ICA at MECA, will give a free public lecture on July 27 at 6pm in the gallery. Known for his use of found language, Philadelphia-based artist Campuzano activates text from a variety of sources - newspaper headlines, Wikipedia entries, the covers of paperback novels, trivial cultural events, common cliches, pop song lyrics - in drawings that couple intense color with the tangible presence of the artist's hand. He received his BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.
Book Launch: Books Gone Bad
In 2009, Diane Wren was a MECA photography student working in the college’s Joanne Waxman Library when the staff discovered some books with possible mold damage. In looking for resources on how to identify and treat mold, staffers were disappointed at the available options. Knowing that Maine is filled with small libraries and historical societies facing the same issue, Wren applied for and received a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to create an easy to use guide for preventing, identifying and treating mold on a limited budget. Wren did the research, photography, design and illustrations for “Books Gone Bad: Mold in Library Collections.” The guide was sent free of charge to all libraries and historical societies in the state. A book launch is scheduled for July 8 at the Joanne Waxman Library from 6-8pm.
Ceramics Faculty are Featured Guest Artists at Watershed
MECA ceramics professors Lucy Breslin and Mark Johnson will be featured guest artists for a summer session at the Watershed Center for The Ceramic Arts in North Edgecomb, Maine. Watershed features an internationally known summer residency program that attracts artists interested in using clay as their primary material. The center brings together a diverse group of artists to live and work in a supportive, creative environment.
Images: (top) Lucy Breslin, (bottom) Mark Johnson
Mitchell Foundation Winner Exhibits Work
The Joan Mitchell Foundation, in collaboration with CUE Art Foundation, is pleased to announce an exhibition of its 2010 MFA Grant Program Recipients. Michel Droge MFA '10 is one of the 15 selected recipients and received a $15,000 grant. From June 9 - July 30, the 15 recipients will be showing current artwork at CUE Art Foundation.
The annual MFA Grant Program was created in 1997 to help MFA painters and sculptors in furthering their artistic careers and to aid in the transition from academic to professional studio work upon graduation. A complimentary catalogue, available at CUE's gallery, has been published on the occasion of this exhibition. The catalogue features works and bios for each artist and essays on their work.
The Joan Mitchell Foundation was established in April 1993 as a not-for-profit corporation following the death of Joan Mitchell in October 1992. The Foundation strives to fulfill the ambitions of Joan Mitchell to aid and assist the needs of contemporary artists and to demonstrate that painting and sculpture are significant cultural necessities.