MECA, Telling Room and Library Partner for Teen Exhibition
The 10-month post-baccaluareate program at MECA prepares students to become art teachers. In addition to the classes on campus and the student teaching in classrooms, the future teachers also participate in community collaborations. This fall, students in the Art of Teaching Art class with Paul Gebhardt partnered with the Portland Public Library and the nonprofit writing organization The Telling Room to conduct a series of workshops for teens. The work focused on the theme of The Telling Room's yearly anthology “Searching for Maine: Searching for Me.” First, students wrote their personal stories of identity. Then MECA students helped them create silhouettes and cut them out. To complete the project, they wrote their stories inside their silhouettes and exhibited them in the gallery at the library. “For a lot of these teens, they never understood the concept of a gallery opening,” said Telling Room creative director John Holdridge. “There was this great moment where there was a room full of high school students, Telling Room staff, MECA students and professors all in the space together, viewing the work, having conversations – classic art opening conversations about the work and some not about the work. It was good to provide a space where significant cross-sections of this Portland community can come together, high school students, higher education students and professionals; we wanted to provide a hub for all of these people to be able to come together.”
Faculty Lecture: Gan Xu
Art History faculty member Gan Xu will deliver a lecture, "Art Historian to Designer: My 390 Foot Buddha" on December 1 at 1pm in Osher Hall. Dr. Gan Xu was born in Shanghai, China. He studied art history at Xian Academy of Art, Xian, China, Vanderbilt University, and Ohio University. His research and publications focus on contemporary art in the West and in China. He has published two books and more than thirty articles in exhibition catalogs and magazines. He lectures nationally and internationally, and has taught as a visiting professor at Eastern China Normal University, Sichuan Academy of Art, China, and Langzhou University, China. He brings students overseas to study in China, Japan, Italy and France. Dr. Xu is also a painter and has been exhibiting his work since the 1970s. He teaches Chinese calligraphy and ink painting. His most recent title in China is the Art Director of an architecture firm, Linkhigh Interior Design, and has been involved in large scale architectural projects in China. His current project involves the design of a cultural park dedicated to Buddhism.
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.
Pierce is currently working towards a PhD in Curatorial Knowledge at Goldsmiths College, University of London and is a regular Lecturer on the MA in Visual Arts Practices at IADT in Ireland. In 2005, she represented Ireland at the 51st Venice Biennale.
Students in MECA’s Second Year Lab, Power to the Print, will install a temporary exhibition and retail space inspired by the market phenomenon known as the pop-up shop. POW! Print Lab will create a distinct visual presence and offer a unique opportunity for viewer participation. Just in time for the holiday season, this exclusive two-day event will feature an eclectic collection of student-made printed works ranging from wood-cuts to silk screened posters, limited edition bags, t-shirts, buttons, stickers and even ornaments.
POW! Print Lab represents the conclusion of a semester's exploration of printed matter and its power as a tool of communication, dissent, and alternative culture from political protest to the entrepreneurial ethos of DIY culture and pop-up shops.
POW! Print Lab opens first Friday December 2, in the Free Street Gallery at Maine College of Art. Come early Friday evening for surprise special events! Sale continues on Saturday, December 3. All profits support the work of the student artists.
Faculty Exhibition in ICA at MECA
This year marks a return to the MECA’s Faculty Selects exhibition series, which presents the work of MECA faculty alongside professional peers of national/international regard. The artists in "A Perpetual Present" will exhibit work that examines a disappearance of a sense of the past. Degrowth, preservation of traditions, and investigations of the beginning stages of tragedies are all themes explored by the artists.
Selected artists include: Philip Brou will be exhibiting with Johan Grimonprez, Judith Allen-Efstathiou with Eirene Efstathiou, and Matt Hutton with Corey Robinson.
The opening reception for "A Perpetual Present" will take place on Thursday, November 17th from 6 - 8pm.
Visiting Artist: Sam Messer
Sam Messer will deliver a visiting artist lecture on November 17 at 6pm in Osher Hall. Messer is Associate Dean and Adjunct Professor at the Yale University School of Art. He received a B.F.A. from Cooper Union in 1976 and an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1981. He is represented by Nielsen Gallery, Boston, and Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles. His work may be found in public collections throughout the country. Mr. Messer has received awards including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant, the Engelhard Award, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
MFA Student Exhibits in New Brunswick
Current MFA student Kim Vose Jones MFA '12 is exhibiting at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in New Brunswick, Canada. Vose was selected for the gallery's Studio Watch program which offers public exposure for promising emerging New Brunswick artists. Her installation, A Farewell to Flesh, features multiple components utilizing a ton an a half of Nova Scotia salt in sculptural forms. Prior to enrolling in the graduate program at MECA, she volunteered at a clinic in Pakistan, attended the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University and studied glass at Alfred University.
Liberal Arts Faculty member Agnes Bushell published "Death in Arcadia." Set in Portland, the mystery involves politically motivated performance artists, idealistic art students, eccentric old ladies, and the death of a trustee. This is the 11th novel for Bushell.
Her earlier work, "Local Deities" was hailed by the book reviewer for The Nation as "a potboiler like the best of Dostoyevsky’s." It is based on her friendship with two of Maine’s most notorious radicals.
She co-founded Maine's political journal, "The Dissident" and Littoral Books, an independent press.
MECA Wins Broderson Awards
Maine College of Art won three Broderson awards for print publications during a ceremony at the State Theater. Held every other year, the Broderson Awards celebrate the work of commercial artists in Maine. MECA won a silver award in the nonprofit annual report category, as well as a silver award for the MFA Thesis Catalog and bronze award for the ICA "Meticulous Ferment" catalog in the brochure category. Congratulations to the college designers Jennifer Muller and Mira Alden as well as faculty members Margo Halverson and Charles Melcher. The annual report also includes illustrations by students (now alumni) Morgan DiPietro '10 and Jeff Hoffman '10. Other award winning alumni included Ken Murphy '03, Patrick Sperry '00, and Regis Biron '09.
Posterama: A Student Exhibition and Art Sale
MECA students will host the exhibition Posterama! from October 24th to November 20th. Posterama! is both an exhibition and sale of printed matter designed and created by MECA students. The front window and lobby of Porteous will house the exhibit. The sale will take place on November 4th during the First Friday Art Walk. The exhibition is a collaboration of MECA students with support from faculty and staff. Students from Professional Studio Seminar, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Printmaking, and New Media are taking leadership, organizational, and curatorial roles to develop their skills. Students will receive 60% of sales, while the remainder is divided among MECA scholarship support and funding of visiting artist lectures and workshops. Maine College of Art is committed to teaching their students to think about a better future, become involved within their community, and problem-solve for society. The Posterama! sale will take place from 5 to 8pm on November 4th on the sidewalk outside of MECAʼs Porteous building, located at 522 Congress Street. The sale will offer affordable art consisting of posters and cards ranging from $5 to $30.