Maine College of Art Co-Sponsors Pulp Fiction Exhibit with Portland Public Library
For Immediate Release:
Maine College of Art Co-Sponsors
Pulp Fiction Exhibit with Portland Public Library
Portland, ME ~ Maine College of Art proudly announces that it will be co-sponsoring a new Pulp Fiction exhibit this October with the Portland Public Library. The exhibit, titled The Pulps, opens on Friday, October 3 2014, and runs through December 26 on display in the Portland Public Library’s Main Library. The Pulps features the world’s largest collection of Pulp Cover Art and gives a detailed look into these once misunderstood, controversial works of art. The exhibition is free of charge to the general public.
The Pulps feature will feature works such as Tarzan, The Shadow, Secret Agent X, The Mysterious Wu-Fang, The Spider, Doc Savage, The Scorpion, The Whisperer, The Black Mask, and The Lone Ranger.
WordCamp is an informal, community-organized event that is put together by WordPress users. These events happen all over the world and bring together anyone from casual users to core developers to connect and share ideas. If you're unfamiliar with WordPress, it's been described as "a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system." In other words, it's the system in which a lot of blogs and websites are built with (more than 22%, in fact).
Maine College of Art has the privilege to host the first WordCamp Maine! Coming up August 15-17, MECA will host a series of speakers and workshops for the event. Don't miss it!
Here are a few highlights:
Friday: Intro courses for beginners/refresher
Saturday: Main event/talks
Sunday: Contributors' Day
Geared toward developers who wish to contribute to the WordPress Core Project
Will be held at Casco Bay Tech Hub
A partial list of companies represented by speakers at our WordCamp:
Automattic (makers of WordPress)
Bangor Daily News
Portland Press Herald
Keynote by John Eckman, CEO of 10up
10up recently redesigned the Press Herald site
They have a number of large national/international clients, including Bates, TechCrunch, and Google
Speakers and team members from Automattic will staff support sessions for WordPress users at the Happiness Bar
Tickets are just $30 for all events, including an after party cruise on Casco Bay
Illustration Professor Scott Nash Publishes Political Cartoon
Illustration Professor and Department Chair Scott Nash published his first political cartoon for the non-profit liberal advocacy organization Common Cause. For this particular piece, which can be seen above, Nash worked with Common Cause Vice President for Policy and Litigation, Arn Pearson. The original post (found here) is accompanied with the description "It's time for a political system that supports voter's speech, not just big donor's speech."
"Living in Maine, I am continually inspired by the abundance of shapes, colors and light along the beautiful ever changing beaches and marshes of the seacoast and rural areas," MECA alum Colleen Forde tells the SeacoastOnline. "The natural beauty available here is one of the primary reasons I have made this place my home."
It was this love of Maine and its scenery that lead her to the Maine College of Art in 1994 and eventually to the creation of her latest exhibit "The Color of Light," a collection that explores the Maine beaches, marshes, and rural areas. This show is on view at the gallery space at The Clown through Aug. 11.
Maine College of Art Scholarship Fund to receive $10,000 from the Down East Magazine 60th Anniversary Art of Giving Gala
Maine College of Art Scholarship Fund to receive $10,000 from the Down East Magazine 60th Anniversary Art of Giving Gala on behalf of MECA alumnus and Emerging Artist contest winner Renée Bouchard
Original artwork by MECA alumnus Renée Bouchard to be part of a raffle raising funds August 14
PORTLAND, MAINE – Renée Bouchard was selected as the winner of Down East’s MECA Emerging Artist Contest. On her behalf the Maine College of Art Scholarship Fund will receive a minimum of $10,000 raised by Down East Magazine at the Art of Giving Gala on Thursday, August 14 from 5:30-9 p.m. at the Portland Company, 58 Fore Street, Portland.
Part of Down East’s 60th anniversary, MECA alumnus Renée Bouchard has created a work of art to be portrayed on an inside cover of the August anniversary issue. In addition, on behalf of MECA alumnus Renée Bouchard, the Maine College of Art Scholarship Fund will receive proceeds from the Art of Giving Gala.
Tickets to the gala are $100 per person and include the opportunity to leave the event with one of six original pieces created by six different Maine artists: Angela Adams, Eric Hopkins, Alex Katz, Barbara Ernst Prey and William Wegman, in addition to MECA alum Renée Bouchard, in commemoration of Down East’s 60th anniversary. A limited number of tickets are available online through downeast.com/artofgiving or artofgiving.brownpapertickets.com.
“We are honored to have been selected for this generous gift on behalf of MECA alumnus Renée Bouchard. The funds will be used to support the next generation of artists.”
Kathleen Fleury, editor in chief of Down East, talked about the Art of Giving Gala, “We are grateful to have six celebrated Maine artists honor the magazine’s 60th anniversary in this way. It’s an even greater thrill to know that each artist has connected even further with Maine’s community by identifying charitable partners that resonate with them individually. This is one of the things that makes Maine an incredible place to live and work.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Renée Bouchard lives and works in Bennington, Vermont. She graduated from the Maine College of Art in 1999 and attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Phoebe Flory Watercolor School prior to that. Bouchard has received awards and honors from the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Studio Center, Cooper Union, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Montana Artist Refuge and from the Kate Millet Art Colony for Women. McDaris Fine Art in Hudson, New York, and Moberg Gallery in Des Moines and Chicago currently represent her work. Her work was selected to be included in the Art of Giving by Down East editor in chief Kathleen Fleury, MECA, and artist Eric Hopkins.
For more information about Down East Magazine’s 60th Anniversary and Gala, visit downeast.com/artofgiving.
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Free Film Screenings at the ICA
TypeCulture LLC Announces Release of Phoreus™ Cherokee
TypeCulture LLC Announces Release of Phoreus™ Cherokee
Portland, Maine ~ TypeCulture LLC announces the release of Phoreus™ Cherokee, a typeface family designed by Associate Graphic Design Professor Mark Jamra to be used for setting texts in the Cherokee language. The eight-font family features the Cherokee syllabary in upright and italic styles in four weights which are available as digital fonts for work in print media. Specially produced versions to be used in websites and mobile devices are currently in development.
Phoreus™ Cherokee was produced primarily for use in the Cherokee language with the occasional insertion of words and phrases in the Latin script. Its design was prompted by an appeal from the Cherokee Nation for more Cherokee typefaces, since new digital types were required to build the resources they needed to preserve the Cherokee language and culture. Phoreus’ distinct and uncomplicated forms are particularly suited to very young readers – a primary target demographic in language preservation. There is also a "small cap" version of each glyph, so that bilingual documents set in Cherokee and English attain a similar "color" and feel.
The design of Phoreus™ Cherokee followed extensive research into the Cherokee writing system and guidance provided by the Language Technology Office of the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The fonts contain the 85 glyphs of the mono-case Cherokee syllabary along with a companion Latin alphabetic complement of uppercase, lowercase, figures, punctuation and commonly used symbols.
Phoreus™ Cherokee is one of only two extensive multi-weight Cherokee type families in existence. It is also unique in containing the first true cursive italic types ever designed for the Cherokee syllabary. This ground-breaking development was made possible through research of handwritten manuscripts from over 180 years, and the encouragement and feedback from the Language Technology Office.
The name Phoreus is the ancient Greek word for bearer or carrier and refers to type (and the Cherokee syllabary) as a vehicle of language and visual culture.
The designer of Phoreus™ Cherokee is Mark Jamra, the founder of TypeCulture LLC in Portland, Maine. He has designed type for over 30 years and is an associate professor of graphic design at Maine College of Art. Mark has taught graphic design, lettering, typography and letterform design at colleges and workshops in the U.S. and Germany. His lettering and typefaces have been in numerous exhibitions and have received recognition from the Type Directors Club and the Association Typographique Internationale.
For more information, please contact TypeCulture at email@example.com.
A proof specimen of Phoreus Cherokee can be downloaded here:
MECA Alumni Exhibition at The Gallery at Somes Sound
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 27, 2014
MECA Alumni Exhibition at The Gallery at Somes Sound
Eight MECA graduates to exhibit on MDI
Portland, Maine - Tyra Hansen, owner of The Gallery at Somes Sound announces an exhibition of eight MECA graduates on view July 6 - 19, 2014 as part the gallery’s summer calendar. Located in Somesville, Maine, The Gallery at Somes Sound's primary focus is to celebrate America's long standing tradition in the art of fine furniture making, painting and sculpture. It continues to be the finest Furniture and Art Gallery along the Coast of Maine.
The featured artists in the MECA exhibition are: Diane Fitch BFA '79, Anne Garland BFA '93, Connie Hayes BFA '80, Margaret Lawrence BFA '93, Grace Nelson BFA '82, Jude Valentine BFA '78, Mary Vaughan MFA '00 and Michael Vermette BFA '80.
The opening reception is Sunday, July 6 from 4:30 - 7:00PM and several of the artists will attend.
The Gallery will donate a portion of sales from the MECA work to the College’s scholarship fund.
Located in the heart of the Portland Arts District, MECA offers a BFA degree in 11 studio majors, an MFA in Studio Arts, an MAT, and continuing studies for youths and adults. The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA and the Joanne Waxman Library are free and open to the public. For more information, visit meca.edu or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raffi Der Simonian
Director of Mktg & Comm
Maine College of Art
522 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101
207.699.5010 | email@example.com
Maine College of Art and The Bob Crewe Foundation Sign MOU And Begin Planning Curriculum for New Music Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 24, 2014
Maine College of Art and The Bob Crewe Foundation Sign MOU
And Begin Planning Curriculum for New Music Program
Portland, Maine ~ Last Wednesday, June 18, Maine College of Art worked alongside The Bob Crewe Foundation and local thought leaders to sculpt a curriculum for the new area of study that will explore the intersection between music and art, which will be implemented later, in the 2015 acedemic year. During the meeting, the participants discussed what the new program would look like. An official signing of a MOU with President Don Tuski and Dan Crewe followed the meeting.
Those in attendance were Dan Crewe (President/Chairman of the Bob Crewe Foundation and Independent Music Professional), Don Tuski (President, MECA), Ian Anderson (Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, MECA), Spencer Albee (Musician, Singer and Songwriter), Adam Ayan (Master Engineer, Gateway Recording; Adjunct Faculty at USM’s School of Music), Bob Ludwig (Mastering engineer/Owner, Gateway Recording), and many more.
The new program is possible due to a generous gift given to the college by The Bob Crewe Foundation in April. The curriculum will explore a wide range of topics and subject matter relating to the interplay between music and art. A sampling of courses for the new minor include History of Contemporary Music, Applied Theory Through Composition, Music Business and Management, Ethnomusicology, and experimental courses like Sound and Color.
Dean Anderson believes that MECA may be one of the first art colleges to explicitly engage in combining the study of contemporary art and design with music; he says, “MECA is uniquely positioned to develop this area because of our size, history and willingness to experiment. This is an exciting period of growth and innovation here at the college.”
Maine designer Angela Adams recently launched a new blog called Sea Fantasy that explores her aesthetic interests and her Maine musings. Since the launch, Angela has already interviewed and written about two MECA professors: Painting professor Honour Mack and Illustration professor Mary Anne Lloyd. Both interviews explore each professors' creative processes, styles and quirks.
Dana Sawyer, professor of philosophy and religion here at the Maine College of Art (MECA) has just published Huston Smith, Wisdomkeeper (Fons Vitae Press, 2014), the authorized biography of Huston Smith, the most renowned authority on World Religions and comparative religion for the past half century. Professor Sawyer previously wrote a critically acclaimed biography of Aldous Huxley (Crossroad Publishing, 2002), and in this new book tells the story of Huxley’s friend and student, Huston Smith, focusing on their mutual investigations into mystical experience and the roots of human spirituality. Professor Sawyer has taught at MECA full-time for 26 years and is a native of Maine, born in Jonesport, in 1951.
This is the authorized biography of Huston Smith, whose many books include The World’s Religions, Forgotten Truth, Beyond the Postmodern Mind, and Why Religion Matters. Smith’s career spanned more than 60 years, during which time he taught at Washington University, M.I.T., Syracuse University, and the University of California at Berkeley, establishing himself as the most prominent scholar of religious studies in the world. The Christian Science Monitor once referred to Smith as “religion’s rock star,” and in 1996, Bill Moyer’s released a six-part series on PBS titled, “The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith.” Dana Sawyer worked with Smith for seven years to produce this authorized biography, conducting interviews with Smith and more than 60 other prominent scholars of religion.
What is the meaning of life? Is there a God? Can there be authentic mystical experience? Are Hindus and Buddhists correct that we can attain a state of spiritual enlightenment? Can psychedelic drugs give us a glimpse of it? Does religion have a viable place in the modern world? Is there a common core of values and insights among the world’s religions? Huston Smith spent his entire career searching for answers to these and other questions, helping to shape the contemporary face of comparative religion, interfaith dialogue and spiritual inquiry. And as such, he has influenced such diverse writers as Karen Armstrong, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Ken Wilber, Andrew Harvey and the travel writer Pico Iyer.
Huston Smith, born in China as the son of Christian missionaries in 1919, literally wrote the book on world religions in 1958, with the release of The Religions of Man. However, he also worked closely with the Dalai Lama to secure the human rights of the Tibetan people; performed research into the spiritual import of psychedelic drugs at Harvard with Timothy Leary; traveled around the globe to study the world’s religions in their native setting; publicly challenged the logic of scientists who were determined to undermine the truth and value of religion; taught at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, with Joseph Campbell, Stanislav Grof, Ram Dass, and others; and traveled to Mazatlan in 1994 to participate in a four-night peyote ritual in preparation for defending the rights of the Native American Church before the U.S. Congress. Smith’s many insights and adventures fill this compelling and edifying book, the story of a 21st century spiritual giant.
The book is now available at Longfellow Books as well as on Amazon, and it can be ordered from any bookstore.
MECA & PMA PRESENT AN EVENING OF CONTEMPORARY ART ON 6.19.14 (5-8pm)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 5, 2014
MECA & PMA PRESENT AN EVENING OF CONTEMPORARY ART ON THURSDAY JUNE 19 (5 - 8pm)
MFA MECA Summer Lecture Series Kicks-Off with an Artist Talk by Jay Sanders, Curator of Performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art (5pm at MECA) Followed by a Panel Discussion Hosted by PMA Curator of Contemporary Art, Jessica May, on the ‘State of Contemporary Art in Maine” (6:30pm at PMA)
Portland, Maine - On Thursday, June 19, Maine College of Art and Portland Museum of Art are teaming up to host a special evening for contemporary art appreciators in downtown Portland.
Starting at 5pm, MECAs’ ‘14 MFA Summer Lecture Series will commence with Jay Sanders, the Curator of Performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Sanders co-organized the Whitney Biennial 2012 and has curated innumerable exhibitions, concerts, and events over the past decade. He is a member of the collaborative performance group Grand Openings, and has staged large-scale events at MoMA, the Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle) and other venues. Sanders has written extensively for Artforum, Parkett, Texte zur Kunst (Texts About Art), Bomb, and other publications. For more information on MECA’s MFA ‘14 Summer Lecture Series (free and open to the public), visit meca.edu/summerlectures.
A few hundred yards up the street at 6:30pm (immediately following Sanders’ lecture at MECA), PMA’s Curator of Contemporary Art, Jessica May, will be hosting a panel discussion on the “State of Contemporary Art in Maine.” The discussion will focus on how contemporary art influences our cultural identity. The panel will include Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Co-Director Katie Sonnenborn, Center for Maine Contemporary Art Director Suzette McAvoy, and John Michael Kohler Art Center Curator Alison Ferris, and will address both the practice of art-making in Maine as well as its position within the broad spectrum of contemporary art practice in the United States and internationally. The panel will be hosted as a dynamic conversation with the audience.
This program at the PMA is generously supported by the Will Barnet Foundation. PMA Third Thursdays are supported by the Contemporaries, a membership circle for art enthusiasts ages 21 to 45. Corporate sponsorship is provided by The VIA Agency.
On the Third Thursday of every month, the PMA will be open in the evening with live music, food and drink, and special programming from 5pm to 9pm During the warm summer months, the museum's Joan B. Burns Sculpture Garden on High Street will be open for visitors and members to enjoy. Regular museum admission will apply; free for PMA members. For more information, visit www.portlandmuseum.org.
For more information, please contact Raffi Der Simonian (Director of Marketing & Communications) at 207.699.5010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans Exhibit at Maine College of Art
ART // SERVICE Artist-Veterans at Maine College of Art
Portland, Me. ~ Art and military service have always co-existed, sometimes in parallel, sometimes crossing over, and sometimes at odds. The exhibition ART // SERVICE of artist-veterans work, either current students or alumni of Maine College of Art, will run from June 27-July 18 at 522 Congress Street, in the Artists at Work gallery. The opening will be, appropriately, July 4, from 5-8 P.M.
The exhibition is about service, war, peace, and art as therapeutic work for both the artist-veterans who make it and the community in which it exists. This show includes the work of Ren Albon '14, United States Navy; Peter Buotte MFA '05, United States Army; Lesley Corbett '13, United States Army; Evan Poole '15, United States Army; Frederick Twombly '15, United States Army; Patrick Scholz '15, United States Marine Corps; Phil Stevens '91, United States Army; and David Thomas '68, United States Army.Much of the military art we recognize and know is monuments to the fallen. “Our Lady of Victories” watches over Monument Square in Portland. Paid for by the Portland Soldiers and Sailors Association, the inscription reads, “Portland/To Her Sons Who Died/For The Union.”
However, the military also has a history of recruiting artists. The work of these soldier artists ranged from recording combat and battle scenes to the work of “The Ghost Army” in World War II, a special tactical unit that through deception saved thousands of Allied lives. (Ellsworth Kelly and Art Kane served in this unit.) This exhibit shows the work of artists both during and after military service.
ART // SERVICE : a show of work by MECA students and alumni who are veterans
WHAT: ART // SERVICE a show of work by veteran-artists who are current students or
alumni of Maine College of Art
WHEN: Opening, Friday, July 4, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
WHERE: Artists at Work Gallery, Maine College of Art, 522 Congress Street, Portland,
Ren Albon '14, United States Navy
Peter Buotte MFA '05, United States Army
Lesley Corbett '13, United States Army
Evan Poole '15, United States Army
Frederick Twombly '15, United States Army
Patrick Scholz '15, United States Marine Corps
Phil Stevens '91, United States Army
David Thomas '68, United States Army
Artists will be present and available for interviews. This Opening is open to all media. For more information contact Raffi Der Simonian at email@example.com
MAINE COLLEGE OF ART PRESENTS A LIMITED EDITION PRINT BY DAHLOV IPCAR
In honor of nationally known artist Dahlov Ipcar (b.1917) and the ongoing legacy of the arts in Maine, MECA is proud to announce the creation of a set of limited edition woodblock prints from Dahlov’s iconic oil painting, Odalisque (1960), in collaboration with master printer David Wolfe, of Wolfe Editions (wolfeeditions.com). In 2013, MECA awarded Dahlov Ipcar with the Award for Leadership as a Visual Artist and the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.
Dahlov has offered only a handful of woodblock prints for sale in her career. Don’t miss this opportunity to own one of these highly collectible prints. Each print is approximately 15” tall by 27” wide and is valued at $1,500. They are available for a limited time in advance for $1,250 each. Price includes tube shipping.
MECA trustee Judy Kane has her first solo show opening June 6th at the Key Bank in Monument Square in Portland. The show runs through June 30th and a reception will be held on the First Friday, June 6th from 5-8pm.
MECA Announces MAT Accreditation
MECA Announces MAT Accreditation
Portland, ME ~ Maine College of Art (MECA) is pleased to announce the recent accreditation of a ten-month MAT program, approved by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the State of Maine. The MAT is designed so that participants meet Maine’s requirements for initial teacher certification while providing the critical and creative engagement expected at the graduate level.
From the first day of class, teacher candidates interact with children and youth in schools and in community settings. Museums, summer school programs and non-profit organizations collaborate with MECA and the MAT program to provide a rich learning environment for art content specific and arts-integrated explorations. Candidates work in a variety of settings, urban and rural, formal and informal. Student teaching internships in the spring semester prepare candidates to begin their careers as confident art educators.
Through collaborative inquiry and action research, teacher candidates learn to try new ideas and collect the evidence needed to improve their teaching and their students’ learning. This process establishes a vehicle for reflective practice and a lifetime of professional learning.
A few spaces are still available for the upcoming 2014-2015 cohort. Candidates are selected on the basis of a strong art portfolio and the academic potential to complete a master’s program. For more information please visit http://www.meca.edu, or contact the Admissions Office.
Portland, ME ~ This past month Maine College of Art held its first ever student essay contest. The contest was created to foster a discussion of art within young people in Maine. Full summer camp scholarships were offered to the two students who answered the essay question with the most conviction and clarity of expression. The question was “What would a summer of making art at MECA mean to you? How do you feel this experience would benefit your creative growth?”
MECA received dozens of great essays from high school and middle school students around the state. After some deliberation, MECA proudly announces that the following students won the contest: Caitlyn Duffy of Gorham High School and Arun Devon of King Middle School. The winning essays can be read below.
Finalists for the contest won a week of art camp. The finalists include: Gaia Ayres, Oliver Beardsley-Stites, Jackie Christie, Dorian Heughan, Irena Manukian, Madeline Mathers, Sydney Morrison, Alyssa Ostrowski, Audrey Robidoux, Meghan Russell, and Carsyn Vanier.
The winning essays:
Caitlyn Duffy, age 16
I was brought up surrounded by the most important women in Maine, and maybe even the world. I lived in a house with a mother who had an art project set up for me every week, and enough paint to keep the whole continent of Asia busy for years. She had enough patience for me to run wild with my imagination and enough love to hang up every single picture on the walls. My next door neighbor, Vicky, is a middle school art teacher. I spent many afternoons in her kitchen gluing and drawing many “masterpieces.” I had no shortage of encouragement with my artistic talents as a child. But without these two women, I don’t think I would have been able to thrive in life as fully as I have. As I got older art served as a coping skill, something for me to turn to when I had a rough day in elementary school.
Since then, art has become not just a hobby, but an "at all hours" passion. It has helped me through a lot of difficult situations and has been a friend while I dealt with anxiety and depression. You can often find me doodling in my art journal or taking film photography, which is by far my favorite thing to do. My photographs have been displayed in the Gorham Arts Alliance’s art show and has won me first runner up in the first congressional district Congressional Art Show. A chair on which I painted The Scream by Edvard Munch has been displayed in the Gorham Times and the Portland Press Herald.
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. It would not only set me up for my dream of going to art school, but it would help me in processing the world into something less harsh than it is. I want to spend the rest of my life making beautiful, thought provoking things, that one day not only comfort me but inspire others. Spending the summer at MECA would set me up to do so.
Arun Devon, age 12
I would like to be able to go to camp at MECA because the world is a big place with lots of kids, kids who are a lot like me. Having so many kids that are so similar to you makes it hard to stand out. If I had a chance to go to camp at MECA then it would be like putting fertilizer on your garden. I would sprout up and become different than the others. In school some of the kids are now taking part in the Global Leadership Project so that maybe one day, if we work hard enough, we can become some of the leaders of the world. I believe that if children have a way to express themselves, then they understand better who they are. And when they know who they are, they can try to understand the people around them. Understanding is a big part of being a leader. In order to lead you need to set a good example, you need to know what is right for the greater good. You also need to know when its best to listen to the ideas that are sprouting up all around you. Being able to express myself is not always easy because like most kids my age when I look in the mirror I’m still not sure who that person is looking back at me. Maybe if I can learn to write or draw better, I can (as I said in a poem I wrote) “look inside and really decide” who the person is in the mirror.But it’s not just what’s inside, it’s also what is done on the outside. I believe that when you write or draw something there is always a bit of you in it. If I could go to MECA for a summer, I would be able to learn and grow and it would help me become a better artist.
(Left to Right) Caitlin Duffy (age 15, Gorham High School) and Arun Devon (Age 12, King Middle School).
MECA '14 Fashion Show a Huge Success
MECA Equips Maine Seeds of Peace With Art, Media Tools for Social Change
PORTLAND | How do art and peace-building overlap? Five Maine Seeds recently discovered when they participated in a day-long printmaking workshop in partnership with the Maine College of Art (MECA).
The workshop, which took place on April 12, came as part of a greater collaboration between Seeds of Peace and MECA. The “It Starts With ME” project series aims to educate students on how to use art and media as tools for social change within their own state of Maine.
“It Starts With ME” emerged in response to the negative stereotypes of immigrants and refugees in Maine. By taking photos of themselves with inspiring messages, Seeds students hope to positively portray the current face of Maine, one that includes an increasingly diverse youth population with their own unique ambitions and dreams. The project presented the perfect opportunity to partner with MECA, as their Public Engagement Minor integrates art, real-world problems and community partners.
MECA Professor Elizabeth Jabar described how the College’s students use “collaborative methods and participatory models to take action as citizens, artists, and designers.”
“As a result, each student gains the skills and confidence to directly impact their culture and society.”
As part of this fifth workshop in the series, the Seeds were able to work with Jabar and Shawn Brewer, a graduate of MECA, to learn printmaking techniques.
In earlier sessions, the Seeds worked with professional photographer and artist Sean Alonzo Harris to take photos following prompts such as “I Am … ”, “I Want to … ”, and “I Will … ”. The Seeds enjoyed a full day of learning how to print the images, working in the darkroom, and playing around with various methods of printmaking to accomplish their desired effect for their project.
The day also included lunch and many chances to sit and discuss art, photography, and the Seeds’ goals for the project.
“I was incredibly excited when I heard Seeds of Peace was beginning to integrate this photography program, because it includes my belief that photography has the power to effect change in a unique way just as effective and sometimes more meaningful than words, speech, and dialogue,” said Sophia Warren, a 2011 Seed.
“Photography, when used right is a very strong way to bring ideas that can sometimes be controversial to a large audience,” said AJ Yarn, a 2013 Seed. “I can talk all day about what I believe and what I stand for but until people see it, they will never really understand.”
At the next workshop, the Seeds will embed text answers to the three prompts over the photos of themselves to create their own personalized works of art. The workshops will ultimately lead up to a culminating public exhibition, which will give Seeds and their peers a public space to tell their stories and display their work.
As the workshop series has progressed, the Maine Seeds feel they have developed their personal relationships and aim to promote this feeling of community through their images. In planning for the gallery show, the Seeds hope for the presentation of the photos to be as interactive as possible. Thus, they can involve the greater Maine community in the artistic and peace-building goals of the project, as Sophia describes:
“Through this program I have discovered a space and community that is both entirely artistic, and entirely committed to a cause of humanitarian causes … we are directing the power of the conversation by showing you what we see through a camera’s lens.”
- See more at: http://www.seedsofpeace.org/?p=19125#sthash.2RJ9Xpmm.dpuf