Maine College of Art has received a gift of $400,000 from Roxanne Quimby to combine the Quimby Colony within the college’s curriculum and programs. The Quimby Colony was created in 2009 by Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby for the purpose of bringing gifted artists to Maine and contributing to their growth and success. For the past two years the Colony has focused on residencies for artists specializing in fashion and textiles.
The gift will support artists in residence, new faculty, student recruitment, equipment and resources to develop curriculum in the areas of fashion and textiles. “I am delighted to make this gift,” Quimby commented, “Maine College of Art, as a leader in contemporary higher education in the arts in Maine is uniquely positioned to carry on the work of the Quimby Colony.” Quimby, who is an art school graduate, believes that MECA leadership will create a strong base for an emerging fashion industry in Maine. Her gift is intended to encourage vitality in downtown Portland that will help build a growing interest in fashion and design across Maine.
Maine College of Art is Northern New England’s leading arts education institution and largest employer of visual artists in Maine. The opportunity to develop curriculum and special programming about fashion and textiles will complement the college’s strong Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Art Education, and Continuing Studies programs. Course offerings and workshops in fashion and design will become a strong component of MECA’s Artists at Work program aimed at providing students and alumni with professional development support for entrepreneurial careers.
Don Tuski, president of MECA notes that, “Maine has attracted artists and entrepreneurs related to textiles, fashion, and fiber for nearly 200 years. With this gift, the College enriches the educational choices for students to have successful careers, grows Portland and Maine’s economy through creative and artistic enterprise, and attracts more artists and creative individuals to the state. We believe that this gift will attract new majors, have great appeal to current students majoring in related areas, and in addition attract many members of the general public to take advantage of MECA courses. This will establish a new vitality for MECA and for downtown Portland.”
The Quimby Colony is one of three charitable organizations that Roxanne Quimby has created to benefit people in Maine.