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2015 BFA Exhibition Recipients

Posted: 2015-11-21

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Work by Best In Show, Iva Milovanovic '16

Congratulations to all of the participants in the BFA Exhibition this year.


JAMIE GAITI, Senior in Sculpture
ELANA STERNICK, Senior in Woodworking & Furniture Design
TABITHA BARNARD, Senior in Photography
MARY FORST, Senior in Metalsmithing & Jewelry
ALEXANDRA KUEHNE, Junior in Painting


LEWIS ROSSIGNOL, Junior in Illustration






EMMETT FREEMAN, Junior in Ceramics


GILLAN DOTY, Senior in Ceramics


MARTY REYNOLDS, Junior in Painting


BETSY LEWIS, Senior in Metalsmithing & Jewelry


DAVID MARTINEZ, Senior in Metalsmithing & Jewelry


IVA MILOVANOVIC, Senior in Ceramics

Professor Joshua Reiman Featured in Hyperallergic

Posted: 2015-11-20

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Installation view of “Rock and Roll” (2015) by Joshua Reiman at Napoleon Gallery (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

Assistant Professor of the MFA in Studio Art + Sculpture, Joshua Reiman, has a review of his show "Glass Houses" in HyperAllergic. 

"Glass Houses is a thought-provoking and meditative show that draws in the viewer, but only up to a point — purposefully. The vitrines create a sense of disconnect and distance between the viewer and the realities depicted — often of pain, death, destruction, and time — and they remind the viewer that even though the best art connects us to experiences we do not have and worlds we have not visited, there is always a lingering gap between what exists in the world and how closely the viewer can truly grasp it. The job of art is to attempt to bridge that gap, and Glass Houses is a strong argument in favor of straddling that line." 

—"From Henry Clay Frick to Gilded Matzah, Observing the World in Glass Cases", Deborah Krieger

Read the entire article here.

'Enchanted Favorites' Costumes Designed By Students

Posted: 2015-11-19

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The colorful costumes seen in Portland Symphony Orchestra's 'Enchanted Favorites' were designed by Textile & Fashion Design students and faculty. To fit the two different bodies of the performers playing Alice, Ariana Faria '17 designed her blue dress with a knit fabric and a woven fabric combined.

Participating T&FD Majors: Ashley Wernher-Collins '16, Ariana Faria '17, Justin Desper '17, Anna Smedley '17, Nicole Warren '17 
Photo Credit: Michael Havey

Sara Inacio '17 in “MINIATURE PRINT” Exhibition

Posted: 2015-11-18

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Printmaking Student Sara Inacio '17 has artwork featured in the First New York International “MINIATURE PRINT” Exhibition. This exhibition is the Manhattan Graphics Center (MGC)’s first juried competition and exhibition devoted to small prints. The exhibition will take place from November 1–December 18, 2015 at their printmaking studio in New York with an opening reception during Print Week in New York.

Announcing Spring 2016 ICA Exhibition: "Tinderbox"

Posted: 2015-11-17

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Trina May Smith, “Fire 3”, 2014 

January 11—March 5, 2016 

Ushering in the ICA at MECA’s 2016 spring exhibition, “Tinderbox” merges brutally insightful visual art, contextual information nodes for public engagement, as well as an “art punk” concert. Curated by Kyle Patnaude, its premise is to look at the new role of artists and communities in establishing a dialogue towards political, cultural, and social parameters of confrontation transpiring across the country. The exhibition focuses on areas of tension in which art and artists can become a catalyst and through their creative activism, respond further than conventional art allows. Given countless points of conjecture, this exhibition establishes a self-reflexive space in which discussion through context can begin.

Matthew Blackwell '77 - Guggenheim Fellowship

Posted: 2015-11-04

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Matt Blackwell '77, "Vet", 2010, oil on canvas, 56" x 50"

MECA, Portland School of Art Alum Matthew Blackwell '77 won a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship. Often characterized as “midcareer” awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

Matthew Tanzi MFA '15 Creates Animation for "Trick or Treat" Concert

Posted: 2015-10-21

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Matthew Tanzi, MFA '15: Camille Saint-Saens — Danse Macabre from Maine College of Art on Vimeo.

On October 18th, 2015, Portland Symphony Orchestra held a "Trick or Treat" concert at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. Assistant Conductor Norman Hunyh lead the “ghouls and goblins” of the P.S.O during a family-friendly musical. Norman Hunyh hired Alum Matthew Tanzi MFA ’15 to create an animation for the fifth piece of the concert— “Camille Saint-Saens Danse Macabre”. Inspired by the old legend of the Grim Reaper going to cemeteries on Halloween night to play his fiddle, Tanzi animated the undead dancers dancing around to the Reaper’s tune. View more of Matthew’s work at

WAKE UP ALICE! at the Portland Public Library

Posted: 2015-10-21

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WAKE UP ALICE! Contemporary Illustrators Views on Alice In Wonderland

November 6th–December 31th, 2015
On view at the Portland Public Library

This exhibition of contemporary illustration celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, as well as marks the 10th anniversary of the Illustration Program at MECA. Over the past decade, the Illustration Program has attracted some extraordinary talent to the school. Our students, alumni, faculty, and visiting artists include some of the most respected illustrators in the world. We have invited some of these artists to create original works for this show. On view at the Portland Public Library until December 31, 2015.

Daelyne Bell ’13, Calef Brown (Former Professor), Sophie Cangelosi ’16, Cecil Cate ’15, Michael Connor (Professor), Kimberly Convery (attended), Miles Cook ’14, Hana Firestone ’14, Russell French (Portland School of Art Alum), Kiah Gardiner ’14, Nancy Gibson Nash (Nashbox), Mike Gorman (Former Professor), Taylor Grant ’15, Kevin Hawkes (former professor), Jamie Hogan (Professor), Hilary Irons (Professor), Judy LaBrasca (Professor), Chair of Illustration Mary Anne Lloyd, Liz Long ’14, Abbie Masso ’16, Emma McCabe ’15, Declan McCarthy ’14, Phoenix McNamara ’06, Daniel Minter (Professor), Taylor Mirabito ’16, Scott Nash (Professor, Nashbox, Show Curator), Alex Rheault (Professor), Peter Rimkunas ’13, Joe Rosshirt ’11, Lewis Rossignol ’17, Ted Smykal (Visiting Artist), Lori Stebbins '11, Molly Steinmetz ’14, Rob Sullivan (Professor), Melissa Sweet (Visiting Artist), Matt Tavares (Former Professor), Chris Vales ’14, Scott Whitehouse ‘03 

Some of the included work:

Alice Flora by student Taylor Mirabito 

Alum Emma McCabe '15

Illustration Chair Mary Anne Lloyd

Spark! Energy Ideas Worth Spreading: Thursday, November 5th

Posted: 2015-10-15

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Spark! Energy Ideas Worth Spreading: Thursday, November 5th

Join the Island Institute and the Treehouse Institute for an evening of innovative Energy Ideas Worth Spreading. There will be a screening of top TED talks on energy from around the globe at the Maine College of Art, from 6 to 7pm. This event kicks off the 2015 Island Energy Conference.

Click here for more information and to register:

MECA Faculty + Alumni Exhibit in PMA's 2015 Biennial "You Can’t Get There From Here"

Posted: 2015-10-06

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Justin Kirchoff (United States, born 1966), Sighting Noon, gelatin silver print, 20 x 24 inches.

"Opening October 8, You Can’t Get There From Here: The 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial highlights Maine’s artistic legacies in the making. Curated by Alison Ferris, this year’s Biennial provides a comprehensive overview of the many facets of Maine’s contemporary art scene. The exhibition will be on view through January 3, 2016."

"You Can’t Get There From Here includes established Maine artists who have created notable new bodies of work and those who have traveled outside of Maine and are becoming known outside its borders. The Biennial will also represent the first major institutional appearance for several young, emerging artists, showcasing the next wave of Maine artists and affording them the opportunity to make initial introductions to national art audiences."

Gideon Bok (attended) '88, Camden, ME
Jeffrey Clancy, former faculty, Madison, WI
Stacy Howe MFA '10, Portland, ME
Justin Kirchoff, faculty, Eliot, ME
Caroline Lathan-Stiefel MFA '01, Avondale, PA
Randy Regier MFA '07, Wichita, KS
Noriko Sakanishi '70, Portland, ME
Miles Spadone '13, South Portland, ME

Learn more about this exhibition here.

2015 Alumni Biennial "Residual Utopia" Opens Oct. 9, 5-7PM

Posted: 2015-10-02

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Please join us on October 9th, from 5PM to 7PM, for the opening of Residual Utopia; the 2015 Maine College of Art Alumni Biennial at the College’s Institute of Contemporary Art. This year our jury, comprised of alumna Jenny McGee Dougherty ’05, Dan Mills, Director of the Bates Museum of Art, and Lissa Hunter, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, has selected four artists that represent the breadth of the college’s academic programs, with representatives from our Bachelor’s Program, as well as our Master’s in Fine Art and Art Education programs.

The work that these artists produce illustrates a range of interests, practices, and levels of audience participation. In their individuated practices these artists have identified certain utopic ideologies as having been built on the ashes of that which came before. Ellen Babcock BFA ’84, Cole Caswell MFA’08, Kevin Goodrich Art Ed ’10, and Carlos Pileggi MFA ’13 are working in fields of painting, photography, social sculpture, social practice, and printmaking.

The logic at play in each of their practices showcases their ability to develop and to problem solve; two traits demanded of artists today. This development out of/away from the rules of art practice is both postmodern and contemporary, as well as decidedly anti-utopian. The parameters laid down by generations of modernists decreed the separation of artistic disciplines for the sake of their own agendas. The rigidity of these systems had within them the seeds of their own demise, and it is from the rubble of those hopes that these artists mine for material, content, audiences, and histories. We have on exhibition what they have built from the residue of their respective utopian legacies.

On view until December 18th, 2015. 

Metalsmithing and Jewelry Majors to Exhibit Nationally

Posted: 2015-10-02

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Sensorium, Betsy Lewis

Pie Server, Mary Forst

Two Metalsmithing and Jewelry majors, Betsy Lewis and Mary Forst, were accepted into national exhibitions. 

Betsy Lewis will be exhibiting in CraftForms2015 and Mary Forst and Betsy Lewis will be exhibiting in Form Forge Fabricate. Mary is also a finalist in the 2016 Niche Awards.

"Craft Forms 2015, the International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Crafts, will be on display at the Wayne Art Center from December 4, 2015 − January 30, 2016.  This eagerly anticipated exhibition, celebrating its 21st year, is dedicated to enhancing the public's awareness of fine contemporary craft while providing a venue for established and emerging artists to share their creative endeavors.  Craft Forms is internationally recognized as one of the premiere contemporary craft exhibitions.  The finest works of ceramics, wood, fiber, metal, glass, mixed medium and 3D printing are featured, supporting the Center's mission of expanding the public's awareness of fine contemporary crafts, and significantly benefiting all educational and outreach programs for children and adults."

"Form Forge Fabricate is Southern Illinois Metalsmith’s 8th annual exhibition, just one of the activities of an ambitious weekend that includes demonstrations, a fine craft auction, and a student-juried and mounted exhibit at the University Museum of the best in metalsmithing.

SIMS is made up of graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in metal as an artistic medium.  The purpose of the group is to promote metalsmithing arts and to provide opportunities for learning and artistic expression."

"Sponsored by NICHE magazine, the NICHE Awards program began in 1989 to celebrate excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft. Artists are recognized in both professional and student divisions."

Illustration Faculty Jamie Hogan to participate in "RISD READS"

Posted: 2015-10-01

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RISD READS | Children’s Book Reading and Signing
October 10th, 2015 at 2pm
Providence, Rhode Island 

Readers, writers and illustrators of all ages are invited to join award-winning children’s book creators and RISD faculty Jamie Hogan 80 IL, Joe McKendry 94 IL and Joo Hee Yoon 11 IL as they read aloud from their picture books. A book signing sponsored by RISD WORKS will follow. 

Read more about Jamie Hogan on her website.

Dana Sawyer Lecture Series — Fall 2015

Posted: 2015-10-01

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Professor Dana Sawyer will be giving a number of lectures this fall.

"The Perennial Philosophy and the Future of Religion"
"Science and Non-Dualism" conference in San Jose, CA
Sunday, October 25th

Learn more about the lecture here.

"Possible Oneness of All Religion and Spirituality"
World Parliament of Religions, Salt Lake City
Tuesday, October 27th 

Learn more about the lecture here.

Dedication Ceremony of the Bob Crewe Program in Art and Music and Grand Opening of the Bob Crewe Gallery

Posted: 2015-10-01

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Dedication Ceremony of the Bob Crewe Program in Art and Music and Grand Opening of the Bob Crewe Gallery Hosted at MECA on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 4pm

Media Invited to Attend Ceremony and Celebration Honoring the Life and Legacy of Internationally Acclaimed Artist, Producer, Musician and Writer, Bob Crewe

Portland, Maine ~ In April 2014, the Bob Crewe Foundation awarded MECA a $3,000,000 gift to establish a new area of study that explores the intersection between art and music. Since then MECA has been hard at work building out the lower level of the Porteous Building (522 Congress Street) to accommodate this new initiative, developing curriculum, hiring faculty and preparing to launch one of the most innovative academic programs ever conceived. 

In addition to providing the first glimpse into MECA’s newly renovated lower level, attendees of the October 3 dedication ceremony will enjoy guided tours of the new facility, an official ribbon cutting, and special guest appearance from former musicians and industry professionals that Bob Crewe collaborated with throughout his illustrious career.

Inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1985 and credited with a string of top ten hits including “Sherry,” Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” Bob Crewe’s influence went far beyond his contributions in the field of music composition, performance and production.

Most recently, Crewe has been featured as a supporting character (played originally by Peter Gregus) in Jersey Boys, the multiple Tony Award-winning, long-running Broadway musical based on the story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons that has become an international hit. Crewe is credited as the show's lyricist.

Bob’s career in the visual arts began as a student at Parsons School of Design in New York City. After art school, Bob became one of the many musicians who also used visual art as an inspiration for his music. In addition to his countless accolades in music, Crewe has also achieved recognition as an artist, having designed a number of album covers as well as having had highly successful one person gallery showings of his paintings at the Earl McGrath Gallery, Thomas Soloman's Garage and Jan Baum Gallery in Los Angeles. 

Bob Crewe’s brother, Dan Crewe, has served on MECA’s Board of Trustees since 2011. Having worked alongside his brother for many years as his right hand man and business partner, Dan Crewe is confident that this new program is the perfect way to celebrate his brother’s legacy and life-long passion. Dan Crewe said, “I strongly believe in creativity and how different art forms interact to create something unique. I believe my brother Bob’s career demonstrates this in a powerful way. The Bob Crewe Foundation and Maine College of Art are embarking on something really special and original in academia by blending the two areas with an evolutionary design.”     

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Ian Anderson, is excited about the opportunity to promote the legacy of Bob Crewe to a new generation of creative entrepreneurs. According to Dean Anderson, “October 3rd marks the culmination of an immense effort that has transpired at MECA over the past 18 months. Thanks to the generosity and vision of the Bob Crewe Foundation, our lower level has been transformed into a state-of-the-art recording facility, classrooms and studio space. Our new recording studio will provide students a chance to learn the art of audio recording, mixing and mastering on some of the highest quality equipment found anywhere in the world.”

The curriculum will also 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 by creating curricular and co-curricular experiences for students in art and music, MECA can be the first art college to explicitly engage in combining the study of contemporary art and design with music. He said “MECA is uniquely positioned to develop this area because of our size, history and willingness to experiment.”

Anderson said, “One of the things that makes MECA unique is its ability to combine, integrate, and synthesize multiple disciplines. I see ways in which all of our eleven undergraduate majors and two graduate programs will overlap and integrate with The Bob Crewe Program in Art and Music. This is an exciting period of growth and innovation here at the college.”

President Don Tuski Ph.D. believes this new program will have a significant impact towards reinforcing much of what makes Maine, Portland, and MECA a place of true distinction: excellent creative talent and a great cultural arts scene. According to Tuski, “Recognizing the integration of art and contemporary music is not something colleges or universities have engaged with directly. However, students, musicians and artists have done so for a long time and with the help of The Bob Crewe Foundation we want to facilitate this happening more in Portland, ME.  We think this is a rare opportunity to make an important contribution within a new creative frontier. By consciously focusing on art and music together, new art forms can be created and MECA will continue to create the cutting edge of society, not just be on the cutting edge.”

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Raffi Der Simonian at or 207.699.5010.

Faculty Michel Droge Appears as Panelist for PMA's "Communicating Climate Change"

Posted: 2015-09-25

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Richard Estes, Beaver Dam Pond, Acadia National Park, 2009, oil on board, 12 3/8 x 29 7/8 inches

Saturday, October 24, 2015
9:00am – 3:45pm
Portland Museum of Art

Join the Maine Humanities Council, the Portland Museum of Art, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center to explore one of the most contentious issues of our time. How has public conversation about climate change evolved over time? What cultural and historical factors have shaped its trajectory? How do scientists, artists, and humanities scholars infuence the way we understand and talk about climate change?

Register at Learn more about the event and schedule here.

"Michel Droge received her BA from Oberlin College and her MFA from Maine College of Art. She is the recipient of awards and grants including the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award and a Maine Arts Commission Grant. She exhibits regularly both nationally and internationally. Droge currently teaches at Maine College of Art and maintains her studio at the Bakery Studios in Portland Maine. She is researching the impact of climate change on small Island communities. Her paintings and prints are an exploration of the environment, coastal ecosystems, and adaptation."

Mary Anne Lloyd is new Department Chair of Illustration

Posted: 2015-09-08

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Mary Anne was one of the founders of the Illustration program at MECA, along with Scott Nash and Jamie Hogan. She has worked diligently the past ten years to create a robust and rigorous curriculum. She is a Portland School of Art alumni having graduated as a Graphic Designer in 1983.

You can view more of her work online:

Scott Nash creates "Berniemoji"

Posted: 2015-09-05

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Portland illustrator Scott Nash, along with Akimitsu Hogge and Wade Brainerd, developed a mobile app that allows users to share the full expressions of 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The app is free through the Apple Store.

The app has been mentioned in The New York Times and wrote about in Bustle's "7 Ways Bernie Sanders Emojis Are Seriously The Best Way To Talk About Politics" and The Independent's "Bernie Sanders has got his own set of emojis".

Jason Morrissey '98 : Forged in Fire on the History Channel

Posted: 2015-08-10

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Forged In Fire

The bladesmiths must forge a signature weapon using everyday steel objects like ball bearings and shovels as their only source material. Who will make it through the season finale of #ForgedInFire?

Posted by HISTORY on Thursday, August 6, 2015

Metalsmithing & Jewelry alum Jason Morrissey '98 will be on the History Channel tonight!

"FORGED IN FIRE features world-class bladesmiths competing against each other to create some of the most iconic edged weapons from history. In each episode, four of the best bladesmiths in the country will come together to put both their skills and reputations on the line. Whether they are making a Japanese katana, a medieval broadsword, or an ancient throwing blade like the chakram, the weapons they forge will be fully functional and lethal works of art and war. The unique histories contained within each weapon will be creatively told during the forging process and the final weapons themselves will be assessed and ruthlessly tested by our panel of expert judges. These dynamic and explosive tests will be individually designed to push the weapons to their absolute limit. One by one, the bladesmiths will be eliminated until only one remains to be crowned the champion."

Learn more about FORGED IN FIRE here

Start Here/Go Anywhere

Posted: 2015-07-22

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Work by Alexus LaFebvre.

Start Here/Go Anywhere

Through our Masters of Arts in Teaching Program, teacher candidates may intern for student teaching in Maine or any other qualified setting across the US or around the world. Maine College of Art is listed as a participating college with the Department of Defense Schools (DoDEA) for placement of student teachers.

Upon completion, graduates are eligible to apply for certification in Maine as well as other US states, territories, the DoDEA, and the District of Columbia under their Interstate Reciprocity Agreements. Most international schools accept US certifications as well.

To learn more about the MAT Program, please visit this link. 

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