The Public Engagement program received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to embed issues of environmental stewardship and climate change into the curriculum. Faculty members Samantha Haedrich, Charles Melcher, Paul Gebhardt and Elizabeth Jabar are launching creative projects in their classrooms and in the community, working with community partners Environment Maine and Portland Trails. The EPA focused work also includes several co-curricular events and initiatives: film screenings, launching the student group MECA SOAP (Students Organized Against Pollution), energy saving and waste reduction efforts on campus, and the Take the Pledge green commitment. In addition, MFA alum and eco artist Tim Gaudreau will be a visiting artist in the spring semester working with the Public Engagement students.
Summer and Fall Internship Placements
Students are encouraged to conduct an internship during their time at MECA to help inform their studio practice. These academic experiences span 15 weeks and require 135 hours of focused, supervised learning in exchange for three academic credits. Below are internship sites for Summer 2013 and Fall 2013:
Betsy Lewis at her Brooklyn Metal Works Internship
Aucocisco Galleries, Portland, ME Belmont Day School, Belmont, MA Brooklyn Metalworks, Brooklyn, NY Catalyst for Peace, Portland, ME Douglas Thayer Designs, Westhampton, MA Dutille's Jewelry, Lebanon, NH Franny Peabody Center, Portland, ME Janice Grzyb, New York City, NY Kris Johnsen, Portland, ME Maine College of Art, Portland, ME Might + Main, Portland, ME New England Sculpture Services, Chelsea, MA Out for Justice, Portland, ME PERCH Studio, Portland, ME Pickwick Independent Press, Portland, ME Pizzuti Studios, Lowell, MA Rollin Leonard, Portland, ME Sandy Macleod, Portland, ME Sarah Bouchard, Portland, ME Studio 24b, Portland, ME The Art Department, Portland, ME University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME Uwe Berger Antique Prints, Berlin, Germany VIA, Portland, ME
The Joanne Waxman Library is hosting a huge book sale during the annual MECA Holiday Sale and December 1st First Friday Art Walk on Friday, December 6 from 5 to 9pm and on Saturday, December 7 from 10:00am to 5pm.
Over 2,000 books are available, priced between 50 cents and $10+. Titles include brand new and used books from recent donations, as well as former Joanne Waxman Library books. All proceeds go to purchase new books for the Library in support of the academic programs at Maine College of Art.
Noted Visiting Artist to Present Lecture on the Interface Between Printmaking and Painting
Between Ink and Paper: Printmaking with Catherine Kernan Osher Hall, Maine College of Art Friday, October 25, 7-8pm Free
Catherine Kernan, nationally acclaimed artist, will present a lecture about the interface between printmaking and painting on Friday, October 25, 2013, 7:00-8:00 p.m. in Osher Hall at Maine College of Art, Congress Street, Portland. The event is open to the public free of charge and is presented in partnership with the Printmaking Department of Maine College of Art.
Catherine Kernan is a painter, teacher, printmaker, the co-founder and partner of Mixit Print Studio in Somerville, MA, and the director of Maud Morgan Arts, an arts center in Cambridge, MA. She says, “Working at the interface between printmaking and painting, I use large scale woodblocks in unorthodox ways as a transfer tool to build images layer by layer in a painterly process of controlled accident. No longer a purist, I exploit any available tool or means to transfer color and form to surface. Interruption and interference with the ‘perfect transfer’ are integral to the process.”
The Kate Mahoney Memorial Fund was established in 2003 in memory of a founding member of Peregrine Press. The Fund is designed to encourage printmakers in southern Maine and to promote public understanding of the art of printmaking. Peregrine Press, founded in 1991 as a non-profit, fine arts printmaking cooperative in Portland, Maine, is the only such cooperative in Maine, and among a few of its kind in the nation. Currently there are 30 active members who work in a variety of printmaking techniques such as collograph, woodcut, monotype, etching, photo-etching, lithography, and other mixed media processes. The shared studio, which is available to members 24/7 is operated and maintained on a cooperative basis with an elective board that runs the organization. The full membership meets several times a year to organize events and workshops. Peregrine Press is working towards being as toxic free a studio as possible.
Sponsored by The Peregrine Press and is made possible by the Kate Mahoney Memorial Fund For further information, contact: Larinda Meade (207) 756-8560 firstname.lastname@example.org meander-2-catherine-kernan.jpegor Dorothy Schwartz (671-4787) email@example.com
Upcoming Exhibition to feature the work of MECA Alum Deborah A. Bates
Deborah Bates, Persis, acrylic and charcoal on panel, 40" x 30", 2002.
FROM THE GROUND: ARCHITECTURE OF A FAMILY features paintings by Deborah A. Bates '83 (1938-2013). The exhibition will be on view in the Charles C. Thomas Gallery on the second floor of the Porteous building from October 17, 2013 through February 20, 2014.
An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 15, 2013 from 4-6pm.
Bates has incorporated various techniques in her work, including collage, drawing, and painting, in order to highlight the relationship between the structural geometry of architecture and the geometric shapes that represent shared DNA. Finding particular inspiration in the fact that a maternal line of women bestowed upon her family four generations of continuity, Bates grounded her art in personal experience and delved into her consciousness to process the experience of her homecoming. In so doing, Bates acknowledged the constancy of women and argued that their silent contributions not go unnoticed.
Illustration Film Series at SPACE Gallery
MECA is collaborating with SPACE Gallery to bring a new Illustration film series to SPACE Gallery. The series begins with a film about illustrator Tomi Ungerer, known for his "witty", "weird" and "subversive" illustrations of movie posters, children's books, and anti-Vietnam War material.
The Portland Press Herald featured the screening and the documentary in a recent article. In it, MECA's Scott Nash said, "“I see him as one of the most important illustrators of our time. He’s really a fascinating figure – with one foot in kids’ literature and one in erotica. Coming from the European background, he had no trouble moving from one to another. He was a product of the dark age of illustration in the 60s, along with people like Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak who were rogues not just trained in children’s literature. His work wasn’t cloying or cutesy at all – there’s some real subversiveness in it.”
Next Tuesday, SPACE Gallery will be screening “Far Out Isn’t Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story” at 7:30pm.
For more about the film and the series, check out Portland Press Herald's article here.
MECA'S JAMIE HOGAN'S CHILDREN'S BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS NAMED IN "100 GREAT CHILDREN'S BOOKS"
The New York Public Library has announced the "100 Great Children’s Books | 100 Years" featuring "inspiring tales that have thrilled generations of children and their parents." Among those, "Rickshaw Girl"- illustrated by MECA's Jamie Hogan and written by Mitali Perkins has been honored. Maine has been the home to classic and contemporary children's book creators, including "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White, "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey, and "The Giver: by Lois Lowry. Jamie Hogan is a professor in MECA's Illustration Department.
"To see my name on the list of children's book authors and illustrators I grew up with and stories that my daughter was raised on, put me over the moon," said Jamie Hogan, "What astounding company."
The "100 Great Children’s Books | 100 Years" list was chosen by children’s librarians at The New York Public Library and published on the occasion of The New York Public Library’s acclaimed exhibition "The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter."
Maine College of Art was recently featured in "Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers." The book, published in its fourth edition and is aimed at college-bound creative students and provides the information and and tools necessary to pick the right arts program.
College Coach and Author Elaina Loveland scrutinized art programs from across the country and ultimately selected more than 250 art, drama, dance, music and creative writing programs in arts conservatories, liberal arts colleges and universities to recommend to potential students. MECA is among those selected.
Alumna Vivian Beer '00 wins $25,000 Fellowship from Society of Arts and Crafts
The Society of Arts and Crafts is pleased to announce the 2013 recipient of the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship is Vivian Beer, a 2000 graduate of Maine College of Art.
Beer is an innovative furniture maker based in New Hampshire. She aspires "to create handmade, one-off objects that manifest the nostalgia of history, the speed of progress and the memory of the human hand".
John D. Mineck was a past President of The Society of Arts and Crafts Board of Trustees and a beloved member of Boston's cultural community. In an effort to support the art that John loved and the people who make it, the Foundation has created a fellowship to encourage and support a young-in-career furniture artist with the financial assistance to help him/her succeed in his/her journey. The fellowship has been designed to help support a talented furniture artist looking to fulfill an apprenticeship, develop his/her own skills, and/or make the transition to independence. The John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship of $25,000 is awarded annually to one artist and is administered by The Society of Arts and Crafts.
Illustration Students Chosen to Collaborate with National Animation Studio
Two MECA Illustration majors have been chosen by internationally renown Frederator Studios to develop ebooks for their series "Bravest Warriors" featuring the character Catbug.
The students are being commissioned to create original content featuring Catbug drawn in their own style which then will be produced and recorded in New York of LA.
Frederator Studio is an animation studio known for an array of popular cartoon shows, including Fairly Odd Parents, Chalk Zone, and My Life as a Teenage Robot.
The Portland Museum of Art Presents the First Museum Exhibition by MECA alum, Ahmed Alsoudani '05
(Portland, Maine) The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) will present Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted, the first major museum exhibition of the work of American-Iraqi artist and Maine College of Art graduate Ahmed Alsoudani. The exhibition features 20 of the artist’s tumultuous and innovative paintings, which reflect on the horrors of war with a unique artistic voice. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted will be on view through December 8, 2013, in the PMA’s celebrated Third Floor Gallery for Contemporary Art.
“Challenging the viewer with nuanced art historical arguments and blatantly difficult, abject, and grotesque imagery, Alsoudani does what few artists can do: he successfully translates the complexity of contemporary politics into meaningful painting,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire.
Through his personal experience as a child and adolescent in war-torn Iraq, Alsoudani developed a keen sensitivity to the effects of war, violence, terror, and political unrest on a global scale. His paintings reflect his experiences as well as the mediated nature of war in our time. “I’m not just commenting on Iraq but on an experience that becomes universal,” Ahmed Alsoudani said, referring to Untitled, 2007, a loose, nearly abstract rendering of the moment the infamous statue of Saddam Hussein fell in Baghdad in 2002. His splintered compositions, and the overwhelming and sometimes harrowing scenes represented in a bright, near-primary palette, address the uneasy balance in our culture between scenes of disaster and objects of beauty. Alsoudani cites historical figures Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, and George Grosz, as well as more contemporary painters Philip Guston and Francis Bacon as major influences. Like his predecessors, he seeks to create works that depart from the glorification of violence and the heroism of warfare. Instead, his large-scale paintings offer graphic, often disturbing imagery that includes disembodied hands or all-seeing bulging eyes juxtaposed with random mechanical parts and other recognizable but misplaced imagery.
Ahmed Alsoudani was born in Baghdad in 1975 and grew up under the regime of Saddam Hussein. He left Iraq as a teenager and lived in Syria before immigrating to the United States in the late 1990s. He studied in Maine at the Maine College of Art (BFA, 2005), and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2006), and graduated with a MFA in painting from the Yale School of Art (2008). In 2011, his work was featured in the Iraq Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, in the exhibition The World Belongs to You, and at The Francois Pinault Foundation at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice. His other major international exhibitions include: La Route de la Soie at Tri Postal in Lille, France (2010); Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East at the Saatchi Gallery in London (2009); as well as shows at the National Gallery of Saskatchewan, Canora, Canada (2007) and the Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea (2007). He lives and works in New York.
The exhibition is co-organized and co-curated by Mark H.C. Bessire, Director of the Portland Museum of Art and Dr. Sara Cochran, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition was on view in Phoenix from March 13 through July 17, 2013. A full-color catalogue will accompany the exhibition and is available in the PMA Store for $19.99.
This exhibition was co-organized by Phoenix Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Generously supported by Louise Bessire in memory of Henry E. Bessire and Sabre Yachts & Back Cove Yachts. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted is also sponsored in honor of the Maine College of Art by: Patricia and Cyrus Hagge, Chris and Betsy Hunt, Horace and Alison Hildreth, and Candace Karu. Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Corporate Sponsors: The Bear Bookshop, Marlboro, VT and The VIA Agency.
MECA Community Featured in 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piecework
This fall the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is featuring 30 artists selected from nearly 900 applicants for the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work. Ten of the artists are MECA alumni and two are faculty.
Kate Beck '96 (Attended), Harpswell, ME Matt Blackwell '77, Brooklyn, NY Allison Cooke Brown '01, Yarmouth, ME Alina Gallo MFA '08, Portland, ME Bryan Graf, Portland, ME, Assistant Professor of Photography Julie Gray MFA '12, Saco, ME Adriane Herman, Portland, ME Associate Professor of Printmaking Alison Hildreth '76, Portland, ME Joe Kievitt '93, Portland, ME Sage Lewis '04, Columbus, OH Justin Richel '02, Rangeley, ME Aaron Williams '94, Ridgewood, NY
Selection of the artwork for Piece Work followed a new process this year. The jury process was conducted internally by Jessica May, the PMA’s first Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art. The goal of the exhibition is to explore one very strong, deep thread of contemporary practice that has relevance both regionally and nationally. Many of the artists in Piece Work live in Maine for all or part of the year; for others, the state has been an important part of their biography or artistic practice.
On view October 3, 2013 through January 5, 2014, the Biennial will feature more than 70 works, ranging in media from painting and drawing to photography and video.
Groundbreaking Bluestocking Film Series Brings Award-Winners to MECA
Astronauts? Check. Zombies and lesbians? Check. WWII resistance fighters? Check. Teenage girls on the prowl, a grandmother with an unconventional diet, and a businesswoman on an obstacle course to work? Yes. The Fall 2013 Bluestocking Film Series has that.
Returning to MECA's Osher Hall on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m., the biannual film event has a whole new lineup of award-winning Bechdel-tested short films by talented women directors for Portland’s cinema lovers.
With the help of an international judging panel, the six films were carefully curated by founder-organizer Kate Kaminski, chosen specifically to prove that films about women can tackle difficult subject matter and be powerful and cutting-edge.
This fall will also mark a first in Bluestocking’s 2-year history: audience members will vote their favorite film in two categories and two lucky filmmakers will walk away with cash prizes. Kyna Morgan of Her Film Project (a global project to support women filmmakers) will sponsor the bigger of the two prizes. The Bluestocking also awards a $100 gift each season to a female New Media student at MECA. “Our goal is to support in any way we can those women who choose to compete in such a male-dominated field.”
The screening event will take place in Osher Hall at MECA at 7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) on Saturday, October 19. All tickets are $5 if purchased in advance via Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are $7 if purchased at the door the evening of the screening. Some of the featured filmmakers will also be on-hand for a post-screening Q&A.
For more information, contact Kate Kaminski, founder/organizer. Watch trailers for past and upcoming events: bluestockingfilms.com