Cat Mazza is a new media artist whose work explores the relationships between craft, digital technology and labor. She will give a free visiting artist lecture at 12:30 in Osher Hall on February 28. She has shown her work in galleries and museums internationally including the Jönköpings läns Museum, (Jönköpings, Sweden), the Museum of Arts and Design (New York City), the Triennale de Milano (Milan, Italy), Garanti Gallery (Istanbul, Turkey), The Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, Oregon) and new media festivals Futuresonic (Manchester, England), FILE (São Paulo, Brazil), Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria), and the Influencers (Barcelona, Spain). Mazza has received support from Creative Capital (2008 grantee in Film/Video), Rockefeller Media Arts (New Media fellow 2007), the Craft Research Fund (2009) and MacDowell Colony (2009).
She received her MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2005), her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University (1999) and has been an Assistant Professor of Art at UMass since 2007.
Students Participate in Collaborative Printmaking Project
A new exhibition of prints at Rose Contemporary in Portland will highlight works selected from the flat files of the Peregrine Press and Zea Mays Printmaking studios, and introduce the Maine College of Art Flat File Project featuring work by printmaking students. Flat files are where unframed prints are stored in large file drawers for viewing by collectors, other artists, and those interested in printmaking. Additional work by the participating artists will be available for sale and public viewing in a Flat File at the gallery for the duration of the exhibit.
The exhibition runs from March 1 to March 31 with an opening reception on Friday, March 2 from 5pm to 8pm.
In the weeks prior to the exhibition printmaking students from Maine College of Art (MECA) will work with artists from the Peregrine Press to learn about the history and importance of the Press, view members’ work and connect with the art community beyond the college. The collaborative nature of the project provides the MECA students with a valuable model for professional practice as part of MECA's newly launched Public Engagement minor.
There will be a free public lecture by Liz Chalfin, printmaker and founder of Zea Mays, at Maine College of Art on Saturday, March 3 at 6:30pm. The lecture “Growing a Sustainable Printmaking Community”, will be given at the Osher Lecture Hall at MECA. The lecture is funded by the Kate Mahoney Memorial Fund of the Peregrine Press.
Image credit: Christine Beneman, Book of Flowers #32, monotype (Peregrine Press)
MECA Students to Exhibit in Detroit
Eight Maine College of Art students will display their work at Studio Couture in Detroit in a show titled “Mile 916: Painting and Photography from the Maine College of Art.” Studio Couture is a multi-purpose arts incubator with a gallery, design studio, and community arts space. Co-founder Blake Almstead is a 2007 graduate of Maine College of Art.
The exhibition, juried by Daniel Fuller, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art, includes the work of painters and photography majors Graham Almstead, Harlan Crichton, Susan Kanaga, Angela Rosensweig, Megan Reinhold, Reesa Wood, Gabriella Sturchio and Zak Taillon.
The show is on view March 2 through March 25 with an opening reception on March 3rd from 6pm to 10pm. Maine College of Art Photography faculty members Justin Kirchoff and Peter Shellenberger will join the students on a road trip from Maine to Michigan to assist in the installation and celebration of the student exhibition. Several painting students will travel directly from their New York field trip to Detroit to attend the opening.
"The show at Studio Couture Detroit is exactly the kind of professional development Maine College of Art students need to help them navigate their careers after they graduate. To have the opportunity of being selected by a respected curator and traveling almost a thousand miles to exhibit outside of New England is sure to have a lasting impact on their educational experience," said Justin Kirchoff, Chair of the Photography department at Maine College of Art.
"As an alum of Maine College of Art I couldn't be more excited to bring Portland Maine to Detroit Michigan. Detroit's art scene has been rapidly growing and leading the nation in so many exciting ways. We can't wait to be able to provide this opportunity to the students of Maine College of Art, an institution that shaped/guided me to where I am today," says Studio Couture co-founder Blake Almstead.
Studio Couture, founded in 2011, is brings together educators, professionals, businesses, and students to promote innovation and design thinking in entrepreneurship. Founders Blake Almstead and Peter Beaugardare both instructors at Lawrence Technological University. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6pm.
Image credit: Photograph by Gabriella Sturchio '12
MECA Announces 2012 Belvedere Winners
Maine College of Art awarded eight grants, totaling $7106 from the Belvedere Fund for Professional Development in the Field of Crafts. MECA graduates from the last ten years who are working in the field of crafts are eligible to apply for funding up to $1500. We are pleased to offer this grant in honor of Deborah Pulliam of Castine, Maine, established in 2008. This fund is stewarded by the Maine Community Foundation. The 2012 winners are:
Alex Asplund ’11 Medium: Woodworking Purchase woodworking hand tools in order to broaden the spectrum of his work. $610.
Addison de Lisle ’11 Medium: Steel/metals Purchase a coal forge for the purpose of learning traditional forge-welding and a swage block to facilitate more efficient production of marketable goods. $1,255.
Jordan Gehman ’06 Medium: Woodworking Funding for travel to the Furniture Society conference at MECA, and for studio equipment development. $750.
Seth Gould ’09 Medium: Metalsmithing Funding to develop the hammers he makes into a higher caliber of tool. He will make ten hammers and send them to ten working metalsmiths with the requirement that he receives feedback about how they function. $1000.
Erika Naigle ’11 Medium: Ceramics Funding towards the purchase of a clay mixer/pugmill to further her professional studio. $1,500.
Daria Norvlaan ’05 Medium: Clothing designer Supplement capital needed for the production of her spring/summer 2012 clothing line. $590.
Molly Vogel ’09 Medium: Jewelry Purchase enameling equipment that will aid in the creation of a new body of work. This work will become her post-baccalaureate portfolio that she will use to apply to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. $801.
Sarah Wilson ’07 Medium: ceramics To assist with the cost of travel to an artist residency in Jingdezhen, China for professional research and development. $600.
On February 3 at 5pm, the college will officially dedicate the Karu Media Collective and to thank the Karu family for their generosity. Located on the third floor of the Porteous Building, the Karu Media Collective provides studio space for students majoring in Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, and New Media. All are invited to attend the dedication, hear remarks from faculty, staff, and students and tour the spaces.
Portland INSIDE/OUT Exhibition and Screening
This fall, MECA partnered with TedxDirigo to respond to artist JR’s TED Prize wish “to turn the world inside-out using art." Students in the Public Art Studio Class interviewed Portland residents about what they want their community to be. The temporary public art project featured voices and portraits shared on the streets of Portland, on the web, and on the radio.
During the First Friday Art Walk on February 3, the college will host an exhibition, film screening, and celebration of the project from 5pm to 9pm on the second floor of the Porteous Building. Join us in celebrating our partnerships and project process, listen to our collective voices and pick up a copy of your photo at this multi-media installation. The documentary film, by No Umbrella Media, will be screened at 7 and 8pm.
Metalsmithing & Jewelry Faculty Jeffrey Clancy Exhibition and Book Launch in Brussels
Metalsmithing & Jewelry faculty member Jeffrey Clancy is exhibiting his work at Elsa Platteau & Cie Gallery in Brussels from February 2 through March 2. An opening reception is scheduled for February 1 which includes a book launch for Clancy's "Making a Bowl by Raising and Crimping." This limited edition book includes texts written by Annie Larmon and Lauren Fensterstock, the Academic Program Director of the Masters of Fine Arts program at MECA. Clancy was also selected by the Smithsonian American Art Museum for the upcoming exhibition "40 under 40: Craft Futures" opening this summer at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.
Photography Faculty Collaborate for Exhibition
Maine College of Art Photography faculty member Peter Shellenberger and artist-in-residence Caleb Charland are collaborating on a body of work to be exhibited at the Addison Woolley Gallery in Portland. Both artists incorporate unconventional materials and processes in their imagery. The exhibition, curated by Bruce Brown, opens with a reception on February 2 and continues through February 26. Shellenberger and Charland will discuss their process at an artist lecture on February 12 at 2 pm.
Maine College of Art is the largest employer of visual artists in Maine. In addition to the 150 faculty members and instructors, many of the staff are also artists. "From the Inside" is the annual exhibition of work by MECA staff, on view in the June Fitzpatrick Gallery at MECA from January 24 through February 5 with an opening reception on January 26th from 5-8pm.
This year's show features the work of Megan Lloyd, Steven Emmons, Stacy Howe, Colleen Kinsella, Kelly McConnell, Jane Dalton, Diane Wren, Grace Hopkins-Lisle, Cat Bates, Sandy Macleod, Maggie Muth, Phil Stevens, Annie Wadleigh, and Dietlind Vander Schaaf, representing the following departments: Admissions, Printmaking, Art Education, the Joanne Waxman Library, Metalsmithing & Jewelry, the Business Office, Sculpture, Painting, and Advancement.
Image credit: Stacy Howe
MECA Painters: 10 Years Later
Each year, MECA invites alumni who graduated ten years ago with a degree in painting, to participate in an exhibition at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery. This is the 10th anniversary of this exhibition. This year's participants are 2002 graduates Gina Adams, Hannah Barnes, Tim Clorius, Morgan Maurer, Jason Prescott, Phillip Tuttrow, and Michelle Weinstein. The gallery hours are noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. An opening reception is scheduled for 5pm on January 6 and a closing reception will be held at 3pm on January 21.
Image credit: Gina Adams
MFA Priority Deadline: February 15
The priority deadline for applications to the Maine College of Art Master in Fine Arts program is February 15.
Drawn by its rugged beauty and reputation for fierce individualism, artists have long favored Maine as a place of retreat. For centuries, Maine has hosted enclaves of innovation. Artists well-versed in current discourse, engaged in global politics, and committed to pushing the boundaries of aesthetics, ethics and individual practice repeatedly choose this place to gather and work. Won’t you join us?
Maine College of Art’s Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts takes a structural cue from its setting. We understand the importance of place, but also recognize that notions of place are indexical, as they are constantly re-framed by the shifting boundaries of individual experience. With this in mind, we believe that our unique residency structure presents an ideal format for a 21st century arts education. Students benefit from an intensive Maine residency in summer with the freedom and independence of working from any home location in fall and spring. Our responsive curriculum emphasizes student-directed research geared to empower the voice of the individual, while our global network of faculty, advisors, visiting artists and alumni provides a strong community of support.
Low Residency Students can live anywhere while working towards their degree. Fall and spring semesters, experienced from any home location, support flexibility and independence. Summer and winter residencies in Maine provide the intensity of group interaction and feedback. This structure promotes the development of a sustainable lifelong practice.
Non-Resident Studio Advisors During fall and spring trimesters, each student is carefully paired with a studio advisor for their home location. Advisors meet one-on-one with students in their personal studios. With over a decade of experience, the program has established an extensive network of studio advisors from across North America and abroad and can support students living in any location. While the majority of our instructors are practicing studio artists, we are committed to exploring other disciplinary perspectives through faculty whose research areas lie outside the arts.
Visiting Artists An international roster of visiting artists, curators and critics join the program throughout the summer, each for a week at a time. Visiting artists deliver a public lecture, conduct one-on-one studio visits with every student, participate in group critiques and take part in an interview or classroom activity.
Faculty Member Elizabeth Jabar Exhibits in Waterville
Printmaking faculty member Elizabeth Jabar presents "Kindred" an exhibition of her work at Common Street Gallery in Waterville through December 28. In “Kindred” Jabar poignantly captures diverse narratives and interprets what it means to be in kinship with our cultural ancestors.
Jabar is a Waterville native and returns to her roots to mount an exhibition of prints, paper cuts, and artist books that reflect on the ideas of kinship, ancestry and cultural heritage. Working from a narrative framework, She uses a lexicon of abstracted and representational forms that come from a diversity of sources including, nature, folk art traditions, textiles, and the human figure. Her densely-layered, vividly-colored works are made using a combination of print techniques—woodcut, silkscreen, and lithography, as well as the use of dyes, wax, and thread. Her works also expand the conventions of the print medium, and utilize nontraditional formats including cut paper, book objects, and unframed wall compositions.
Jabar's unique approach to both form and format creates a multi-sensory experience for the viewer. She explains that her work conjures multi-layered narratives that lead us away from the ordinary into a contemplative space full of color, potent symbols, and a unique visual language that is not easily categorized. These formal and material strategies underscore what Jabar states is her goal of “reflecting upon the richness and complexities of cultural identity.” Her work is in various collections throughout the United States and Canada, and she has won several grants and awards and residencies.
Matt Hutton, program chair of the Woodworking & Furniture Design program at MECA, will give a lecture at 3pm on December 7 in the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art. Hutton's work is included in the current exhibition, "A Perpetual Present" on view through December 23.
Hutton earned his BFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana and an MFA from San Diego State University. Matt has also studied woodworking in England and Japan.
Recently, Matt has taught at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and lectured at Rochester Institute of Technology, the Herron School of Art and Takumi Juku in Japan. Matt was also recently awarded the Artist Award from the Society of Arts & Crafts and the Searchlight Award from the American Craft Council.
Students in Ling Wen Tsai's class "Introduction to Drawing" will show their work at Bakery On the Hill Gallery through January 29, 2012. All works were inspired by and created in the bakery. Participating students include: Brian MacMillian, Brittany Jasmin, Caitlin Hathaway, Cecil Cates, Cecilia Vazquez, Dylan MacLeod, Emily Armstrong, Emma McCabe, Ezequiel Rodriguez, Franceska Nebel, Gianna Caranfa, Hailey Howard, Hayley Cummings, Johanna Stacey, Lucas Greco, Lyndsey McElreath, Richard Ehman, Sarah Oppelt, Shadell Segree, and Wesley Cunningham.
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.