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First year students at MECA engage community with mural project

Posted: 2012-10-03

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This striking new mural recently appeared as a result of a community partnership and MECA's Public Engagement efforts at the corner of Preble Street and Cumberland Avenue, a block off of Monument Square.

Two of MECA’s FY-In sections have teamed up with Wright Ryan to create a temporary public installation on the exterior of the new Preble St Teen Center. Paul Gebhardt and Adam Manley’s classes collaborated to create a 48 foot Mural to be mounted on the side of the building at the corner of Preble and Cumberland Streets. Students worked together to come up with a mural spoke to both the residents of the center and the general population of Portland. After a group brainstorming session, the students were divided into groups of two, each of which was assigned a letter, as well as a language commonly spoken in Portland to act as a visual prompt for the painting of their letter. The mural is divided into 4’ x 4’ squares, each containing one letter, and the individual artworks that developed around each of these letters is based on the students’ extensive research into the visual language of the assigned cultures.

The building is being renovated to become the Preble Street Resource Center's new Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter. But the mural is actually a collaboration between Wright-Ryan Construction and this year's freshman class at the Maine College of Art.

Wright-Ryan superintendent Rob Barrett was a driving force behind the initiative.  He said,  "The building renovations required his crew to remove the first-floor facade and erect a temporary plywood shed. Instead of having a blank wall, it seemed like a perfect canvas for a community art project, so I contacted a couple of instructors at MECA. Members of the freshman class then teamed up in pairs to paint the mural's individual panels, each of which honors a different nationality from the diverse immigrant community at the nearby Portland High School."

"It was a way to get incoming freshmen introduced to Portland, and introduced to the Preble Street Resource Center, with a community-based arts project," explains Barrett.

Read Liveworkportland.org blog

Chair of MECA Illustration Department Releases New Book

Posted: 2012-09-19

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SCOTT NASH RELEASES NEW BOOK:
THE HIGH SKIES ADVENTURE OF BLUE JAY THE PIRATE

Portland Based Author/Illustrator and Chair of MECA’s Illustration Department Tops 2012 Best Children’s Books List

Portland, Maine ~ Illustrator, author, designer, and nationally-known media mind Scott Nash’s latest release, The High Skies Adventure of Blue Jay the Pirate has already garnered recognition of note on ABA's (American Booksellers Association) Best Children's books of 2012 Listand at The Society of Illustration’s Original Art Show.

Scott Nash has illustrated more than forty children’s books, and now, inspired by his childhood readings of such classics as TREASURE ISLAND and ROBINSON CRUSOE, his lifelong love of bird-watching, and an urge to take on a new challenge, he has created his most ambitious project to date, his first novel and his first foray into an entirely new and technically precise style of artwork.

Candlewick Press (Nash’s publishing house) describes Captain Blue Jay as a notorious and feared pirate of the skies with a fondness for collecting treasure, especially eggs. Unfortunately, sometimes his treasure hatches, and this time the hatchling is the strangest one the Grosbeak has ever seen. No sailor is certain whether the chick is a young god or just an oversized bird who needs too much food, but one thing is clear: the winds over Thrushland are shifting, and dramatic changes are in store for all. Whether outwitting a gang of thieving crows, outrunning murderous fishers and weasels, or rallying Briarloch’s beleaguered sparrows, this motley crew must do all they can to stay together and stay alive. And that’s just the tip of the bird’s feather! Offering a bounty of illustrations and a host of memorable characters -- from an endearing star-nosed mole to an unlikely little warrior with a vendetta -- here is a treasure for anyone who has ever wanted to take to the skies and see where fortune blows.  Hoist the Jolly Robin! Fly with a swashbuckling crew as they soar through the air -- and evade danger on the ground -- in search of treasure and lofty adventure.



Scott Nash lives in Peaks Island, Maine and has been a student of kid culture for over twenty five years. As a founding partner of NASHBOX, BIG BLUE DOT, Corey McPherson Nash and BUG ISLAND Productions, Scott has developed an expertise in the branding and creative development of kids products and programming for the entertainment, consumer product and publishing worlds.  In addition to designing identities for Nickelodeon, PBS, ABC, Comedy Central, FX and YTV, Scott’s design clients include American Girl (Pleasant Company), Disney, Mattel, Microsoft, Milton Bradley and the Boston Children’s Museum.  He has vast experience developing and producing animated properties for Disney, Nickelodeon and MTV as well as animated and live-action promo spots for ABC, FX, and PBS. Scott has illustrated over forty children’s books, including Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp and The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields, Betsy Who Cried Wolf by Gail Carson Levine,, and Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.

Scott Nash’s work as a designer and illustrator has been recognized by leading trade organizations and publications such as; The Academy for The Arts and Sciences (EMMY award), PROMAX, Broadcast Designers Association, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Society of Illustrators and HOW, Communications Arts, Print and Publishers Weekly Magazines.  He has lectured widely and taught at Boston University, Northeastern University and The Art Institute of Boston. Additionally, he established the Illustration Department at Maine College of Art.

The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate is available online and at your local bookstore on October 5, 2012.  For more information, please contact Raffi Der Simonian at 207.756.0916 or rdersimonian@meca.edu.


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