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.