First year students at MECA engage community with mural project
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey comes to Portland
Portland, ME ~ The Bank of Maine proudly presents Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey opening on Friday, October 5, 2012, and continuing through December 29 on display at Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery. The exhibition is free of charge to the general public and features original illustrations, preparatory sketches, unpublished drawings and ephemera by the internationally celebrated artist and author Edward Gorey. This highly acclaimed exhibit is made possible by generous support from The Bank of Maine and a collaboration between Maine College of Art (MECA) and Portland Public Library.
Elegant Enigmas pays tribute to the work of Edward Gorey (1925 – 2000), best known for his brilliant drawings and witty, quirky stories. Described as “incredibly sophisticated…stylish and inventive” by the New York Observer, Gorey’s signature pen-and-ink illustrations and macabre wit has led him to be considered one of America’s most imaginative and eccentric artists of all-time. During his lifetime, Gorey published over 100 works, designed sets and costumes for countless theatre productions, created popular animations, and illustrated works for a wide array of artists ranging from Charles Dickens and John Updike to Virginia Woolf and H.G. Wells.
Elegant Enigmas includes approximately 180 original works, including selections from The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest, The Unstrung Harp, The Gilded Bat, and other well-known publications, drawn primarily from the extensive archives of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust and significant private collections.
Chairman and CEO of The Bank of Maine, John Everets, one of many local Gorey enthusiasts said, “We are proud to sponsor this exhibit and delighted to help share the fascinating genius of Edward Gorey with the Greater Portland community. We hope that people take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to experience Elegant Enigmas for themselves.”
According to Donald Tuski, President of Maine College of Art, “The prolific works of Edward Gorey represent the caliber of creativity and artistic brilliance that we promote here at Maine College of Art. Given Gorey’s success as an author, the Portland Public Library is the perfect venue to host this exciting exhibit in its role as a cultural center.”
Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey is on view from October 5 – December 29. The Portland Public Library is located in the heart of Downtown Portland Maine at 5 Monument Square and is open daily from 10am – 7pm Monday – Thursday, Friday 10am – 6pm and Satuarday 10am – 5pm. For more information, visit portlandlibrary.com/gorey.
or to schedule an interview with Gorey expert and chair of MECA’s illustration department, Scott Nash, please contact Raffi Der Simonian at 207.699.5010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Exhibition has been organized by the Edwards Gorey Charitable Trust and the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Portland-based arts organizations launch professional development series for artists
Creative Portland has received a grant from the Quimby Family Foundation to launch a professional development series, in partnership with Maine College of Art and the Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, designed specifically for professional artists.
The series will consist of 12 workshops held in MECA’s Osher Hall on the second Wednesday of every month from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Selected from a survey of artists this summer, topics will range from grant-writing and social media to contract law and business start-up basics.
December 12: Tax Essentials for Artists
With support from the Foundation and a sponsorship from MECA, the cost will be $10 per session for participants and free to all MECA students and alumni. Registration is required for all attendees on Creative Portland’s website—portlandarts.org.
“We have heard from many artists that a critical need in this community is affordable access to high-quality skill-building workshops that are focused around the specific needs of working artists,” said Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Creative Portland. “By working with MECA and MEVLA, we will offer access to leading presenters in the field and bring the latest knowledge to artists in the Portland region.”
Creative Portland is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to grow and support the city’s creative economy. In July 2012, Creative Portland merged with the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance to become the city’s official arts agency.
The mission of Maine College of Art (MECA) dates back to 1882 and is rooted in delivering a transformative learning experience that prepares students to thrive in the areas of artistic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement within an intimate and demanding educational environment.
Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts offers pro bono and reduced fee services to professional artists in Maine.