Illustration Professor Rob Sullivan Hosts First Solo Show in NYC
"A Troubling Calm: The Recent Works of Rob Sullivan"
This Thursday, January 23 (6-9pm), MECA Illustration professor Rob Sullivan opens a new show at the Good Question Gallery in Chelsea, New York. The show titled "A Troubling Calm" will be featured in the main gallery space through February 22, 2014 and is Sullivan's first solo show in the Big Apple.
Behind each piece of artwork hanging in the community room at Bayside East is a story. There’s the story of the treasures brought home by a young man stationed overseas, or the story of a cultural tradition transplanted in a new community. And there’s the simple story of preserving a community’s history through newspaper clippings.
Looking at the 11 prints on the walls, the stories might not be apparent. But for the residents of the Portland senior community, the artwork represents memories of cherished items collected over the years, as seen through the eyes of local art students.
From September to December, a class of Maine College of Art students spent several hours talking with a group of residents of Bayside East and seeing first-hand the objects that hold special meaning for them. Residents brought odds and ends gathered over the years, like collections of old newspaper clippings, gifts given to them by loved ones, and even colorful traditional African clothing made by hand.
Through stories and questions, the students learned why these objects were so important to their owners. Then, they created original prints using the objects and stories as influence.
The semester-long project wrapped up in December with a potluck party at the property. The students unveiled their art to the residents and talked about their process. Each student made multiple prints so that the residents could also hang one in their apartment.
One of the residents, Bill, had showed students a geisha doll he’s had for over four decades, purchased overseas when he was serving in the Navy. The doll became a source of inspiration for one student, who made a black-and-white print of its likeness that now hangs in the community room kitchen.
“My 45-year-old gal – it’s nice to see her out,” said Bill.
This partnership is just one way Avesta has been exploring community partnerships to help enhance our residents’ sense of home through art. The importance of art goes beyond aesthetics – it’s a vital part of creating a sense of community and making our residents feel at home.
Partnerships with other organizations also strengthen relationships between our residents and members of the larger community, creating connections that can have a lasting impact. The residents visited the students in their studio to see first-hand how printmaking is done. They also got a personalized tour of the college’s facilities on Congress Street, which was especially meaningful for one resident, who used to work in the building back when it was the Porteous department store.
“It’s community development for both, for us and for (Maine College of Art),” said Bill of the project. “What it brings to the room is what we were looking for. This is extremely nice to have.”
Kate, a student, said they were all initially nervous about leaving the classroom and “stepping out of our comfort zone,” but those feelings quickly dissipated as they spent more time with the residents. “We had a really fun time, they were interested people we wouldn’t normally interact with,” she said. “They were fun to talk with – they always had something interesting to say.
“Every time you have students get out somewhere else, it’s beneficial to your art,” she added.
Maine College of Art students pose with a resident of Bayside East dressed up as Santa Claus
Rod, one of the residents, said the opportunity to interact with young people held more meaning for him now that he’s getting older and most of his own children have moved away. “Getting to know them has been really great. They’re obviously a really great bunch of kids,” he said. “I think programs like this are really great — this way, you don’t just house older people and forget about them.”
The connection that developed between the residents and the students was great to see, and I’d like to thank Professor Pilar Nadal and her students for enhancing the lives of our residents through art. And a big thank-you to Bill, Phil, Doug, Rod and the other residents who participated in this project and shared their time, energy and hospitality.
Avesta looks forward to working with the Maine College of Art to repeat the program with another group of residents next fall.
* Thank you to Pilar and her students for providing some of the photos for this blog post.
Adam Kitzerow, Every Which Way (detail), acrylic and mixed media on canvas
MECA Student Designs John Waters' Holiday Ornament
For a class assignment, Illustration student Declan McCarthy '14 drew a portrait of filmmaker John Waters. Pleased with the result, he sent it to him not expecting a response. He was surprised when he received a personal phone call from John Waters, asking to purchase the rights to the image for use on a holiday ornament. Waters is known for his holiday cards and ornaments which are a coveted item by those on the receiving end.
Dana Bell MFA '04 Awarded New York Foundation for the Arts' (NYFA) Fellowship in Choreography
THE NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS (NYFA)
AWARDS 91 FELLOWSHIPS TOTALING $637,000
THROUGH THE ARTIST FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Awards made in literary, performing and
visual arts categories
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 28th annual Artist Fellowships Program. A total of $637,000 has been awarded to 91 artists or collaborative teams in the disciplines of Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design, Choreography, Music/Sound, Photography and Playwriting/Screenwriting. In addition to the Fellows, three Finalists, who do not receive a cash award, were named in each of the five categories. The Fellows and Finalists were selected by state-wide peer panels from 2.922 applicants. A complete list of recipients and their counties of residency follows.
The program is open to artists at all stages in their careers and each Fellow or team receives an unrestricted cash grant of $7,000 to use in any way they desire to further their creative work. As Kristoffer Diaz, a Brooklyn-based playwright whose playThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was a Pulitzer finalist in 2010, noted, “It's an unbelievable honor to be selected as a NYFA Fellow. It's never easy to make a living as an artist, especially in New York; NYFA fills a huge need in letting writers write.” His remarks were echoed by Joyce Hwang, an Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design recipient from Buffalo, who said, “I am honored to be selected as a NYFA Fellow this year, and excited that the award will enable me to continue constructing an urban habitat project that I have had to put on hold until now.”
First launched in 1985, NYFA’s Artist Fellowship Program, has provided over $27 million in unrestricted cash grants to artists in 15 disciplines at critical stages in their careers. Awards are made in five disciplines a year on a triennial basis. Past recipients include the winners of five Academy Awards, five Tony Awards, eight Pulitzer Prizes and 17 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships.
“We are so grateful to the New York State Council on the Arts and our other funders for making it possible for us to administer this award which has such a significant impact on the lives of artists throughout the state,” said NYFA Executive Director Michael L. Royce. “By giving artists the support they need, we all get to enjoy, learn from and be inspired by the fruits of their labors.”
NYFA’s 2013 Artists’ Fellowships are administered by NYFA with leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation and one anonymous donor.
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) was founded in 1971 to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives. Each year we provide over $1 million in cash grants to individuals and small organizations. Artspire, our fiscal sponsorship program is the largest and most established in the country and helps artists and organizations raise and manage over $3.5 million annually. Our NYFA Learning programs provide thousands of artists with professional development training and our website, NYFA.org, received over 1.5 million unique visitors last year and has information about more than 11,000 opportunities and resources available to artists in all disciplines.
FY-In Students Partner With Creative Trails Art Department on Newspaper Launch
Celebrate the launch of Sunny All Day News: Issue 3, a newspaper collaboration between MECA FY-In students in the Transporting the Intangible section and the artists from Creative Trails Art Department! The newspaper features student projects and assignments that each artist at both MECA and the Art Department created and assigned to each other. Students have also installed work from their semester long projects in the Art department storefront window and inside the gallery! The artwork will be up all month long, and the free newspaper will be available in the kiosks outside of MeCA and the Art Department December 6th...until they are gone!
First Year Students:
Nyla Wilson Josh Clark Jeff Saint-Victor Parker Anna Smedley Gunnar Johnson Jules Gabriel Willie Nelson Brendan Glass Jamie Miller Aoifa Quinn Sayre Leonard
MAINE COLLEGE OF ART HOSTS 2013 HOLIDAY SALE on DECEMBER 6 & 7, 2013
Annual Holiday Sale Features Affordable Handmade Art and Gifts from MECA Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni
Portland, Maine ~ The 2013 Maine College of Art Holiday Sale will take place on Friday, December 6 from 5pm to 9pm and Saturday, December 7 from 10am to 5pm throughout three floors of Porteous Building. This annual, curated art sale features 64 students, faculty, staff and alumni selling unique and affordable handmade art. In addition to individual vendors, ten department showcases will provide an opportunity to learn more about the various majors at the College and purchase art. Proceeds from the department showcases help students pursue professional development opportunities. Admission is free.
Recognizing the 20-year anniversary of this beloved community event, the College is holding a fundraiser, Celebrate 20, on Thursday, December 5th. This is a limited-ticket event that features a one-night only sale of higher-end priced work by selected Holiday Sale artists. Proceeds from the evening will benefit MECA’s scholarship fund. Tickets are $75 and available at meca.edu/holidaysale or call 207.699.5012.
Through an internship, Graphic Design student Cassie Amicone is building a three-dimensional visual display in the front window that builds on the two-dimensional brand that she created for the event.
Please note that Congress Street will be shut down during the First Friday Art Walk from Brown Street to High Street and shoppers should plan accordingly.
For more information, including a list of all participating vendors, please visit holidaysale.meca.edu.
Photo: Gabriella Sturchio '12 Window Design by Carrie
PROPEL After Hours Event Hosted at MECA on Dec. 3 in the ICA at 5:30
WHO:USM and MECA faculty and students organize an awareness-building event.
WHAT:King tides are the highest tides of the year. The “Envisioning Change”-Pop-Up Shop King Tide event is an artistic and scientific response to a worldwide phenomenon that will greatly affect the future of Portland’s waterfront. This event is being hosted during the only King Tide to occur during daylight hours in 2013, at 11:22 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The predicted height is 11.6 feet above sea level.
Part I: Opening remarks at Zero Station Gallery, 222 Anderson St., Portland, Maine, before moving to Cove Street/Marginal Way to witness the highest tide of the year. Part II: “Envisioning Change” King Tide observation and data collection; Marginal Way and Cove Street area. Part III: Pop-Up Shop installation, 94 Commercial St., organized in collaboration with the Portland Society for Architecture and its Rising Tides Symposium program with MECA’s Public Engagement students.
WHY:To generate awareness on an important issue that will have a severe impact on the future of Portland’s waterfront.
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 4;
Media representatives are invited to assemble by 10:25 a.m. at Zero Station. 10:30 a.m.: Welcoming remarks by Jan Piribeck, USM Associate Professor of Art ;
10:45 a.m.: Scientific context and ramifications by Edward Gleason, USM astronomer and Southward Planetarium manager; 11 a.m.: “Envisioning Change” observation and data collection begins; 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Move to MECA Pop-up Shop Installation at 94 Commercial St.; comments by Paul Gebhardt, MECA associate professor.
Opening Reception for Deborah Bates '83 Hosted from 4-6pm on 11.15 at MECA
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 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.
caption for image: Deborah Bates, Persis, acrylic and charcoal on panel, 40" x 30", 2002.
Graphic Design Students Partner with Casco Bay High
Graphic design students parntered with Casco Bay High students to redesign the logo for the expeditionary learning school. Graphic Design faculty member Margo Halverson and Illustration faculty member Mary Anne Lloyd guided the students in a four week collaborative process that included brainstorming, research and sketching. The final logo encompasses the core qualities of the high school - progressive, unique, explorative, and adventurous.
MFA Student Wins Travel Grant
MFA student Kathleen Daniels won the Roderick Dew travel grant. She will visit the El Yunque rainforest located in Puerto Rico, one of the most complex ecosystems on earth. While there, she will observe the relationship between flora and host trees. Her current studio practice focuses on the disturbances in the landscape that affect plant life essential to human survival. Using bamboo armatures covered in paper, Kathleen creates futuristic biological plant forms that are a result of cross-breeding and mutation. The funding is made possible by alum Roderick Dew. Recognizing the importance of travel for artists’ professional development, he awards this grant annually. Roderick graduated with a BFA degree from MECA in 1980 and an MFA degree in 2000.
MFA Student Completes Residencies
Charley Young, a student in the MFA program, recently completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Spark Box Studios in Ontario. As an interdisciplinary artist, Charley is interested in drawing, printmaking, and public installation. To date, her work includes large-scale monoprints of historic building facades, that document a site's appearance prior to its destruction. She is currently an artist in residence at the Banff Centre. In 2014, she will participate in the Arctic Circle Program Expedition.
Capitalizing on Creativity: Thinking Wrong, Doing Right
Monday, November 18th, 2013 from 5:30pm-7:30pm Portland Public Library Rines Auditorium
Join us for an interesting and informative evening of “Wrong Thinking” and learn how to unlock the ingenuity in yourself and your employees.
Creative solutions are not found by thinking in the same old ways that created the problem. John Bielenberg founded Project M on the premise of “Thinking Wrong” as a means of making the world a better place through design. “Thinking Wrong” is all about challenging our own orthodoxies or learned behaviors that inhibit true innovation and creative exploration. It is about generating a lot of possibilities before doing the much more analytical process of selection and execution. What John Bielenberg does best is help companies and their people find the courage and the sense of humor to consider whole new, wrong ways of bringing their stories, ideas, and innovations out into the world.
One of their projects, Alabamboo is a growing movement dedicated to strengthening the economic and social fabric of the rural south through re-imagining local agricultural enterprise. By introducing bamboo as a regional agricultural product, Alabamboo fosters job creation, localizes production, and sustains clean air and water in the region.
John Bielenberg is Executive Producer, Design, for Future. In February 2013, John was awarded the AIGA Medal, the design organization's highest honor. With the award, AIGA recognized him as a "designer, entrepreneur and imaginative advocate for a better world," specifically citing his "innovative investigations into the practice and understanding of design and leadership in the 'design for good' movement." In addition to this recent honor, John has won more than 250 design awards in his career, and became an AIGA Fellow in 2008.
Pricing: $35 or become a member of MCC for $35 and the first Creative Toolbox is free! $15 for MCC Members, Students with valid ID
Space is limited! Contact email@example.com to register today or call Jean at 207-730-0694
Public Engagement Receives EPA Grant
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.