ASHERAH CINNAMON, MECA ALUM, TO SHOW WORK AT THE MAINE JEWISH MUSEUM
Artist Asherah Cinnamon, (BFA '08) exhibits new work at the Maine Jewish Museum. Nancy Davidson curated Cinnamon’s new show entitled Celebration, Tradition and Change. This exhibition will run from Friday July 5th, 2013 to Thursday August 29th, 2013. The opening reception with the artist will be held at the Maine Jewish Museum at 267 Congress Street in Portland, ME on Tuesday July 9th 5-8pm.
Asherah Cinnamon is an international award winning, contemporary sculptor, installation/ performance artist, and creative educator. Her work explores avenues of healing, both personal and planetary. Asherah's parents were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. Their ability to take great joy in life and to overcome that experience was an inspiration for her. Graduate of the Maine College of Art (BFA), Boston University (MSW), Cambridge University (Graduate Diploma), and the University of Wisconsin (BA), she has made her home in Maine for over 30 years.
Cinnamon’s creative practice explores the power of human interaction as a means to build community, seek justice (tzedek), and heal the world (tikkun olam). Celebration, Tradition and Change is an exhibition deeply rooted in Jewish Feminism. Cinnamon is inspired by almost six thousand years of cultural philosophy and ritual. The sculptures and works in this exhibition are references to concepts and objects used in these traditions. Each piece holds meaning, memory, and ethical solutions beyond any single culture or religion. Ritual, whether celebratory or mournful, helps us connect to each other across differences.
Celebration, Tradition and Change is on display from July 5th to August 29th at the Maine Jewish Museum at Etz Chaim Synagogue Monday- Friday 10am-7pm or by appointment. For more information, contact Curator Nancy Davidson at TootzDavidson@yahoo.com or (207) 239 4774.
MECA Family Weekend
MECA parents, families, friends and Alumni are invited to join us on campus for MECA Family Weekend October 11-13, 2013.
Registration and schedule information will be posted in the early fall.
Please contact Anna Schwartz, Director of Student Engagement, with any questions:207.699.5034 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Mohammadi wins AIGA Bone Show Award
Recent graduate Sarah Mohammadi has won an AIGA Bone Show Award for her cookbook Turkmen Damegh. The bi-annual show celebrates the best of New England design. Sarah designed the book as an independent study after visiting her family in Iran. The exhibit is on view at Boston University's 808 Gallery until July 20.
Sarah Mohammadi graduated this spring with a degree in Graphic Design. Originally from Iran, she lives in Maine. For more about Sarah: http://sarahmohammadi.com/
The AIGA is a professional association for design. For more about AIGA:
Two MECA alums awarded Emerging Artist Grants
Two MECA alums won Emerging Artist Grants from the Saint Botolph Club Foundation in Boston this year! Edwige Charlot '10 and Pilar Nadal MFA '13 were both awarded grants from the Boston-based organization that recognizes and supports New England based artists.
Charlot is an artist printmaker. Born and raised in France and of Haitian heritage, her work has been shown in Maine, Connecticut, and New York.
Nadal is a recent MFA graduate who works in multiple mediums. She is originally from upstate New York.
MECA Illustration Professor Introduces 'The Detached Muse Project'
Boston Based Galatea Fine Arts Presents the Work of MECA Illustration Professor Rob Sullivan
July 5 - 28, 2013
(muse): a woman, or a force personiﬁed as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.
MECA Illustration professors' paintings reframe the subject at hand as a metaphorical transfiguration away from their representation. This moves beyond mere surface, as he engage with painting’s history and technical narrativity, bridging it conceptually across a contemporary vernacular. The Detached Muse suite of paintings represents that fusion.
The mythology of the Muses began in the Hellenistic era as nine goddesses who embodied fields of artistic endeavor. In the 19th Century, they were referred to as forms of inspiration, often with creators speaking of their own personal “artistic muse.” This figure was regularly personified by the artist’s female model, and the one-to-one interaction between artist and model was a relationship recorded in paint over the course of history.
The Detached Muse Project represents Sullivan's efforts to reify the muse in painting while subverting it away from modern expectation.
Reception: Friday, July 5, 6-8 PM
460B Harrison Ave, #B-6 Boston, MA 617 542 1500 www.galateafineart.com
Molly Vogel BFA '09 selected for the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show
Molly Vogel BFA '09 was selected for the emerging artist category this year at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show.
The 37th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show includes 195 premiere artists from the United States, selected from more than 1,000 applicants. All work is for sale.
Molly Vogel is a jewelry designer living in Connecticut, whose work has been shown in Maine, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Kentucky.
For more: http://www.mollyvogel.com/ http://pmacraftshow.org/artist/emerging-artists/2013/molly-vogel-jewelry
RECENT ALUM JENNIFER KOWTKO GIVEN ART EDUCATION AWARD
The Maine Art Education Association awards committee has announced that recent MECA graduate Jennifer Kowtko is being recognized as the 2013 Maine Art Education Association – Higher Education Student Art Educator of the Year.
"Jennifer's dedication, experiences and personal educational philosophy reflect her commitment to the advancement of art education in Maine.This is to be commended and we are happy that we are able to celebrate this with her, our community and the State," wrote the MEAA.
She will receive the award at the MAEA Awards Celebration to be held Friday evening at the Fall Conference at Haystack (Sept 13-15).
Portland Named Top 10 Destinations for Gay Travelers
TravelNerd is kicking off Pride Month by highlighting underrated cities for gay travelers looking for fun. Instead of focusing on popular cities like New York City and San Francisco, we looked at underrated cities with thriving gay communities that boast great events and cultural sights.
Maine, one of the 5 states that have legalized gay marriage, has embraced the community. In fact, demographer Gary Gates at the Williams Institute named Portland, ME the third gayest city in the U.S., after heavyweights San Francisco and Petaluma, CA. On June 15, the entire city will celebrate the Southern Maine Pride Parade and Festival, complete with a mass marriage ceremony.
Be sure to participate in the town’s thriving arts scene with the sale from Maine College of Art’s Summer Art Sale on June 6 – 9 to purchase original art from MECA students, alumni and faculty. Then take a trip to the popular gay resort town of Ogunquit just 45 minutes away.
Columbus may surprise you by being on this list, but the city is actually very gay-friendly, with a full 1.0% of households that have same-sex partners. Head to the Gay Pride Parade, Columbus Pride, on June 21 and 22, and participate in the Run for Pride 5k. Leading up to the pride parade, celebrate with various events like a screening on the film “You Are Not Alone” with the filmmaker.
Join the locals at the fun restaurant Level, a gay-popular lounge with Broadway Sundays. Be sure to stop at the local LGBT community center Stonewall Columbus for events like Ballroom Dance classes and other games. Stop in the Short North neighborhood for galleries like 83Gallery and PM Gallery, which have ties with the queer community.
With a rating of 91 on the Equality Index and a gay household percentage of 2.3%, it’s no wonder that city is great for gay travelers. The Twin Cities’ Pride celebrations go on for a full week, starting June 19 to June 30. On June 29, check out the Pride Festival for drag shows, music and dancing, and on June 30, be sure to participate in the Pride Parade.
Stop in the North Loop neighborhood to find trendy boutiques and bars to mingle with the locals. Then head over the Loring Park for a day in the sun, and eat at the nearby Café Lurcat.
Milwaukee is coming into its own as a travel destination with the largest pride festival in the nation, Pridefest, happening this year on June 7 – 9. Be sure to stop by to dance and see acts like the Indigo Girls. Additionally, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee hosts an annual LGBT Film/Video Festival, usually in September or October.
For fine arts and performance theater, head to the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center. Art exhibitions switch every 6 weeks, and hours vary, so call ahead to make an appointment. Walker’s Point is the main gay residential areas and hosts many hot nightlife spots.
New England has been a bastion of liberalism, and the city of Providence is no different, with a gay former mayor, David Cicilline, currently serving in Congress. Rhode Island’s PrideFest is coming up on June 15, complete with a parade. In downtown, AS220, a multi-use space with food, galleries and a printshop, also hosts a popular gay bar, The Stable.
Best of all, Providence is a short trip away from popular gay travel destinations like Boston and Provincetown.
Miami is known for its hopping nightlife and gorgeous beaches, and it’s working hard to draw in the gay contingent. Stop by the LGBT Visitor Center in South Beach to find the latest events in town. The world-famous White Party Week, November 27 to December 2 this year, is the most fun fundraiser for HIV/AIDS.
We know why you’re going to Miami: the beaches. 12th Street Beach is the most famous – and most popular – gay-friendly beach, but for those looking for a little more quiet, head 20 minutes north to the Haulover Beach Park. Warning: there is a clothing-optional section, for those a little shyer.
Atlantic City, NJ
While Atlantic City may be known for gambling and conventions, it’s currently resurging as a top travel destination on the Jersey shore. Since New Jersey legalized gay marriage in 2007, Atlantic City has been focusing on drawing in LGBT travelers.
The first gay nightclub opened in 2011, the Prohibition Bar at Resorts Casino Hotel right near the Boardwalk. The Risque Atlantic City Pride Parade kicks off on the Fourth of July and lasts all weekend, and includes boating, shows and dancing.
Eugene, the second-largest city in Oregon after Portland, is a hotbed of counterculture, including a thriving gay community. Eugene’s PRIDE Annual Celebration is held on August 10 this year at Alton Baker Park on the Willamette River. Show to for a raffle, entertainment and lots of excellent food.
Mother Kali’s Bookstore provides a great arts culture with poetry slams, drumming circles and political organizing, and the Sorumundi Lesbian Choir performs throughout the state. The Soromundi Lesbian Choir performs throughout the state. Check out Queer Eugene to find more events.
While Lansing doesn’t have the liberal cred of Ann Arbor, which is home to the University of Michigan, Lansing is the center of Michigan’s LGBT community. Michigan Pride is hosting the largest White Party in the state on June 7 – be sure to go for the outdoor foam party.
The Pride Festival is held in August, in Old Town, and provides vendors, food stations and even a beverage tent.
Las Vegas, NV
Sin City, the party-lover’s paradise. While Vegas is the ultimate getaway for all travelers, some attractions are now specifically catering to the LGBT crowd. The Wynn and the Encore provide “pride concierges”, and the Luxor has LGBT pool parties during the summer. Come June 15, Krave Massive, the world’s largest gay club will be opening with a massive bash.
The Las Vegas Pride Parade is later that the others, hosted on September 6and 7 this year. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Stop by June 22 for the SNAPI Saturday for dancing, Jell-O shots and a drag show, or July 3 for a family BINGO night.
MECA Commencement Speaker Writes about Creativity, Courage and Following your inner compass
John Coleman, founder of local advertising and marketing company the VIA Agency, spoke at MECA's Commencement Ceremony on May 11. Coleman started the agency without ever setting foot in an advertising firm. It's now an award-winning and highly innovative leader in the advertising industry.
He spoke about his logic-defying decisions and the importance of unplugging from the world to find creative inspiration and how to plug into yourself to find motivation and guidance. He shared his inspiring speech with Fast Company.
Maine College of Art (event hub) and other surrounding locations in Portland, Maine
Join New England leaders to exchange innovative ideas, strengthen our network, and offer practical advice on building our creative communities. We will explore the creative assets of New England and learn how - through connections, influence, vision, leadership, and patience - the creative sector continues to breathe life and opportunity into the region.
Workshops will highlight “creative place-making” initiatives from cities and towns of ALL sizes throughout New England. Topics will include:
Physical and organizational infrastructure to attract and retain cultural assets (cultural plans, zoning, real estate development). Collaborations within the creative sector (cultural nonprofits, creative businesses, artists, entrepreneurs working together). Leadership from within or from outside the creative sector (cultural plan implementation, program development). Creative partnerships across sectors (“creative bedfellows” developing language to bridge gaps in understanding between arts, creative, government, etc.) Creative community in context (outcomes and effects of a thriving creative community)
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Creative sector leader? Engage in creative place-making? Research or support the creative economy?
Participants are creative and cultural community leaders who work on creative economy initiatives in various sectors and types of organizations including cultural nonprofits, creative businesses, economic development, city planning, funders, researchers, and government.
This CCX will immerse participants in Portland's vibrant Arts District, a downtown area that has experienced a remarkable story of revitalization through a focus on the arts, culture, education, and creative inspiration. Locations include: Maine College of Art (Event hub), Community Television Network, Portland Stage, Space Gallery, and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
2013 Pace House Programming Announced
In 2007, artist Stephen Pace and his wife Palmina donated their Stonington home to Maine College of Art to use as an educational facility for the arts. This summer, the College will continue its programming of the space as an artist residency and as a gallery. The artist residency provides MECA alumni, faculty and staff with time and space to make their work. The schedule of artists this season includes Jude Valentine ’78 from June 3-28, faculty member Scott Peterman from July 1-15, Anne Ireland ’94 from July 21-27, Anthony Bragg ’07 from August 1-28 and Andrew Haviland ’12 and Emma Sampson ’11 from August 29 through September 4.
In addition to using the facility for the residency, the College opens parts of the home and gallery for the public to view selected works by Stephen Pace. Located at 90 Indian Point Road in Stonington, the gallery will be open to the public on Wednesday evenings from 5:00-7:00pm and on Saturdays from 10am-2pm while artists are in residence. The Stephen Pace Gallery is open from July through September for the 2013 season.
About Stephen Pace
Stephen was born in 1918 in Missouri and studied at the Art Students League in New York and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. He settled in New York and became an acclaimed artist known for his Abstract Expressionist work. In later years he devoted himself to more representational paintings and drawings. Stephen and his wife, Palmina, bought the Stonington house, a turn-of-the-century sea captain’s residence set on a ledge overlooking the Penobscot Bay, in 1943. They summered there for sixty-four years, until their relocation to Indiana.
Professor Scott Nash's "Blue Jay the Pirate" reviewed in the Guardian
Scott Nash, Assistant Professor and Illustration Program Chair, recently released his book the High Skies of Adventure by Blue Jay thePirate. The illustrated book was met with accolades from critics and young readers.The most recent review was published in the Guardian last week, in which the reviewer wrote:
"The plot is very well thought-through, with each chapter finishing at a vital moment! The characters are very amusing with lots of depth."
Graduating senior Kristin Fitzpatrick SELECTED FOR 2013 MONHEGAN RESIDENCY
Photo by Gabriella Sturchio '12
Graduating senior Kristin Fitzpatrick from Portland and Daniel Anselmi from Belfast have been named the 2013 Monhegan Island artists-in-residence by the Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation. Thanks to a new initiative supported by the Maine Arts Commission, Melinda Campbell from Old Orchard Beach will take the first-ever art teacher residency offered by the program. Fitzpatrick, a recent graduate of the Maine College of Art printmaking department, will be on Monhegan June 1-July 5; Anselmi, an abstract painter, August 31-October 4; and Campbell, a teacher in the Auburn School Department, July 6-20.
This year’s fellows will lodge in two new studio spaces, Elva’s Old P.O. and the Shumaker Cottage, both of which feature outdoor working spaces overlooking the island’s distinctive landscape.
Now in its 23rd year, the Monhegan Artist’s Residency program is supported by individual donations and grants from the Quimby Family Foundation, the Lida P. Underhill Trust, and the Maine Arts Commission.
For information, visit www.monheganartistsresidency.org.
Commencement Hosted at the State Theater on May 11 at 10am
John Coleman of Portland’s VIA Agency to Address Newest Crop of MECA Grads: Honorary Degrees Granted to Betsy Evans Hunt and Christopher M. Hunt, MD.
Portland, Maine - John Coleman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the The VIA Agency in Portland, Maine, which was named Ad Age’s 2011 Small Agency of the Year delivered the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Maine College of Art’s 102nd Commencement, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11 at the State Theatre at 609 Congress Street.
John Coleman founded The VIA Agency in 1993 and has since led the Portland, Maine-based agency to its current stature as one of the two best small agencies in America. He’s worked with organizations ranging from nonprofits to political movements as well as marketing giants like Samsung, Unilever, Disney, HBO, Discover, Welch’s, DuPont and others. John is a world traveler and yet a proud native of Maine, who holds both an M.B.A. and a B.S. in mechanical engineering. John has served on MECA’s board of trustees since 2001.
The college also confered honorary degrees on Betsy Evans Hunt and Christopher M. Hunt, MD.
Betsy Evans Hunt served on MECA’s board for 17 years and successfully led the recently concluded capital campaign to finish the consolidation of all academic and administrative services within Porteous. Betsy received her undergraduate degree in art history from Colorado College and went on to serve as Director of the Simon Lowinsky Gallery in San Francisco and as Manager of the Robert Mapplethorpe Studio in New York. She has worked as a sailmaker, cataloguer, curator, and interior designer. She holds a certificate from Sotheby’s American Art Program. She is the Executive Director and Owner of The Evans Gallery in Portland, which maintains and supports the photographic archives of Todd Webb.
Christopher M. Hunt, MD serves on the Board of Directors of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed graduate research at the University of Pennsylvania, Institute for Environmental Medicine and his Internship and Residency in Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has continued his study of promoting health with Postgraduate Studies in Alternative Medicine, Yoga, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Meditation, Stress Management, Death and Dying, Philosophy of Change, and Jungian Psychology.
Donald Tuski, Ph.D, president of MECA, will confer the honorary degrees. “It is a profound honor to recognize the accomplishments of these three distinguished individuals and welcome them to our alumni ranks,” said Tuski.
Located in the heart of the Portland Arts District, MECA offers a BFA degree in 10 studio majors, an MFA in Studio Arts, a PostBaccalaureate in Art Education and continuing studies for youths and adults. The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA and the Joanne Waxman Library are free and open to the public. For more information, see www.meca.edu or contact email@example.com.
Professor Jamie Hogan Announces Release of "Here Come the Humpbacks!"
As the humpback whales head towards the Gulf of Maine, professor and Maine illustrator Jamie Hogan will be celebrating the big arrival of her new children's book with a free family event on June 1st, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM in the Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library.
Ever wonder how big these marvelous mammals are? Young readers will get a chance to stand beside (and inside) a life-sized humpback as part of an outreach program of the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine. Educators from the museum will talk about the daily routine of Istar the Whale, including what she eats, the places she travels, and who she spends her time with. MECA Illustration Professor Jamie Hogan will present her illustrations for the new picture book Here Come the Humpbacks!
"I have always known that humpbacks were astounding creatures, but researching the illustrations for Here Come the Humpbacks! left me in awe of these mammals," said illustrator Jamie Hogan, "Now when I'm crossing Casco Bay, I imagine the families of whales swimming out in the deep. They are fascinating, intelligent, and utterly worth caring about."
The community is invited to attend the book launch and celebration: Saturday, June 1st, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library.
MAINE COLLEGE OF ART UNVEILS NEW INSTITUTIONAL LOGO
An innovative collaboration between internationally-known design experts, graphic design majors,and faculty yields a bold new visual identity.
The Maine College of Art unveiled a new institutional logo at a press conference hosted on campus (522 Congress Street, 2nd Floor Osher Hall) at 11am on Friday, May 3, 2013. An innovative collaboration between internationally known professional graphic designers, and a select group of MECA design faculty and majors has resulted in a new visual identity for an historic institution that has been a pillar of the New England arts scene since 1882. MECA’s new mark reflects the institution’s strongest assets: an extraordinary community of artistically-gifted individuals and a mission dedicated to promoting academic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.
The new mark is the culmination of combined efforts that transpired over an intensive three-day charrette* hosted on campus in early February, 2013. Orchestrated under the guidance and vision of internationally known designer, Eddie Opara, Partner at Pentagram (the world’s largest interdisciplinary design firm) and MECA graphic design faculty led by professors Margo Halverson and Charles Melcher, a group of MECA graphic design majors were selected to participate. According to Eddie Opara, “The whole process is to establish a way that the students can start to understand how the real world actually works.”
Professor Charles Melcher noted, “This is an avant-garde approach to developing an institutional identity that, to the best of our knowledge, has never before been attempted in North America. What better way to celebrate MECA’s mission than through creating an unprecedented legacy that highlights the college’s creative force and trust and support for our students and faculty.”
Inspired by MECA’s distinctive sense of place and the critical role MECA serves as an anchor in the Arts District of Portland Maine, the new visual identity captures the creative energy that pours out of the historic Porteous building 24/7 into our increasingly interconnected local and global communities.
Rebecca Swanson Conrad, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, believes that the introduction of a new visual identity is a historic moment for MECA. She said, “The purpose of developing a new mark that more effectively communicates the vibrant pulse of our community is not only to cultivate unity and a sense of pride, but to reaffirm the common thread that holds us all together as a greater sense of whole.”
“The uncommon process employed to develop MECA’s new mark exemplifies creative problem-solving at its finest and underscores the distinctiveness of what makes this such a special place.” said MECA President Donald Tuski. “Not only does our logo signify the unparalleled educational experience and wealth of professional development opportunities found at MECA, it also symbolizes several of our most important defining attributes: the five-pronged ‘E’ represents the five core tenets of our educational philosophy statement —studio, agency, place, community, and ethics; the five floors of the historic Porteous building; and the five educational areas — BFA, MFA, Art Ed, Continuing Studies, and Pre-College, while paying tribute to the iconic red stairwell that unifies each of the departments and majors.”
Graphic design major Sarah Mohammadi ‘13, was honored and proud to have been involved in such an important project. “Having the opportunity to work with professional designers and faculty members on a project that had never been done before was truly amazing. As a student, being part of the collaboration that rebranded the school we represent was an experience that is irreplaceable. It was an experience that none of us will ever forget and we all will be proud of for years to come.”
*What is a charrette? Thought to originate from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 19th century, the word charrette refers to an intensely collaborative period of design activity where a group of design professionals work towards drafting a solution to a design problem.
MECA Announces New Major
New for 2013, MECA is now offering a major in Textile and Fashion Design. The program is focused on imparting a deep understanding of the designing and making of textiles, extensive study of the field of apparel, and, ultimately, an exploration of fashion as the contemporary response.
Textile and Fashion Design students at MECA are engaged in the process of designing collections, building portfolios, and preparing for the future through internships, sponsored studios, and guided entrepreneurship. Students receive specialized instruction from top industry professionals while developing a robust studio and design practice supported by historical and cultural references as well as thorough research and experimentation.
This new major is made possible thanks to the generous support of Maine-based philanthropist, Roxanne Quimby.
According to Program Chair and Professor, Anne Emlein, here is what a prospective student might find at MECA:
At MECA, I believe we are all very “on the ground”. The student who chooses MECA will be included in a community of people—faculty, staff and fellow students who are all artists at heart. We are all very involved in the processes that make up what we do. The prospective student will find a spirit of intimacy and involvement at MECA that permeates every aspect of the college and the teaching of Art.
Student Affairs would like to congratulate the recipients of the first annual Student Affairs Leadership Awards.
The Leadership Awards were created by Student Affairs as a way of thanking, appreciating and acknowledging some of our students, student clubs and organizations and faculty and staff for their outstanding contributions to the MECA community over the course of the 2012-2013 academic year. Nominations for all the awards were collected from the MECA community.
Please join us in congratulating the 2012-2013 recipients:
* Outstanding Student Group or Organization: MECA C.A.R.E. (Celebrating all Realms of Ethnicity)
*Outstanding Event or Program of the Year: Rob Doane for The Peninsula School
*Outstanding Faculty or Staff Involvement: Jeff Waites for his commitment to the Free Radicals Futbol Club
*Outstanding Contribution to Diversity: MECA H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People to Equality)
*Outstanding Student Employee: Andi Croak
*Outstanding Student Leader: Chloe Beaven
* Outstanding Contribution to Community Service: Carlin Soos
The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) has announced that on September 7, 2013, the museum will present Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted, the first major museum exhibition of the work of American-Iraqi artist and Maine College of Art graduate Ahmed Alsoudani (BFA, 2005). The exhibition will feature nearly 20 of the artist’s tumultuous and innovative paintings, which reflect on the horrors of war with a unique artistic voice. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted will be on view through December 8, 2013, in the PMA’s Third Floor Gallery for Contemporary Art.
“Challenging the viewer with nuanced art historical arguments and blatantly difficult, abject, and grotesque imagery, Alsoudani does what few artists can do: he successfully translates the complexity of contemporary politics into meaningful painting,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire.
Through his personal experience as a child and adolescent in war-torn Iraq, Alsoudani developed a keen sensitivity to the effects of war, violence, terror, and political unrest on a global scale. His paintings reflect his experiences as well as the mediated nature of war in our time. “I’m not just commenting on Iraq but on an experience that becomes universal,” Ahmed Alsoudani said, referring to Untitled, 2007, a loose, nearly abstract rendering of the moment the infamous statue of Saddam Hussein fell in Baghdad in 2002. His splintered compositions, and the overwhelming and sometimes harrowing scenes represented in a bright, near-primary palette, address the uneasy balance in our culture between scenes of disaster and objects of beauty.
Maine's Only Women's Film Event to be held at MECA
Bluestocking Film Series Osher Hall, Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street, Portland, ME www.bluestockingfilms.com
Screening: May 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $9/general | $6/student FREE Women in Film Symposium: May 19, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
BLUESTOCKING FILM SERIES BRINGS 2 DAYS OF WOMEN IN FILM
The Bluestocking Film Series has found a new venue at Osher Hall at Maine College of Art, Maine’s only women’s film event is expanding to two days, celebrating the accomplishments of women in film with an international roster of provocative, award-winning short films on Sat., May 18 and a free-to-the-public symposium on Sun., May 19 titled “Why We Need The Bechdel Test Now.”
The Bluestocking will once again showcase woman-directed short films from the US and around the globe. “This is our biggest, boldest screening yet,” Kaminski says, “with stories that run the gamut from the darkest of dark comedies to thoughtful dramas and more.” There will also be a raffle fundraiser with fun prizes.
"To go alongside such a strong roster of films, it seems the right time to bring about some public discussion of the importance and value of gender equality not just behind the camera but to what’s on-screen as well.” Which is why Kaminski organized “Why We Need the Bechdel Test Now,” the May 19 symposium the day after the Bluestocking screening event. Helping to lead that conversation will be Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch, a magazine devoted to an “engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture” (bitchmagazine.org) and Kyna Morgan, founder of Her Film Project, a “global project to support women filmmakers and build audiences for their films” (herfilmproject.com/).
Use of the Bechdel Test can be a catalyst for shifts in how women’s on-screen characters are perceived by viewers and filmmakers alike. “The more this idea percolates into the public consciousness, the more likely it is that real change will be seen on the screen,” Kaminski says. “It’s become clear that television is now the primary medium where well-rounded, flawed, and complex women characters flourish –– we want to see the same thing happen on the big screen.”
The Bluestocking films will screen in Osher Hall at Maine College of Art at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Tickets are $9/general and $6/student and are on sale via Brown Paper Tickets - brownpapertickets.com/event/371184 - or at the door the evening of the screening. Some of the featured filmmakers will also be on-hand for a post-screening Q&A. The symposium will take place in Osher Hall on Sunday, May 19 at 4:00 p.m. and is free to the public.