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Mark Johnson in Pottery Making Illustrated

Posted: 2015-06-29

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Ceramics Faculty Mark Johnson is featured in May/June issue of Pottery Making Illustrated magazine. The article is entitled "Compose and Contain: Flower Rafts", which features the step-by-step process of making and glazing his work.

Learn more and buy the issue here.

Professor Jamie Hogan exhibits at Portland Public Library

Posted: 2015-06-22

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Portland, ME — In an exhibit entitled “The Storybook Waters of Illustrator Jamie Hogan” running from July 1 - September 25, 2015, in the Children’s Room of the Portland Public Library’s Main Library, Jamie Hogan’s lush pastel and colored pencil illustrations of the water and waterfront will be celebrated.
At the Exhibit Opening on Thursday, July 9th, from 5:00-7:00 PM, Peaks Island artist Jamie Hogan will speak about her illustration inspiration and process for ISLAND BIRTHDAY (Tilbury House Publishers), a children’s picture book about a Maine island by Matinicus Island's renowned essayist Eva Murray.  Hogan will also share how she paid tribute to the journal drawings of naturalist John Muir in her illustrations for JOHN MUIR WRESTLES A WATERFALL (Charlesbridge), and her research of the tidal waters of the Sunderbans for the children’s chapter book, TIGER BOY (Charlesbridge).  In support of these books and the exhibit, Jamie Hogan will appear at events in Rockland, Peaks Island, Kennebunkport, and Camden, Maine.  (A complete list of events is below.)
While Jamie Hogan strolls the beaches of Peaks Island with her dog or crosses the bay to teach Illustration at Maine College of Art, she is keeping her eyes open and camera ready for the colors and characters of Maine’s waterfront.  Each day inspires her pastel landscapes and the nine children’s books she has illustrated since 2007.  Artists across the country follow her process and rich reference on her blog at
“I grew up in the shadow of the White Mountains, skiing and hiking,” says Jamie Hogan, “but I've always been drawn to any body of water, from stomping in puddles to living in the Bay Area in California. Now I walk daily to the Maine shore during breaks in the studio. Crossing Casco Bay, especially during a full moon, thrills my soul to the bone.” 
Hogan’s children’s book illustration career began in 2005 when Charlesbridge Publishing paired her with Mitali Perkins’ children’s novel, RICKSHAW GIRL, a book recently named as one of the “New York Public Library’s Top 100 Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years.”  Other Charlesbridge titles include NEST, NOOK & CRANNY, with her charcoal drawings, and a nonfiction ecology title, A WARMER WORLD, with her pastels.  Her pastels came back into play for HERE COME THE HUMPBACKS, featuring a mother whale and her calf's journey to the Gulf of Maine. The latest partnership with Charlesbridge mirrors John Muir’s own sketchbooks—Hogan illustrated JOHN MUIR WRESTLES A WATERFALL entirely in colored pencil.
“Jamie Hogan’s art is beautiful and energetic,” says Whitney Leader-Picone, the Senior Designer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, who art directed Jamie Hogan’s Charlesbridge books. ”She has an intuitive sense of space and composition. Her attention to detail and strong design sense bring depth and transcendence to her artwork. Jamie captures the souls of her subjects, be they plants, animals, or people, so that they come alive to the viewer.”
Robyn Holman, curator of the University of Southern Maine’s Atrium Art Gallery, has included Hogan’s work in a number of exhibitions and sees Hogan as, "one of Maine's finest illustrators, continuing to create work that is inspired, magical, and brilliant. Her work is grounded in both imagination and direct observation, resulting in thoughtful, unforgettable images that resonate with the text."
Peaks Island residents and landscapes often are reflected in Jamie Hogan’s work.  A Peaks Island kitchen appears in the opening spread of Tilbury House Publishers’ ISLAND BIRTHDAY, and the model for the Matinicus Island boy of that story lives across the street from Hogan.  Her daughter Daisy and her friends can find their younger selves pictured on the pages of SEVEN DAYS OF DAISY (Down East Books) and ICE HARBOR MITTENS (Down East Books).
“Pastels are color dust, a very direct medium that I love,” says illustrator Jamie Hogan.”To lay it down on paper to tell stories for children’s education and imagination is an unparalleled honor.”


June 27, 10:00 AM
Hello Hello Books
Rockland, Maine
Illustrator Jamie Hogan and author Eva Murray will read, sign, and hold an activity for children to celebrate their children’s picture book, ISLAND BIRTHDAY.  The book is set on Maine’s Matinicus Island.
July 9, 5:00-7:00 PM
Portland Public Library Children's Room
Portland, Maine
Opening reception and artist talk for the children’s book illustration exhibit, “The Storybook Waters of Illustrator Jamie Hogan.” There will also be a book sale and signing of Jamie Hogan’s latest children’s books, ISLAND BIRTHDAY, JOHN MUIR WRESTLES A WATERFALL, and TIGER BOY.
July 10, 6:00 PM
Peaks Island, Maine
Illustrator Jamie Hogan will join other authors and artists for “Color and Pages of Peaks Artist & Author Reception” for a book sale and signing of her latest children’s books, ISLAND BIRTHDAY, JOHN MUIR WRESTLES A WATERFALL, and TIGER BOY.
July 23, 1:00-2:00 PM
Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library
Kennebunkport, Maine
As part of the “Every Hero Has a Story” Summer Reading Program, illustrator Jamie Hogan will talk about hero naturalist John Muir and lead a children’s art activity in a association with her new picture book, JOHN MUIR WRESTLES A WATERFALL.
August 22, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Camden Public Library
Camden, Maine
As part of “Book Fair by the Sea,” illustrator Jamie Hogan and author Eva Murray will read, sign, and hold an activity for children to celebrate the children’s picture book, ISLAND BIRTHDAY.  The book is set on Maine’s Matinicus Island.


Posted: 2015-06-19

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Fall 2015 Academic Year Welcomes Marie Shurkus as Chair of Academic Studies and Associate Professor of Art History and Joshua Reiman as Assistant Professor of the MFA in Studio Art and Sculpture

Portland, Maine - MECA will soon be welcoming a dynamic pair of new faculty hires: Chair of Academic Studies and Associate Professor of Art History, Marie Shurkus and Assistant Professor of the MFA in Studio Art and Sculpture, Joshua Reiman.

Ian Anderson, VP of Academic Affairs and Dean at Maine College of Art recently lauded the efforts of the search committees behind both positions. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcomes of these searches. Dana Sawyer, Chair of the Academic Chair Search Committee, and Sue Nutty made a great team, assisted by Rob Sullivan, Gail Spaien and Moira Steven. Co-chairs of the MFA Search Committee Gail Spaien and George Larou, along with Ling-Wen Tsai, Anne Emlein and Chris Stiegler, were no less impressive, culling through a strong pool of almost 100 applicants.”

Both of these faculty positions are pivotal in helping to shape the academic experience and future of the college.

Marie Shurkus holds a Ph.D. in Humanities Interdisciplinary Studies from Concordia University in Montreal as well as an MA in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism from the Art Institute of Chicago. She comes to MECA from Claremont, California, where she taught contemporary art history and media studies, among other subjects, at Pomona and Pitzer Colleges. One of the founders of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Marie brings with her more than 15 years of teaching experience.

Shurkus’ research interests are closely aligned with MECA’s educational philosophy and pedagogy. She explained, “My doctoral research was inspired by one of the fundamental insights that emerged from the development of digital technologies, namely that images exist separately from their material substrates. Embracing this insight, I examined the post appropriation strategies that developed in the late 1980s.” More recently, she has focused her efforts on “exploring how critical debates around representation have moved away from from a purely semiotic analysis of imagery, toward a more phenomenal understanding of the image as an immaterial form that motivates affect.” A product of this research was “Camera Lucida and Affect: Beyond Representation,” published in 2013 in Routledge’s Journal of Photographies.

Marie’s first order of business at MECA will involve an investigation into the academic side of the first-year experience. Having led the Visual Arts Program at Vermont College through both the accreditation process and the strategic plan, she is also prepared to work on assessment and the self-study. She will be reaching out to academic faculty, with whom she looks forward to collaborating and creating a seamless, rigorous liberal arts and art history core curriculum for the newly ordained (and newly combined) Academic Studies Program.

Joshua Reiman is an artist working in sculpture, film, video and photography. His work deals with themes of personal and cultural identity. He is interested in how a mythical narrative or factual history can stand in front of an artwork, and how that operates for an audience. His work involves “transforming realities and non-realities into a visual hybridation or synthesis of what is real, fake and imagined.” Josh is also a contributing writer for Sculpture Magazine; his most recent piece -- an interview with Janine Antoni -- is the cover story of the May 2015 issue.

For the last two years, Josh has been a Visiting Professor of Art in Sculpture, Installation and Site-work at Carnegie Mellon University and a Wimmer Teaching Fellow at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. Prior to that, he was a visiting part-time faculty member at SMFA and an adjunct at Syracuse University. He has also worked extensively as a consultant and fabricator for the artists Matthew Barney, Keith Edmier and Tom Otterness on large-scale, epic sculptural projects. His own work has been shown internationally.

Josh is a dedicated and committed teacher, noted by his references to bring deeply engaged learning and innovative projects to the classroom.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Raffi Der Simonian ( or 207.699.5010).


Art in Exodus: Selected Works

Posted: 2015-06-04

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World Refugee Awareness week is scheduled from June 13th to June 20th.

Partners from all over Portland such as the City, Catholic Charities, Opportunity Alliance, Preble St, ILAP band together to support the event. WRD is celebrated annually on June 20th. This year to launch the event we will be having a festival at Deering Oaks Park on June 13th from 2 to 5. The family friendly event will bring people together from all over our community to engage in a community dialogue using side walk chalk, participatory events, henna, music, dance, and food.
From June 3-June 20
Porteous Front Window
Art in Exodus: Selected Works from Ali Shakir Alasadi, Eslaerides Ruiz, and Nawar Al Obaidi
Refugee Artist Reception
Friday, June 19, 5-7

Monhegan Residency

Posted: 2015-05-04

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Alina Gallo (MFA '08), Botanical Study: Mushrooms

"The Monhegan Artists’ Residency supports the creative growth of dedicated Maine artists by providing them time and space in which to work free of interruption and constraint in the inspiring environment of Monhegan Island."

The program offers living quarters, studio space, and a $100 per week stipend for a five-week period. One residency is peak summer, one in late summer/early fall. There are three residencies per summer, two for artists and one for an art educator.

MECA alumni who recently received the residency:
2015: Justin Richel '02
2014: Victoria Statsenko '14
2013: Kristin Fitzpatrick '13
2011: Alina Gallo, MFA '08

Other alumni recipients since its inception in 1989:
Cyndi Davis '90,
Nicole Duennebier '05,
Joe Kievitt '93,
Connie Hayes '80,
Margaret Leonard '82,
Martha Miller '06

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