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Dana Bell MFA '04 Awarded New York Foundation for the Arts' (NYFA) Fellowship in Choreography

Posted: 2013-12-10

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THE NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS (NYFA)

AWARDS 91 FELLOWSHIPS TOTALING $637,000

THROUGH THE ARTIST FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

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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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mark Rossier
212-366-6900 x 211
mrossier@nyfa.org

Graphic Design Students Partner with Casco Bay High

Posted: 2013-10-31

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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

Posted: 2013-10-31

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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

Posted: 2013-10-31

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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

Posted: 2013-10-18

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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. 

>>More information on the Alabamboo project

 

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 intern@mainecenterforcreativity.org to register today or call Jean at 207-730-0694

Public Engagement Receives EPA Grant

Posted: 2013-10-17

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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.  

Noted Visiting Artist to Present Lecture on the Interface Between Printmaking and Painting

Posted: 2013-10-16

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Between Ink and Paper: Printmaking with Catherine Kernan
Osher Hall, Maine College of Art
Friday, October 25, 7-8pm
Free 

Catherine Kernan, nationally acclaimed artist, will present a lecture about the interface between printmaking and painting on Friday, October 25, 2013, 7:00-8:00 p.m. in Osher Hall at Maine College of Art, Congress Street, Portland. The event is open to the public free of charge and is presented in partnership with the Printmaking Department of Maine College of Art.

Catherine Kernan is a painter, teacher, printmaker, the co-founder and partner of Mixit Print Studio in Somerville, MA, and the director of Maud Morgan Arts, an arts center in Cambridge, MA. She says, “Working at the interface between printmaking and painting, I use large scale woodblocks in unorthodox ways as a transfer tool to build images layer by layer in a painterly process of controlled accident. No longer a purist, I exploit any available tool or means to transfer color and form to surface. Interruption and interference with the ‘perfect transfer’ are integral to the process.”

The Kate Mahoney Memorial Fund was established in 2003 in memory of a founding member of Peregrine Press. The Fund is designed to encourage printmakers in southern Maine and to promote public understanding of the art of printmaking. Peregrine Press, founded in 1991 as a non-profit, fine arts printmaking cooperative in Portland, Maine, is the only such cooperative in Maine, and among a few of its kind in the nation. Currently there are 30 active members who work in a variety of printmaking techniques such as collograph, woodcut, monotype, etching, photo-etching, lithography, and other mixed media processes. The shared studio, which is available to members 24/7 is operated and maintained on a cooperative basis with an elective board that runs the organization. The full membership meets several times a year to organize events and workshops. Peregrine Press is working towards being as toxic free a studio as possible.

Sponsored by The Peregrine Press and is made possible by the Kate Mahoney Memorial Fund
For further information, contact: Larinda Meade (207) 756-8560 larindam@maine.rr.com meander-2-catherine-kernan.jpegor Dorothy Schwartz (671-4787) dorothyroseschwartz@gmail.com

MECA'S JAMIE HOGAN'S CHILDREN'S BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS NAMED IN "100 GREAT CHILDREN'S BOOKS"

Posted: 2013-10-10

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The New York Public Library has announced the "100 Great Children’s Books | 100 Years" featuring "inspiring tales that have thrilled generations of children and their parents." Among those, "Rickshaw Girl"- illustrated by MECA's Jamie Hogan and written by Mitali Perkins has been honored. Maine has been the home to classic and contemporary children's book creators, including "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White, "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey, and "The Giver: by Lois Lowry. Jamie Hogan is a professor in MECA's Illustration Department. 

"To see my name on the list of children's book authors and illustrators I grew up with and stories that my daughter was raised on, put me over the moon," said Jamie Hogan, "What astounding company."

The "100 Great Children’s Books | 100 Years" list was chosen by children’s librarians at The New York Public Library and published on the occasion of The New York Public Library’s acclaimed exhibition "The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter."

Find more information & the complete list by clicking here. 

Posted: 2013-10-09

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Maine College of Art was recently featured in "Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers." The book, published in its fourth edition and is aimed at college-bound creative students and provides the information and and tools necessary to pick the right arts program.

College Coach and Author Elaina Loveland scrutinized art programs from across the country and ultimately selected more than 250 art, drama, dance, music and creative writing programs in arts conservatories, liberal arts colleges and universities to recommend to potential students. MECA is among those selected.

The book is available for purchase at:

Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Borders

For more about the book, click here. 

Alumna Vivian Beer '00 wins $25,000 Fellowship from Society of Arts and Crafts

Posted: 2013-10-08

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 The Society of Arts and Crafts is pleased to announce the 2013 recipient of the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship is Vivian Beer, a 2000 graduate of Maine College of Art. 

Beer is an innovative furniture maker based in New Hampshire.  She aspires "to create handmade, one-off objects that manifest the nostalgia of history, the speed of progress and the memory of the human hand".

John D. Mineck was a past President of The Society of Arts and Crafts Board of Trustees and a beloved member of Boston's cultural community. In an effort to support the art that John loved and the people who make it, the Foundation has created a fellowship to encourage and support a young-in-career furniture artist with the financial assistance to help him/her succeed in his/her journey. The fellowship has been designed to help support a talented furniture artist looking to fulfill an apprenticeship, develop his/her own skills, and/or make the transition to independence. The John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship of $25,000 is awarded annually to one artist and is administered by The Society of Arts and Crafts. 

Illustration Students Chosen to Collaborate with National Animation Studio

Posted: 2013-10-04

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Two MECA Illustration majors have been chosen by internationally renown Frederator Studios to develop ebooks for their series "Bravest Warriors" featuring the character catbug.
 
The students are being commissioned to create original content featuring catbug drawn in their own style which then will be produced and recorded in New York of LA. 
 
Frederator Studio is an animation studio known for an array of popular cartoon shows, including Fairly Odd Parents, Chalk Zone, and My Life as a Teenage Robot. 
 
 
 

The Portland Museum of Art Presents the First Museum Exhibition by MECA alum, Ahmed Alsoudani '05

Posted: 2013-10-03

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(Portland, Maine) The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) 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. The exhibition features 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 celebrated 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. Alsoudani cites historical figures Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, and George Grosz, as well as more contemporary painters Philip Guston and Francis Bacon as major influences. Like his predecessors, he seeks to create works that depart from the glorification of violence and the heroism of warfare. Instead, his large-scale paintings offer graphic, often disturbing imagery that includes disembodied hands or all-seeing bulging eyes juxtaposed with random mechanical parts and other recognizable but misplaced imagery.

Ahmed Alsoudani was born in Baghdad in 1975 and grew up under the regime of Saddam Hussein. He left Iraq as a teenager and lived in Syria before immigrating to the United States in the late 1990s. He studied in Maine at the Maine College of Art (BFA, 2005), and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2006), and graduated with a MFA in painting from the Yale School of Art (2008). In 2011, his work was featured in the Iraq Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, in the exhibition The World Belongs to You, and at The Francois Pinault Foundation at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice. His other major international exhibitions include: La Route de la Soie at Tri Postal in Lille, France (2010); Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East at the Saatchi Gallery in London (2009); as well as shows at the National Gallery of Saskatchewan, Canora, Canada (2007) and the Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea (2007). He lives and works in New York.

The exhibition is co-organized and co-curated by Mark H.C. Bessire, Director of the Portland Museum of Art and Dr. Sara Cochran, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition was on view in Phoenix from March 13 through July 17, 2013. A full-color catalogue will accompany the exhibition and is available in the PMA Store for $19.99.

This exhibition was co-organized by Phoenix Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Generously supported by Louise Bessire in memory of Henry E. Bessire and Sabre Yachts & Back Cove Yachts. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted is also sponsored in honor of the Maine College of Art by: Patricia and Cyrus Hagge, Chris and Betsy Hunt, Horace and Alison Hildreth, and Candace Karu. Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Corporate Sponsors: The Bear Bookshop, Marlboro, VT and The VIA Agency.  

 

Posted: 2013-10-03

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MECA Alums Featured in PMA Biennial 

This fall the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is featuring 30 artists selected from nearly 900 applicants for the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Piece Work. Ten of the artists are MECA alumni and two are faculty.

Kate Beck '96 (Attended), Harpswell, ME
Matt Blackwell '77, Brooklyn, NY
Allison Cooke Brown '01, Yarmouth, ME
Alina Gallo MFA '08, Portland, ME
Bryan Graf, Portland, ME,  Assistant Professor of Photography
Julie Gray MFA '12, Saco, ME
Adriane Herman, Portland, ME Associate Professor of Printmaking
Alison Hildreth '76, Portland, ME
Joe Kievitt '93, Portland, ME
Sage Lewis '04, Columbus, OH
Justin Richel '02, Rangeley, ME
Aaron Williams '94, Ridgewood, NY

Selection of the artwork for Piece Work followed a new process this year. The jury process was conducted internally by Jessica May, the PMA’s first Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art. The goal of the exhibition is to explore one very strong, deep thread of contemporary practice that has relevance both regionally and nationally. Many of the artists in Piece Work live in Maine for all or part of the year; for others, the state has been an important part of their biography or artistic practice.

On view October 3, 2013 through January 5, 2014, the Biennial will feature more than 70 works, ranging in media from painting and drawing to photography and video.

 

Groundbreaking Bluestocking Film Series Brings Award-Winners to MECA

Posted: 2013-10-02

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Astronauts? Check. Zombies and lesbians? Check. WWII resistance fighters? Check. Teenage girls on the prowl, a grandmother with an unconventional diet, and a businesswoman on an obstacle course to work? Yes. The Fall 2013 Bluestocking Film Series has that.

Returning to MECA's Osher Hall on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m., the biannual film event has a whole new lineup of award-winning Bechdel-tested short films by talented women directors for Portland’s cinema lovers.

With the help of an international judging panel, the six films were carefully curated by founder-organizer Kate Kaminski, chosen specifically to prove that films about women can tackle difficult subject matter and be powerful and cutting-edge. 
 
This fall will also mark a first in Bluestocking’s 2-year history: audience members will vote their favorite film in two categories and two lucky filmmakers will walk away with cash prizes. Kyna Morgan of Her Film Project (a global project to support women filmmakers) will sponsor the bigger of the two prizes. The Bluestocking also awards a $100 gift each season to a female New Media student at MECA. “Our goal is to support in any way we can those women who choose to compete in such a male-dominated field.”

The screening event will take place in Osher Hall at MECA at 7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) on Saturday, October 19. All tickets are $5 if purchased in advance via Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are $7 if purchased at the door the evening of the screening. Some of the featured filmmakers will also be on-hand for a post-screening Q&A.

FMI, contact Kate Kaminski, founder/organizer. Watch trailers for past and upcoming events: bluestockingfilms.com

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On the web
Bluestocking Film Series
Vimeo Channel

 
Contact: Kate Kaminski, Organizer |gitgoproductions@gmail.com |  207.772.1326

MECA Alum's Style and Product Photography Feature Real World Models

Posted: 2013-08-28

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LK Weiss ('11) is a photographer and designer whose work challenges mainstream conceptions of beauty. She owns multiple businesses, including branding and design company The Portland Designer. But it was Weiss' Jack Tar 207 that recently caught th attention of the international site, the Huffington Post. Her work often represents people from Maine's Queer community, and it is her bravery and acceptance of non-traditional beauty that coach and writer Mary Gorham Malia emphasizes in the article. 

"The people that show up in Jack Tar 207 shoots aren't strictly queer, they do shoot straight folk too, but LK notes they are intentionally leveraging the stunning style of the queer community in the Portland area. With a mission to use non-traditional models they are attracting a wide variety of clients who love what they create and the visual voice it creates for their products and brands," Malia wrote.

Check out the article here. 

 

Maine College of Art & The Portland Public Library Present The Art of Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons

Posted: 2013-08-10

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King Max illustration for a fan, c. 1970s ©Maurice Sendak

Maine College of Art and The Portland Public Library will present the special exhibition Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons. The exhibition features 50 works by the legendary author and illustrator, accompanied by 50 statements from celebrities, authors, and noted personalities on the influence of Sendak’s work, all in celebration the 50th anniversary of his universally revered book, Where the Wild Things Are.

The exhibition includes 50 original works from Where the Wild Things Are in a variety of mediums including sketches, illustrations, and works on paper, and showcases highlights from Sendak’s career and the diverse art forms in which he was renowned. Many of the works are from private collections and friends of the artist, offering a survey of his range as an artist and author.

From children’s literature, animated films, and textbooks to Broadway and opera, Sendak garnered worldwide acclaim for his genius and insight. Among the contributing commentators to the exhibition are playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, comedian Stephan Colbert, artist Robert Crumb, director Spike Jonze, President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor/director Tom Hanks, and author Lemony Snicket.

 

MECA Alum Cultivates Community through Art

Posted: 2013-07-30

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Hannah Merchant, working on the Cultivating Community mobile farm stand, to be launched in August.

 

Hannah Merchant, a Portland resident and 2013 graduate of the Maine College of Art (MECA), developed artistic projects to support Cultivating Community’s mission over the four years of her undergraduate career as she pursued MECA’s new minor in public engagement, as well as a major in woodworking and furniture design. Cultivating Community is a Portland-based nonprofit that works to end hunger, promote sustainability and empower community members. 

Merchant worked in some of our farming spaces while also taking pictures of young people in the organization's youth leadership programs. She found that “growing and making food with the youth, eating it, and documenting the act with photography was a powerful experience that really stayed with me.” As a result, Hannah created Cultivating Community’s summer 2012 Recipe Book, and is developing a new, expanded version for 2013. 

For her Public Engagement capstone, she designed the Mobile Farm Stand that is revving up our food access work starting in summer 2013, providing a tricycle-powered, movable venue for the distribution and sale of locally-sourced, organically grown produce to people who need it. The mobile farm stand will be launched this summer.

For more about Hannah's work, click here.

For more about Cultivating Community, click here

Professor Matt Hutton to show work in upcoming exhibit

Posted: 2013-07-18

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"Silhouette", 2013 Maple
Photo: Jay York

Professor Matt Hutton's fine-art furniture work has been selected to be part of the upcoming show, "Fearless Furniture," the first juried exhibition of its kind at the Indiana State Museum Fine Arts.

Matt Hutton is an Associate Professor in woodworking at MECA, and studied woodworking and furniture design at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana. His work is among the thirty benches, tables, chairs, clocks and more will be featured in this expansive range of designs by 21 juried and three invited artists.

The Indiana State Museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture. The show is open to the public, with an opening on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at the Indiana State Museum.

For more about Matt Huttons art, click here.

For more about the Indiana State Museum, click here

Five Alumni Selected to show work

Posted: 2013-07-09

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Five MECA alumni will show their work at the Shaw Jewelry gallery in Northeast Harbor, Maine; located near Acadia National Park. The five working artists from Maine College of Art will demonstrate Maine's artistic legacy in a variety of compelling styles and techniques.

The featured artists are:
Connie Hayes
Margaret Lawrence
Mark Marchesi
Holly Ready
Justin Richel

The show will run from August 15- September 11, with an opening reception on August 15 from 5-7pm.

SHAW JEWELRY
126 Main Street
Northeast Harbor, Maine
207.276.5000
Open daily until 6:30pm

 

 

 

Sarah Mohammadi wins AIGA Bone Show Award

Posted: 2013-06-26

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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:
 

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