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2013 Pace House Programming Announced

Posted: 2013-05-23

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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.


Graduating senior Kristin Fitzpatrick SELECTED FOR 2013 MONHEGAN RESIDENCY

Posted: 2013-05-14

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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

MECA Alum Ahmed Alsoudani's Painting to be exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art

Posted: 2013-04-23

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Ahmed Alsoudani
United States, born Iraq, 1975
Untitled, 2011
charcoal and acrylic on canvas
72 1/2 x 62 1/2 inches
Collection of Iris and Adam Singer. ©Ahmed Alsoudani. Photo Courtesy of Haunch of Venison, New York.

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.


Thos. Moser Freeport Showroom to exhibit art by Maine College of Art Alumni

Posted: 2013-04-16

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R. Eastman,Solace in Blue,oil on canvas over panel


An art exhibition featuring Maine College of Art alumni will be on display at Thos.
Moser’s Freeport Showroom, with an opening artists’ reception on May 8 from
6 – 8 p.m. and will run through July 8, 2013.

The show will feature 18 Maine College of Art alumni, spanning more than 30
years of graduating classes. The exhibiting artists include Beatrice Abbott, Leon
Anderson, Kate Beck, Felice Boucher, Louise Bourne, Ashley Curry, Cynthia
Davis, Lisa Dombek, Rachael Eastman, Joshua Ferry, Julie Freund, Peyton
Higgison, Anne Ireland, Jenny Moore, Scott Moore, Francine Schrock, Bridget
Spaeth and Noa Warren.

The show offers an eclectic mix of art, including oil paintings on canvas and
linen, watercolor paintings, framed works on paper, mixed media, work in plaster,
wood sculpture and photography. The artists’ work will be hung interspersed with
one another, which invites side-by-side comparison of art by varied graduating

The Thos. Moser Showroom is located at 149 Main St., Freeport, and is open
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on
Sundays. For more information, call 865-4519 or visit

MECA Alum Creates iOS Game

Posted: 2013-02-13

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Joseph Rosshirt just released his first iOS game for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The all-ages interactive game is now available for download in the App store.

Rosshirt graduated from MECA's Illustration program in 2011.

MECA Fashion Show: Call for Wearable Art

Posted: 2013-01-25

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Maine College of Art is hosting
Maine: 4 Seasons in a Day

A fashion show and sale to support Maine College of Art

on Saturday April 20, 2013.
MECA alumni, students, faculty and staff are invited to submit proposals for wearable art to be included in the show.  We are seeking apparel, jewelry, accessories, and wearable art that will make a strong visual impact on the runway.

In 2011 Maine philanthropist and Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby donated $400,000 to support a new fashion and textile design program at Maine College of Art. Roxanne has had a long-standing interest in the field, and over the years has collected an outstanding array of vintage and couture dresses. To further support MECA, selected dresses from her collection will be included in the fashion show and made available for purchase.

The sale will take place in the ICA at MECA over the course of two days and culminate in a dynamic closing celebration and runway show featuring presentations of vintage fashions and MECA student and alumni wearable art.

To apply:
Email 3-5 images of your work with a proposal no more than one page in length to  Submissions should include either images of the actual work or a combination of sketches of the proposed work and previously completed works. Submissions will be juried by members of the Advancement office.  Deadline to apply is 5:00pm on Friday, February 15, 2013.

Selected artists may opt to have their work available for sale. All sales will include a 50% commission made to Maine College of Art. Artists may model their own creations, or a model will be available for the runway display. Artists are responsible for delivery and pick-up of their work.

For more information contact Erin Hutton at or 207.699.5025.
Image: Skirt and lace scarf by Anne Emlein. Photograph by Jesse Burke

Posted: 2013-01-04

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An annual exhibit featuring
Maine College of Art painting majors
a decade after graduation
John Capello
Jason Cornell
Michael Marks
Nolan Stewart
Sage Tucker-Ketcham
Stacey Vallerie
June Fitzpatrick Gallery at MECA
522 Congress Street
Portland, Maine

First Friday Artwalk Reception
January 4, 2013, 5:00 – 8:00pm 
Gallery Hours:
Tuesday–Saturday  noon-5:00pm

Call 207.699.5018 or email for more information.
"West End Sunset" oil on canvas, 16"x20" by Michael Marks

Process and Place: MECA 2013 Residency Exhibition

Posted: 2012-12-19

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Process & Place: The Maine College of Art 2013 Residency Exhibition

The 2013 Residency Exhibition runs from January 14, 2013 through February 10, 2013 on the second floor of the Porteous Building.  On Friday, January 18, there will be an opening reception from 5:30-6:30pm, followed by a panel discussion with five residency recipients from 6:30-8:00pm in Osher Hall.  This exhibition is a group show showcasing the work of 18 individual artists all of whom were selected for artist residencies through Maine College of Art during the past three years. Artist residencies took place at the Jenny Family Compound in Baie Saint Marie, Nova Scotia and at the Stephen Pace House in Stonington, Maine, and resulted in work ranging from encaustic paintings to artist books to a wave machine.

Process & Place features the work of artists Rachael Eastman ‘94, Martha Almy ‘95, Richard Abbott ‘78, Mark Marchesi ‘99, Celeste Roberge ‘79, Dietlind Vander Schaaf, Hannah Barnes ‘02, Jessica George MFA ‘09, Larissa Mellor ‘04, Erin Sweeney ‘94, Nik Bsullak ‘99, Crystal Heiden ‘06, Alison Taylor ‘94, Willamain Somma, Conan Masterson, Christine Negus, Adriane Herman, and Richard Metz MFA ’00.

Series One explores the landscape of identity; perception of self, carved from physical and emotional spaces. Though the characters in the work appear to be isolated and alone, they are connected. Each explores their own territory within the same world, challenged by the vulnerability inherent to exposure.   The product of the first artistic collaboration between Alison Taylor, Martha Almy, and Willamain Somma, Series One is location specific, produced during an artists’ residency in Baie St. Marie Nova Scotia.  The artists have known each other since they were children.

For more information, please contact Dietlind Vander Schaaf (

Outstanding Alumni

Posted: 2012-12-04

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Outstanding MECA Alumni



James Zilian ‘99 Designer, Simon Pearce, Quechee, VT

Kari Radash, ceramic artist

Graphic Design
Karen Siatras ’91 Graphic Designer, Smithsonian American Museum of Art, Washington D.C.

Micheal Desouza ’05 and Justin Velgos ‘05 Make iphone apps for their own company

David Hutchins ’87 Animator, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Los Angeles, CA

Blake Almstead ‘07 Creative Director, Compuware

Metalsmithing & Jewelry
Stefanie Briggs 81 - successful studio artist, metalsmith, entrepreneur

Addison Delisle ‘11, metalsmith, apprentice to master blacksmith Doug Wilson

Ryan Greene ’02 Historic Preservationist for Bernacki & Associates, and

Laurie Lundquist ’84 Sculpture; Eco Artist, large scale environmental interventions involving plants and water, lives in Arizona, public artist & co-founder, Deep Creek School, AZ

Vivian Beer '02, Public art, studio artist, former resident artist at Penland, recent Craft magazine profile

Ahmed Alsoudani’ 05 Painter, Venice Biennale, Saachi collection

Eric Hongisto ‘97 Guggenheim winner, professor at University of San Francisco

William Mills ‘80, Gepetto Studios, NY makes soft sculpture puppets, props for films, Letterman

Connie Hayes ‘80 Painter

Caitlin Riordan,‘06 Master Printer, Wingate Studios, NH

Julianna Swaney ‘05, entrepreneur/artist

Brian Wilk ’95 Hasbro Inc. Design Director, Pawtucket, RI

Carrie Zeisse ‘92 United Way, Executive Vice-President for Operations, MBA from MIT's Sloane School of Management



Caroline Lathan-Stiefel MFA '01

Aaron Stephan MFA '02, studio artist: public art

Nancy Nesvet MFA '04 curator, studio artist

Catherine D'Ignazio MFA '05 studio artist

Randy Regier MFA '07, studio artist



Coming this Fall! SNAAP Survey

Posted: 2012-08-26

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MECA is participating in the 2012 Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)--a one-of-a-kind survey that explores the lives of arts alumni nationwide. Alumni completing the survey this fall will have access to a site to see how their educational and career experiences compare with alumni from across the country. See where other arts graduates live, where they work, what they earn, and how their arts educations have influenced their lives.

The time spent sharing those experiences will help participating arts institutions across the country better prepare students for success, whether they stay in the arts or use what they’ve learned in other professional fields.

By verifying our alumni office has a current email address, our alumni can be sure not to miss the chance to share school and life experiences and helping to shape the future of arts education across the country and at MECA. Update your email information by contacting

Alum Publishes Book on Rescued Animals

Posted: 2012-07-02

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Alum Sharon Lee Hart '04, a lecturer in the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies, recently published her first book titled "Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals" which will be released this fall.

The book is comprised of photographs, taken by Hart, of rescued farm animals in various animal sanctuaries, accompanied by handwritten stories by sanctuary workers and leaders in the animal rescue industry. Spliced amongst the photos and stories are essays written by Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns; Kathy Stevens, founder of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary; andGene Baur, founder of Farm Sanctuary.

A long-time vegetarian turned vegan, Hart refers to farm animals as "some of the most abused, overlooked animals on the planet." Upon visiting her first animal sanctuary, Hart was inspired to meet more rescued farm animals and pursue this project. The message of the book is to show the innocence and intelligence of farm animals across the country, and Hart hopes "Sanctuary" will promote advocacy for better treatment for farm animals.

"I hope that folks view the photographs with compassionate eyes, read the stories with an open heart, and begin to see farm animals in a new light," Hart said.

A native of Washington, D.C., Hart received her bachelor's degree with honors from Maine College of Art and her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

More about the project


Alum and Faculty member included in Smithsonian Exhibition

Posted: 2012-06-26

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Alum Vivian Beer '00 and Associate Professor of Metalsmithing & Jewelry Jeff Clancy were selected to participate in "40 under 40: Craft Futures" at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The show features forty artists born since 1972, the year the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s contemporary craft and decorative arts program was established at its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery. The exhibition investigates evolving notions of craft within traditional media such as ceramics and metalwork, as well as in fields as varied as sculpture, industrial design, installation art, fashion design, sustainable manufacturing, and mathematics. The range of disciplines represented illustrates new avenues for the handmade in contemporary culture.

This new work reflects the changed world that exists today, which poses new challenges and considerations for artists. These 40 artists are united by philosophies for living differently in modern society with an emphasis on sustainability, a return to valuing the hand-made and what it means to live in a state of persistent conflict and unease.

Nicholas R. Bell, The Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art at the Renwick Gallery, organized the exhibition which runs from July 20, 2012 to February 3, 2013. The museum hopes to acquire works by every artist featured in the exhibition to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Renwick Gallery.

Image: Tea for One by Jeff Clancy


2012 Artist Residencies Announced

Posted: 2012-05-22

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Each spring, Maine College of Art reviews applications for two summer residency programs made available through the College. One is offered at the Stephen Pace House in Stonington, Maine and the other at the Jenny Family Compound in Nova Scotia.

The Stonington residencies were granted to MECA faculty member Mark Jamra, staffer Dietlind Vander Schaaf as well as alums Larissa Mellor ’04 ,Rachael Eastman ’94, and Nik Bsullak ’99. The Baie St Marie Artist and Family Residency at the Jenny Family Compound was awarded to Mark Marchesi ’99, Richard Metz MFA’00, Thomas Cummins MFA’05, and Crystal Heiden ’06, ,Conan Masterson and Christine Negus.

Image: Mark Marchesi '99                                                    

Portland School of Art Alumni Tea

Posted: 2012-04-16

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Portland School of Art graduates from the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s are invited back to campus on Saturday, April 21 to participate in a photo identification project. The College will have photographs from the archive on view and alumni can help identify classmates from these eras. Tea and scones will be served. The gathering takes place on Saturday, April 21 in the Joanne Waxman Library. For more information, contact Dietlind Vander Schaaf via email or phone 207.699.5012.

Pastel Painting Demo by Wade Zahares

Posted: 2012-03-28

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The Pastel Painters of Maine, headed by alum Caren-Marie Michel '78, presents a talk and presentation by Wade Zahares on April 10 from noon to 2pm in Osher Hall at Maine College of Art. The public is invited to this free event.

Strong lines. Bold colors. Dazzling perspectives. All three distinguish Wade Zahares’ larger-than-life pastel paintings.  Both a fine artist and a children’s book illustrator, Wade has always loved to draw.  Wade works exclusively in pastel; he is drawn to the intimacy of the chalk and the ease with which he can blend colors.The magic happens in his studio, a converted shed in Lyman, Maine, just a few miles from the Kennebunk farm on which he grew up.

Since graduating from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, Wade has been a full-time, professional artist. He has done a number of corporate commissions for Boston Duck Tours, Bank of America, McDonald’s, HBO, Cinemax, and Family Circle and Sesame Street magazines among others.  Wade’s very first children’s book, Window Music, was chosen as one of the top 10 illustrated books of 1998 by the New York Times. Since then, Wade has illustrated five additional picture books. He enjoys sharing his creative process, challenges and all, when he speaks and conducts workshops at galleries and schools.


MECA Announces 2012 Belvedere Winners

Posted: 2012-02-01

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Maine College of Art awarded eight grants, totaling $7106 from the Belvedere Fund for Professional Development in the Field of Crafts. MECA graduates from the last ten years who are working in the field of crafts are eligible to apply for funding up to $1500. We are pleased to offer this grant in honor of Deborah Pulliam of Castine, Maine, established in 2008. This fund is stewarded by the Maine Community Foundation. The 2012 winners are:

Alex Asplund ’11
Medium: Woodworking
Purchase woodworking hand tools in order to broaden the spectrum of his work. $610.

Addison de Lisle ’11
Medium: Steel/metals
Purchase a coal forge for the purpose of learning traditional forge-welding and a swage block to facilitate more efficient production of marketable goods. $1,255.

Jordan Gehman ’06
Medium: Woodworking
Funding for travel to the Furniture Society conference at MECA, and for studio equipment development. $750.

Seth Gould ’09
Medium: Metalsmithing
Funding to develop the hammers he makes into a higher caliber of tool.  He will make ten hammers and send them to ten working metalsmiths with the requirement that he receives feedback about how they function. $1000.

Erika Naigle ’11
Medium: Ceramics
Funding towards the purchase of a clay mixer/pugmill to further her professional studio. $1,500.

Daria Norvlaan ’05
Medium: Clothing designer
Supplement capital needed for the production of her spring/summer 2012 clothing line. $590.

Molly Vogel ’09
Medium: Jewelry
Purchase enameling equipment that will aid in the creation of a new body of work.  This work will become her post-baccalaureate portfolio that she will use to apply to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. $801.

Sarah Wilson ’07
Medium: ceramics
To assist with the cost of travel to an artist residency in Jingdezhen, China for professional research and development. $600.

 2012 Belvedere Award Winners gallery

Image: Sarah Wilson '07

MECA Painters: 10 Years Later

Posted: 2012-01-05

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Each year, MECA invites alumni who graduated ten years ago with a degree in painting, to participate in an exhibition at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery. This is the 10th anniversary of this exhibition. This year's participants are 2002 graduates Gina Adams, Hannah Barnes, Tim Clorius, Morgan Maurer, Jason Prescott, Phillip Tuttrow, and Michelle Weinstein. The gallery hours are noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. An opening reception is scheduled for 5pm on January 6 and a closing reception will be held at 3pm on January 21.

Image credit: Gina Adams

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