ILLUSTRATION MECA Faculty & alumni Featured in "VISUAL STORYTELLING" exhibition in Kennebunkport
KENNEBUNK – The Brick Store Museum’s newest exhibition, Visual Storytelling: Celebrating Maine Illustrators, will open Friday, March 20. The exhibit will not only display the history of illustration, but feature the artwork of illustrators, artists, and cartoonists living in Maine today. The illustrated image has become a significant part of our culture and captured the imaginations of generations.
Illustrators taking part in the exhibit include current and former MECA faculty Stephen Costanza, Daniel Minter, Scott Nash. The show also features the work of MECA alumi, Jada Fitch. Also exhibited are Dahlov Ipcar, Ashley Bryan, Chris van Dusen, Wade Zahares, Melissa Sweet among others. Each artist has been invited to share 3-5 pieces of work. There are many kinds of illustration featured in the exhibit, including children’s books, political cartoons, comic books, and natural history illustration.
Visitors will be invited to create their own art inside the gallery – right on the wall! Upcoming summer illustrators’ workshops (check brickstoremuseum.org for future listings) will invite families, students, and adults to take part in specialized presentations by the artists themselves. Visual Storytelling is sponsored by the Captain Lord Mansion, the Captain Jefferds Inn, and Hurlbutt Designs. The exhibit will run through Sept. 27, 2015.
For more information, please contact Prof. Scott Nash (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wheels and Heels: A Guest Lecture By Matthew Bird
Wheels and Heels: Matchbox cars, Barbie Dolls, and what they can teach us about design
Matthew Bird will be giving a guest lecture on April 2nd at 12:00pm in Osher Hall. Matthew Bird is an Industrial Design faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Professor Mark Jamra Recognized by Typographica
Associate Professor of Graphic Design Mark Jamra has been recognized by Typographica.com as having one of the best typefaces of 2014. Mark Jamra is a renowned type designer and has been designing typefaces for close to 30 years. His company, TypeCulture is an independent type foundry and academic resource. Typographica reviewed Jamra's typeface "Phoreus Cherokee" which is one of the very few Cherokee typefaces available for use. The review talks about the desperate need for a quality Cherokee typeface,
"Four years ago, in a conference room filled with type enthusiasts, three representatives of the Cherokee Nation explained why the world still needs more fonts.
Of their 316,000 members (the largest tribal nation in the USA), only 22,000 native Cherokee speakers remain, and only a handful of Cherokee fonts exist, most of poor quality. Users have no way to make a headline bold or to italicize words for emphasis. Traditional Cherokee type designs are intricate and of high contrast, poorly suited for reading on screen. New, multifunctional Cherokee fonts are an essential tool necessary for the education, communication, and survival of their language.
Congratulations to RJ Condon, a junior in Graphic Design, winner of the annual Geary's Summer Ale package design competition open to all MECA undergraduates. His design will be featured on nearly 1 million bottles of beer and he receives a prize of $5,000 cash.
MECA's Second Year Lab courses are designed to encourage students to take skills they have developed from their foundation year and apply them to a new idea that they will follow from inception to completion. Each SYL class had different objectives and projects which will be on display in Artists At Work through November 10, 2014. You can read more about each SYL class below.
De-Construct to Re-Construct Instructor: Paul Lewandowski Students: Joe Donovan, Ariana Faria, Meg Hudson, Ellie Johnson, Sayre Lenard, Madeline Owen, Sarah Perry, Parker Smedley, Chelsey Taylor, Melinda Thomas, Anna Welch and Ashley Wernher-Collins
Deconstruct to Reconstruct is about exploration of garment construction, disassembly and inspiration. The students have been working on a number of projects throughout the semester. The work in this exhibit is the culmination of that research for two projects.The first project is the result of deconstructing a garment and using it as inspiration to develop a new piece – garment, artwork, or textile. For the second project, the students were asked to purchase a garment or object from a thrift store and develop a companion piece to the first. Key themes during the semester have been inspiration, research, observation and response.
Gathering Influences: Collections, Collectibles, Collecting, Collectors Instructor: Pilar Nadal Students: Aaron Siegel, And Alter, Baxter Koziol, Catherine Quattrociocchi, Daniel Iwasko, David Martinez, Elizabeth Conlin, Emma Wolfsohn, Gunnar Johnson, Hannah Howard, Margaret Hahn, Marisa D’Andrea, Martin Reynolds, Olivia Waitekus, Paige Leonas, Paul Walsh, Raven Zeh and Sara Inacio
"Objecte de Visite” - Students in this class were given the assignment to create a object that would represent their roles as an artist in the world. Each student made 100 objects to give away, barter and network with. Screen printed elements in each design, these students found ways to incorporate their skills, interests and ideas in each hand held piece. Each object contains the artist’s name, contact information and individual blog address that documents their printmaking and public engagement adventures in this lab. Our class blog: gatheringinfluences.tumblr.com contains all student links and other posts and resources of interest.
Photography: Document, Archive, Fiction Instructor: Bryan Graf Students: Justin Lumiere, Abbie Labonville, Claire Hartnell, Danielle Camillo, Elizabeth Johnson, Ileana Alarcon, Molly Hibler, Taylor McElhinny and Vincent Greco
This exhibition is an accumulation of the past several projects where students were encouraged to investigate the plural and malleable language of photography.
Residence Hall Move In Info 2014
New First Year + Transfer Residential Students
On Friday, August 29 all new students living on-campus should report directly to their residence hall according to the following schedule:
Miles Standish Floors 1, 2, & 5: 8am -10am Miles Standish Floors 3 & 4: 10am -noon
Oak Street Floors 2 & 5: 8am - 10am Oak Street Floors 3 & 4: 10am - noon
Shepley Apartments: 8am - Noon
They will then be given a time-slot to check in separately at Porteous to finalize outstanding items, get their ID, + more.
Returning Residential Students
On Sunday, August 31 all returning residential students should report directly to their assigned residence hall between 9am-2pm.
Returning residential students may finalize their outstanding registration, billing, get their ID and library bar code on Tuesday, September 2. If in a morning class, they are welcome to attend class and finalize registration later in the day.
MECA Equips Maine Seeds of Peace With Art, Media Tools for Social Change
PORTLAND | How do art and peace-building overlap? Five Maine Seeds recently discovered when they participated in a day-long printmaking workshop in partnership with the Maine College of Art (MECA).
The workshop, which took place on April 12, came as part of a greater collaboration between Seeds of Peace and MECA. The “It Starts With ME” project series aims to educate students on how to use art and media as tools for social change within their own state of Maine.
“It Starts With ME” emerged in response to the negative stereotypes of immigrants and refugees in Maine. By taking photos of themselves with inspiring messages, Seeds students hope to positively portray the current face of Maine, one that includes an increasingly diverse youth population with their own unique ambitions and dreams. The project presented the perfect opportunity to partner with MECA, as their Public Engagement Minor integrates art, real-world problems and community partners.
MECA Professor Elizabeth Jabar described how the College’s students use “collaborative methods and participatory models to take action as citizens, artists, and designers.”
“As a result, each student gains the skills and confidence to directly impact their culture and society.”
As part of this fifth workshop in the series, the Seeds were able to work with Jabar and Shawn Brewer, a graduate of MECA, to learn printmaking techniques.
In earlier sessions, the Seeds worked with professional photographer and artist Sean Alonzo Harris to take photos following prompts such as “I Am … ”, “I Want to … ”, and “I Will … ”. The Seeds enjoyed a full day of learning how to print the images, working in the darkroom, and playing around with various methods of printmaking to accomplish their desired effect for their project.
The day also included lunch and many chances to sit and discuss art, photography, and the Seeds’ goals for the project.
“I was incredibly excited when I heard Seeds of Peace was beginning to integrate this photography program, because it includes my belief that photography has the power to effect change in a unique way just as effective and sometimes more meaningful than words, speech, and dialogue,” said Sophia Warren, a 2011 Seed.
“Photography, when used right is a very strong way to bring ideas that can sometimes be controversial to a large audience,” said AJ Yarn, a 2013 Seed. “I can talk all day about what I believe and what I stand for but until people see it, they will never really understand.”
At the next workshop, the Seeds will embed text answers to the three prompts over the photos of themselves to create their own personalized works of art. The workshops will ultimately lead up to a culminating public exhibition, which will give Seeds and their peers a public space to tell their stories and display their work.
As the workshop series has progressed, the Maine Seeds feel they have developed their personal relationships and aim to promote this feeling of community through their images. In planning for the gallery show, the Seeds hope for the presentation of the photos to be as interactive as possible. Thus, they can involve the greater Maine community in the artistic and peace-building goals of the project, as Sophia describes:
“Through this program I have discovered a space and community that is both entirely artistic, and entirely committed to a cause of humanitarian causes … we are directing the power of the conversation by showing you what we see through a camera’s lens.”
- See more at: http://www.seedsofpeace.org/?p=19125#sthash.2RJ9Xpmm.dpuf
Senior Victoria Statsenko Awarded Summer Residency by Monhegan Artists' Residency Corporation
Maine College of Art senior Victoria Statsenko has been awarded a summer residency by the Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation! The residency program is aimed at emerging visual artists working in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, or the digital arts. “An important goal of the program,” says board chair Susan Danly, “is to enhance the careers of serious artists who have yet to gain wide recognition.”
Quality of work is the primary criterion for selection. The 2014 jurors were photographer and installation artist Elizabeth Atterbury; photographer Bryan Graf, who teaches at the Maine College of Art; and Monhegan watercolor painter Bruce Kornbluth.
Poet Richard Blanco Speaks at Maine College of Art
May 2014 Commencement Ceremony
Portland, ME ~ Maine College of Art proudly announces that Richard Blanco will speak at the May 2014 Commencement.
Blanco was the inaugural poet for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration where he read his performed “One Today,” an original poem written for the occasion. Blanco is the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and openly gay writer to hold the honor.
Blanco has written and performed for organizations such as the Fragrance Awards, the Tech Awards, and Freedom to Marry and has received numerous awards and honors for his writings including a Florida Artist Fellowship, a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellowship and a doctorate from Macalester College.
Maine College of Art 2014 Commencement will be held on May 10th at 10:30am at the State Theater in Portland, Maine.
Short bio on Blanco:
Richard Blanco was born in Madrid in 1968, immigrating as an infant with his Cuban-exile family to the United States. He was raised and educated in Miami, earning a B.S. in civil engineering and a M.F.A. in creative writing from Florida International University. Blanco has been a practicing engineer, writer and poet since 1991. He has traveled extensively in his adult life, living and working throughout Europe and South America. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, Writer’s Center and Central Connecticut State University. Blanco currently resides in the tranquil mountains of Bethel, Maine.
His books, in order of publication, are: City of a Hundred Fires(1998), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), One Today (2013), Boston Strong (2013), and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey (2013).
In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, following in the footsteps as such great writers as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. Blanco performed One Today, an original poem he wrote for the occasion, becoming the youngest, first Latino, immigrant and openly gay writer to hold the honor.
Following the inauguration, he continued connecting communities through occasional poetry. He has written and performed occasional poems for such organizations as Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards and the Fragrance Awards. In May of 2013, Blanco wrote Boston Strong, an occasional poem he performed at the TD Boston Garden Benefit Concert and at a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Following his performances, he released a limited edition Boston Strong chapbook, with all proceeds going to those most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.
Blanco has received numerous honors for his writings and performances, including an honorary doctorate from Macalester College and being named a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. His first book, City of a Hundred Fires received the prestigious Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize. His second book, Directions to the Beach of the Deadwon the PEN / American Beyond Margins Award. His third book,Looking for The Gulf Motel received various accolades, including the Tom Gunn Award, the Maine Literary Award and the Paterson Prize. His poems have appeared in countless literary journals and anthologies, including Best American Prose Poems and Ploughshares.
Blanco continues to write and perform for audiences around the world. In addition to his occasional poetry and performances, he is currently working on a full-length memoir and is collaborating with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey on a children’s book.
A Shifted Behavior: a collaborative exploration of our individual actions and the impacts on climate change
A Shifted Behavior is an artistic project that seeks to generate dialog and increase education about climate change through curriculum, community partnerships, social media and exhibitions. Using a variety of print and digital media, the works in the exhibition reveal how our individual actions impact the natural environment, and prompt us to question and shift our habits. Students worked collaboratively on a diverse set of projects that call attention to a range of environmental issues including waste, consumption, food safety and education. The project utilizes the Citizen Circle model and seeks to build peer knowledge and skills, increase engagement and expand the public audience.
This hybrid project is part of a larger Public Engagement initiative to embed issues of climate change and environmental stewardship into the curriculum and co-curricular programming. This initiative is generously supported by an Environmental Education Grant from the EPA. Thank you to our project partners inside the college and our community partners at 350/Maine.
The exhibition will be held at Maine College of Art, Zand Head Gallery, 522 Congress Street, Portland, Maine, from February 28-March 8. Participatory projects and closing reception on first Friday, March 7 from 5-8PM.
Artists in the exhibition: Chloe Beaven, Robert Bennett, Kristina Buckley, Zach Dallaire, Caitlin Ervin, Ashley Hall, Samantha Prada-Putzig, Megan Taitano, Anthony Zambrana
Shirah Neuman's freshman class of students recently had the opportunity to design a public art piece for the Free Street side of the Cumberland County Civic Center. Students got to meet with stakeholders, learn about design parameters, pitch concepts, and work collaboratively. The original design was drawn by freshman Grace Whatley.
Great work, team. This is a wonderful example of how art can improve communities.
The 140-foot mural is now on view at the Free Street location.
MECA Public Engagement students forge connections with Avesta Housing Community
Behind each piece of artwork hanging in the community room at Bayside East is a story. There’s the story of the treasures brought home by a young man stationed overseas, or the story of a cultural tradition transplanted in a new community. And there’s the simple story of preserving a community’s history through newspaper clippings.
Looking at the 11 prints on the walls, the stories might not be apparent. But for the residents of the Portland senior community, the artwork represents memories of cherished items collected over the years, as seen through the eyes of local art students.
From September to December, a class of Maine College of Art students spent several hours talking with a group of residents of Bayside East and seeing first-hand the objects that hold special meaning for them. Residents brought odds and ends gathered over the years, like collections of old newspaper clippings, gifts given to them by loved ones, and even colorful traditional African clothing made by hand.
Through stories and questions, the students learned why these objects were so important to their owners. Then, they created original prints using the objects and stories as influence.
The semester-long project wrapped up in December with a potluck party at the property. The students unveiled their art to the residents and talked about their process. Each student made multiple prints so that the residents could also hang one in their apartment.
One of the residents, Bill, had showed students a geisha doll he’s had for over four decades, purchased overseas when he was serving in the Navy. The doll became a source of inspiration for one student, who made a black-and-white print of its likeness that now hangs in the community room kitchen.
“My 45-year-old gal – it’s nice to see her out,” said Bill.
This partnership is just one way Avesta has been exploring community partnerships to help enhance our residents’ sense of home through art. The importance of art goes beyond aesthetics – it’s a vital part of creating a sense of community and making our residents feel at home.
Partnerships with other organizations also strengthen relationships between our residents and members of the larger community, creating connections that can have a lasting impact. The residents visited the students in their studio to see first-hand how printmaking is done. They also got a personalized tour of the college’s facilities on Congress Street, which was especially meaningful for one resident, who used to work in the building back when it was the Porteous department store.
“It’s community development for both, for us and for (Maine College of Art),” said Bill of the project. “What it brings to the room is what we were looking for. This is extremely nice to have.”
Kate, a student, said they were all initially nervous about leaving the classroom and “stepping out of our comfort zone,” but those feelings quickly dissipated as they spent more time with the residents. “We had a really fun time, they were interested people we wouldn’t normally interact with,” she said. “They were fun to talk with – they always had something interesting to say.
“Every time you have students get out somewhere else, it’s beneficial to your art,” she added.
Maine College of Art students pose with a resident of Bayside East dressed up as Santa Claus
Rod, one of the residents, said the opportunity to interact with young people held more meaning for him now that he’s getting older and most of his own children have moved away. “Getting to know them has been really great. They’re obviously a really great bunch of kids,” he said. “I think programs like this are really great — this way, you don’t just house older people and forget about them.”
The connection that developed between the residents and the students was great to see, and I’d like to thank Professor Pilar Nadal and her students for enhancing the lives of our residents through art. And a big thank-you to Bill, Phil, Doug, Rod and the other residents who participated in this project and shared their time, energy and hospitality.
Avesta looks forward to working with the Maine College of Art to repeat the program with another group of residents next fall.
* Thank you to Pilar and her students for providing some of the photos for this blog post.
FY-In Students Partner With Creative Trails Art Department on Newspaper Launch
Celebrate the launch of Sunny All Day News: Issue 3, a newspaper collaboration between MECA FY-In students in the Transporting the Intangible section and the artists from Creative Trails Art Department! The newspaper features student projects and assignments that each artist at both MECA and the Art Department created and assigned to each other. Students have also installed work from their semester long projects in the Art department storefront window and inside the gallery! The artwork will be up all month long, and the free newspaper will be available in the kiosks outside of MeCA and the Art Department December 6th...until they are gone!
First Year Students:
Nyla Wilson Josh Clark Jeff Saint-Victor Parker Anna Smedley Gunnar Johnson Jules Gabriel Willie Nelson Brendan Glass Jamie Miller Aoifa Quinn Sayre Leonard
Graphic Design Students Partner with Casco Bay High
Graphic design students parntered with Casco Bay High students to redesign the logo for the expeditionary learning school. Graphic Design faculty member Margo Halverson and Illustration faculty member Mary Anne Lloyd guided the students in a four week collaborative process that included brainstorming, research and sketching. The final logo encompasses the core qualities of the high school - progressive, unique, explorative, and adventurous.
Public Engagement Receives EPA Grant
The Public Engagement program received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to embed issues of environmental stewardship and climate change into the curriculum. Faculty members Samantha Haedrich, Charles Melcher, Paul Gebhardt and Elizabeth Jabar are launching creative projects in their classrooms and in the community, working with community partners Environment Maine and Portland Trails. The EPA focused work also includes several co-curricular events and initiatives: film screenings, launching the student group MECA SOAP (Students Organized Against Pollution), energy saving and waste reduction efforts on campus, and the Take the Pledge green commitment. In addition, MFA alum and eco artist Tim Gaudreau will be a visiting artist in the spring semester working with the Public Engagement students.
Summer and Fall Internship Placements
Students are encouraged to conduct an internship during their time at MECA to help inform their studio practice. These academic experiences span 15 weeks and require 135 hours of focused, supervised learning in exchange for three academic credits. Below are internship sites for Summer 2013 and Fall 2013:
Betsy Lewis at her Brooklyn Metal Works Internship
Aucocisco Galleries, Portland, ME Belmont Day School, Belmont, MA Brooklyn Metalworks, Brooklyn, NY Catalyst for Peace, Portland, ME Douglas Thayer Designs, Westhampton, MA Dutille's Jewelry, Lebanon, NH Franny Peabody Center, Portland, ME Janice Grzyb, New York City, NY Kris Johnsen, Portland, ME Maine College of Art, Portland, ME Might + Main, Portland, ME New England Sculpture Services, Chelsea, MA Out for Justice, Portland, ME PERCH Studio, Portland, ME Pickwick Independent Press, Portland, ME Pizzuti Studios, Lowell, MA Rollin Leonard, Portland, ME Sandy Macleod, Portland, ME Sarah Bouchard, Portland, ME Studio 24b, Portland, ME The Art Department, Portland, ME University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME Uwe Berger Antique Prints, Berlin, Germany VIA, Portland, ME
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:
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.