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Announcing Spring 2016 ICA Exhibition: "Tinderbox"

Posted: 2015-11-17

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Trina May Smith, “Fire 3”, 2014 

January 11—March 5, 2016 

Ushering in the ICA at MECA’s 2016 spring exhibition, “Tinderbox” merges brutally insightful visual art, contextual information nodes for public engagement, as well as an “art punk” concert. Curated by Kyle Patnaude, its premise is to look at the new role of artists and communities in establishing a dialogue towards political, cultural, and social parameters of confrontation transpiring across the country. The exhibition focuses on areas of tension in which art and artists can become a catalyst and through their creative activism, respond further than conventional art allows. Given countless points of conjecture, this exhibition establishes a self-reflexive space in which discussion through context can begin.

East to East to Open in the ICA

Posted: 2015-04-30

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East to East

The show will be open from June 5 – July 3, 2015

Curator's Statement

Two Maine artists return home – elin o'Hara slavick with After Hiroshima, a project from the Far East, and Shane C. Smith with Avi Form – a project about the Downeast Penobscot living on Indian Island, Maine.

Both artists pay special attention to the specific cultural sites on which they work or to which they refer - Hiroshima, Japan (the Far East) and the Native lands of the (near Downeast) coast of Maine. The archive, cultural memory, the past and its power in the present, loss of histories, people and lands, artifacts, the performative gestures of remembering, honoring and witnessing all play important parts in this work. East to East investigates these dynamic explorations of history, memory, loss, language that artists make as cultural storytellers and producers. The work is deeply engaged in the physical trace - be it photographic, indexical, handmade, sculptural, textual or performative.

Elin o'Hara slavick grew up in Portland, Maine, and took her first photography class at the Portland School of Art (now MECA). Slavick, who has never shown in Maine, is currently a Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in Studio Art, Theory and Practice at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she worked with Shane C. Smith on an independent study for fall, 2014 semester, in which he produced some of the work in this exhibition.

Shane C. Smith was born in Bangor and grew up in Milford, Maine, between Old Town, Indian Island and French Island. Smith, a conceptual and performance artist, utilizes an intermedia approach to investigate the subject and language within histories as they relate to place. His socially based practice has lead to designing and building a playground in Uganda, Africa and a stop-motion film featuring Penobscot Native American mythology that premiered at the Taos, New Mexico Talking Picture Show. After earning his MFA from UNC, Chapel Hill, he will continue his studio practice in New York City.

For the artists, this exhibition grows out of the mutually beneficial and equally challenging relationship between mentor and mentee. One instructs the other and the other teaches a new language.

Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah Opens in the ICA

Posted: 2015-01-21

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Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah featuring canadian artist Karen Kraven and curated by Nicholas Brown. This show is coming to the ICA from Fonderie Darling in Montreal.

The show will be open from January 21st to April 5th, 2015

The opening reception is on Wednesday January 21, 6–8pm featuring an artist talk with Karen Kraven and curator Nicholas Brown at 6:30pm.

Curator's Statement

Karen Kraven - Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah 
Curated by Nicholas Brown

Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah elicits a boisterous form of misdirection. The first half of the exhibition’s title references organized sports and warfare, strategies designed to confuse the opponent through aggressive motion and dramatic flair. Equally boisterous, Sis Boom Bah is the prototypical cheerleading chant that describes a fireworks display. Together, these words convey the enthusiastic subterfuge of Karen Kraven’s new exhibition at ICA @ MECA.

Karen Kraven’s works set up unexpected encounters between sculptures and images, uncanny resemblances and misleading juxtapositions. Like a stage or film set that’s been frozen in time these spaces confound and delight, borrowing the tactics of a con artist. Kraven exploits the illusion and attraction found in such pursuits as horseracing, hunting and fishing, and counterfeiting. These motifs take the guise of everyday items, handmade surrogates and decoys. Shifting and mutating, they collapse upon one another, mesmerizing us as they reappear enlarged, divided, transubstantiated, inflated, and flattened.

First presented at the initiative of Montreal’s Darling Foundry in 2014, Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah has been reconfigured and expanded with new work produced onsite at MECA.

Born in London, Ontario, Karen Kraven holds an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she was the recipient of the Dale & Nick Tedeschi Fellowship. Based in Montreal and represented by Parisian Laundry, she has also exhibited at Centre Clark, Montreal, Leonard & Ellen Bina Gallery, Montreal, Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga, and Neubacher Shor Contemporary, Toronto. She is in residence at the Darling Foundry’s Montreal Artist's Creation Studio (2013-2016).

Nicholas Brown is a Canadian curator recently based in New York. He was one of the curators of the multi-site exhibition “Shaping Community” at Yale University in 2012. Nicholas curated "You had to go Looking for it" in Toronto's financial district for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011. He was the founding Director/Curator of Red Bull 381 Projects in Toronto (2008-2010). Nicholas has contributed essays and reviews to Fillip, Hunter and Cook, and Cura. In 2012, he was awarded the Darling Foundry’s Residence of the Americas, sponsored by the Conseil des Arts de Montréal.

South of No North Opens November 6th in the ICA

Posted: 2014-11-05

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Honour Mack, Illumination #2

Sean Glover, The Observers

South of No North
Faculty Exhibition
November 6 – December 22, 2014
Works by: Honour Mack, Bennett Morris, Sean Glover, and Christopher Stiegler
An artist reception will be held on Thursday, November 6th from 5-7pm.
ICA entrance, events and lectures are free and open to the public.

Free Film Screenings at the ICA

Posted: 2014-07-02

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PROPEL After Hours Event Hosted at MECA on Dec. 3 in the ICA at 5:30

Posted: 2013-11-21

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PROPEL After Hours with MECA

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 from 5:30 – 7:30pm
Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA

Join PROPEL and the Maine College of Art (MECA) for an after-hours event at MECA’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).

In addition to great conversation, hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar, you’ll have the chance to browse the ICA’s current faculty art installation as well as learn about MECA’s upcoming holiday sale.

This event is free for PROPEL and Chamber members, MECA students and staff and $5 for all other attendees.

Register now!

MICA Students visit MECA for collaborate project

Posted: 2013-03-29

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A handful of students from the Maryland Institute College of Art are visiting the MECA campus this week as part of a class called "Road, Movies, and Travelogues." The class requires students to propose and carry out a road trip and create artwork based on their adventure.

With MICA professors Nadia Hironska and Eva Wylie, the group visited MECA for a series of activities: making a collaborative print with MECA professor Adriane Herman's students and visiting local printmaker David Wolfe's studio. Their visit was encouraged and organized by the ICA, Office of Public Engagement, and Printmaking Department. 

Today that will be inviting the general public to the ICA from 1:00 to 3:00  to watch them finish a book project and speak about the project. 

Barridoff Auction at MECA

Posted: 2013-03-27

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Fairfield Porter
Oil on Masonite 19×29 in. (48.3×73.7cm)

Tuesday, April 23, 6 PM  –  8 PM
and Wednesday, April 24, 10 AM  –  5 PM
To be held at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art
522 Congress Street Portland, Maine
Annette and Rob Elowitch
Art Consultants and Auctioneers
Shipping and mailing address only:
Suite 1A - 136 50 Market Street
So. Portland, Maine 04106
Maine license 00795
A portion of the proceeds of the sale will help support Maine College of Art and its programs.