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MEGAWORDS Workshop with Anthony Smyrski

Posted: 2012-10-07

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Maine Type Lab members participated in a Sunday workshop with MEGAWORDS’ co-creator Anthony Smyrski. Students learned how to create an assemble a zine using lo-fi, hands-on methods. Everyone contributed a spread and walked away with a copy of the zine. The zine is also on display at MECA ICA.

Participants: Cassondra Amicone, Klarizza Cruz, Molly Feole, Annie Mora, Rangeley Morton, Sheyenne Rivers

 

 

 

First year students at MECA engage community with mural project

Posted: 2012-10-03

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This striking new mural recently appeared as a result of a community partnership and MECA's Public Engagement efforts at the corner of Preble Street and Cumberland Avenue, a block off of Monument Square.

Two of MECA’s FY-In sections have teamed up with Wright Ryan to create a temporary public installation on the exterior of the new Preble St Teen Center. Paul Gebhardt and Adam Manley’s classes collaborated to create a 48 foot Mural to be mounted on the side of the building at the corner of Preble and Cumberland Streets. Students worked together to come up with a mural spoke to both the residents of the center and the general population of Portland. After a group brainstorming session, the students were divided into groups of two, each of which was assigned a letter, as well as a language commonly spoken in Portland to act as a visual prompt for the painting of their letter. The mural is divided into 4’ x 4’ squares, each containing one letter, and the individual artworks that developed around each of these letters is based on the students’ extensive research into the visual language of the assigned cultures.

The building is being renovated to become the Preble Street Resource Center's new Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter. But the mural is actually a collaboration between Wright-Ryan Construction and this year's freshman class at the Maine College of Art.

Wright-Ryan superintendent Rob Barrett was a driving force behind the initiative.  He said,  "The building renovations required his crew to remove the first-floor facade and erect a temporary plywood shed. Instead of having a blank wall, it seemed like a perfect canvas for a community art project, so I contacted a couple of instructors at MECA. Members of the freshman class then teamed up in pairs to paint the mural's individual panels, each of which honors a different nationality from the diverse immigrant community at the nearby Portland High School."

"It was a way to get incoming freshmen introduced to Portland, and introduced to the Preble Street Resource Center, with a community-based arts project," explains Barrett.

Read Liveworkportland.org blog

Chair of MECA Illustration Department Releases New Book

Posted: 2012-09-19

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SCOTT NASH RELEASES NEW BOOK:
THE HIGH SKIES ADVENTURE OF BLUE JAY THE PIRATE

Portland Based Author/Illustrator and Chair of MECA’s Illustration Department Tops 2012 Best Children’s Books List

Portland, Maine ~ Illustrator, author, designer, and nationally-known media mind Scott Nash’s latest release, The High Skies Adventure of Blue Jay the Pirate has already garnered recognition of note on ABA's (American Booksellers Association) Best Children's books of 2012 Listand at The Society of Illustration’s Original Art Show.

Scott Nash has illustrated more than forty children’s books, and now, inspired by his childhood readings of such classics as TREASURE ISLAND and ROBINSON CRUSOE, his lifelong love of bird-watching, and an urge to take on a new challenge, he has created his most ambitious project to date, his first novel and his first foray into an entirely new and technically precise style of artwork.

Candlewick Press (Nash’s publishing house) describes Captain Blue Jay as a notorious and feared pirate of the skies with a fondness for collecting treasure, especially eggs. Unfortunately, sometimes his treasure hatches, and this time the hatchling is the strangest one the Grosbeak has ever seen. No sailor is certain whether the chick is a young god or just an oversized bird who needs too much food, but one thing is clear: the winds over Thrushland are shifting, and dramatic changes are in store for all. Whether outwitting a gang of thieving crows, outrunning murderous fishers and weasels, or rallying Briarloch’s beleaguered sparrows, this motley crew must do all they can to stay together and stay alive. And that’s just the tip of the bird’s feather! Offering a bounty of illustrations and a host of memorable characters -- from an endearing star-nosed mole to an unlikely little warrior with a vendetta -- here is a treasure for anyone who has ever wanted to take to the skies and see where fortune blows.  Hoist the Jolly Robin! Fly with a swashbuckling crew as they soar through the air -- and evade danger on the ground -- in search of treasure and lofty adventure.



Scott Nash lives in Peaks Island, Maine and has been a student of kid culture for over twenty five years. As a founding partner of NASHBOX, BIG BLUE DOT, Corey McPherson Nash and BUG ISLAND Productions, Scott has developed an expertise in the branding and creative development of kids products and programming for the entertainment, consumer product and publishing worlds.  In addition to designing identities for Nickelodeon, PBS, ABC, Comedy Central, FX and YTV, Scott’s design clients include American Girl (Pleasant Company), Disney, Mattel, Microsoft, Milton Bradley and the Boston Children’s Museum.  He has vast experience developing and producing animated properties for Disney, Nickelodeon and MTV as well as animated and live-action promo spots for ABC, FX, and PBS. Scott has illustrated over forty children’s books, including Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp and The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields, Betsy Who Cried Wolf by Gail Carson Levine,, and Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.

Scott Nash’s work as a designer and illustrator has been recognized by leading trade organizations and publications such as; The Academy for The Arts and Sciences (EMMY award), PROMAX, Broadcast Designers Association, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Society of Illustrators and HOW, Communications Arts, Print and Publishers Weekly Magazines.  He has lectured widely and taught at Boston University, Northeastern University and The Art Institute of Boston. Additionally, he established the Illustration Department at Maine College of Art.

The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate is available online and at your local bookstore on October 5, 2012.  For more information, please contact Raffi Der Simonian at 207.756.0916 or rdersimonian@meca.edu.


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Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey comes to Portland

Posted: 2012-09-13

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Portland, ME ~  The Bank of Maine proudly presents Elegant Enigmas:  The Art of Edward Gorey opening on Friday, October 5, 2012, and continuing through December 29 on display at Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery.  The exhibition is free of charge to the general public and features original illustrations, preparatory sketches, unpublished drawings and ephemera by the internationally celebrated artist and author Edward Gorey.  This highly acclaimed exhibit is made possible by generous support from The Bank of Maine and a collaboration between Maine College of Art (MECA) and Portland Public Library.

Elegant Enigmas pays tribute to the work of Edward Gorey (1925 – 2000), best known for his brilliant drawings and witty, quirky stories.  Described as “incredibly sophisticated…stylish and inventive” by the New York Observer, Gorey’s signature pen-and-ink illustrations and macabre wit has led him to be considered one of America’s most imaginative and eccentric artists of all-time.  During his lifetime, Gorey published over 100 works, designed sets and costumes for countless theatre productions, created popular animations, and illustrated works for a wide array of artists ranging from Charles Dickens and John Updike to Virginia Woolf and H.G. Wells.

Elegant Enigmas includes approximately 180 original works, including selections from The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest, The Unstrung Harp, The Gilded Bat, and other well-known publications, drawn primarily from the extensive archives of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust and significant private collections. 

Chairman and CEO of The Bank of Maine, John Everets, one of many local Gorey enthusiasts said, “We are proud to sponsor this exhibit and delighted to help share the fascinating genius of Edward Gorey with the Greater Portland community.  We hope that people take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to experience Elegant Enigmas for themselves.”

According to Donald Tuski, President of Maine College of Art, “The prolific works of Edward Gorey represent the caliber of creativity and artistic brilliance that we promote here at Maine College of Art.  Given Gorey’s success as an author, the Portland Public Library is the perfect venue to host this exciting exhibit in its role as a cultural center.”

Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey is on view from October 5 – December 29.  The Portland Public Library is located in the heart of Downtown Portland Maine at 5 Monument Square and is open daily from 10am – 7pm Monday – Thursday, Friday 10am – 6pm and Satuarday 10am – 5pm.  For more information, visit portlandlibrary.com/gorey.

 or to schedule an interview with Gorey expert and chair of MECA’s illustration department, Scott Nash, please contact Raffi Der Simonian at 207.699.5010 or rdersimonian@meca.edu.  

This Exhibition has been organized by the Edwards Gorey Charitable Trust and the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Portland-based arts organizations launch professional development series for artists

Posted: 2012-09-12

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Creative Portland has received a grant from the Quimby Family Foundation to launch a professional development series, in partnership with Maine College of Art and the Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, designed specifically for professional artists.

The series will consist of 12 workshops held in MECA’s Osher Hall on the second Wednesday of every month from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Selected from a survey of artists this summer, topics will range from grant-writing and social media to contract law and business start-up basics.

December 12: Tax Essentials for Artists 

With support from the Foundation and a sponsorship from MECA, the cost will be $10 per session for participants and free to all MECA students and alumni. Registration is required for all attendees on Creative Portland’s website—portlandarts.org.

“We have heard from many artists that a critical need in this community is affordable access to high-quality skill-building workshops that are focused around the specific needs of working artists,” said Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Creative Portland. “By working with MECA and MEVLA, we will offer access to leading presenters in the field and bring the latest knowledge to artists in the Portland region.”

Register now

Creative Portland is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to grow and support the city’s creative economy. In July 2012, Creative Portland merged with the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance to become the city’s official arts agency. 

The mission of Maine College of Art (MECA) dates back to 1882 and is rooted in delivering a transformative learning experience that prepares students to thrive in the areas of artistic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement within an intimate and demanding educational environment.  

Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts offers pro bono and reduced fee services to professional artists in Maine. 

Artist who designed Sprague oil tanks speaks at MECA

Posted: 2012-09-07

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Jaime Gili, the artist who designed the art for Sprague Energy Corporation’s oil tanks that line Casco Bay between Portland and South Portland, will visit Maine this coming week, spoke at MECA's Osher Hall on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. The event was hosted by the Maine Center for Creativity, in partnership with Maine College of Art. 

The Maine Center for Creativity, in ground-breaking collaboration with the Sprague Energy Corporation, sponsored the Art All Around® project. It is a bold initiative launched in 2008 to spearhead an international design competition. It’s goal: to transform 16 oil storage tanks on Portland harbor into an integrated ‘canvas’ of color and design at the gateway to the state’s largest city – and to all of Maine.

The first phase was an open design competition that received 560 submissions from 80 countries. Designs were evaluated by a select, international panel of judges. Five semifinalists, including two from Maine, each received a $10,000 prize award. Jaime Gili, a young Venezuela-born artist living in London, was selected as the final winner – and received the $20,000 grand prize.

To date, five tanks of the 16 tanks have been completed, and Gili is visiting Maine to talk about the project, his inspiration, and how it compares to his other artistic endeavors.

About Jaime Gili

Jaime Gili was born in Caracas in 1972 and lives in London. His work has been described as continuing a tradition of Latin American abstract art, especially the Venezuelan optical artists from the 20th Century. Critics have described his work as a mix of Pop, Minimalism, Vorticism, Futurism and graffiti Art. Gili received his MA in painting from the Royal College of Art in 1998, after studying in Caracas and Barcelona, and has exhibited since in the UK, the USA, Brazil, Switzerland, Spain, Argentina and Venezuela. Art All Around® jurors selected Gili’s work from among 560 submissions from more than 80 countries during the Maine Center for Creativity’s international competition to transform the Sprague industrial site into the world’s largest public art painting.

LINKS:
Art All Around 
Jaime Gili
Maine Center for Creativity 

About the Maine Center for Creativity

Through its support of arts and industry collaborations, the Maine Center for Creativity (MCC) harnesses the power of talent and innovation to drive economic development and growth of the creative economy in Maine. By developing projects and educational programs that support the vibrancy of creative industries and the arts, such as Art All Around®, Pecha Kucha, and the inaugural Maine Creative Industries Award on September 13, 2012, MCC nurtures innovative companies, engaged communities, and creative people. For more information visit www.mainecenterforcreativity.org or call 207.730.0694. 



Portland Maine Film Festival Hosted at MECA

Posted: 2012-09-04

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MECA is a proud sponsor of The Portland Maine Film Festival.  MECA's Osher Hall will be transformed into a host venue for the film festival from October 4 - 7, 2012. 

The Portland Maine Film Festival is dedicated to presenting the work of talented, emerging artists who engage critical, contemporary dialogues through the medium of film. In doing so, we hope to foster the cultural and creative growth of Portland as a developing hub for independent film and innovation within the motion picture arts.

The Festival also provides a forum for local artists to present their work alongside industry leaders, innovators, and established filmmakers, providing them with unique networking, educational, and creative opportunities to increase the visibility of their films and strengthen their relationships within the Maine filmmaking community and beyond.

The Portland Maine Film Festival is proud to be sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society and MENSK. For more information, please contact festival director, Tyler Johnston '05, at tylerjbarr@gmail.com or co director, John Cahall '04 (both MECA alums!)

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 alums@meca.edu

Creative Capital Professional Development Retreat

Posted: 2012-07-27

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The Maine Arts Commission recently presented a transformative two-day Creative Capital Professional Development Retreat in partnership with Maine College of Art. Creative Capital is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in five disciplines: Emerging Fields, Film/Video, Literature, Performing Arts and Visual Arts. Working in long-term partnership with artists, Creative Capital’s pioneering approach to support combines funding, counsel and career development services to enable a project’s success and foster sustainable practices for its grantees. The Professional Development Program has reached more than 4,200 artists in 70 communities across the country. The retreat was held at MECA on September 15 and 16.

The Professional Development Retreat delivered dynamic skill-building opportunities to artists for long-term change. Using strategic planning as the central tool, the retreat provided a comprehensive learning structure that helps artists identify short-term project goals and longer-term career goals. The aim of the retreat was to help artists build the skills and identify the resources needed to accomplish their goals. Creative Capital uses an integrated methodology to build skills in the core areas of marketing/public relations, financial planning and fundraising. Overall, the retreat helps artists break ineffective patterns of time and work management, and increase satisfaction in the business of their art.

If you are interested in learning more about this professional development program and other similar upcoming opportunities, please contact Jessica Tomlinson at jtomlinson@meca.edu

 

MFA Open House: August 3

Posted: 2012-07-24

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Maine College of Art will hold an MFA open house on August 3 for prospective students to learn more about the medium-residency graduate program. The MFA in Studio Arts is a full-time program that provides artists with the opportunity to engage their studio practice with a rigorous program of academic coursework and a dynamic network of mentors. Our interdisciplinary approach encourages students to think beyond traditional boundaries and formats. The open house begins at 4pm with a meet and greet with faculty and staff, followed by a tour of student studies from 5pm to 7pm.

RSVP online

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

 

MFA Summer Visiting Artist Lecture Series

Posted: 2012-05-25

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Each summer, MECA invites visiting artists, curators, and scholars to participate in MFA curriculum. In addition to critiques and studio visits with students, Visiting Artists deliver a lecture that is free and open to the public. Lectures are held in Osher Hall and begin at 6:30pm.

Michael Kimmelman
Thursday, June 21
“From New York to Europe and Back Again”

Michael Kimmelman’s talk is an intimate and story-filled reflection on his path from The New York Times’s Chief Art Critic, trawling the world’s museums and galleries to Foreign Correspondent (based in Berlin), reinventing cultural reporting from Marseille to Gaza to Berlin and Istanbul, all of which prepared the way for his current post as Architecture Critic, writing about issues facing us at a time when society and cities are rapidly changing.

Beth Lipman
Monday, June 25

Beth Lipman lives and works in Sheboygan Falls, WI. She has exhibited her work widely and received numerous awards including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship, and a Ruth Chenven Foundation Grant. Lipman has exhibited her work internationally at such institutions as the ICA at MECA, the RISD Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Radcliffe Bailey
Monday, July 2

Radcliffe Bailey creates his mixed media paintings by piecing together ancestral photographs, collected objects, and painted words and maps. Born in 1968 in New Jersey, Bailey now lives and works in Atlanta. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Atlanta College of Art in 1991. His work is permanently installed in the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and in numerous permanent collections including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The High Museum of Art, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Amze Emmons
Monday, July 9

Amze Emmons is one of the co-founders of Printersting.org. He is an artist, illustrator, curator, living and working in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, he teaches art at Muhlenberg College in Allentown. Emmons and his partners at Printeresting are organizing a zine and small press exposition at Space Gallery from July 20 - August 23 featuring work from 60 talented artists, designers, and publishers from around the world.

Stanya Kahn
Monday, July 16

California-based Stanya Kahn is an interdisciplinary media artist. Working primarily in video, with a practice that includes performance, writing, and photography, Kahn's work inhabits a space between fiction and document, and stems from an extensive background in live performance. Kahn has worked in a collaborative team with artist Harry Dodge, and her work has shown in numerous venues nationally and internationally, including the Whitney Biennial, the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art.

Francis Cape
Monday July 23

Francis Cape was trained as a woodcarver before receiving his MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has exhibited his work extensively in the US, including shows at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Cape is represented by Murray Guyin New York City. He lives and works in Narrowsburg, NY.

Denise Markonish
Monday July 30

Denise Markonish is the curator at MASS MoCA where she has curated the exhibitions of Nari Ward, Petah Coyne and Inigo Manglano-Ovalle. Markonish also co-edited with Susan Cross the book Sol LeWitt: 100 Views. Previous to her work at MASS MoCA, Markonish was the curator at Artspace in New Haven, CT.

Anne Wilson
Monday, August 6

Anne Wilson is a Chicago-based visual artist who creates sculpture, drawings, performances and video animations that explore themes of time, loss, private and social rituals. Wilson is the recipient of grants from the Driehaus Foundation, Artadia, the Tiffany Foundation, and  the National Endowment for the Arts. Wilson's work is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago and Paul Kotula Projects, Detroit. She is a Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Generous support for the lecture series provided by the Quimby Family Foundation.

Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Woodworking & Furniture Design Department

Posted: 2012-05-23

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Maine College of Art will celebrate the completion of the Woodworking & Furniture Design studio facilities in the Porteous Building on Thursday, June 7 at 5:30pm on the third floor. We will acknowledge the donors who made the renovations possible. Light refreshments will be served at 5:30pm with remarks by President Don Tuski and Associate Professor Matt Hutton at 6pm.

This summer, the College is hosting the Furniture Society conference,  dynamic range of intensives, lectures, demonstrations, presentations, and exhibitions. Join Matt Hutton and Assistant Professor Adam Manley on Saturday, June 9 from 10am to noon to tour the exhibits. Participants should join in the MECA lobby for coffee and donuts before departing together.

Full schedule for the Furniture Society Conference

Please RSVP for either or both of these events to Annie Wadleigh at awadleigh@meca.edu or 207.699.5015.

Image: Tanner Price '12

MECA to Host Furniture Society Conference

Posted: 2012-05-23

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From June 14-16, Maine College of Art will host the Furniture Society conference:Design, Community & the Sublime. The conference includes a dynamic range of intensives, lectures, demonstrations, presentations, and exhibitions. The unforgiving coastline of Maine gave birth to communities of skilled shipbuilders, uniquely rugged and determined. The Shakers, in a tradition of simplicity and functionality, contributed to the style, in fact, the very grain of the state and the last of these communities in the country still calls Maine home. There are deeply held values in these life and work choices, those of the Shakers, the boat builders, and all those who coax wood: a fierce independence that is predicated on the strength of community and tradition. The Furniture Society’s 2012 conference, Design, Community, and the Sublime, will celebrate these traditions and intersections of craft, community, and design in a setting of natural beauty and contemporary culture. 

Full schedule

Image: Steven Anderson '11.

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