Faculty Member Philip Brou wins PMA Purchase Prize
At the members’ opening reception for the 2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial on Wednesday evening, April 6, five prizes were awarded to artists in the exhibition. The Purchase Prizes were awarded four artists: Philip Brou (MECA Painting faculty) for Black Box; James Groleau for Arbil Rubia Riyadh and Sinjar Karbala Basra; Siri Sahaj Kaur for Kristie; and Don Voisine (attended ‘73) for High Time. The Purchase Prizes are chosen by select members of the Museum’s Collection Committee and will become part of the Museum’s permanent collection. The William E. and Helen E. Thon Jurors’ Prize of $4,000 was awarded to artist Michael Shaughnessy for Cascade, Current and Pool (For the Vanquished Falls of the Presumpscot River).
Biennials at the Portland Museum of Art have evolved since 1998 and have gained in popularity as one of the foremost venues for contemporary art in the state. The three jurors—Jim Kempner, Owner and Director of Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York; David Row, a painter based in New York and Maine; and Joanna Marsh, the James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.—chose 65 works by 47 artists culled from more than 900 applicants. Of the artists chosen, nine have particiapted in previous Biennial exhibitions. The 2011 Biennial is the seventh in a series that showcases the best in today’s art world by artists associated with Maine, from digital video to painting, installation to photography, sculpture to prints, and more. The 2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial is on view April 7 through June 5, 2011 at the Portland Museum of Art.
Image: Black Box by Philip Brou.
FOREST at ICA at MECA
FOREST will transform the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA into a hive of activity from April 19 to 22. Visual and performing artists, students and friends will develop hands-on programs and activities to engage students and the public in unconventional and imaginative ways.
TUESDAY, APRIL 19
WORKSHOP: Fairy House Building 9am-Noon Drop-in. All Ages. Learn how to build small natural habitats from natural materials to attract fairies and their animal friends. Families will be provided with natural materials on site.
FILM SCREENINGS: 9am-8pm
Tree Falling in the Forest Thomson’s Silent Film of a Tree Falling in the Forest, 2005–2006. For this work, the artist made six one-minute studies of spruce trees falling in a forest in Alberta, Canada, which he separated with lengths of blank leader film that complicate any implicit figure/ground structure. The falling-tree footage is lulling, but the tranquil space the piece creates is nevertheless unstable. It calms, then creates bristling anxieties, calms again, and then makes you anxious again.
I came here on my own I came here on my own, their current video and performance work-in-progress. The project, which contains two discrete but related pieces, features a series of live duet performances and an accompanying multi-channel video work. Robbinschilds was formed by choreographers, Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs in 2003. The company creates performance and video works for diverse venues including the stage, gallery or "site". Focused on presenting highly visual time-based works, robbinschilds explores the juncture between architecture or place, and human interaction.
Dead River Rough Cut 3:30pm-5:30pm Bob Wagg and Walter Lane live in a tarpaper shack, hunting, fishing, trapping and logging with oxen. They prefer the sounds of the birds to the roar of highway traffic, and scorn the money-chasing of city life. Covering a period of four seasons in the remote backwoods of Maine, Dead River Rough Cut presents a revealing look at an individual way of life. Wagg and Lane earn a living and accept their isolation for the independence it allows them. But not everyone would want to draw water from a hole in the ice. They share their reflections about women, politics, taxes, the lone life and death. www.deadriverroughcut.com
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20
FILM SCREENING: Tree Falling in the Forest + I came here on my own 9am-8pm (All Day Screenings)
SCREEN PRINTING: Raising Forests Noon-3pm Drop-in. All Ages. Raising Forests is an educational interactive piece in which the public is encouraged to screen print their own ‘tree’ that will be installed in the ICA at MECA, collaboratively creating a three-dimensional forest.
VISITING ARTIST LECTURE: Cole Caswell 4pm-5pm An artist lecture by MECA MFA Alum Cole Caswell. Cole uses forms of interpretation to understand the forest as an ecological patch, habitat, and place of exploration. www.colecaswell.com
WORKSHOP: Permaculture Class 6pm-8pm Join us for a free permaculture class presented by Portland’s favorite fermentation center/garden laboratory and micro apiary - Urban Farm Fermentory.
THURSDAY, APRIL 21
FILM SCREENING:Tree Falling in the Forest + I came here on my own 9am-8pm
WORKSHOP: Woodland Crown Workshop 9am-10:30am Drop-in. All Ages. "Many hundreds of years ago two children discovered the secret of what the Fairies wore at their parties to celebrate the passing of the Seasons...." Come create a beautiful crown from woodland materials and wildflowers.
WORKSHOP: A Circle’s Journey 3:30PM - 5:30PM Musicians, artists and scientists, Emilia Dahlin and Aaron Frederick have traveled the world as part of a global journey they took with the organization “Beyond Boundaries” dedicated tto experiential education, cross-cultural community exchange, leadership development and a deep personal and collective inquiry into the pressing issues and needs of our times. Through holding a circle (think: round table discussion) Emelia and Aaron will provide a space to talk about the issues of FOREST in Maine.
LAUNCH + LECTURE: Public Engagement’s Launching and Lineage with guest Khenmo Drolma 6:00PM - 7:30PM From 6-6:15pm we will be celebrating/announcing the launch of MECA’s new Public Engagement Minor. From 6:15-7pm, Khenmo Drolma, the first Buddhist Abbess in North America started a nunnery in Vermont. She started the Public Engagement work at MECA 22 years ago and we are honored to welcome her back to speak about art, public engagement, art in the world, education and how it all began for her.
FRIDAY, APRIL 22
FILM SCREENING:Tree Falling in the Forest + I came here on my own 9am-8pm
WORKSHOP: Earthday Grow-Your-Own 11am-2pm Drop-in. All Ages. Head to the FOREST in the ICA at MECA for a gardening workshop that will get you ready for the springtime growing season. Get your hands dirty while starting seedlings and learn about how to grow your own indoor garden.
SCREEN PRINTING: Raising Forests 4pm-11pm Drop-in. All Ages. Raising Forests is an educational interactive piece in which the public is encouraged to screen print their own ‘tree’ that will be installed in the ICA at MECA, collaboratively creating a three-dimensional forest.
FOREST DANCE PARTY 8pm-11pm The ICA at MECA opens its doors for one of the largest dance parties of the year - FOREST. Pull out your flannel, fairy wings, lumberjack gear. It doesn't matter. Just be there. Dance in trees dj’ed by Ian Paige with prizes for best costume provided by Rogues Gallery. Featuring a photo booth, costume contest, forest inspired food and drink, art making, and lots of nuts and berries.
Blue Wrap Project Runway
MECA students in Christina Bechstein's 3-D Foundation class used their skills to transform discarded medical supplies into sculptural elements for a fundraiser. For Blue Wrap Project Runway, Partners for World Health recruited artists to create apparel and design elements for a fashion show to raise money for medications in the third world.
Participating MECA students: Liz Long, Rosie Allard, Bobbie Bennett, Sarah Capra, Casie Costanzo, Stephie Farrell, Jodi Ferry, Christina Hill, Haley Merchant, Timeiqua Nixon, Kayla Pinkham, Chris Snowman, David Twiss, Chris Vales, Josiah Webber, Charlotte Whiteley, Eric Wilbur, Gabriella Sturchio, Kyle DiMare, Laura Gertner, Madeline Gantos, Jeremiah Ray, Matt Rand, Molly McDermott, Maggie Muth, Maureen Patrick, Harlan Chrichton,Cynthia Chang, Amanda Merrill, Jessica Wheeler, Isaac Atkins, Lauren Sobolewski, Megan Anthony, Jackie Caswell, Frankie Leonard, Emily Bourne, Trystan Stofel, Lindsay Stevens, Liz Leino, Kayla Richardson, Kaitlin Callender, Cece Cassidy, Adam Schepker, Beth Schneider, Olivia Chartier, Sabrina Volante, Emmalee Dennison, Nickola Cole, Sheridan Cudworth, Jacquelyn Eftink, Emily Henderson, David Long, Jenny Maas, Gabriel Mangold, Danya Pugliese, Amanda Reddington, Carina Romo, Allen West.
Compositions and owner James McBride
Diversified Business Communications
MECA Alumna: Diane Wren
MECA staff and faculty: Christina Bechstein, Ling-Wen Tsai, Alex Rheault, Kate Hassett
Image: MECA students Rosie Allard, Sarah Capra, Carly Soos, Liz Long and Judi Ferry stand in front of the nature-inspired art objects they created using blue wrap.
MFA Alum Exhibitions
Alexandra Silverthorne MFA '10 will exhibit selections from her series A Building in Which… in a three-person exhibition at the BlackRock Center for the Arts. In addition she is finishing a book of photographs and short writings from her MidNights series. The book features an essay by Jayme McLellan, Director of Civilian Art Projects, and a discussion with Montreal-based curator Rebecca Duclos. The book will be published in Summer 2011. In August, Silverthorne will participate in HiFi vs. LoFi at Lala Gallery in Lafayette, Indiana.
Image: Photos from Silverthorne's thesis exhibition at the ICA at MECA in 2010.