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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  The exhibition is free of charge to the general public and features original illustrations, preparatory sketches, unpublished drawings and ephemera by the internationally celebrated artist and author Edward Gorey.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.