The 2011 MECA Alumni Biennial will take place August 24-October 9, 2011 in the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA and will feature the work of five alumni: Quinlan Corey MFA ’06, Kreh Mellick ’05, Andrea Raynor ’92, Edward Lott ‘05, and Aaron Williams’94. In addition, a video submitted by Brett Walker ‘06 will be featured as part of one of the Thursday evening programs at the ICA. An opening reception is scheduled for August 25 at 6pm.
This themed exhibition was juried by distinguished jurors Camilo Alvarez, Owner/Director of Samsøn Projects; Aaron Stephan MFA ’02; and Sarah Workneh, Executive Director of Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, who were extremely impressed by the high quality of the work submitted. Out of sixty proposals, the jurors endeavored to select three to five artists whose work evinced a superior degree of artistic vision and accomplishment fused by a common theme. The overlapping themes identified in this year’s show include a focus on identity, memory, erasure, projected narrative and the architecture of image.
6pm in the ICA
September 1: Quinlan Corey September 22: Andrea Raynor September 29: Edward Lott October 6: Aaron Williams October 8: Kreh Mellick
Image credit: Andrea Raynor '92
Tala Madani Screening in ICA
The ICA at MECA will host a screening of Tala Madani's short animations on August 1 at 5pm as part of the exhibition "Drawn to Disaster." Stylistically ranging from lush painterly expressionism to loose, almost comical line drawing, Iranian-American Tala Madani, conveys her politically controversial subject matter with a genuine innocence and empathy. Appropriating the preconceptions of racial and gender difference as a departure point into the bizarre and surreal, Madani uses her position of ‘other’ to draft her own elaborate fantasies, detailing a riotous underworld of cliquey sect-like subterfuge.
This year her work has appeared in the 54th Venice Biennale, Danish Pavilion, Venice, Italy and the Singapore Biennale, Open House, Singapore. Last year her work was at The Drawing Center, in Greater New York, MoMA PS1, and the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK.
Scott Nash Summer Exhibitions
Illustration faculty member Scott Nash has a solo exhibition at the Centerville Historical Society Museum on Cape Cod. The show "Bedtime Stories for Pirates" is on view through September 23 and includes original illustrations, drawings, and 3-D marquettes all related to the process he follows to illustrate a final published children's book. His work is also included in the University of New England exhibition of children's book illustrators through October 30.
An accomplished illustrator with a distinctive vibrant style, Scott has illustrated more than 30 children’s books, including Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp and The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields, Over The Moon by Rachel Vail, Betsy Who Cried Wolf! by Gail Carson Levine, Snow Day!, Beach Day!, Rainy Day! and the just released Camping Day! by Patty Lakin, and the Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown.
Interview with Justin Richel '02
Justin Richel '02 recently completed two installations this summer, one at the DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum and the other at the Oqunquit Museum of American Art. He was recently profiled on theNew American Paintings blog to describe his work and inspirations. Read the interview.
ICA Director Wins Curatorial Research Grant
ICA at MECA Director Daniel Fuller was awarded an Etant donnes curatorial research grant. Etant donnes is a French-American fund for contemporary art dedicated to nurturing and supporting outstanding programming of contemporary artists from France and the United States.
In his first five months at the ICA new Director Daniel Fuller has executed a video screening with Parisian artist Mircea Cantor and has organized upcoming exhibitions with both Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Pierre Bismuth, also of Paris. The ICA seeks and values cultural diversity in its exhibition program and has identified France, with Paris in particular, as rising towards a significant period of tremendous creativity and experimentation in regards to video and performance art.
It is especially imperative that the ICA accommodates artistic interactions with France in an attempt to best serve our community and surrounding regions. Maine is second only to New Hampshire in the percentage of French American residents in the United States and also has a greater proportion of people speaking French at home than any other state in the nation. This grant would allow us an opportunity to forge a stronger connection with an often-ignored regional constituency.
The culmination of this research will result in a series of rapidly changing video installations focusing on these experimental video artists currently residing in France.
Visiting Artist: Anthony Campuzano
Anthony Campuzano, one of the participating artists in the exhibition "Drawn to Disaster" in the ICA at MECA, will give a free public lecture on July 27 at 6pm in the gallery. Known for his use of found language, Philadelphia-based artist Campuzano activates text from a variety of sources - newspaper headlines, Wikipedia entries, the covers of paperback novels, trivial cultural events, common cliches, pop song lyrics - in drawings that couple intense color with the tangible presence of the artist's hand. He received his BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.
Book Launch: Books Gone Bad
In 2009, Diane Wren was a MECA photography student working in the college’s Joanne Waxman Library when the staff discovered some books with possible mold damage. In looking for resources on how to identify and treat mold, staffers were disappointed at the available options. Knowing that Maine is filled with small libraries and historical societies facing the same issue, Wren applied for and received a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to create an easy to use guide for preventing, identifying and treating mold on a limited budget. Wren did the research, photography, design and illustrations for “Books Gone Bad: Mold in Library Collections.” The guide was sent free of charge to all libraries and historical societies in the state. A book launch is scheduled for July 8 at the Joanne Waxman Library from 6-8pm.
Ceramics Faculty are Featured Guest Artists at Watershed
MECA ceramics professors Lucy Breslin and Mark Johnson will be featured guest artists for a summer session at the Watershed Center for The Ceramic Arts in North Edgecomb, Maine. Watershed features an internationally known summer residency program that attracts artists interested in using clay as their primary material. The center brings together a diverse group of artists to live and work in a supportive, creative environment.
Images: (top) Lucy Breslin, (bottom) Mark Johnson
Mitchell Foundation Winner Exhibits Work
The Joan Mitchell Foundation, in collaboration with CUE Art Foundation, is pleased to announce an exhibition of its 2010 MFA Grant Program Recipients. Michel Droge MFA '10 is one of the 15 selected recipients and received a $15,000 grant. From June 9 - July 30, the 15 recipients will be showing current artwork at CUE Art Foundation.
The annual MFA Grant Program was created in 1997 to help MFA painters and sculptors in furthering their artistic careers and to aid in the transition from academic to professional studio work upon graduation. A complimentary catalogue, available at CUE's gallery, has been published on the occasion of this exhibition. The catalogue features works and bios for each artist and essays on their work.
The Joan Mitchell Foundation was established in April 1993 as a not-for-profit corporation following the death of Joan Mitchell in October 1992. The Foundation strives to fulfill the ambitions of Joan Mitchell to aid and assist the needs of contemporary artists and to demonstrate that painting and sculpture are significant cultural necessities.
Vivian Beer '00 Featured in American Craft Magazine
"Vivian Beer is fearless. That's really the best way to describe her. The 33-year-old designer/maker takes steel and cuts it. Bends it. Shapes, welds, grinds, and sands it. She transforms it - by hand and machine - from rigid raw material into impossibly curvy furniture and sculpture. And she does all of this, more or less, alone."
Read the full profile of sculpture alum Vivian Beer '00 in American Craft Magazine.
Beer's work was commissioned by the Portland Public Art Committee and is featured along the Back Cove Boulevard.
Alina Gallo MFA '08 Selected for Monhegan Residency
Alina Gallo MFA ‘08 of Portland was named a 2011 Monhegan Island artist in residence by the Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation.
Gallo received a BFA from Naropa University and an MFA from Maine College of Art. She was a featured artist in the 2008 Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) Biennial and will be part of “Drawing from the Collection” at the L.C. Bates Museum this summer. In her work, she employs symbols “to relate to and deconstruct the history of Persian, Indian and Christian miniature painting.” On Monhegan she hopes to integrate elements of the island landscape into her work.
Gallo is keeping a blog during her time on the island.
Image: Alina Gallo, Visitation, homemade egg tempera on panel, 2011
MECA at the Maine Mall
In partnership with the Maine Crafts Association, Maine College of Art will maintain a retail presence at the Maine Mall in South Portland now until Labor Day, September 5, 2011. The kiosk features the work of MECA alumni working in a variety of disciplines, from printmaking, ceramics, jewelry and wood. Creative Common is located in the mall's Center Court near Starbucks Coffee and GAP.
MECA Alumni Vendors:
Ekka Naigle Shannon Rankin Michelle Roberts Patty Sandberg Lisa Weiss
MECA Demonstration Dates: June 18 - Joe Rosshirt, 12pm-4pm, Illustrations July 2 - Shawn Brewer, 5pm-9pm, Printmaking July 16 - Ekka Naigle, 5pm-9pm, Ceramics July 30 - Elise Bothel, 12pm-4pm, Felting July 30 - Dietlind Vander Schaaf, 5pm-9pm, Collage August 27 - Steven Anderson, 5pm-9pm, Woodworking
Ahmed Alsoudani '05 Featured in Venice Biennale
Painting alum Ahmed Alsoudani '05 is one of six selected artists included in the Iraq Pavilion of the 54th Venice Biennale. It is the first time in 35 years that the country is represented in the international exhibit. Alsoudani was also profiled this month in the New York Times and Art in America.
Pictured: Ahmed returned to MECA in the fall as a visiting artist and met with students in the painting department.