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Unique class brings art to community

Posted: 2013-03-23

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Printmaking Professor Adriane Herman's titled her Fall 2012 SYL class: "Gathering Influences: Collecting, Collections, Collectors, Collectibles" and challenged her students to consider new aspects and audiences of their art.

The class became a community art project at Bayview Heights affordable senior housing community in Portland. Herman, along with her teaching assistant Pilar Nadal, challenged 11 MECA students and 15 Bayview seniors to discuss the objects we collect and why we collect them. 

After prompting conversation with their handmade zines, the students created collagraph prints that were framed and donated to the senior center. 

The class was sponsored by MECA's Public Engagement program.

The following students took part in this unique class:

Anthony Zambrana
Ari Chasan
Emily Martel
Grace Hager
Hannah Hermes
Hannah Rowlett
Kelsey Haley
Kristina Buckley
Mason Hainey
Megan Daigle
Rochelle Garcia

For a compelling and comprehensive article about the project, click here



Posted: 2013-03-15

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Maine College of Art will host a Special Reception on Monday, March 18 at 6pm to Celebrate the Award
Portland, Maine - The prestigious 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor has been awarded to MECA Adjunct Instructor in Illustration Daniel Minter whose illustrations in Ellen’s Broom accompany Kelly Starling Lyons’ words that tell the story of a young girl who learns the new meaning of freedom during the time of the Reconstruction. The Coretta Scott King Award, named for the wife of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., brings attention to one of Maine's most accomplished contemporary artists.
Members of the Media are invited to attend a special reception hosted in honor of this highly acclaimed accolade on Monday, March 18 at 6pm on the 2nd Floor of Maine College of Art's Porteous Building (522 Congress Street).  Hosting this reception is Chair of MECA's Illustration Department, author, illustrator, and designer, Scott Nash.

WHO: Media representatives, Literary/Arts/Illustration Community, Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Special Guests

 Exhibit and Opening Reception for Daniel Minter, MECA Illustration Professor and Recipient of the 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor

 Maine College of Art, 2nd Floor Porteous Building, 522 Congress Street,  Portland Maine, 04101

To celebrate and recognize an honor of distinction earned by Maine-based illustrator, Daniel Minter

 Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6pm

Professor Jamie Hogan Illustrates New Children's Book

Posted: 2013-03-02

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Illustration Professor Jamie Hogan has announced the release of "Here Come the Humpbacks". The book follows a mother whale and her calf along their annual migration from the warm waters of the Caribbean to their feeding grounds off the coast of New England, portraying the ways they sing, breathe, and avoid dangers. 

The book is now available in hardcover.

>>More info.

Posted: 2013-02-27

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Indiana artists explore Hoosier ties in upcoming gallery exhibition

INDIANAPOLIS—An upcoming exhibition at Gallery 924 at the Arts Council features the fine art furniture of Cory Robinson and Matt Hutton. Both Robinson and Hutton are natives of Indiana and studied at Indiana University Purdue University’s Herron School of Art & Design. The artists explore their Hoosier roots in show titled, Beyond Vernacular.

“As a gallery that shows and supports contemporary Indiana artists, we understand the Indiana or Midwest aesthetic is somewhat elusive and often difficult to define,” said Shannon Linker, director of artist services and Gallery 924. “However, Hutton and Robinson seem to have a clear vision of what it means to understand and embrace the visual language of the often simple, but comforting iconography of rural Indiana. They have brilliantly married high design, functionality, and their own personal histories.”

Both Hutton and Robinson found themselves on parallel professional paths, which began in undergraduate studies at Herron School of Art and Design and continued to San Diego State University where they both received MFA’s. Since then, Hutton co-founded the woodworking and furniture design program at the Maine College of Art, where he now works; and Robinson is an associate professor of furniture design and fine art department chair at Herron.   

‘Beyond Vernacular’ will open during IDADA’s First Friday Art Tour Friday, March 1 and be on display at Gallery 924 at the Arts Council from March 1 to 29.

What: Beyond Vernacular

Where: Gallery 924 at the Arts Council of Indianapolis | 924 North Pennsylvania Street Indianapolis, IN 46204

When: March 1 – 29, 2013 | Gallery hours: Tuesdays – Fridays 10 p.m. – 4 p.m., Thursdays 10-6 | Special opening Friday, March 1, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

About Gallery 924 at the Arts Council

Gallery 924 provides a mix of programming highlighting central Indiana contemporary artists, including solo shows and curated group shows.  The 1,300 square foot gallery is located in the former home of Rollerland and the current home of the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

About the Arts Council of Indianapolis

The Arts Council of Indianapolis builds financial support and widespread appreciation for meaningful engagement in the arts. As the chief advocate for the arts and artists in Indianapolis, the Arts Council provides grant opportunities and professional development resources for central Indiana arts organizations and artists. It owns and operates the Indianapolis Artsgarden, Gallery 924, a 1,300 square foot fine art gallery featuring work by central Indiana artists, and recently launched power2give, an online fundraising platform for arts, cultural, and humanities organizations. For more information visit


>>Matt Hutton Faculty bio

MECA Hosts Open Forum Community Session on Institutional Logo Process

Posted: 2013-02-21

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[Image by Gabriella Sturchio '12]

MECA held a three-day charrette on February 1,2 & 3. Graphic Design students, faculty, and Pentagram's Eddie Opara worked together to rebrand and re-define MECA's institutional identity. The weekend was a great success and we were able to emerge with two solid concepts. While there is still much work to be done before deciding on a specific direction to move forward with, we are hosting an open forum community session on Tuesday, February 26 at 5pm in the Cafe to learn more about the design process and to see variations of both concepts. 

Here are the details:

WHO:  The entire MECA community

Presentation and dialog about MECA's logo development process and progress


To generate awareness and dialog about a very important topic: The future of MECA's visual identity

  Tuesday, February 26 (5-6pm)

Dinner will be available as usual ($8 per person) along with a complimentary ice cream sunday bar. All are invited to attend. 

It is time for the 2013 Nothing Major Show!!

Posted: 2013-02-17

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The Nothing Major Show at MECA is an annual student-run exhibition. This show is open to any first or second year student. If you are a non-major, SUBMIT your ART! You can be a junior that is undeclared and still enter. Each student can submit one work or a cohesive series.

This year the show theme is IDENTITY and is titled WHO WE ARE.

Who we are and what motivates us are central questions for all of us. This investigation of self is particularly prevalent in art school, where our own work can be seen and understood and an extension of ourselves. We struggle to find our personal originality and uniqueness that can inform and create our art practice.

Here are some possible questions you could consider when selecting the art to submit:
What does identity mean?
Who dictates this identity?
Who are you, and how does your art reflect that?

And finally, here are some important dates and details to remember:

  • Art Submissions: February 11 - 14 in the Administrative Center with Erin Hutton, Associate Director of Artist at Work and Special Programs.

  • Installation: February 15 - 17.  Volunteers will help with hanging work.

  • Show Dates: February 18 - March 7, 2013 on the 2nd floor and first floor front window

  • Opening Reception: First Friday, March 1, 2013, 5-8PM, Open to the public

MECA Alum Creates iOS Game

Posted: 2013-02-13

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Joseph Rosshirt just released his first iOS game for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The all-ages interactive game is now available for download in the App store.

Rosshirt graduated from MECA's Illustration program in 2011.


Posted: 2013-02-08

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Due to predicted storm conditions, MECA will be closed Friday & Saturday, February 8 & 9.


Spring 2013 Lecture Series Announced

Posted: 2013-02-08

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MECA’s Visiting Artist and Guest Lecturer Series invites professional artists, educators, curators, thought leaders, and creative entrepreneurs to present on topics of interest and importance to the MECA community. All lectures in this series are open to the public at no charge.

Seating is limited. Call 207.699.5010 for more information. Supported in part by the Gene R. Cohen Charitable Foundation, the Isabel K. Pease Trust, and friends of the College through the Osher Chair Naming Program.

2.13 // WEDNESDAY 12:00 - 1:20pm


Anna Von Mertens superimposes layers of meaning and themes into her quilts, which resemble color field paintings or sculptures.  Using a computer to design her richly complex work, she painstakingly hand dyes her material and uses a stitching pattern that can incorporate as many as 100,000 stitches in one piece.  She was the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Simon Fellowship and a 2007 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award and currently lives in Peterborough, NH.

Sponsored by Metalsmithing & Jewelry
2.15 // FRIDAY 6:30 - 8:00pm

| I Want Sex

Derek creates narrative portraiture that is rooted in performance, blurring the line between documentary and fantasy. His technical role is often that of a mediator, with photography being the initial point of contact in a process that may include painting, drawing, installation, video, and live performance.

Sponsored by Public Engagement
2.21 // THURSDAY 12:30 - 1:30pm

BEN SEVERNS MFA '13 | Our Kind Will Be the First to Blaze a Trail Into a New Life

Ben Severns’ sculptures, installations, performances, photographs, videos, and sound sculptures are meant to mark the divide between what is and what could be as he strives to build a more perfect world. He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earned his BFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and is an MFA student at MECA.  He has worked with galleries in Minnesota and Maine, as well as with the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Walker Art Center's Open Field project.

Sponsored by MFA Program
2.28 // THURSDAY 12:30 - 1:30pm

ADAM DEGRANDIS '05 | The Art of Play

MECA alum Adam deGrandis has worked at game development studios across the country and has been involved with the production of award-winning games for PC, Mac, web, mobile, and console platforms. He currently lives in Portland, Maine, where he teaches at MECA and works a freelance game artist, catering to the growing community of small, independent game developers. In 2012 he acted as principal artist on the eagerly awaited co-op heist game, “Monaco,” which is set to be released this spring. and

Sponsored by New Media
3.7 // THURSDAY 10:30 - 11:50am

TONI JO COPPA MFA '13 | On the In-Between

Toni Jo Coppa is a MFA student at MECA who is primarily a painter, in love with the figure and psychological scenarios.  She received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was awarded a Zorach scholarship to attend a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited her work at the Knoedler Gallery in New York City, and has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Puffin Foundation.

Sponsored by MFA Program
3.19 // TUESDAY 10:30 - 11:50am

CHIE FUEKI (Artist in Residence) | Artist Talk

In her intricate and colorful works, Chie Fueki interweaves her exposure to diverse customs with an outsider’s fascination toward American popular culture. Divining a subject archetypically American, Fueki explores the ceremonial, ritualistic, and seasonal occurrence of team sports. The superhuman status of players, the tribe mentality of spectators, the spiritual and mythological connotation of animal mascots, and the symbolic use of color and numbers are all made palpable within a disciplined structure that is itself reminiscent of the game. She is represented by Mary Boone Gallery in New York City.

Sponsored by the Painting Department
3.20 // WEDNESDAY 12:00 - 1:20pm

EMILY ZILBER | Curator's Talk

Emily Zilber joined the  Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in the fall of 2010 as the first Ronald L. and Anita C. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts. She is responsible for the MFA’s vibrant program of contemporary decorative arts, including guiding acquisitions and developing a presence for craft and design throughout the museum. She also oversees the Daphne and Peter Farago Gallery, a dedicated space for modern and contemporary craft, design, and decorative arts, which opened in September 2011.  Her current projects include the exhibition New Blue-and-White, which focuses on contemporary interpretations of ceramic history

Sponsored by Metalsmithing & Jewelry
3.21 // THURSDAY 12:30 - 1:30pm

AARON PATRICK DECKER '12 | Constellation: A Group or Cluster of Related Things

Recent Windgate Fellowship award recipient and MECA graduate Aaron Decker discusses the research he conducted on groups of jewelry artists, gallerists and curators within Portugal and Estonia.  Inquiring into the origin and the cultural identity of the work from each respective country, Aaron conducted and catalogued interviews that are being published by Art Jewelry Forum, a nonprofit contemporary jewelry organization.   His work is based around a variety of questions, including, “ Is art identified as ‘art’ everywhere one goes? What happens when the ink on paper bleeds across cultural lines, and these intricacies which once separated us, begin to break down into new formations?” and

Sponsored by Artists at Work
3.28 // THURSDAY 12:30 - 1:30pm

SYLVIE ROSENTHAL | Minor Architecture and the Lower Astronomy

Sylvie Rosenthal started building at age six, making circuses, catapults, rockets, and robots at the Eli Whitney Museum, where she was introduced to the work of inventors and artists such as Alexander Calder, Leonardo da Vinci, and A.C.  Gilbert. Her formal study of traditional European woodworking at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts (BFA ’03) tempered these explorations and instilled a dedication to craftsmanship. Over the last ten years, she has gained recognition for her intricate and detail-oriented furniture, sculpture, contraptions and art objects that are infused with humor and steeped in the impossible. She is pursuing a Masters Degree in Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a former Windgate Fellowship recipient..

Sponsored by Woodworking & Furniture Design
4.4 // THURSDAY 12:30 - 1:30pm


Nina Schwanse’s video and live works frame performance as a comic, mimetic, melancholy, hideous, and deeply unreliable form of communication. Her invocation of generic D-list celebrities, notorious cultural figures such as Amy Fisher, confused anchorwomen, morbidly obsessed football fans, and swamp people “refresh the typically didactic terrain of mediated female objectification with verbal and visual wit,” writes critic Kevin McGarry.  She was the 2009 recipient of a full fellowship at the University of New Orleans MFA program, and is currently a member of Good Children Gallery, an artist-run collective. She lives and works in New Orleans with her cat.

Sponsored by Visiting Artist Committee

4.6 // SATURDAY 8:00 - 9:30pm

JOHN FIREMAN | An Evening with John Fireman

John was born and raised in New York City. He earned his BFA in Film Studies from Yale University, after which he worked as a story editor and producer at New Line Cinema. John's primary focus is feature-length experimental documentary films, though he also works with video, video/sound installation, photography, electroacoustic music composition, and performance. His work was included in Perfoma 2011, and has been presented at the Abrons Art Center and the Museum of Art and Design, both in New York City. Holland Cotter, art critic for the New York Times, called John's documentary work “very funny.”  In the fall, John will show an interactive video work at FIAF (French Institute Alliance Française - NYC) as part of the "Crossing the Line" series.  

Sponsored by MFA Program
4.18 // THURSDAY 12:30 - 1:30pm

PILAR NADAL MFA '13 | Up Until Now

Pilar Nadal currently lives and prints in Portland, Maine as she pursues her MFA at MECA.  She combines all the skills gained in her past careers as an art teacher, ice-cream truck driver, and sign-maker into a super powered art maker, especially through Tired Press, the portable printmaking project she takes out into the community. Primarily a printmaker, Pilar is also interested in education and public engagement.

Sponsored by MFA Program