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Interview with Justin Richel '02

Posted: 2011-07-28

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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

Posted: 2011-07-18

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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

Posted: 2011-07-18

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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

Posted: 2011-07-06

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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.

Image: Photo of mold in book, by Diane Wren '10.

Book web site

Posted: 2011-07-01

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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

Posted: 2011-06-08

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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.

Posted: 2011-06-07

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"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

Posted: 2011-06-06

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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

Posted: 2011-06-03

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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: 
Olan Boardman
Andy Cook
Mark Marchesi
Ekka Naigle
Shannon Rankin
Michelle Roberts
Patty Sandberg
Lisa Weiss
Brent Williams


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

Posted: 2011-06-01

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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.

 

About the Iraq Pavilion
Article in New York Times magazine
Article in New York Times
Article in Art in America

Alum Wins Saul Bell Award

Posted: 2011-06-01

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Metalsmithing & Jewelry alum Janice Grzyb '81 won the 2011 Saul Bell Award in the silver category. This fanciful sterling silver ring was completely hand-fabricated by the artist then sandblasted to give it a sparkling finish. The bird perches atop the ring with folded wings and two ruby-set eyes. The Saul Bell Design Award competition has both inspired and challenged jewelry designers around the globe for the past decade, and now in its tenth year, it continues to recognize artists whose work challenges traditional perceptions of jewelry design.

MECA Awards Scholarships to Congressional Art Awardees

Posted: 2011-06-01

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This year, the Maine College of Art awarded the winner and first runner up from each congressional district with its “Excellence Award for the Congressional Arts Competition.” This award provides each winner an $8,000 scholarship and each of the first runners up with a $6,000 scholarship to the Maine College of Art for each year they attend the school and remain in academic good standing. If the winning student is not a senior in high school and unable to immediately use the scholarship, the Maine College of Art will defer it and honor it for the student’s use after graduation from high school.

The Maine Congressional Art Competition is co-hosted by the Maine Arts Commission and the offices of Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree.

Maine’s winners, chosen by jurors selected by the Maine Arts Commission, have their work displayed in the halls of the U.S. Capitol for one year. Both winning students, along with a parent, will be provided tickets courtesy of Southwest Airlines to participate in an opening ceremony in Washington, D.C., in June. Finalists and runners up, their families, and art teachers are also invited to a reception at the Blaine House in Augusta where the selected students are recognized for their work by Maine’s Governor and members of Congress. Jeremy Vroom of Bangor and Whitney Wei of Farmingdale are the winners of the 2011 Congressional Arts Competition.

Image: Hallowell by Whitney Wei.