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Unlock Your Full Potential.

Push your own creative boundaries.

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Develop a rigorous studio practice.

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Become a working artist for life.

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Congrats to Our Graduates!

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Artistic Excellence

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  • I Wanna Die Rich, Not Wealthy

    Gary Robinov '04
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  • A Walk Down Locket Lane

    Chaya Caron '99
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  • A Tale of Two Luthiers

    Former Faculty Joel Eckhaus
    Read Story
  • Human Figure as Vehicle

    Arnela Mahmutovic '17
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  • Artist-in-Residence at Bigelow Lab

    Carter Shappy '15
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  • Expanding Histories

    Faculty Joshua Reiman
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  • Catherine Quattrociocchi ’17 in Juried National Exhibition

    Catherine Quattrociocchi '17
    Read Story
  • Lewis Rossignol Featured in Dispatch Magazine

    Lewis Rossignol '17
    Read Story

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What do our alumni do?

Statistics from the 2012 Strategic National Arts Alumni project (SNAAP)

Did you know?

56% is the national average for arts alumni that work as professional artists.

45% is the national average for arts alumni that are self employed, independent contractors, or freelance workers.

67

Work as professional artists

24

Work as graphic designers, illustrators, or art directors

23

Work for a nonprofit

21

Work as craft artists

35

Work as fine artists

25

Work as art teachers

19

Pursued an MFA after graduation

61

Are self-employed, independent contractors or freelance workers

91

Make art in their personal time

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I Wanna Die Rich, Not Wealthy image

I Wanna Die Rich, Not Wealthy

Gary Robinov '04

Gary Robinov ’04 earned his BFA in New Media from MECA. He is a filmmaker based in Portland, Maine, where he co‐founded White Dog Arts Creative Studios with two fellow MECA graduates. White Dog Arts ‐‐ Digital Film Productions, as it is now called, currently focuses solely on client‐based digital film and motion graphics, along with independent film production. White Dog Arts has given Gary the platform from which he continues to explore and grow in his understanding of production, editing, and overall storytelling. His first documentary feature is called CanvasMan: The Robbie Ellis Story. His short documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Ali / Liston fight in Lewiston, Maine, is called Raising Ali a Lewiston Story.

PechaKucha Portland: “I Wanna Die Rich, Not Wealthy” by Faculty Gary Robinov ’04 from PK #33 “All Eyes on MECA”. What happens when you wake up at 40 having achieved the American Dream, and you suddenly realize it’s not your dream at all?

Featured image is by Patrick Scholz ’15.

A Walk Down Locket Lane image

A Walk Down Locket Lane

Chaya Caron '99

Chaya Caron ’99 began designing jewelry at the age of 16, graduating in 1999 with a BFA in Jewelry & Metalsmithing. She pursued business education studies at the University of Maine and apprenticed under three goldsmiths. She is the owner of Chaya Studio Jewelry and her collection is inspired by her love of nature, conscious awareness, and Japanese art. Her work is an integrated fusion of metal, enamel and fine gems to create earth-friendly, highly wearable jewelry.

PechaKucha Portland: “A Walk Down Locket Lane” by Chaya Caron ’99 from PK #33 “All Eyes on MECA”. A comprehensive look at the step-by-step process of creating a custom 18-karat gold locket from scratch.

Featured image is by Patrick Scholz ’15.

A Tale of Two Luthiers image

A Tale of Two Luthiers

Former Faculty Joel Eckhaus

Joel Eckhaus is a luthier and former Assistant Professor of Woodworking & Furniture at MECA. Joel began building instruments in 1973 and is the founder of Earnest Instruments in South Portland. He studied woodworking at the Shelburne Craft School and Rochester Institute of Technology. He apprenticed at the Tourin Musica in Vermont and has been playing, teaching, designing, building, and repairing stringed instruments for over 40 years. His woodworking expertise also includes sailboat construction, whirligig production and cabinetmaking. Joel plays mandolin, tenor guitar and banjo, ukulele, and musical saw. Graduating MECA student Avery Birmingham ’16 completed a luthier internship with Joel.

PechaKucha Portland: “A Tale of Two Luthiers” by Joel Eckhaus from PK #33 “All Eyes on MECA”. The story of a turn-of-the-century New England luthier, John Henry Parker, and the remarkable parallels between his life and that of contemporary luthier, Joel Eckhaus.

Featured image is by Patrick Scholz ’15.

Human Figure as Vehicle image

Human Figure as Vehicle

Arnela Mahmutovic '17

I have been pushed outside of my comfort, a very tight academic approach to painting, into alternative methods of describing form. I am slowly learning to become fearless in my practice and embrace experimentation.

Describe a body of work that you are currently working on.
I am currently exploring the contrasts between my Bosnian upbringing and how moving to America created an intense shift in my personal development. My primary medium of choice is oil paint, but more recently I’ve been diving back into my love for drawing at an attempt to find a relationship between the two. I use the human figure as a vehicle to directly connect to a viewer emotionally. I describe inner turmoil through the portrayal of an outside force being inflicted upon these figures– this is an attempt to relate back to my concepts while also leaving room for the viewers own interpretation.

What made you chose to study art?
As a child I’ve always resolved problems visually; this carried through to my high school years until ultimately deciding upon a Fine Art focus at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York. After receiving an Associates Degree, I wanted to continue my studies and transferred to MECA. My work has always been strongest two dimensionally but I am hoping to expand beyond that comfort into something more sculptural or installation based. I felt that the painting major would give me the most freedom in realizing my ideas.

How has your education at MECA shaped you as an artist? How has your practice changed over time?
While I did not spend my first two years of schooling at MECA, I feel that my artistic practice has been greatly influenced by the professors and curriculum since being here. I have been pushed outside of my comfort, a very tight academic approach to painting, into alternative methods of describing form. I am slowly learning to become fearless in my practice and embrace experimentation. I think a lot of strong ideas have gone to waste because I have convinced myself out of them, so I am attempting to resolve this.

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What inspires you?
My greatest inspiration comes from the people I surround myself with. I have been lucky enough to have an incredibly motivated and talented group of individuals during my time at both Hudson Valley and MECA . Their honesty and support is what keeps me pushing through any obstacles in the studio.

What do you hope to do after graduation?
After graduation I’d like to continue my studies into a MFA Program. Ultimately my hopes are to pursue a career in teaching, but I would enjoy working within a curatorial field as well.

What’s the advice you’ve ever received?
As I was finishing my last year at my previous school, I spent a couple hours in my professor’s office panicking about my transfer to MECA. What resonated with me most was, “The worst thing that could happen in your career as an artist is convincing yourself you’re not qualified to be one. There will be plenty of people who will tell you this along the way– don’t be one of them and give em hell.”

Arnela Mahmutovic

Artist-in-Residence at Bigelow Lab image

Artist-in-Residence at Bigelow Lab

Carter Shappy '15

Our goal is to shed local light on the cutting-edge and incredibly important research that Bigelow has been conducting, and to explore the relationships between artistic and scientific creativity and discovery.

Printmaking alum Carter Shappy ’15 is the Artist-in-Residence at Bigelow Lab. You can follow his blog at art.bigelow.org.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science’s mission is to investigate the microbial drivers of global ocean processes through basic and applied research, education, and enterprise. What is learned will be essential to the conservation and responsible use of the ocean and the many valuable services it provides.

Trash Tank Painted rope, netting, plastic bags and other plastics retrieved from the Back Cove of Portland, ME, acrylic tank, 35 gallons of Back Cove salt water, seaweed, florescent lighting, and wooden pedestal. 36"x42"x18"

Trash Tank, Painted rope, netting, plastic bags and other plastics retrieved from the Back Cove of Portland, ME, acrylic tank, 35 gallons of Back Cove salt water, seaweed, florescent lighting, and wooden pedestal. 36″ x42 “x18”

“This installation was an attempt to bring the content of my earlier prints into a sculptural and experiential form. I was reconceptualizing the spaces that had influenced my making at the time, such as, sensory deprivation tanks and the many areas of Maine’s coast. The installation took place in a small square room with twenty foot ceilings. Participants were asked to remove their shoes at the door and were encouraged to interact and touch the piece as desired. Due to the size of the room, only three to four people could comfortably view the piece at a time, often resulting in a quite, singular experience.”

Previous work

The Spiral Screen print on Dura-Lar, wooden cylinder, color changing LED light, and soundscape. 14' x 4' diameter

The Spiral, screen print on Dura-Lar, wooden cylinder, color changing LED light, and soundscape. 14′ x 4′ diameter.

“The spiral was a sensory piece that originated from the meditative moments that I encounter throughout the mundane rituals of my life. There is a poetry or music found in the seemingly insignificant periphery of our lives, from the spiraling, dancing plastic bags whipping through vacant parking lots, to the tangled bodies of rope and seaweed swirling in filling tide pools. My immersion into such events and materials is the result of my experimentation and interest in altered states of consciousness, specifically those I’ve traced back to childhood, psychedelic and meditative experiences.”

Expanding Histories image

Expanding Histories

Faculty Joshua Reiman

I encourage my students to be curious, thoughtful explorers of life and visual culture. Participating in this process of discovery and potential is extremely rewarding.

Visitors to Joshua Reiman’s website are greeted by the enigmatic film still of a man in a suit and bow tie climbing up from the Seine river in Paris with a snorkel mask perched on the top of his head. The character is from Reiman’s film Panning for the Immaterial (2015). He is looking for the gold from Yves Klein’s 1959 seminal conceptual artwork Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility, where Klein dumped gold into the Seine as a gesture of selling a space that does not exist. The muted elegance of the image aptly reflects Joshua’s multifaceted and exploratory artistic career, which currently includes teaching at MECA as an Assistant Professor of the MFA in Studio Art + Sculpture.

Joshua Reiman

Joshua Reiman, Panoramique de l’immatériel, 2015 (poster) 23 minutes

Joshua works in sculpture, film, video and photography and 2016 has already been busy, starting with the exhibit MAXIMUM MINIMUM IN UNUM, which he co-curated with Susanne Slavick at Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery, and which explored the dichotomy between“over-the-top” (Reiman) and “less is more” (Slavick). Writer Colin McFadden wrote in the online publication Dear Pittsburgh, “the works displayed are meant to eschew discrete classification. Loosely translated, it refers to the maximum and the minimum in fact of one, two sides of the same coin, exploring themes that sometimes run parallel, sometimes converge. Even the stylistic choice of articulating the exhibition in all capital letters reinforces the curatorial concept.”

Joshua Reiman

Joshua Reiman, G. Washington, 2001 (I Can Not Tell a Lie), c-print 30″x30″, from a series of 14 images

My Castle is your Home, curated by Helga Schmidhuber, opens March 12 and runs through May 1, 2016, at Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden (NKV) in Wiesbaden, Germany. The focus of the group exhibit lies in inviting people into her Helga’s “stronghold” to view artwork by colleagues and friends, whom she met during her studies at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf, or through art residencies. The exhibit includes work from four of Joshua’s films (2009-2015), and a photograph from his G. Washington (2001) series, described in an essay by Stefan Osdene as “imploring viewers to consider how notions of heroism, celebrity, and rebellion have shaped the popular culture of two distinct epochs in American history: the period of the Revolutionary War and the Hip-Hop era. Viewers are confronted by provocative images of George Washington and his compatriots wearing powdered wigs, grills (gold teeth), diamond-encrusted pendants, and customized basketball uniforms – individuals who strut around with a sense of swagger and confidence more befitting gangster rappers of the late 1990s than revolutionary leaders.”

Joshua Reiman

Joshua Reiman, Vanished into Plein Air, 2015 (film stills), Super 8 and digital Super 16, 9:06

Meanwhile, The Mountain and the Bumble Bee, curated by Chris McGinnis, opens March 25 and runs through April 22, 2016 at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. This exhibit was inspired by a travel log by geologist and land surveyor John C. Fremont, who noted in his 1842 travel log an unlikely high-altitude encounter with a bumblebee, during which he imagines each of them to be the first of their species to brave the geological extreme of the Rocky Mountain territory. The group exhibit features Joshua’s four-channel film A Brief Inquiry (2010) and other works by contemporary artists and poets that explore notions of landscape, highlighting America’s “contradictory role as both steward and exploiter.”

Joshua’s work often uses iconic figures from art and politics to “anchor new narratives at the junction of where reality and fiction meet” and his work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States, in Germany and in Estonia. Prior to joining MECA, Joshua was a visiting professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University where he taught sculpture, installation, and site work. Josh has an MFA in sculpture from Syracuse University and a BFA in sculpture from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Visit Joshua Reiman’s website.

Catherine Quattrociocchi ’17 in Juried National Exhibition image

Catherine Quattrociocchi ’17 in Juried National Exhibition

Catherine Quattrociocchi '17

MECA has expanded the way that I think about materials. It has given me the freedom to experiment with anything that I can imagine, although sometimes that freedom is extremely overwhelming.

Catherine Quattrociocchi

Catherine Quattrociocchi ’17 (Metalsmithing & Jewelry) was accepted into the juried exhibition Any Portmanteau in a Storm, a showcase in the blending of techniques, materials, and ideas to create the perfect storm of conceptual creativity through Wearable Art. The opening reception is Saturday, April 2, 6:00–8:00pm and the exhibition is on view until April 22, 2016. The exhibition is located in the Norfolk Arts District at 740 Duke Street, Norfolk, VA 23510.

Catherine’s two pieces in the exhibition are part of a body of work that consists of physical sketches exploring the notion of interruption. This is her first national juried exhibition.

Catherine Quattrociocchi

Lewis Rossignol Featured in Dispatch Magazine image

Lewis Rossignol Featured in Dispatch Magazine

Lewis Rossignol '17

Lewis Rossignol ’17 was contracted by Dispatch Magazine to produce illustrations for featured stories (“Do You Believe the Swipe?” and “Are You a Brand?in the latest two issues.

Lewis Rossignol '17

Illustrations by Lewis Rossignol ’17. Left: Illustration for “Do You Believe the Swipe?”Right: Illustration for “Are You a Brand?”

Lewis worked with Mark Fleming, the Visuals Editor of Dispatch Magazine, to fully conceptualize the illustrations for each article. When asked about the experience, Lewis said “The people over at Dispatch are great to work with and are incredibly professional.”

View more of Lewis’ work here.
Read “Do You Believe the Swipe?
Read “Are You a Brand?”