Maine College of Art (MECA) was founded in 1882 as part of the Portland Society of ArtView our Timeline
Located in the heart of the Portland Arts District, Maine College of Art offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, a Master of Arts in Teaching, as well as Continuing Studies for adults and youths, including a Pre-College intensive for high school students.
The College has transformed a former department store into the main campus building with vibrant classrooms and studios that are open 24/7. Also located in the Porteous Building, the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA serves a critical regional role in its commitment to presenting contemporary, provocative work by living artists from Maine and around the globe. The Joanne Waxman Library is one of the largest independent libraries in Northern New England and a major resource for the region.
At MECA, undergraduate students spend the first year developing a foundation and the second year exploring a variety of media. At the start of junior year, students declare a major and spend the next two years working within their discipline. MECA offers 11 majors in the BFA program: Ceramics, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Illustration, Metalsmithing & Jewelry, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textile & Fashion Design, and Woodworking & Furniture Design. The College provides individual studios to all juniors and seniors. MECA is part of a five-college alliance that allows students to access classes and resources in the surrounding area.
My experience at MECA reinvigorated my art practice and took me in directions I never anticipated. The artists, writers, and thinkers I was introduced to there empowered me to investigate my work in ways that reached out as well as back. I emerged from the program a much more complete artist and thinker with a peer group that continues to enrich my work.Jonathan Wayne MFA '08 // Cleveland, Ohio
Being at MECA gave me chance to experiment and grow with my work, to create a network of peers and friends, and to interact with and learn from a fantastic group of artists. Since graduating, I have coordinated the MFA Alumni Residency Program, which allows alums to return to campus in the summer and work alongside the current MFA students and faculty.Alexandra Silverthorne MFA '10 // Washington, DC
I only applied to one grad school, because I knew it was the perfect balance of theory and practice for me. Little did I know that MECA would wreak havoc on my art practice and all my preconceived notions about art-making. MECA opened up a landscape of contemporary theory, practice, and possibility.Catherine D'Ignazio MFA '05 // Waltham, Massachussetts
MECA gave me the critical thinking skills I need as an artist working in a solitary, isolated atmosphere. The inner dialogue I developed at MECA continues to guide me as I move forward in my work.Maysey Craddock MFA '03 // Memphis, Tennessee
MECA’s MFA Program affirms how the unforeseen emerges in the repeated chances we take with the structures and gestures that inspire us. Therefore, art is never done.Elaine Angelopoulos MFA '09 // Brooklyn, New York
We’re the ones who someday will be the art teacher in high school that you all loved. We’re the ones who might be the middle school art teacher whom you don’t really remember, but somehow it was still your favorite class. We’re the ones who want to tell the schools, the parents, and the community, how important the arts are.
Each day teaching feels like it flies by. As a requirement, all teachers must complete Student Growth Objectives during the year, complete with collecting evidence from a population of students and analyzing data. It is similar it is to our Action Research projects at MECA! I feel like I have a bit of an advantage, having done something similar before. The Art Education Program prepared me well.Aimee Carmella MAT '15 // High School Art // Glen Gardner, NJ
I am very happy to be able to pass along the news that I was hired as an art teacher. I am grateful for the encouragement and support that MECA had given. Reading my reference letters again helped me remember how much we learned at MECA and remind me that I'm ready for my own classroom!Rosemary Ellis MAT '14 // Elementary Art // Farmingdale, ME
As part of the school’s program, all faculty members are required to take workshops in scientific inquiry and investigation. As the only art teacher there, I felt a little out of place that first day. However, because at MECA we talked a lot about inquiry, project-based learning, and the incorporation of interdisciplinary knowledge, I was definitely ahead of the game, and was able to very quickly validate my place at the table.Debra Schaeffer MAT '15 // STEM Academy // North Windham, CT
I grew up in rural Maine without access to art education in my public school. Fortunately, my parents recognized my ability and allowed me to move in that direction. Art school literally saved my life. The question shouldn’t be how will you make a living; it should be how will you make a life.Elizabeth Prior '82 // Portland, Maine