ALERT:  MECA is closed Friday November 16 due to the winter storm. Classes cancelled - administrative offices are closed.

In conjunction with the Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways exhibition, the ICA at MECA will host a one-day symposium on ART + POLITICS on November 2, 2018. Leaders in the art community will speak on the role of art in cultivating spaces for civic engagement on controversial topics and sparking social change. Breakout groups led by local experts will explore specific topics, ranging from Wabanaki Perspectives on mobilities, borders, and sustainability to artists’s political action. The symposium culminates in a keynote address and a closing reception. Registration is free.

All symposium attendees must register for this event. Register for the ART+POLITICS Symposium:
RSVP

ART+POLITICS Symposium Schedule

10–10:30am  |  Coffee

10:30–11am  |  Welcome and Introduction

11am–12:30pm  |  Panel Discussion and Q+A – What are the ways art can act in the world to spark political change?”
Moderator:

  • Reza Jalali, writer, immigrant advocate, adjunct faculty at the University of Southern Maine.

Panelists:

  • Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator, Colby College Museum of Art
  • Laura Freid, President, Maine College of Art
  • Eric Gottesman, Artist and co-founder of For Freedoms
  • Ellen Tani, Assistant Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
  • Daniel Minter, Artist and Assistant Instructor of Illustration, Maine College of Art

12:45–1:45pm  |  Lunch off-campus and viewing Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways

2–3:45pm  |  Breakout Sessions (see descriptions below)

3:45–5pm  |  View Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways exhibitions and meet artists María Patricia Tinajero and Daniel Quintanilla.

6–7pm  |  Keynote Address – Krzysztof Wodiczko, “Xenology: Instruments and Projections”  |  Bernard Osher Foundation Auditorium, Portland Museum of Art

About Krzysztof Wodiczko

Krzysztof Wodiczko born 1943 in Warsaw, Poland, lives and works in New York City, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Warsaw. He is renowned for his large-scale projections on architectural facades, and monuments. He has realized over ninety of such projections in twenty countries. Since the 1980s, through his projections and communicative instruments, he works with marginalized city residents on enforcing their public voice and expression.

Krzysztof Wodiczko’s work was presented at Documenta, Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennial, Montreal Biennale, Yokohama Triennial and many other international art exhibitions and festivals. He is a recipient of 4th Hiroshima Art Prize “for his contribution as an artist to the world peace”. He has held retrospective exhibitions at Walker Art Center, Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Muzeum Sztuki, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and other museums and art centers.

Krzysztof Wodiczko is an author of Critical Vehicles,, MIT Press, City of Refuge: Sept. 11, The Abolition of War, The Transformative Avant-Garde, and other books including a large monograph Krzysztof Wodiczko, Black Dog, London. His work is presented in PBS television series Art in the Twenty-First Century.

Krzysztof Wodiczko is a Professor of Art, Design and the Public Domain at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

 

DETAILS: Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Wabanaki Perspectives on Climate Change and Displacement

Wabanaki Perspectives on Climate Change and Displacement | Darren Ranco, Chair of Native American Programs, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Coodinator of Native American Research, UMO

Darren J. Ranco, PhD, a citizen/member of the Penobscot Nation, is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Native American Programs at the University of Maine.  In general, Dr. Ranco’s research focuses on Wabanaki protection of cultural and natural resources. Since 2009, been the project leader of the Brown Ash/Emerald Ash Borer project working collaboratively with Wabanaki basketmakers to protect brown ash trees from destruction from an invasive species.  He has a Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and a PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. He teaches classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance. The son of Nelson Newell Ranco and May Ranco, he grew up in Orono and currently resides in Hampden.

SESSION DESCRIPTION
Understanding migration and mobility from an indigenous perspective inspires new opportunities for learning about our current moment around these issues as well as our collective past.  In this session, Penobscot scholar Darren Ranco will help us explore both the politics of mobility and migration from an indigenous perspective (moving beyond simplistic notions embedded in xenophobia and “we are all immigrants”) to understand the ongoing and changing relations we have to places and natural resources that define our identities.  Particular attention in this session will be given to climate change and resource extraction issues that impact both indigenous and non indigenous peoples in northeastern North America.

Getting Involved

Getting Involved | Julia Brown, Advocacy and Outreach Attorney, ILAP

Julia Brown is ILAP’s Advocacy and Outreach Attorney. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with honors in 2007 and earned her law degree from the New York University School of Law in 2011. Before moving to Maine, Julia represented indigent death-sentenced Georgia prisoners in habeas corpus proceedings challenging their capital convictions and death sentences.

SESSION DESCRIPTION
This workshop will explain the various ways our immigrant community is impacted by current policy and help attendees strategize how to best use their voices to speak up for Maine’s immigrant community.

For Freedoms

For Freedoms  |  Eric Gottesman, For Freedoms co-founder, Assistant Professor of Art, SUNY Purchase, participating artist Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways exhibition

Artist Eric Gottesman, founder of the artist-run initiative For Freedoms, will lead a discussion on art as a tool for political engagement. The informal presentation and discussion will stipulate that creativity produces political action and examine strategies for doing so in the past and present. In this murky territory, participants will be invited to envision the impact they want their own projects to have. Gottesman will address questions active in For Freedoms’ nationwide 50 State Initiative to initiate a broader conversation about the potential for art in the political landscape and how we can better equip citizen-artists.

SESSION DESCRIPTION
Artist Eric Gottesman, founder of the artist-run initiative For Freedoms, will lead a discussion on art as a tool for political engagement. The informal presentation and discussion will stipulate that creativity produces political action and examine strategies for doing so in the past and present. In this murky territory, participants will be invited to envision the impact they want their own projects to have. Gottesman will address questions active in For Freedoms’ nationwide 50 State Initiative to initiate a broader conversation about the potential for art in the political landscape and how we can better equip citizen-artists.

Leavings/Belongings

Leavings/Belongings  |  Yu-Wen Wu, participating artist Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways exhibition and 2018-2019 artist in residence at the Pao Arts Center in Boston’s Chinatown.

Yu-Wen Wu is a visual artist based in Boston. Born in Taipei Taiwan, her family immigrated to the United States in the late 60’s. Arriving at an early age, her experiences have shaped her work in areas of migration– examining issues of displacement, arrival, assimilation and identity. Working in drawing, video, and installation she pulls together the natural world and social movement on both a personal and global scale.

Wu is the 2018-2019 artist-in-residence at the Pao Arts Center, working with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Centers. She is a recipient of numerous grants and awards including: 2017 Brother Thomas Award, 2018 Yaddo Fellowship and a 2018 project grant from the Union of Concerned scientists for work related to environmental displacement.

SESSION DESCRIPTION
Leavings/Belongings is a component of Out of Silence, a collaborative project by Yu-Wen Wu (Boston) and Harriet Bart (Minneapolis) that addresses the unique circumstances of women and children in the current  global migration crises. Leavings/Belongings is comprised of multitudes of cloth wrapped bundles representing all that is left behind– home, family, possessions and what may be carried in migration–survival, hope, dreams. In the tradition of gathering to make things and tell stories, this breakout session invites participation in the making of bundles and the sharing of stories. These bundles will then be added to the installation in the ICA gallery. Limited to 30.

Decolonizing the Arts

Decolonizing the Arts  |  Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President and CEO, Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, ME

Working in museums for more than twenty years, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko believes they have the power to change lives, inspire movements, and challenge authority.  A museum director since 2001, she is a frequent presenter at national museum meetings and is often asked to comment on national museum issues. As the President and CEO of the Abbe Museum, she has been the driving force behind the Museum’s decolonization initiative, working with the Native communities in Maine to develop policies and protocols to ensure collaboration and cooperation with Wabanaki people. In 2016 Cinnamon gave her first TEDx talk, We Must Decolonize Our Museums(www.tedxdirigo.com).

SESSION DESCRIPTION
Historically, museums were built as temples of culture and art, reflecting images of Europe as the ideal. For many Euro-Americans, inclusion in a museum exhibition may instill pride and signify achievement. For colonized populations, it feels like being captured and isolated in a glass case or being collected for display on a velvet-covered card. Today most museums persist at harmful spaces for Indigenous people. During this session we will discuss the nature of decolonizing museum practice and how it offers opportunities to reduce harm by promoting cultural authority and encouraging collaboration and involvement with and between tribal community members and the museum field.

Art as Resistance

Art as Resistance  |  Hope Rovelto, Owner, Little Chair Printing, Portland, ME

Hope Rovelto is passionate about screen-printing. She is owner of a custom screen-printing shop, Little Chair Printing, and an Artist Member at Pickwick Independent Press in Portland, ME. Little Chair Printing is a wholesale screen-printing shop that has printed for a diversity of companies all over the US. Rovelto has built a bicycle screen-printing shop with which she traveled from Philadelphia to Maine screen-printing for many different causes. With this bike, she can travel anywhere and set up to print t-shirts or posters. Rovelto is an experienced educator and often works with organizations such as the Maine Gun Safety Coalition, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and Maine Inside Out to help bring their messages to print at events ranging from community engagement activities to protests.

SESSION DESCRIPTION
Wearing a t-shirt can be an act of resistance. Hope Rovelto will lead a hands-on t-shirt printing workshop with her Bicycle Screen-Printing Mobile shop. Each participant will be able to screen-print a t-shirt to show their support and solidarity with the communities who are being affected by this political climate. Rovelto will reveal the power of printing a t-shirt as a wearable form of communication of one’s political beliefs.