MECA&D's MFA encourages students to think across traditional academic boundaries, expand their art practice, and challenge their intellectual curiosity.Get curious
24/7 access to state-of-the-art facilities & a vibrant creative community.Work onsite
Work, critique, and network with artists from around the world.
Whether you want to exhibit and lecture about your work, teach, write a book, or create an artist-run collective, MECA&D’s Master of Fine Arts Program encourages each student to think across traditional academic boundaries and challenge their art practice and intellectual curiosity. Studio-based, with renowned faculty, visiting artists and carefully selected graduate advisors, the curriculum emphasizes the intersection of studio production, individual research, critical analysis, and travel to important and inspiring locations. This structure promotes the development of a professional lifelong practice. From the first moment of your first eight-week summer intensive, you will experience a truly individualized education and focus on becoming an inventive, skilled, self-disciplined, engaged maker in the world and in your own community.
Choose from our Low or Full Residency options and base your studio wherever you decide— whether it’s on campus or anywhere your art takes you in the world.
Students who choose the Full Residency option move to Portland, may have a studio, have consistent 24/7 access to MECA&D facilities and the activities that occur that happen in the College and around Portland during the school year. They are also able to take advantage of graduate electives and Teaching Assistantships. Our low residency MFA combines intense periods of on-campus instruction in Maine with the freedom and independence of working from any home location. Our low-residency structure is designed for experienced artists who want the ability and independence to maintain their ongoing careers while earning an MFA. Both MFA tracks offer an interdisciplinary approach that encourages students to think across traditional academic boundaries to challenge their art practice and intellectual curiosity.
While most low residency programs offer 1-2 week on campus intensives, MECA&D is unique in offering an 8-week summer intensive trimester and a full fall and spring trimesters. The Summer Intensive trimester allows students a full on-campus experience each summer, while the Fall and Spring trimesters offer an academic year of studio and coursework from a student’s home studio. Short Winter and May residencies (for graduating students) complement the fall and spring trimesters. The low residency structure features year round contact with core faculty and a local studio advisor who meets with each student in their home studio during the fall and spring trimesters. Studio time is complemented by a rigorous program of online coursework. The MECA&D MFA low residency track is a full-time 60 credit program of study.
The academic year kicks off annually with an eight-week Summer Intensive in Portland, Maine. The Intensive begins in early-June and runs through early August. See the Academic Calendar for more information.
You may request a catalog by emailing email@example.com
Documentation of your work should be of professional quality. Choose images that best represent you as an individual. You may submit up to twenty images but we recommend that you thoughtfully edit the selection to support the ideas communicated in your letter of intent.
Describe your intended field of exploration to show us what materials, ideas, and approaches you are ready to embrace as part of your graduate study. Alongside an analysis of your recent work, describe how you anticipate your work moving in new directions in the future. Tell us how you are ready to challenge yourself and why you think MECA&D’s MFA program will help you do this.
To be eligible for aid at MECA&D accepted applicants must have completed a FAFSA form online. Please visit the Financial Aid section for more information. All students may apply for remote research fellowships. Please feel free to contact Rachel Katz, Administrative Director of the MFA in Studio Art, at 207.699.5030 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do not hesitate to contact our MFA point person, Rachel Katz email@example.com
I decided to get my MFA here because of the trimester structure of the program and the institutional emphasis on artistic excellence. I felt that by going to MECA&D I would not only develop my work but personal routines that would help me sustain a professional practice.Kylie Ford MFA '18 // College Professor // Fairmont, West Virginia
My experience at MECA&D 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&D 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 Maine College of Art & Design would wreak havoc on my art practice and all my preconceived notions about art-making. The MFA program opened up a landscape of contemporary theory, practice, and possibility.Catherine D'Ignazio MFA '05 // Waltham, Massachussetts
Maine College of Art & Design gave me the critical thinking skills I need as an artist working in a solitary, isolated atmosphere. The inner dialogue I developed in the program continues to guide me as I move forward in my work.Maysey Craddock MFA '03 // Memphis, Tennessee
This 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
The MFA Program completely reinvigorated my art practice. I was more ready; every moment was like being inside a diamond—it was synergistic. Now I am not afraid to take on any kind of project, large or small, community-oriented, or very personal. I make whatever the moment calls for: interactive immersive video and sound installation or apple pie.
Chronicling the complexities of growing up female in the American South, I present a contemporary viewpoint on femininity and feminism.
|Header Image: Sharon Shapiro MFA ’19, Sacrifice, Collage on paper, 12”x11”, 2022|
The name, From Palestine With Art, may sound very simple. But upon further examination, when we use the preposition ‘from,’ it implies that there is a physical place. That it exists. That the name, and its map, and its people, conflicts with other narratives that are being pushed … It's a very subtle linguistic aspect to the show.
Nancy Nesvet MFA '04 chosen to curate From Palestine With Art exhibition at La Biennale d' Arte, 2022
Congratulations to Nancy Nesvet MFA '04, curator of the official Collateral exhibition From Palestine With Art at the 2022 Venice Biennale! Nesvat currently serves as Head Curator at the Palestine Museum US, the main sponsor of the exhibition.
The exhibition features work from 19 artists living in Palestine and the Palestinian diaspora. It includes paintings, photography, installation, sound and a live olive tree on an 1877 map of Palestine reproduced on the floor, as well as catalog essays.
“I wanted to show that this is such a beautiful place that is shared by a beautiful people that is still there after 4,000 years … that despite all the violence and destruction that's going on, the connection that people have to nature in Palestine has not been abandoned,” Nesvet explained in a recent interview with the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. “The name, From Palestine With Art, may sound very simple. But upon further examination, when we use the preposition ‘from,’ it implies that there is a physical place. That it exists. That the name, and its map, and its people, conflicts with other narratives that are being pushed … It's a very subtle linguistic aspect to the show.”
From Palestine With Art
Palazzo Mora, Room 8, Cannaregio 3659
(Ca'd'Oro vaporetto stop, then follow the signs to Palazzo Mora)
VIP preview days April 20-22, 2022
On view April 23 – November 27, 2022
Organizing institution: Palestine Museum US
Curator: Nancy Nesvet MFA '04
Planning to attend the event? Nesvet’s exhibition to your list of must-sees this year! Tickets are available for all days on the La Biennale d'Arte website.
My experience has been, over the last 10 years or so, just put it somewhere and leave it alone and let it do its own thing [...] The less I try to convince people to see my work and the less I try to convince them to expect something from it, the experience becomes more theirs. They take more ownership of it. I think there is something to be said for the feeling that you discovered something.
NuPenny’s Last Stand, an imaginary toy store by Randy Regier MFA '07, has found its way back to Maine after 12 years. Regier first conceptualized NuPenny while working towards his MFA at MECA&D and brought it to life in 2009 once awarded the Harry Faust Art Fund.
NuPenny’s Last Stand is art for art's sake, filled with handmade imaginary toys housed in a retro-futurism structure that cannot be missed. The piece stands aside the Thompson’s Point parking lot near Van Aken Way, behind all the commotion to create a sense of discovery and childlike curiosity.
Recently featured in a Portland Press Herald article by reporter Bob Keyes, Regier explains, “My experience has been, over the last 10 years or so, just put it somewhere and leave it alone and let it do its own thing [...] The less I try to convince people to see my work and the less I try to convince them to expect something from it, the experience becomes more theirs. They take more ownership of it. I think there is something to be said for the feeling that you discovered something.”
Photo: Brianna Soukup, Portland Press Herald
MECA&D is thrilled to announce that MFA candidate Anna Valenti ’20 is the recipient of the 2020 NCECA Graduate Student Fellowship Grant. The fellowship is awarded to a graduate student to foster knowledge within the ceramic arts through intellectual inquiry and creative research.
Alongside the grant, Anna Valenti was accepted into the national juried exhibition Paper & Clay. The two pieces of Anna’s accepted, a terracotta lobster trap and terracotta window screen, will be on view from February 3–March 4, 2020, in the Twain Tippetts & Eccles Galleries at the USU Caine College of Arts in Logan, Utah. Announced on February 23, Anna's work Lobster Trap won first place in the Paper & Clay exhibition.
“The NCECA Fellowship Grant will further my research in hemp clay bodies and crafting breezeblock screens. My research will involve using diverse compositions of hemp fibers, mixing them at varied ratios with terracotta, and then building breezeblocks to test the structural integrity of each varied hemp clay body. My findings will evolve into a hemp terracotta breezeblock screen that free stands at 6’x1’x5’.”
Images clock-wise, starting from top left:
- Lobster Trap, terracotta, glaze, 2019, 13"x8"x5"
- Sweetness of Doing Nothing, terracotta, porcelain, glaze, terra sigillata, fabric from my mother's childhood friend, 2019, 10’x4’x20'
- Studio of Anna Valenti
- Anchored by a Breath, porcelain, terracotta, 2018, 35.5" x 12" x 7”
Banner image: Beneath the Lath House, Porcelain stoneware, red and black iron oxide, soda ash, silk 2018
I felt that by going to MECA I would not only develop my work, but personal routines that would help me sustain a professional practice.
When did you graduate? Were you a full or low resident?
May 2018 and I was a full resident in the program.
Why did you decide to get your MFA at MECA&D?
I decided to get my MFA at MECA&D because of the trimester structure of the program and the institutional emphasis on artistic excellence. I felt that by going to MECA&D I would not only develop my work but personal routines that would help me sustain a professional practice.
Where do you live now and what are you doing after graduation?
I currently live in Fairmont, West Virginia. I'm teaching at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, WV.
What are you working on now?
I am working on large-scale prints, relief sculptures, and a sculptural installation for a solo show next year at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut. More info can be found here.
Do you keep in touch with your cohort?
Since graduation, I have kept in touch with my cohort at least weekly (usually more).
How has the MFA program impacted what you are doing today?
I feel that the program acted as an idea incubator of sorts. I was able to work both instinctively and critically, exploring ideas that I could refine post-graduation as well as some ideas that needed to get out to be done. Speaking to how it has impacted what I am doing today, I am beginning to develop a body of work with explorations that began within the program.
MECA&D’s MFA program is: "A metaphorical pressure-cooker."
Portland is: "A special place that will rarely give you a bad meal."