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A strong foundation

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Foundation

Total Immersion.

You might be pretty sure about who you are as an artist. You might even be sure which medium you will be working in for the rest of your career. That is why we feel it is our obligation as teachers and fellow artists to shake things up a bit and introduce you to mediums and ideas you never before considered.

We also feel that no matter how talented you are as an artist, the more time you spend learning from other artists and their work, and about historical, cultural and personal influences, the more powerful an artist you can become. This is why we believe in a strong foundation followed by a year of exploration: two semesters of visual fundamentals—drawing, color theory, 2-D, 3-D—extensive studio work, seeing, questioning and collaborating; followed by two semesters of individual experimentation and discovery that will support and guide your education at MECA&D.

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Spotlight

  • Faculty
  • 2D Design students take to the halls for some end of the semester tape graffiti

    It allows us to explore some of the concepts that we have focused on throughout the semester--line weight, . . .

    On Tuesday, November 15, BFA students in Prof. Jim Flahaven’s Two-Dimensional Design course spent some time away from the elaborate and complex class exercises they currently have underway to get creative in the hallways with some painter’s tape. "This side project provides us with a little break in the action," Flahaven shares. . . .Read More

  • Foundation and Continuing Studies teacher Jennifer Brou featured in recent publications for her Woolfolk collections

    In addition to teaching in MECA&D's Foundation and . . .

    In addition to teaching in MECA&D's Foundation and Continuing Studies Programs, Jennifer Brou is a knitwear designer. Her work is currently featured in two internationally distributed publications, Laine Magazine and Making Magazine, and is also featured as part of Woolfolk's latest collection. “As an artist and knitwear . . .Read More

  • Don’t miss SUPERNATURE, an exhibition of work from Ben Spalding MFA '17, at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT

    We are thrilled to share that Benjamin Spalding MFA ’17, . . .

    We are thrilled to share that Benjamin Spalding MFA ’17, interdisciplinary artist and teacher for our Sculpture and Foundations departments, has a solo exhibition on view until October 16 at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut. The show, titled SUPERNATURE, was curated by David Borawski. As Spalding explains in an artist statement, . . .Read More

  • Keeping Track of Time by Prof. Philip Brou at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth

    On view until October 2, 2022

    Opening with an artist reception on Friday, August 5 (5:00-8:00pm), Keeping Track of Time is a solo exhibition by Philip Brou at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In addition to being an educator at MECA&D, Brou is an artist and amateur runner. During 2021 he brought his studio practice and running together; making a drawing . . .Read More

  • Prof. Jim Flahaven

    I suppose one can find in this work a metaphor for the condition of modern life, with its accelerated pace . . .

    Professor of Foundation Jim Flahaven participates in a two-person exhibition Repartee at Cove Street Arts Looking for your next gallery tour? Visit Flahaven's exhibition, Repartee, at Cove Street Arts (71 Cove St., Portland, ME). The exhibition pairs Jim Flahaven’s vivid abstract paintings with Amy Wilton’s playful, found object . . .Read More

  • Ling-Wen Tsai

    Ling-Wen Tsai Quiet Voids opens Friday March 11 at SPEEDWELL . . .

    Ling-Wen Tsai Quiet Voids opens Friday March 11 at SPEEDWELL projects Join Professor of Sculpture, Foundation, and MFA Ling-Wen Tsai (蔡姈妏) for her solo exhibition Quiet Voids at SPEEDWELL projects, 630 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME. Interested in the nature of seeing, and how our visual experiences influence our reality, Tsai's . . .Read More

  • Pilar Nadal MFA ’13

    MECA is a small school and you can really find a place for yourself. One of the best aspects is the . . .

    Canandaigua is the Seneca word for “the chosen spot.” Pilar Nadal left Canandaigua, her hometown in Upstate New York, for her chosen spot: MECA&D. During her first visit, she was immediately drawn to both the program and the community. “I was really impressed with the facilities and the idea that everything was in one building . . .Read More

  • Philip Brou

    ON HIS ART I love the contradictory nature of painting. It is a language that constantly undermines itself. . . .

    ON HIS ART I love the contradictory nature of painting. It is a language that constantly undermines itself. In my opinion, painting is not a discipline suited for finding solutions, but it is unbelievably good at perpetually generating questions. ON MAKING ART IN MAINE Last weekend I went for a long walk on a beach and did […]Read More

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Outcomes

  • Formal

    The Foundation Program gives students an in-depth experience in composition. This includes developing a vocabulary of composition’s core terms, principles and relationships and then using this vocabulary as the basis from which form is created and analyzed. This also involves learning to combine and advance compositional skills.

  • Conceptual

    The Foundation Program introduces students to the various processes of design methodology through which composition is realized. These processes, transferable to all disciplines and mediums, include research, material exploration, making, editing, remaking and critiquing. Students explore the relationships of form and content. Students are also exposed to Public Engagement opportunities where they complete projects in conjunction with a community partner. Students may choose to pursue Public Engagement as a Minor.

  • Technical

    Students learn to compose in two-dimensional, three dimensional and digital space. They gain proficiency working with a wide range of materials and processes. They learn to assess the level and effect of craftsmanship associated with these materials and processes. They also understand the importance of following best practices in safely working in a professional studio.

  • Professional

    Students learn to present work in a professional manner. This includes both the physical logistics of presenting work as well as developing the ability to use Foundational vocabulary to discuss their work with intention and precision. They demonstrate strengthened levels of focus, discipline, persistence and patience. Students develop an awareness of the transferability and versatility of objectives from their Foundation classes into any major within the college and any direction their work may go. Additionally, the foundation program introduces professional practice objectives such as developing an online presence, public speaking, documenting work, and how to complete an internship.

Program

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