Future-proofing Maine Through Art & Design

Maine College of Art & Design Presents to the Local Business Community at the Portland Community Chamber’s November 10 Eggs & Issues Event

On Wednesday, November 10, the Portland Community Chamber hosted a special Eggs & Issues event featuring Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D). During the morning event, Dr. Laura Freid, President of the College, emphasized how over the past 140 years Maine College of Art & Design has made Portland a go-to location for living, working, and visiting. 

Accompanying Dr. Freid in a lively, interactive discussion about the critical role Maine College of Art & Design plays in strengthening Portland’s economy and preparing Maine for a sustainable future was an expert panel from the College, including:

  • Addy Smith-Reiman
    Adjunct Professor, Foundation, Sculpture, Maine College of Art & Design
    Executive Director, Portland Society of Architecture
  • Adam Fisher
    Assistant Professor and Program Chair, Animation & Game Art, Maine College of Art & Design
  • Jordan Carey, Maine College of Art & Design, '19
    Artist & Designer
    Owner, Loquat

Through a colorful collection of program photographs, student work and case studies of how lessons and connections at the school impact daily life in the city, the impressive roster of panelists demonstrated the importance of Maine College of Art & Design in the Portland business community.

Watch the full event here:

"The big D in design matters," Smith-Reiman explained to the audience. "Visual iconography, texture and rhythm—the way we get through a space and who gets access to it—is the poetry of the public realm."

Currently, the College is the major driver of Portland’s creative economy and a net importer of the area’s young, creative, and diverse workforce. A digital map of local shops, restaurants and other businesses led or touched by the MECA&D community of artists shown at the event illustrated the strong undercurrent of talent from the school throughout the city. 

Reflecting on the talent and skill of last year’s animation and game art students, Fisher shared, “The work they created blew me away.” From 2D pilot episodes for potential TV series to award-winning stop-motion puppet films, the College today is able to support new forms of media while breaking down geographical barriers through expanded talent networks across the country.  

If correct, the DOL’s expectation that 65% of America’s children will hold jobs that have yet to be created means that the critical thinking, creative problem solving, risk-taking, collaboration, and innovation skills provided through an arts and design education is essential for the state’s future economy. Just as important, is the community engagement and mentorship opportunities needed to support this education.

"I attribute my transition from student to professional artist to the Maine College of Art & Design and my community there," said Carey. "People took chances on me...and I see far too many creatives my age, older, and younger that have the drive, have the spirit, have the talent. What they’re really missing is basic resources and mentorship.It is the community that I’ve had here and have here that has provided me with the bootstraps to lift myself up.”

Businesses and nonprofits interested in exploring new ways to partner with Maine College of Art & Design are encouraged to reach out to Abby Peck, Director of Corporate and Government Relations & Special Events for more information.