For Immediate Release – March 13, 2019
Media Contact: Leah Igo, ligo@meca.edu, 207.699.5010

The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art Presents ICA Spring Exhibitions:

Visual Tensions | Séan Alonzo Harris
Parasitic Honeyshoes | Greta Bank
Letting Yourself Go | Philip Brou

On view from April 5-26, 2019
Exhibition Reception: Friday, April 5, 2019, 5–8pm
ICA Gallery hours:
 Wed–Sun, 11am–5pm, Thurs, 11am–7pm, Friday, 11am–5pm, (FFAW until 8pm)

PORTLAND, Maine – The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at Maine College of Art (MECA) is pleased to announce the opening of the ICA Spring Exhibitions, a collective of three solo exhibitions: Visual Tensions | Séan Alonzo Harris, Parasitic Honeyshoes | Greta Bank, and Letting Yourself Go | Philip Brou. On view April 5-26, 2019, with a public Opening Reception on Friday, April 5, 5–8pm.

Séan Alonzo Harris, Visual Tensions, 2018

Visual Tensions is a collaborative photography project that brings community members together with members of law enforcement. African American photographer Séan Alonzo Harris creates photographic portraits as a means to foster relationships and build bridges between people of color with members of law enforcement. The project provides a platform to cultivate mutual respect and transform our images and perceptions of others.

Artist Biography
Séan Alonzo Harris’ work as an editorial, commercial and fine art photographer concentrating on narrative and environmental portraiture. Over the past 25 years, Sean’s work is in a range of national publications, advertising campaigns, and exhibitions. In these varied contexts, Sean’s work focuses on human experience, identity, and challenging stereotypes. Sean’s images bear witness to often invisible or overlooked members of our communities, and creates portraits that provide a counter image and narrative of self-worth and personal agency. The Visual Tensions project aligns with the goals and vision of Séan Alonzo Harris’ current practice and with past collaborative photo projects.

His work has been published in Atlantic Magazine, Paris Review, Boston Magazine, Down East, Portland Magazine, Maine Home and Design, Photo District News Rising Star feature, Maine Magazine, Harvard University Magazine, Ralph Lauren magazine, Mother Jones, Adweek, Consumer Reports, Teaching Tolerance, and USA Today. He has received several awards and grants for his work including: Kindling Fund grant from the Warhol Foundation, Good Idea Grant and Arts in the Capital Program, from the Maine Arts Commission, the Broderson Bronze Award, and the VanDerZee Black Heritage Award, from the University of Lowell. Most recently Séan’s work was featured in International Regional Magazine Awards, Silver Award Arts and Culture, Portrait Photography 2015 and One Eyeland, Best of the Best Photographers 2016.

To learn more about Séan or to get involved in the project go to seanalonzoharris.com.

Greta Bank, Parasitic Honeyshoes, mixed media installation, 2019


Parasitic Honeyshoes is a testimony to the colonization of the material and spirit world. It is intended for an audience to see in 15 years, implying that our present is responsive to the future.  It is a cosmic sh!t accountable to another reality.

The parasitic behavior of the human species is a form of cannibalism, we consume to sustain a false reflection. We are not living, but surviving in a capitalist ecosystem, negotiating a spiritual crisis deeply founded on centuries of exploitation and extraction.

Artist Biography
Born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Greta Bank currently resides in Hollis, Maine. She received her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and a MFA focused on painting from the University of Arizona. Her sculptural work, performance, installations and multi media, often use both topical and historical content to provoke social inquiry. Bank describes her work as visual essays, positioning her audience to reflect on diverse matters such as environmental corruption, mass consumption and social constructs. She has exhibited at SPACE Gallery, the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and most recently the Hunterdon Museum of Art. Bank has received multiple grants from the Maine Arts Commission, as well as from the Taconic Community Foundation and an Emerging Artist Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

To learn more about Greta Bank, visit gretabank.com.

Philip Brou, i, oil on linen, 48_ x 32_, 2017

Letting Yourself Go is a new project by Philip Brou investigating ideas of selfhood, power, and the human condition. The project is rooted in a critical examination of the famous story of Polyphemus, the cyclops from Homer’s Odyssey. In Odysseus’ epic journey to return home, he and his men are held captive in Polyphemus’ cave. As part of a plan to free himself, Odysseus concocts a lie: he tells Polyphemus that his name is Nemo, which translates to Nobody. The presence of the Nobody, as a persona used to escape captivity, dismantle the archetype of the hero, and confront the ego, is at the core of Brou’s project. Although the work is rooted in a story from ancient times, its layered messages resonate today. Letting Yourself Go consists of paintings, drawings, sculptures and found objects. All works in the exhibition function as either portraits or utterances of Nemo, which is to say: portraits or utterances of Nobody.

Artist Biography
Philip Brou is an artist and educator based in Portland, Maine. Brou earned his MFA from The Ohio State University and his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. His work has been exhibited at venues such as the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg, Massachusetts; Corey Daniels Gallery in Wells, Maine; Able Baker Contemporary in Portland, Maine; the Urban Arts Space in Columbus, Ohio; 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia; The Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine; The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine; and The Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, Maine. His work is in the collection of the Portland Museum of Art. He has received numerous awards including the Biennial Purchase Prize from the Portland Museum of Art, a Good Idea Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and a Presidential Fellowship from The Ohio State University. Reviews and acknowledgements of his work in notable publications include Art New England, Two Coats of Paint, The Portland Press Herald, The Portland Phoenix and The Columbus Dispatch. Philip Brou and his wife, Jennifer, currently live in South Portland, Maine. He is an Associate Professor in the Painting and Foundation Programs at Maine College of Art. To learn more about Philip Brou, visit philipbrou.com.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For exhibition images, photo credits and captions, please visit this link.
For further information about the exhibition, please visit this link.

Header Image:

Séan Alonzo Harris, Visual Tensions, 2018 (cropped)