Maine College of Art Announces New Sculpture Faculty Endowment

New Endowment Honors Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose

Maine College of Art (MECA) is pleased to announce the establishment of The Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman Gary Ambrose Professorship for Sculpture, which will directly support faculty teaching in the Sculpture Program at Maine College of Art and was established by Edward Friedman ’08 and Carole Friedman in honor of Sculpture Professor Emeritus Gary Ambrose, who has been an integral part of MECA’s evolution for over 30 years and who helped define and advance the Sculpture Major at MECA with great care, skill, and dedication. In addition, the Friedmans are funding The Gary Ambrose Sculpture Lecture Series to bring visiting artists to the College to speak on areas related to sculpture and new innovations.

President Laura Freid commented, “This endowment will have a great impact on the future of MECA, and reflects our vision to expand our support for faculty in a way that honors their work and legacy. We are extremely grateful for Edward and Carole’s generosity.” The first in a new initiative at the College to expand its portfolio of named faculty endowments, The Dr. Edward M. Friedman ’08 and Carole J. Friedman Gary Ambrose Professorship for Sculpture is tied closely to MECA’s current strategic planning; two of the top five identified priorities focus on academic excellence and sustainability.

“I have such incredible respect for Gary Ambrose, who was my teacher as I began my second career as an artist,” said Dr. Friedman. “His knowledge, talent, and deep consideration of his students was very inspirational to me and I am so pleased to be able to express my appreciation while giving back to MECA.”

Natives of Youngstown, Ohio, Dr. Friedman and his wife Carole arrived in Portland with their family in 1974. Dr. Friedman was instrumental in the osteopathic physicians group that founded the University of New England and it’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. After a successful career as a vascular-thoracic surgeon, he found new life at MECA, earning his BFA in Sculpture in 2008. He has also served on the Board of Trustees since 2015. He and Carole live in Maine where they raised their family.

Professor Emeritus of Sculpture Gary Ambrose has been an integral part of MECA’s evolution for over 30 years, having earned emeritus status in 2011. He cites early educational experiences with creativity as well as study in a discipline that provided an opportunity to create an understanding of the world around him as strong forces that shaped his career. Early explorations in writing led to a psychology degree from the University of New Hampshire, followed by a BFA in Sculpture. It was near the end of his psychology degree that he began, on a lark, to explore furniture design. There he found a more direct way to understand the world through physical creative processes, which evolved into sculpture and a love of teaching.

Image: Ramone Lampos '20 & Matanah Betko '20 performance at Sistered Gallery, Portland ME , December 2019. Image by Joshua Reiman, Associate Professor of the MFA in Studio Art + Sculpture, Sculpture Department Program Chair.