PORTLAND, ME — May 10, 2023 — Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) announces the College’s 112th graduation ceremony, taking place Friday, May 12, 2023. Commencement exercises begin at 10am at Portland’s State Theatre, located at 609 Congress Street in Portland.

President Laura Freid will initiate the ceremony by welcoming 126 graduating students to receive four degree types, including Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Master of Arts in Teaching, Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies, and Bachelor of Fine Arts—encompassing 10 majors and seven minors.

Honorary degrees will then be bestowed upon renowned visual artist and 2023 Commencement speaker Janet Echelman, her husband and collaborator David Feldman, and President of the Stephen and Palmina Pace Foundation Cathy Claman.

Janet Echelman is an artist who creates experiential sculpture at the scale of buildings that transform with wind and light. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Harvard Loeb Fellowship, Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship, and Fulbright Lectureship. Her permanent commissions have transformed urban environments worldwide and include Bending Arc (2020) at the newly renovated Pier in St. Petersburg, FL; mist sculpture Pulse (2018) in front of Philadelphia City Hall; Impatient Optimist (2015) at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA; and She Changes (2005) in Porto, Portugal.

Currently a Distinguished Visiting Technologist at MIT, David Feldman has served as Chief Technologist at Studio Echelman for more than 25 years, working with his wife, artist Janet Echelman, on the design, engineering, and software development of computational tools for her studio.

Cathy Claman is President of the Stephen and Palmina Pace Foundation in New York City. In 2007, on behalf of the Paces, she facilitated the gift of their Stonington home and studio to Maine College of Art & Design for use as a residency and gallery and to ensure its continued use as an artistic haven.

Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean of the College Ian Anderson will present The Eudolia Gross Service Award. Established twenty-eight years ago to honor MECA&D’s Registrar Emerita, the annual award recognizes a BFA senior who during their academic career has exemplified the Eudolia Gross spirit of voluntarily giving of self for the good of the College.

Following the ceremony, a reception will be held on MECA&D campus at 522 Congress Street in Portland. During this time, students, friends, and family will have the opportunity to explore the BFA and MFA Thesis Exhibitions, with an opening reception for the BFA Thesis Exhibitions to take place 12-2pm.

For those who cannot attend the 112th Commencement in person, the ceremony will be livestreamed on Vimeo beginning at 10am sharp.

Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) has been activating students of all pursuits to make art, make an impact, and inspire change since its founding as Portland School of Art in 1882. Located in Portland's thriving Arts District, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, 24-hour-a-day studios, a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and a community-based Artists at Work program—making MECA&D the right-sized school in the right-sized city for every student who wants to make their mark and be seen. MECA&D offers BFA Majors and MinorsGraduate ProgramsContinuing StudiesPre-College, and includes the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and the Institute for Contemporary Art. Follow us at @mecaart.

Alex Koch, Public Relations Specialist