PORTLAND, MEJuly 11, 2023The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) is pleased to announce This Is Out of Hand, a sculptural exhibition and symposium, on view July 14 through September 16, 2023. An opening reception with the artists and curator Joshua Reiman, Professor and Program Chair of Sculpture, will take place July 14 from 5-7pm at the ICA.

The works on display in This Is Out of Hand celebrate a wide range of carving techniques and possibilities. There is a story behind every stone, every tree, every object, and every mark made. The exhibition and associated symposium utilize carving as a language of expression to explore the many elemental questions embedded within everyday materials. 

Carving has been found among the earliest known records of Homo sapiens. From stone to wood, metal to synthetics, and soap to sand, carving continues to offer new perspectives in spatial thinking. This Is Out of Hand features an array of sculptures, utilitarian objects, and two-dimensional works by 33 artists from around the world, all united through the common practice of carving. Whether utilizing traditional tools and techniques, or digital technologies such as physical computing and video, all of the works in This Is Out of Hand challenge the norms surrounding reductive processes.

 The earliest carvings were made long before any written language and communicated shared values around spiritual, emotional, and bodily needs, such as the 30,000-year-old portable sculpture Venus of Willendorf or the 35,000-year-old Hohle Fels Flute (which is used by collaborative artist duo Allora & Calzadilla in this exhibition). Observed in these precious objects are both the physical and mental tools needed for uncovering meaning within material: a three-dimensional awareness, an elaborate form-language, and an extraordinary ability to focus.

Over the centuries, increasing advancements in technology have shifted labor away from hand-processes and towards more efficient ways to produce objects. Some of the artists in This Is Out of Hand embrace contemporary mechanical and digital production methods and materials. As materials evolve alongside technology, a nuanced, symbiotic relationship is born between the maker, the tool, and/or the machine.

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Allora & Calzadilla; Gary Ambrose, Professor Emeritus, Sculpture; Mari Beltran; Stan Bevan; Lewis Colburn; Raul De Lara; Sam Finkelstein; Ben Gancsos; John Gardiner ’07, MFA ’14; Mark Herrington; Duncan Hewitt; Kodai Hihara; Kazumi Hoshino; Andreas von Huene; Isabel Kelley ’13; Kieran Kinsella; Lin Lisberger; Napoles Marty; Vik Muniz & Marcelo Coelho; David Nash; Catalina Ouyang; Ken Payne; Kyle Patnaude, Assistant Professor, Metalsmithing & Jewelry; Sharon Portelance ’82, Program Chair, Metalsmithing & Jewelry; Torin Porter; Aidia Rayne ’22; Jean Claude Saintilus; Jesse Salisbury; Schoodic Sculpture Symposium; Anoushe Shojae-Chaghoravand ’19; Gina Siepel MFA ’08; Chris Vorhees; and Elizabeth Weber.

In addition to the exhibition, This Is Out of Hand features a carving symposium Monday, September 11 through Wednesday, September 13, 2023. The three-day symposium–which is free and open to the public–includes artist lectures, panel discussions, carving workshops and demos, and live performances. 

This Is Out of Hand will remain on display during ICA gallery hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm, and Thursdays, 11am–7pm. For more information, please visit the exhibition website.

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Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D, pronounced "Maine College of Art and Design”) 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 Minors, Graduate Programs, Continuing Studies, Pre-College, and includes the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and the Institute for Contemporary Art. Follow us at @mecaart.