Maine College of Art & Design appoints two new full-time faculty members for the 2022-23 academic year 

Adam deGrandis ’05 to teach Animation & Game Art;
Sarah Shaw joins Illustration 

PORTLAND, ME June 16, 2022 — After two competitive national searches, Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) today announced the appointment of two new faculty members: Adam deGrandis ’05, a new Assistant Professor of Game Art & Design in the Animation & Game Art department, and Sarah Shaw, an Assistant Professor joining the Illustration department. Both appointments to the College will commence with the fall semester in August 2022.

Both deGrandis and Shaw hold notable careers as practitioners in their fields and have previous teaching experience. Most recently, deGrandis served as Founder and Art Director of Chickadee Games, a boutique visual design and art production studio he started in 2014. Meanwhile, Shaw brings experience as a freelance cartoonist and illustrator whose client roster includes The White House, The Boston Globe, The Boston Art Review, Philippine Air, and Dirigo Law Group.  

“We are so pleased to have Adam and Sarah joining our talented roster of educators,” said Ian Anderson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. “Adam impressed the committee with his capacity to work in many different modalities – as an art director, designer, production artist, and even junior programmer – and his ability to give thoughtful and focused feedback on a wide range of student work. In Sarah, we have found an incredibly accomplished and well-rounded illustrator with experience teaching around the world who is authentically passionate about teaching, sharing, and collaborating with the MECA&D community.”  

Adam deGrandis ’05

Both incoming faculty members have previous experience with the College. Adam deGrandis has longstanding ties with the College. After earning his BFA in New Media in 2005, deGrandis returned to teach at MECA&D from 2012-2019. Sarah Shaw, who grew up in nearby Gorham, Maine, received some of her creative beginnings in the MECA&D Pre-College program that she attended while in high school.

Through his career, deGrandis has worked for a variety of clients from giants like Disney Interactive to indie success stories like Pocketwatch Games, and countless smaller studios that were working on their first titles. 

“It is so great to be coming back to my alma mater to teach the next generation of game artists,” said deGrandis. “Over the years, I was fortunate to participate in portfolio reviews for the College and to hire some of my fellow alumni. The talent coming out of the school is fantastic, and it’s exciting to help play a role in the development of that skill.”

Sarah Shaw

An interdisciplinary illustrator and educator, Shaw holds a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Narrative from the School of the Visual Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Painting and a minor in Art History from the Pratt Institute. Shaw is an illustrator and cartoonist who experiments in animation, and who has taught in the US at the School of Visual Arts and abroad in South Korea, Colombia, and Nepal. 

“I never forgot the role Maine College of Art & Design’s Pre-College experience played in helping me think through a career in the arts,” said Shaw. “I’m looking forward to bringing back the lessons I’ve learned throughout my work to the place where it in some ways all started!”

Both of the new full-time faculty members were selected from many applicants in a long process by faculty search committees with assistance and input from the student body and staff. In the case of the Animation & Game Art search, a recent alumnus joined the committee. 

Learn more about the Animation & Game Art and Illustration majors at

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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.


Jacqui Walpole
Director of External Relations