Artists at Work provides space to showcase work that exemplifies the mission of the program. This professional opportunity for students and alumni includes works in progress, finished work, classroom projects, workshop space, entrepreneurial endeavors and public engagement initiatives.

On View

Alexandra Silverthorne MFA ’10: yes is the only living thing

On view: July 5–August 16, 2019
Opening Reception: July 5, 6–8pm
Artists at Work Gallery at MECA&D

Artist Talk + Book Signing:
August 1, 5:30pm
Osher Hall at MECA&D

This summer, Alexandra Silverthorne MFA ’10 will be showing work from the series at the Artist at Work Gallery at MECA&D. The show will be up from July 5—August 16, with an opening reception July 5, 6-8pm.

There will also be an Artist Talk + Book Signing featuring a conversation with Julie Poitras Santos on August 1, 5:30pm at Maine College of Art & Design in Osher Hall.

yes is the only living thing, 11" x 14" archival inkjet print from scanned instant film. Edition of 5.

Alexandra Silverthorne MFA '10 is releasing her new book, yes is the only living thing, a series of 76 images looking at moments of celebration, wonder, and stillness in her own life. Shot the year following a friend’s sudden cancer relapse and near-immediate death, the images echo her attempts to infuse her own life with some of the same determination, thoughtfulness, and grace that was ever-present in her life. The series was captured with recently-discontinued peel apart instant film on a fickle hand-me-down Polaroid Reporter camera. Silverthorne was attracted to the unpredictability of both the film and the camera and how this seemed to echo the unpredictability of life, itself. The book features all 76 images, a collection of text by Julie Poitras Santos, and a conversation with Annie Mahon.

View the project and learn more here.

Past Exhibitions

2020 Vision / Nov. 26–Dec. 6, 2018

2020 Vision: Painting Juniors

November 26 to December 6
The latest work by painting juniors Rosalind Wade, Cade Jarvis, Cooper Binette, Imani Jones, Hannah Sullivan Day, Genevieve Moberly, William Grace, Cat Mitchell, Mattie Perry, Carmelita Partlow, Candice Gosta, and Josephine Chase

Image: Genevieve Moberly

Through the Artists at Work program, MECA&D facilitates the rental of artwork. Individuals or businesses can rent work by MECA&D alumni and faculty for a fee. Participating artists in the exhibition include Kimberly Convery '05, Pilar Nadal MFA '13, and Lisa Whelan '85.

Art Rental / June 1–October 15, 2018

Artists at Work's Art Rental

Pilar Nadal MFA '13, Artists At Work Art Rental

Print by Pilar Nadal MFA '13 for the Artists At Work Art Rental Program

June 1 to October 15, 2018: Art Rental
Through the Artists at Work program, MECA&D facilitates the rental of artwork. Individuals or businesses can rent work by MECA&D alumni and faculty for a fee. Participating artists in the exhibition include Kimberly Convery ’05, Pilar Nadal MFA ’13, and Lisa Whelan ’85.

BFA Thesis Exhibition / May 2018

The 2018 BFA Thesis Exhibition

Friday, May 4, 2018
Opening Reception: 5–8pm
•  Lower Level & Floors
•  Open to the Public

The 2018 BFA Thesis Exhibition is an extraordinary showing by 100 graduating Seniors, and the Porteous building is glowing with an abundance of work on the Lower Level and Floors 1–3. 

Viewing Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11am–5pm, Thursday, and First Fridays

Wilsonart Chair Challenge/ March 29 to April 19, 2018

Wilsonart Chair Challenge


March 29 to April 19, 2018

For the past 14 years, Wilsonart - a leading manufacturer and provider of engineered surfacing solutions - has sponsored a national Student Chair Design Competition, founded and led by design historian and material expert Grace Jeffers. The Competition is hosted at a different university each year, and Maine College of Art & Design is fortunate to have been selected as the 2017-18 host institution.

The program begins with a semester-long class through which students have the opportunity to design and build unique chairs. Each year a new theme is announced, which is then left up to students’ interpretation.

This year’s theme was Nature. Through collaborative brainstorming, model making, material experimentation, and one-on-one dialogue with Jeffers and Woodworking & Furniture Design Professor Matt Hutton, each student designed and constructed their own chair utilizing Wilsonart plastic laminate.

At the completion of the course, each student presented their chair designs to a jury of industry professionals. The grand prize winner receives a $3,000 scholarship, and he or she, along with 5 runners up get to showcase their chairs at the renowned International Contemporary Furniture Fair in NYC, an event that attracts thousands of media, architects, designers, manufacturers and other industry professionals.

Zine Fair / February 28 – March 18, 2018

Zine Fair

The Zine Fair will be open for March’s First Friday Art Walk and is on view February 28–March 18, 2018. It will be located in the Artists at Work Project Space at MECA&D.

This is an all-inclusive, collaborative event and exhibition that brings Portland’s Community and its artists together. The space will have a Zine Library, for showing and selling zines, as well as tables for community zine-making (complete with materials—and a photocopier!).

In collaboration with the MECA&D Zine Club, we will be holding several workshops throughout the month. Some events are open to the public, while others are designed for MECA&D students and Zine Club. We hope for a diverse range of students, artists, and zines to be a part of this event!

Zine Guidelines

Zines may be made in any medium, topic, size (usually, the largest is 8 ½ x 11 folded in half). Artists may submit as many zines as they would like. We ask that each zine be an edition of 5 at the minimum and 25 at the maximum. All work must be editioned and labeled with the correct pricing, the artist’s name, and an inventory list of all work the artist will be selling.

Jo Tatlock is a Printmaking Major and Public Engagement Minor at Maine College of Art & Design. Their work focuses on queer identity and culture, and socially engaged art. Jo and two of their printmaking colleagues (Marisa D’Andrea and Allison Neilan) co-founded the MECA&D Zine Club; In the winter of 2016, they officially formed the collective called Zazufren. They co-organized and curated two Zine Fairs in Portland, ME, in both 2016 and 2017. The most recent was part of a curated group show of the two collectives Zazufren and Future Mothers, called Collective Actions II in the ICA at MECA&D. This year, the Zine Fair is Jo’s Public Engagement capstone, with the help of Zazufren collaborator Allison Neilan.

Still Standing / January 24 — February 24, 2018

Still Standing

January 24, 2018- February 24, 2018

STILL STANDING, The Abyssinian Meeting House Story Archive
Opens Friday (Artwalk), February 2, 2018

On view January 24—February 24, 2018
Artists at Work Project Space

SALT Program in Documentary Studies will be conducting live interviews and audio recording on first Friday, February 2 and there will be a Story Circle event on Saturday, February 3 from 3-6PM. All events are free and open to the public.

The Public Engagement Program at Maine College of Art & Design presents the exhibition STILL STANDING, The Abyssinian Meeting House Story Archive, to be held at Maine College of Art & Design. The show is a culmination of a three-year oral history and storytelling project with elders and community leaders from Portland and students at MECA&D.

The Abyssinian Meeting House is full of great stories. In 1866 it survived The Great Fire when fireman and member William Wilberforce Ruby saved it by covering it in wet blankets courtesy of spring running through the building’s basement. The Abyssinian Meeting House functioned as a cultural center and a leading contributor to The Underground Railroad. After years of vacancy, this cultural center was almost lost again in the 1970’s when it was slated for demolition by the city. Deborah Cummings Khadraoui rediscovered this important cultural center and catalyzed its restoration. As the third oldest African American meeting house in the country, The Abyssinian Meeting House is an important American cultural landmark.

For the past three years, students in the Public Engagement class Storytelling 101 have collaborated with The Abyssinian Meeting House to celebrate its story. For this project, students interviewed African American elders in Maine, to create an archive of stories to be housed at The Abyssinian Meeting House. By documenting these stories, the partnership aimed to honor the contribution and experience of African American elders by creating an archive of stories for future generations. Still Standing is the culminating event to celebrate the importance of African American experiences in Portland and communicate the significance of this history in the state of Maine.

The exhibition features audio, text and photographs from all three years of the project. The exhibition opens on first Friday, February 2, 2018 and runs from January 24, 2018–February 24, 2018 in the Artists at Work Gallery at 522 Congress Street, Portland. Students from the SALT Program in Documentary Studies will be conducting live interviews and audio recording on first Friday, February 2 and there will be a Story Circle event on Saturday, February 3 from 3:00-6:00PM. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information contact
Elizabeth A. Jabar, Associate Dean + Director of Public Engagement,

Coverage in the Forecaster

Quote from one of the interviews:

Because the true story of the black community, the African Americans in Maine, in Portland, they’ve done an awful lot of good. History books have not been kind to the African Americans here in Maine, or in Portland. But we’re changing that. We’re the Abyssinian, we’re changing that. Make sure the history books at least tell part of the story, the true story. At least from this point on, if anybody beat the drum I think we beat the drum, we helped make Portland a better place to live for the people that were here as well as for my family.

— Leonard Cummings

#MECA&Dmade / December 6 —December 23, 2017


#MECA&Dmade Kelsey Haley

Las Greitas by Kelsey Haley '15

This exhibition features by works by selected MECA&D alumni work. #MECA&Dmade is a pop-up shop in Artists at Work from December 6 to 23, 2017.

The #MECA&Dmade showcase includes the following artists: Kari Radasch ‘97, Eric Drzewianowsk ‘04, Kristin Fitzpatrick ‘13, Maggie Muth ‘11, LK Weiss ‘11, Amalia Guettinger ‘12, John Nelson ‘12, Shannon Owen ‘14, Kelsey Haley ‘15, Tabitha Barnard ‘16, Sophie Cangelosi ‘16, Melinda Aste ‘17, Meg Hahn ‘17, Eden McDowell ‘17 and faculty member Adriane Herman.

Also participating is Might and Main, a local design firm co-founded by MECA&D alum Sean Wilkinson ‘01 and employing alums Morgan DiPietro ‘11, Sarah McLean ‘14, Sabrina Volante ‘14, Miekala Cangelosi ‘16, and intern Mackenzie Mangosing, a current student.

Enamel Mugs by Might and Main

As an homage to Maine, Might & Main created a collection of usable goods marked with the word that has proclaimed our state’s mission since declaring independence in 1820: “Dirigo,” Latin for “I Lead.”

For more information contact us at

Viewing Hours: Monday - Thursday 10am to 5pm, Friday 10am to 7pm, and Saturday 11am to 4pm.

Special hours: Thursday, Dec. 7 until 7pm as part of Merry Madness and Saturday, Dec. 23 from 10am to 5pm for last minute shoppers.

Artists Website & Social Links:

Portland Arcades, Green Spaces, and Ghosts / Fall 2017


FY-In Honors Student Exhibition

Current student Danny Mendola Jacquard Cloth, Thread and acrylic paint on fabric, 2017

This exhibition features by students in the First-Year Honors course. Portland Arcades, Green Spaces, and Ghosts taught by Hilary Irons partnered with the Maine Historical Society.

Each student used a source image from the Maine Memory Network archive to create an original artwork in a medium of their choosing.

Viewing Hours: Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays, 10:00am-3:00pm or by appointment.

2017 Salt Alumni Exhibition / Fall 2017

2017 Salt Alumni Exhibition

Thalassa Rach, Dessert from the series Rim Road, 2015

This exhibition features the work of thirteen alumni from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, which is now a graduate certificate program at MECA&D. As we welcome Salt to campus— Fall 2017 students are the inaugural class – we honor the history of Salt and its long commitment to documentary storytelling.

Featured Artists:  Stephanie Mitchell ’95, Posey Gruener ’05, Adam Kampe ’05, Douglas W. Milliken ’05 Alexandra Marvar ’06, Jodie Goodnough ’07, Molly Graham ’09, David Foster ’10, Kristin Moe ’12, Thalassa Raasch ’12, Grace Mendenhall ’13, Abigail Holtzman ’14, and Morgan Springer ’14.

RETROSPECTIVE / July 7 — August 20, 2017

RETROSPECTIVE, Portland’s Metals Collective Through the Years

A selection of works from Piercing the Pickle, 2015, The Bearded Lady's Jewel Box. (Left to Right) Emily Percival, Pickle Fork, Sterling Silver. Maria Wolff, Left Handed Relish Spoon, Sterling Silver. Nicholas Downing, Pickle Fork, Steel.

Artists at Work Gallery, First Floor, Porteous
July 7—August 20, 2017

The Metals Collective was founded by Maine College of Art & Design Alumni in 2010, and now after 7 years includes more than 25 participating members who to date have put on more than a dozen group shows at local venues, with themes ranging from poison rings to absinthe spoons, pickle forks to tussie mussies. This RETROSPECTIVE will give the public the unique opportunity to revisit these group shows and to see the evolutionary work of 7 individual members, including many pieces available for purchase. Come see what our passionate community of metalsmiths has been up to!

Featured Artists: Ann Thompson, Cat Bates, Emily Percival, Maria Wolff, Mary Forst, Naomi McNeill & Shelby Goldsmith
Viewing Hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11:00am-6:00pm, Fridays & Saturdays, 11:00am-7:00pm, Sundays: 12:00pm–5:00pm

Evolving Perceptions / April 7 — April 19, 2017 

 Evolving Perceptions

Large open jar, Stoneware, Kaolin slip, Laterite slip, Wood Ash. Atmospheric fired with gas, 2017, 31 x 18 x 18


Explorations in Clay: Adrian King '12
Artists at Work Gallery Space
April 7—April 19, 2017

Evolving Perceptions is a showing of functional and sculptural wares that are exploring a conversation between surface, form and the ever changing perspective of functional objects. Adrian King recently worked as an apprentice to a production potter in North Carolina by the name of Mark Hewitt. There he learned to produce functional pottery at a high standard keeping with pottery traditions tied to english slipware and southern folk pottery. Since his time working in North Carolina, he has been developing a body of work that speaks of the relationship of his interests in atmospheric firing with gas and wood, and the skills and techniques he learned as an apprentice. He hopes to be able to capture the beauty of the materials used through simple yet activating surfaces that speak true to the process of the craft.