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.

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 presents the exhibition STILL STANDING, The Abyssinian Meeting House Story Archive, to be held at Maine College of Art. 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.

    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


FALL 2017


#MECAmade Kelsey Haley

Las Greitas by Kelsey Haley ’15

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

The #MECAmade 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 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:

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

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. 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, 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 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

SPRING  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.