Faculty, staff, and visiting artists serve a vital role as mentors in students’ development by providing technical, professional, and conceptual information that is specific to each major.
We help students build their resume from the day they arrive by connecting them to professional experiences that utilize their creative talents. The Artists at Work office supplements the curricular experience by bringing professionals, alumni, speakers, and members of the business community to campus to present workshops, lead panel discussions, provide tips, and interview on-site with students for employment opportunities.
Student Grant for Professional Development and Entrepreneurship
The Artists at Work grant helps BFA, MFA, and MAT students advance their studio and professional skills by accessing opportunities and experiences beyond the MECA classroom.
There are two grant cycles, one in fall semester and one in spring.
Application Deadline: March 15, 2019 at midnight
Apply for the Spring 2019 Grant
Professional Development Series
MECA partnered with Creative Portland and Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts to present a monthly series of workshops on business basics for artists, including grantwriting, taxes, copyright issues, crowdsourcing, and marketing. Generous funding for the series came from the Quimby Family Foundation. Below are links to the videos, slideshows, and resources related to each workshop.
Health Insurance and Wellness in the Arts
From preventative care to understanding the Affordable Healthcare Act, this session is dedicated to keeping artists and their practices healthy. Presenters will include Sage Hayes co-founder of Justice in the Body, Beth O’Hara-Miklavic Education & Outreach director from Maine Community Health Options, artist Kate Carey and Edie Summers, wellness coach.
The implications of growing as an artist and art based business including fabrication, production, sourcing, and staffing. Presenters include artist Aaron Stephan, designer Erin Flett and career coach Barbara Babkirk of Heart at Work Associates.
Feeding Your Studio Practice
Evaluating technical and professional opportunities including residencies, studio environment, and education. Presenters included Rachel Katz, Artist and Administrative director of MFA at Maine College of Art, Megan Jo Wilson from MJW Consulting & Coaching, Lael Jepson from SheChanges, Hilary Irons, Maine based Artist and professor, Kate Anker, Meg K. Walsh and Christine Caswell from Running With Scissors studios.
Contracts for Creatives
Understanding and managing sales and service agreements including commission, consignment and licensing. Presenters included Zeke & Chelsea Callanan from Opticliff ESQ LLC, Arielle Walrath co-president of AIGA Maine / principal at Might & Main, Portland Museum of Art Store manager Sally Struever and Patrick May from the Portland Music Foundation.
Being a Professional: Responsibilities and Expectations
Practical resources, goal setting and planning techniques to elevate your artist profile. Presenters included artist Lissa Hunter, former Maine Arts Commission director Donna McNeil, Rose Contemporary Director Virginia Rose, Maine Jewish Museum curator Nancy Davidson and Portland Museum of Art Director Mark Bessire.
Social Media and Email Marketing
Evaluating which tools are right for you and linking them all together. Making the most of your contacts. Presenters to be announced. Presented by Presented by visual artist Mark Marchesi, musician Spencer Albee and Emily Brackett of Visible Logic.
Websites and Blogging
Choosing the right online portfolio platform for your needs, content basics, domain names, generating traffic and hit reports.
Presented by blogger Greta Rybus and PERCH Studio owner Stacy Kim.
Professional Documentation and Image Management
Getting professional photos of your work, naming and sizing standards, organizing your digital assets. Presenters to be announced.
Presenters included local photographer Robert Diamante, Ezekiel Callanan from Optcliff ESQ/Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Edwige Charlot from Creative Portland.
Beyond the Business Card
How and why to build an artist packet with Artist Statement, Bio, Resume and Studio Records. Presented by Artist Connie Hayes, Emily Friedman & Ariel Hagan from the Portland Museum of Art.
Tax Essentials for Artists
Presented by Artist Caren-Marie Michel, Tom Gangewer from Local Economy and Justin Coffin from MacPage.
Pricing and Valuing Artwork
Presented by Andres Verzosa from Aucocisco Gallery, Artist printmakerKyle Bryant, Annette Elowitch from Baridoff Galleries and Meagan Mattingly, Arts in Education Associate from the Maine Arts Commission.
Presented by Darrell Bulmer, Communication Associate from the Maine Arts Commission and Joachim Homann, curator at the Bowdoin Museum of Art.
In September 2012, MECA partnered with the Maine Arts Commission to present a two-day intensive on strategic planning, business plan development, promotions and marketing.