Special Projects

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Go Figure

Go Figure is an exhibition featuring work from students in the Painting Program’s course: Beginning Figure Painting.

The work included in this exhibition involves indirect oil painting techniques that were originally developed by the Early Netherlandish Painters in the 15th & 16th centuries. Students began by constructing and priming their own panels. They developed drawings, color studies and underpaintings. The works were completed with many layers of thin, glazed color.

The class is made up of an unbelievably talented group of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who spent the last 5-weeks working really, really hard on these paintings.


Long wall, from left to right:
Jamie Hein, Baxter Hoplo, Aurora King, Mikayla Jutras, Patrick Stavens, Hannah Twombly, Lucas Ouellette, Annelise Zeender, Nicole Guest, Emily Gladchuk, Brendan Shea, Dr. Stallcup, Julia Langevin

Rolling walls, from left to right:
Alyssa Murray, Meg Hahn, Marty Reynolds, Sara Inacio

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FYin: Climate Change & Maine's Island Communities Exhibition
Now on view in Artists at Work through December 19, 2014. 

A collection of art works regarding climate change and the impact on coastal Maine Communities. These artists books, photos and maps were made by first year MECA students in partnership with the Island Institute and including interviews and oral history from Maine Coastal Fishing Organization
Participating Students:  
Veronica Jones,  Hudson Coccoluto, Jianna Bennetti, Arianne Patton, Olivia Dwyer, Rae Jett, Donovan Mooney, Ryan Mood, Trisha McNickle, Rachel Krause,Jackiellen Bonney, Anna Morse, Jacalynn Farrin, Molly Soneson and Cara Collins  
FYin Instructor:
Michel Droge

SYL Exhibition now on view in Artists at Work through November 10, 2014.
October 29 - November 10, 2014

De-Construct to Re-Construct
Instructor: Paul Lewandowski

Students: Joe Donovan, Ariana Faria, Meg Hudson, Ellie Johnson, Sayre Lenard, Madeline Owen, Sarah Perry, Parker Smedley, Chelsey Taylor, Melinda Thomas, Anna Welch and Ashley Wernher-Collins

Description: Second Year Lab - Deconstruct to Reconstruct is about exploration of garment construction, disassembly and inspiration.  The students have been working on a number of projects throughout the semester.  The work in this exhibit is the culmination of that research for two projects.The first project is the result of deconstructing a garment and using it as inspiration to develop a new piece – garment, artwork, or textile.  For the second project, the students were asked to purchase a garment or object from a thrift store and develop a companion piece to the first. Key themes during the semester have been inspiration, research, observation and response.

Gathering Influences: Collections, Collectibles, Collecting, Collectors
Instructor: Pilar Nadal

Students: Aaron Siegel, And Alter, Baxter Koziol, Catherine Quattrociocchi, Daniel Iwasko, David Martinez, Elizabeth Conlin, Emma Wolfsohn, Gunnar Johnson, Hannah Howard, Margaret Hahn, Marisa D’Andrea, Martin Reynolds, Olivia Waitekus, Paige Leonas, Paul Walsh, Raven Zeh and Sara Inacio

Description: "Objecte de Visite” - Students in this class were given the assignment to create a object that would represent their roles as an artist in the world. Each student made 100 objects to give away, barter and network with. Screen printed elements in each design, these students found ways to incorporate their skills, interests and ideas in each hand held piece. Each object contains the artist’s name, contact information and individual blog address that documents their printmaking and public engagement adventures in this lab. Our class blog: gatheringinfluences.tumblr.com contains all student links and other posts and resources of interest.

Photography: Document, Archive, Fiction
Instructor: Bryan Graf

Students: Justin Lumiere, Abbie Labonville, Claire Hartnell, Danielle Camillo, Elizabeth Johnson, Ileana Alarcon, Molly Hibler, Taylor McElhinny and Vincent Greco

Description: This exhibition is an accumulation of the past several projects where students were encouraged to investigate the plural and malleable language of photography.

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Now on view in Artists at Work through October 27, 2014. 

SYL: Universe Transformed
Instructor: Rachel Katz

This course explores ideas of the universe and science looking specifically at how we as artists understand, track, define and explain the world around us. As a class we will look at the work of scientists past and present. We will explore the ways that artists use scientific data collection and transform it into their own work.
Students will work in small groups to create their own data collection processes based throughout the Porteous building.
The work produced will serve as the foundation for personal projects that explore an artist’s perspective on living in this universe.

SYL: The Body in Context
Instructor: Ling-Wen Tsai

This is a multi/inter-disciplinary introduction and exploration of the body in context. Students choose their own specific topics that relate to the human condition in contemporary life. The content can be personal, social, and cultural. Work may take the form of, but are not limited to: drawing, painting, photography, collage, sculpture, installation, fashion, performance, video and sound. Our goal is to understand the complexity of who we are as individuals and as a collective, and to give voice to our insight through diverse representations of the body.

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Public Art Restoration

Artist: Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Title: Flow Thru Out
Year: 1997
Winning proposal in national competition, awarded 1994. Permanent public artwork, commissioned by Portland Percent for Art Program.

Restoration Team:
Erin Hutton '98 - Project Leader (project lead)
Phillip Tuttrow '02- Project Assistant (project co-lead / painting)
Doug Doering - Facilities management
John Nelson '12 - Steel Metalwork (stairs and floor plate)
Cat Bates '09- Small Metalwork (arrowheads)
Nicole Farrand '11 - Wood (restoration box)
Sarah Trudel '17- Student, Small Metalwork (arrowheads)
Jonathan Novak '15 - Graphic Design and Signage
Matthew Doucette - Community Volunteer

June 27 - July 18, 2014

Art//Service was an exhibition of work by students and alumni who have served in the military. An opening reception was held on July 4 from 5pm to 8pm in the Artists at Work space. 

The exhibition was about service, war, peace, and art as therapeutic work for both the artist-veterans who make it and the community in which it exists. This show included the work of Ren Albon '14, United States Navy; Peter Buotte MFA '05, United States Army; Lesley Corbett '13, United States Army; Evan Poole '15, United States Army; Frederick Twombly '15, United States Army; Patrick Scholz '15, United States Marine Corps; Phil Stevens '91, United States Army; and David Thomas '68, United States Army.
Art and military service have always co-existed, sometimes in parallel, sometimes crossing over, and sometimes at odds. Much of the military art we recognize and know is monuments to the fallen. “Our Lady of Victories” watches over Monument Square in Portland. Paid for by the Portland Soldiers and Sailors Association, the inscription reads, “Portland/To Her Sons Who Died/For The Union.”  However, the military also has a history of recruiting artists. The work of these soldier artists ranged from recording combat and battle scenes to the work of “The Ghost Army” in World War II, a special tactical unit that through deception saved thousands of Allied lives. (Ellsworth Kelly and Art Kane served in this unit.) This exhibit showed the work of artists both during and after military service.

REvision - Recycled Furniture Show

March 17 - April 5, 2014

Through a “draw”, students chose one of the provided furniture items that has been purchased, found or given and used it as a vehicle to create a new, functional form.

These new forms were created by adding to and subtracting from the original pieces of furniture. The techniques used were those that each student already possesses. All materials used in addition to the provided furniture form was the responsibility of the student.

Participating Students include: Jacob Bielewicz, Shadell Segree, Hedi Schweizer, David Herter, Elizabeth Leino, John Dickinson, Michelle Cody and Joe Lendway. Faculty: Matt Hutton, Associate Professor of Woodworking and Furniture Design

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A Shifted Behavior: a collaborative exploration of our individual actions and the impacts on climate change
February 28 - March 7, 2014

A Shifted Behavior is an artistic project that seeks to generate dialog and increase education about climate change through curriculum, community partnerships, social media and exhibitions. Using a variety of print and digital media, the works in the exhibition reveal how our individual actions impact the natural environment, and prompt us to question and shift our habits. Students worked collaboratively on a diverse set of projects that call attention to a range of environmental issues including waste, consumption, food safety and education. The project utilizes the Citizen Circle model and seeks to build peer knowledge and skills, increase engagement and expand the public audience.

This hybrid project is part of a larger Public Engagement  initiative to embed issues of climate change and environmental stewardship into the curriculum and co-curricular programming. This initiative is generously supported by an Environmental Education Grant from the EPA.   Thank you to our project partners inside the college and our community partners at 350/Maine.

The exhibition will be held at Maine College of Art, Zand Head Gallery, 522 Congress Street, Portland, Maine, from February 28-March 8.  Participatory projects and closing reception on first Friday, March 7 from 5-8PM.

Artists in the exhibition: Chloe Beaven, Robert Bennett, Kristina Buckley, Zach Dallaire, Caitlin Ervin, Ashley Hall, Samantha Prada-Putzig, Megan Taitano, Anthony Zambrana

Follow this project and other Public Engagement initiatives: http://publicengagementmeca.tumblr.com/ or MECA Public Engagement on Facebook

Lovapalooza Valentine Sale
February 7 -14, 2014

LOVAPALOOZA was Valentine's day themed sale of handmade cards, posters and prints created by Maine College of Art's Printmaking majors and Introduction to Relief class. All proceeds from the event helped to fund the Printmaking majors' attendance to the Southern Graphics Council Conference in San Francisco of March 2014. Child-friendly activities, raffles, food and fun were of no shortage. The exhibition and sale took place in Artists at Work.

Pre-Sale - Thursday, February 6th - 12-2PM
First Friday Art Walk Event and Sale - Friday, February 7th, 5-8PM
Children's Workshop - Saturday, February 8th, 1-3PM (Valentine making station, face painting and button making)

Participants: Bennett Morris - Faculty, Elizabeth Jabar - Faculty, Adriane Herman - Faculty, Nate Terrin, Jodi Ferry, Sam Prada-Putzig, Kristina Buckley, Hannah Hermes, Josiah Webber, Nikki Taylor, Kara Munro, Asa Brinbaum, Richard Ehman, Dave Twiss, Jessica Beer, Anthony Zambrana, Brady Price, Amy Alter, Zachary Dallaire, R.C. Ehman, Masooma Habibullah, Daniel Iwasko, Alex Lavergne, Sarah Leschinsky, Eden McDowell, Brady Price, Josiah Purves, Garrett Radcliff, Mariana Silva, Rachel Smith, Anabella Souza, Patrick Stevens, Shane Waters, Samala Williams and Emma Wolfsohn.

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Book Signing: Peter Korn
“Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman”
Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7pm
Presented with Longfellow Books

In this moving account, Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer/maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and finally founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected, non-profit institution.

This is not a 'how-to' book in any sense. Korn wants to get at the why of craft in particular, and the satisfactions of creative work in general, to understand their essential nature. How does the making of objects shape our identities? How do the products of creative work inform society? In short, what does the process of making things reveal to us about ourselves? Korn draws on four decades of hands-on experience to answer these questions eloquently, and often poignantly, in this personal, introspective, and revealing book.

Artists at Work invited readers to join them for an evening with Maine craftsman and author Peter Korn to discuss his book, share their thoughts on the creative process and get their books signed.

Geary’s Summer Ale Competition

Thanks to all students who participated in the 2014 Geary's Summer Ale packaging competition. This year's $5,000 winner was Graphic Design senior Nicole Holmes. In conjunction with the release of the SummerAle this spring, we will host an exhibition of the entries in the Artists at Work space.

See a gallery of all entries.

Sustainability in Textiles and Apparel - Midwinter Cocktail Party and Think Tank
January 29, 2014
Presented by Maine College of Art, Jeff Edelstein, Founder of Greater Portland Sustainability Council, Anne Emlein, Department Chair of Textiles and Fashion Design, and Alice Spencer, Painter, Printmaker and Textile Collector

Leaders and manufacturers in the textile and apparel sector of Maine convened for an evening to address Maine’ role in advancing sustainability within the industry both nationally and internationally. More than 50 attendees displayed their work, gave presentations about their products, and shared information. Participants also engaged in a conversation about how the sector could help advance Maine’s economy. In conjunction with the summit, students mounted an exhibition “Stripes: Fabricating the Landscape” featuring hand-printed textiles inspired by familiar horizons.

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Stripes: Fabricating the Landscape
January 2014

Hand printed textiles inspired by familiar horizons. Translations crafted in the Textile and Fashion Design department at the Maine College of Art.

Participants: Ren Albon, Rose Allard, Issac Atkins, Allison Bonin, Kate Harnden, Megan Hudson, Emily Koerner, Rangeley Morton, Ashley Rogers, Cassidy Seidler, Parker Smedley, Victoria Statsenko, Trystan Stoffel, Instructor Anne Emlein

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Holiday Sale Department Showcases
December 2013

Printmaking Department
See printmaking here.

Printed works ranging from etchings, lithographs, screen-prints and everything in between from current printmaking Juniors and Seniors as well as prints from the departments archived collection. Proceeds helped students fund a trip to San Francisco to attend the Southern Graphics Council Conference in March 2014.

Participating students: Sam Prada-Putzig, Nate Terrin, Niki Taylor, Josiah Webber, Jodi Ferry, Richard Ehman, Hannah Hermes, Carter Shappy, Kara Munro, Kristina Buckley, Jessica Beer, Asa Birnbaum and Dave Twiss. Faculty Representative - Elizabeth Jabar

Illustration Department
See illustration here. 

A group of dedicated and passionate students who produce professional illustrations with spunk.

Participating Students: Katie Ackley, Chelsea Anthony, Molly Blyth-Olson, Cecil Cates, Taylor Grant, Paul Gray, Chris Jones, Alex Knight, Alex Levergne, Adra McBride, Emma McCabe, Kristie McDonald, Liam Murphy, Sarah Oppelt, Anabelle Souza, Desiree Wiegand, Hana Firestone, Kiah Gardner, Miles Cook and Chris Vales. Faculty Representative - Jamie Hogan. 

Ceramics Department
See ceramics here.

Showcase of current Ceramics Majors and a raffle fund raiser for the Ceramics Department.

Photography Department
See photography here.

The MECA Photo Department hosted a photo booth fundraiser for their annual spring semester trip to the AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) conference in New York City. Visitors were invited to come and get a formal portrait, or goofy fun photo to commemorate the MECA Holiday Sale on the third floor in the lighting studio. The Photo Booth served as a way for students to raise money for room and board during the trip, to alleviate the travel costs.

Participating Students: Savanna Pettengill, Will Thompson, Jonathan Theodoreau, Bella Provan, Regan Chase, Caley McGuane and Sydney Shields. Faculty Representative - Justin Kirchoff
Woodworking & Furniture Design Department
See woodworking & furniture design here.

Student collective designed and produced a stool for a small-batch production made at MECA.

Participating Students: Ren Albon, Forest Gagne, Rangeley Morton, John Dickins, Rebbeka Federle, Keaven Hart, Joe Lendway, Queena Lo, Elizabeth Lieno, Benjamin Perkins, Heidi Schweizer and Jacob Michaud. Faculty Representative – Matt Hutton
Graphic Design Department
See graphic design here.

Graphic Design incorporates media and techniques across the spectrum, from print to digital and beyond. The work of current students was displayed in this Salon-style exhibition and sale showcasing the broad range of work produced in the Graphic Design department here at MECA.

Participating Students: Shelly Buchanan, Jon Foster, Nicole Holmes, Brittany Jasmin, Frances Mahoney, Hugh McCormick, Jonathan Novak, Cecelia Packard, Anna Taylor and Sabrina Volante. Faculty Representative - Charles Melcher

MECA Holiday Sale
December 6 and 7, 2013

The 2013 Maine College of Art Holiday Sale took place on Friday, December 6 from 5pm to 9pm and Saturday, December 7 from 10am to 5pm throughout three floors of Porteous Building. This annual, curated art sale featured 64 students, faculty, staff and alumni selling unique and affordable handmade art. In addition to individual vendors, ten department showcases provided an opportunity to learn more about the various majors at the College and purchase art. Proceeds from the department showcases helped students pursue professional development opportunities. Admission was free.

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Celebrate 20
December 5, 2013

Recognizing the 20-year anniversary of this MECA Holiday Sale, the College held a fundraiser, Celebrate 20, on Thursday, December 5th. This was a limited-ticket event that featured a one-night only sale of higher-end priced work by selected Holiday Sale alumni artists. Proceeds from the evening benefited MECA’s scholarship fund.

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Art + Food + Love + Talk
December 13, 2013

The Maine College of Art’s Public Engagement Class: The Art of Collaboration and Participation, in partnership with Cultivating Community, invited individuals and organizations to Art+Food+Love+Talk: an exploration of food access through art, food and conversation on Friday, December 13, 5:30­-7:00pm.

The evening centered on a shared meal, and conversation about our collective and personal relationship to food, gardening and food access. The event included homemade soup and bread made by Cultivating Community’s high school Culinary Crew, an art installation, participatory art making and story collection.

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Holiday Window: Fabrication
November 25, 2013 - January 14, 2013

Senior Graphic Design student Cassie Amicone created a three-dimensional installation for the Maine College of Art's annual holiday window display as a part of her internship with Beth Taylor, Assistant Director of Marketing and Design. The installation was constructed with just under 1000 cardboard pizza bases and 1000 paper plates and was built with assistance from classmates and friends. Through this atmospheric and celebratory display, visitors experienced the sensitivity to craft and design that builds off of Amicone's two-dimensional design.

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FY-In Lunch
November 2013

All freshmen are enrolled in FY-In, a class which introduces them to each other, the college, and the local community. The class of more than 120 students is divided into six groups, each with a community partner and real world project. All the students gathered together at the end of their first semester for a communal lunch. Students were asked to reflect “what did you learn about yourself this semester?”

See the responses.

Civic Center Mural
October 2013
The Cumberland County

The Cumberland County Civic Center engaged first year MECA students to design a 140-foot mural for the Free Street building exterior. Faculty member Shirah Neumann worked with freshmen in her FY-In public engagement class to understand the needs of the stakeholders, define the design parameters, pitch concepts, rework ideas, and work collaboratively. Freshman Grace Whatley’s concept was selected for the final design. Students worked as artists-in-residence in the Artists at Work space to prep and paint 40 panels. The mural will be on view for the next year.

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Portland Regional Chamber Community Leadership Awards
October 2013

Shirah Neumann MFA '12, Rangeley Morton '14, and Seth Gould '09 participated in the Portland Regional Chamber Community Leadership Awards. Seth fabricated the awards that were given to community leaders, Shirah exhibited her paintings, and Rangely created the sculptural wall on the stage. Incorporating art was just one effort by the Chamber to recognize artists as business owners. The chamber will partner with MECA on two exhibitions per year at their office, with a commitment to spend $2,000 annually in sales to build their corporate collection.

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First Friday Art Walk
Monthly Event

First Friday Art Walk (FFAW) is a free self-guided tour of local art galleries, art studios, museums, and alternative art venues on the First Friday of every month from 5-8 pm.

Maine College of Art provides an opportunity for students to participate in the FFAW by providing table space and guidance for student interested in selling, showcasing and presenting their work as part of the Student Art Sale.

UPCOMING: Artists at Work
To be announced.