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maine college of art SUMMER Newsletter 2011 MECA by the Numbers


Maine College of Art Mission

board of trustees

Maine College of Art delivers a demanding and enlivening education in visual art and design within an intimate learning community. We teach each student how to transform aspirations and values into a creative practice that serves as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals.

Mary Schendel, Chair Samuel Pierce, Vice Chair Joan L. Amory Jane G. Briggs Ronald Buford Maria Canning John R. Coleman Daniel Crewe Richard E. Curran, Jr. William R. Dill Deborah H. Dluhy Annette L. Elowitch Ralph L. Harding Anne M. Ireland ’94 Judith A. Kane, Ph.D Candace Pilk Karu Erick Lahme Paula Crane Lunder Margaret Minister O’Keefe Jac Ouellette ’02 Claudia Pachios Deborah S. Reed Dorothy Schwartz Cindy Thompson William C.Thornton Andres Verzosa ’92 Caron Zand

programs MECA offers a BFA degree in 10 studio majors, an MFA in Studio Arts, and a Post-Baccalaureate in Art Education, as well as Continuing Studies for youth and adults. The Institute of Contemporary Art and the Joanne Waxman Library at MECA are campus resources that are open to the public.

about this publication In compiling this newsletter, every effort was made to ensure its accuracy. Please accept our apologies if any errors were made. Contact us at or 207.775.5098.

Throughout this newsletter you will find illustrations, graphics and designs by students Jeff Hoffman ’11 and Morgan DiPietro ’11. Both Jeff and Morgan are Graphic Design majors who work in the Advancement Office where they assist with publication design and production.

Design: Mira J. Alden Images: Bryan Bruchman, Stacey Cramp Contributors: Jessica Tomlinson, Annie Wadleigh, Jill Dalton ’99

MECA offers 10 majors: Ceramics, Graphic Design, Illusstration, Metalsmithing & Jewelry, New Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Woodworking & F urniture Design


Since starting my post as the President of Maine College of Art in July 2010, I have been busy learning as much as I can about this special place. I’ve talked to hundreds of people—students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, parents, art teachers—and have been hearing about why people are so passionate about the College. In addition to the anecdotal feedback, this fall we’ve been looking at a lot of data, hence the theme for this newsletter, MECA By the Numbers. We participated in the Strategic National Alumni Arts Project to learn about how graduates of art school are making a living. We learned that 71% of our graduates have been working as professional artists since graduation. The national average for other arts alumni was 59%. We learned that 33% of our graduates founded their own company; the average was 15%. MECA alums cited that they most valued the sense of belonging they felt along with the opportunities to present and exhibit their work. To better support our students and graduates, we hired Mary Ann Benson as the Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Career and Entrepreneurial Services. In this new position at MECA, Mary Ann will focus on career development, employment, internships, and on-campus employment. In addition to academic and studio skills, the College wants to provide students with external opportunities to excel in their posteducation environment and be prepared to secure jobs related to their creative interests as entrepreneurs. In our quest for data this year, we worked with a strategic marketing group to conduct surveys to better understand why students choose to come to MECA. Similar to what we heard from alumni, the data revealed that students are attracted to MECA because it is a place that they can belong. With just over 300 students, you have to work hard to disappear, not to get noticed. This spring, a student sent an email to the whole student body that he had a bagel but no condiment. He was looking to share half in exchange for a topping (“as long as it was not marmalade”). Not only did his fellow students come forward with peanut butter, but the Director of Student Affairs phoned the RA to make sure the student was not hungry. At MECA we recognize students as individuals, not numbers. If you ever have a question about your student or the College, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 207.699.5012 or at

Don Tuski President




Maine College of Art BFA

308 students 75% from New England $28,745 annual tuition $12,000 average financial aid 97% receive financial assistance 62 faculty members 9:1 student to faculty ratio 24/7 access to Porteous Building

900,000 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

For the past eleven years, the local D.L. Geary Brewing Company has sponsored a design contest at MECA for their Summer Ale label. The winning design is featured on 900,000 bottles and related packaging and the artist receives $5,000. More than 60 designs were submitted. This year’s winner is Morgan DiPietro ‘11, a graphic design major from Cumberland, ME. Her fresh contemporary design features words describing iconic Maine summers. Before coming to MECA to study graphic design, DiPietro received her business communications degree from Bentley College and worked with the AmeriCorps VISTA program in Rhode Island. Last summer she interned with designer Angela Adams; the summer before she interned at Portland Color. In addition to winning the Geary’s contest, she also won the Winter Window Walk contest for her holiday installation in the front window of MECA. To view all the Geary’s entries, see

FY-In Orients 100 New Students

In September, MECA welcomed 100 new first-year students. To help acclimate them to college life at MECA and in Portland, all freshman participate in the FY-In seminar. The class is divided into six sections, each with a different faculty member and a different community partner. Students read, write, research, make art, discuss and critique in relation to the specific project-based work of their section. The projects involve students with local nonprofits and businesses, provide real-world problems and solutions and introduce them to resources on and off campus. In “What is your Soundtrack?: Creative Action in a Changing World,” professor Christina Bechstein asked students to explore the relationship of artists and designers to music and sustainability. Students visited a professional recording studio to create a personal soundtrack and partnered with Space Gallery, an alternative venue for visual and performing arts. During the final group presentations, Ian Paige, Events Programmer for Space Gallery, reflected on his experience with students: “While part of an art school education demands the fundamentals that teach you how to make art, this class seems rare because it teaches you how to BE an artist.”


Timeline 4

1882 Founded as part of the Portland Society of Art

1911 First organized curriculum

1914 Acquired Charles Q. Clapp House at 97 Spring Street


MECA Offers $12,000 Scholarships to Local Graduates

In 2010, Maine College of Art completed its vision to bring all academic and studio facilities under the roof of the Porteous Building. In appreciation of the local community that was instrumental in achieving this goal, MECA has created the Portland Area School Scholarship (PASS) for 18 selected area high schools. For any graduate of the selected schools who qualifies for admission to the undergraduate program at Maine College of Art, the College will provide a guaranteed $12,000 scholarship each year for four years or until they complete the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, provided they maintain good academic standing. This scholarship is open to any graduate of the selected high schools, regardless of when they graduated or if they are transferring from another institution. There is no limit to the number of graduates who can take advantage of this offer. With an estimated Fall 2011 tuition of $29,000 this brings the initial tuition cost to approximately $17,000. Students who are eligible can also apply for federal and state aid to further reduce their tuition costs. The first scholarships will be awarded for students entering the BFA program in Fall 2011. In addition to new students, the scholarship applies to currently enrolled MECA BFA students who are graduates from the selected schools. To view the list of eligible high schools and for information about applying, contact the Admissions Office at or by calling 800.699.1509. Members of the public interested in contributing to the PASS fund should contact the Advancement Office at or call 207.775.5098.

1917 First certificates awarded for two years of study

1924 First diplomas awarded for four years of study

1934 Named changed to School of Fine and Applied Arts

1972 Name changed to Portland School of Art



Students Work with PMA to Develop Educational Programs

This fall, the Portland Museum of Art wanted to give visitors the opportunity to see the creative process at work. To make the process visible, they turned to MECA for help in creating educational programming from the emerging artist perspective. Based on the strength of their studio work and their aptitude for teaching, Painting professor Gail Spaien selected four seniors for the project: Maggie Muth, Nikki Stroumbos, Meghan Gervasio, and Hannah Godbey. They spent months visiting the museum to find inspiration for their own work that would serve as the basis for a family workshop during February break. The workshop helped visitors see the life cycle of a work of art—from getting inspired, to making sketches, to working on a piece, to the final product that hangs on the wall. Gail noted, “Each time I produce work for an exhibit, as soon as it see it hung in the gallery I’m on to the next project. I experience an openness in my thought process when I’m designing a project or problem solving a painting. Seeing a piece completed uses my brain in a totally different way—much less fun. A family activity like this encourages adults and children to experience their own imagination. Instead of aiming for a single, correct solution to a problem, it’s okay to come up with multiple answers. Everyone accesses their intuition and reasoning skills. Those who come to this event get to be creative, create, and have a glimpse into what occurs in an artist’s studio.”


219 non-resident studio advisers since 1998 107 visiting faculty since 1998 23 current students 10 weeks on campus 4 resident MECA faculty members Lauren Fensterstock is the new Academic Director of the Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts program at MECA. Fensterstock previously served as the Interim Director of the ICA at MECA for three years. Rachel Katz, who has been with the the MFA program since its inception more than 10 years ago, is the new Administrative Director. Over the past decade, MECA’s MFA has built a reputation as one of the nation’s most vibrant full-time, medium residency graduate programs. During the fall, winter and spring semesters, students work in diverse locations, in close relationship with their personal studio advisors and conducting classwork online. They spend each summer on campus, working with resident and visiting artists.

1973 NASAD accreditation received


1975 First BFA degrees awarded

1978 NEASC accreditation received

1981 Baxter Building acquired

Maine College of Art was founded in 1882 as part of the Portland Society of Art. The mission was two-fold: to present exhibitions and educate artists. In 1982, the Portland Society of Art became two organizations, one became the Maine College of Art and the other became the Portland Museum of Art.

1982 School separated from Portland Society of Art

1992 Name changed to Maine College of Art

1993 Porteous Mitchell & Braun department store building purchased

1996 4th and 5th floors of Porteous Building completed



Continuing Studies 2,000 students per year 300 classes offered annually 120 faculty 5 exhibitions of student work annually 3 semesters

Continuing Studies has a new web site allowing for easier online browsing and registration for adult and youth classes. You can also purchase gift certificates through the online checkout. This summer, Continuing Studies has a new offering for adults. The Artist Retreat Series was developed with the busy artist in mind. Students of all skill levels and abilities are welcome to enjoy the opportunity to work in a professional studio during a week of intensive instruction. Classes include jewelry, ceramics, drawing, sewing, and painting as well as two island options. Youth programming for the summer includes the Pre-College program, where students immerse themselves for an entire month, exploring life as an art college student. A shorter option for high school students is the Studio School Summer Institute. An extension of the Studio School program that runs during the academic school year, the Summer Institute has been developed for young artists to create in professional studios with working artists in a variety of arts disciplines. For the younger student, ages 9–12, the Summer Art Academy also offers week-long classes, taught by the professional artists and students in MECA’s Art Education Post-Baccalaureate progam.

Post-Baccalaureate in Art Education 12 grades that you can teach when you get your certification 50 states that you are eligibile to teach in 10 month program

Once again, MECA students collaborated with the ICA at MECA and the Many Rivers program at Hall School. Art Ed students worked with the elementary school children on the topic of relection, connecting the lessons to the mirror exhibition on view in the ICA. MECA students visited the Hall School and then the Hall school students came to MECA to create self-portraits. This spring, Art Ed students worked with King Middle School and Curious City to participate in a national project related to the book Memento Nora by author Angie Smibert. In the book, the main characters combat social injustice by capturing their history in a comic book. Art education students facilitated creating comics and storyboards inspired by sections of the book. The Portland Public Library displayed the work during the First Friday Art Walk in May.

1997 1st floor of Porteous completed; Institute of Contemporary Art opened


1998 MFA in Studio Arts program launched

2001 Joanne Waxman Library opened on 2nd floor of Porteous Building

2001 New Media department established


2004 Illustration and Woodworking & Furniture Design majors established

2004 Post-Baccalaureate in Arts Education established

2005 Secured Oak Street Residence Hall




1,800 visitors during First Friday Art Walk 34,000 visitors annually, including 700 schoolchildren 13 artists in summer exhibition, from 8 different countries $0 cost for admission New Director Daniel Fuller has been busy since arriving last fall. He has brought in visiting artists Sam Gould, James Voorhies and Jeremy Bailey. He has also introduced a series of artist video screenings including work by Tamy Ben-Tor, Sue de Beer, Mircea Cantor, and Körner Union. With Space Gallery, the ICA co-presented the Ann Arbor Film Festival. In keeping with the focus on screenings, Fuller also worked with the Portland Pirates to present artist videos on the JumboTron before hockey games at the 6,700-seat Cumberland County Civic Center.

Joanne Waxman Library 33,000: volumes 100 magazine subscriptions 10 years in Porteous

The Joanne Waxman Library received its first ever endowed gift. The donation by former Trustee Carl Straub will allow the library to double the amount of books purchased annually. Straub, a retired professor of religion and longtime Dean of Faculty at Bates College, explained, “Libraries are changing rapidly but I still believe in books. They are the tactile dimension of ourselves. Based on my own life as a college educator, I am a great believer in the benefits that come from serendipity. Someone waiting in the library for a friend or lover sees a book and all of a sudden, there is the potential for another world opening up.” If you are interested in contributing to the College’s endowment for the purchase of library books, contact Three years ago, student Diane Wren was working in the library during an inventory of the collection when the staff discovered books possibly infected with mold. Ever the researchers, they looked for a guide on mold identification and treatment geared towards librarians. Much of the information was not specific to books and the suggested treatments were costly. Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, Wren has written a guide to mold identification and treatment geared towards librarians with few resources. Wren, a 2010 graduate who majored in Photography, did the research, writing and photography for the book. The book will be distributed at no cost to Maine libraries and historical societies. A book launch is scheduled for July 8 at the Joanne Waxman Library.

2006 Secured Shepley Street Residence Hall


2008 Clapp House sold to Portland Museum of Art

2008 Admission Center, Café, and Administrative Center constructed


Above: Peg mirror by Daniel Rozin, included in the fall ICA at MECA exhibition Fracturing the Burning Glass: Between Mirror and Meaning. Right: Image by Diane Wren.

2009 Sale of Baxter Building. Osher Hall constructed.

2010 Photography department relocates to Porteous Building, marking the completion of a vision to have all academic, administrative and studio facilities under one roof



MFA Summer Visiting Artist Lecture Series Each summer, the MFA program at MECA invites visiting artist to participate in the curriculum. In addition, they give a free public lecture. All lectures are held in Osher Hall at 6:30pm. June 24: Allan McCollum McCollum’s work focuses on the relationship between labor and art, with an emphasis on mass production. June 27: Elllie Ga Ellie Ga was an artist in residence at the Explorer’s club and on a scientific expedition near the North Pole. July 5: Juan Logan Juan Logan’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, and videos address the interconnections of race, place, and power. July 11: Sina Najafi Sina Najafi is the Editor of Cabinet Magazine


July 18: Anne West Anne West is a writer, theorist, and independent curator. She teaches in the graduate program at RISD. July 25: Lee Boroson Lee Boroson’s airy sculptures give viewers the chance to experience the ineffable impossibilities of the world. August 1: Hamish Fulton Hamish Fulton is a British walking artist. August 8: Lisi Raskin Lisi Raskin handcrafts whimsical recreations of military command centers.


upcoming at meca Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art Drawn to Disaster

June 22–August 7 Artists examine the ephemerality of news reports and conjure the complexities of disorder, anger, and optimism that can follow disaster. With artists Anthony Campuzano, Dave McKenzie, Christian Holstad, Sun Xun, Dominic McGill, Stacy Howe MFA ’10, Yael Bartana, Daniel Guzmán, and Lisi Raskin.

Alumni Biennial Exhibition: Rally

August 24–October 9 Quinlan Corey MFA ’06, Edward Lott ’05, Kreh Mellick ’05, Andrea Raynor ’92, Aaron Williams ’94 The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art and the Porteous Building are located at 522 Congress in the heart of the Arts District of Portland. The ICA at MECA is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm, Thursday from 11am to 7pm and First Fridays until 8pm. Admission is free.

Exhibitions and Events Art Auction November 5, 2011 Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art Sign up to receive our monthly email at



1882 Society

Members of Maine College of Art’s 1882 Society have chosen to make a lasting gift to the College by including MECA in their estate plans A planned gift can be designated for a specific purpose—such as scholarship or visiting artist programs—or given in support of the general mission of the College. It can provide you and a loved one with an income for life or simply be a provision in your will. We can help you determine what approach may be right for you. Contact Advancement for more information about the 1882 Society at or learn more on MECA’s website at

Have a Seat!

MECA’s stunning Osher Hall has seats available for naming Alumni, parents, and community friends alike, can have a name and identifying text engraved on a plaque to be permanently affixed to the armrest. A named seat is a wonderful way to remember someone’s love of the arts or to memorialize your own association with the College. Each seat is $150, payable to Maine College of Art. To order your seat, please contact 207.775.5098 14


Awards and Achievements ALUMNI Leslie Murray ’08, Painting was accepted to the MacDowell Colony for a two-month residency. Metalsmithing & Jewelry alum Seth Gould ’09 and Ceramics alum Jack Mauch ’06 were awarded Core Fellowships at Penland School of Crafts. Gould and Mauch were two of the four selected fellows from a field of 100 applicants. Located in North Carolina, Penland is dedicated to supporting individual and artistic growth through craft. MECA alum Dean Merrill ’02 received the Jane Morrison film fellowship, awarded by the Maine Community Foundation. Merrill graduated from Maine College of Art and now runs Apogee Creative Studio. He has worked as a multi-media designer for several companies, most recently L.L. Bean, Amayzing By Design and MECA. Jonathan Wayne MFA ’08 received a one-year, $20,000 fellowship for his outstanding work as a photographer and sculptor in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Wayne was selected from 310 applicants in craft, design, media and visual artists as one of 20 artists to receive a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. In addition to the financial award, fellows receive a one-year membership to the COSE Arts Network and a tuition waiver to the Artist as Entrepreneur Institute.

faculty Awards Painting professor Gail Spaien received the 2010 Piscataqua Region Artist Advancement Grant. The grant, awarded annually by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, provides an opportunity for an individual visual artist to receive financial support of up to $25,000 to promote their artistic growth. Spaien is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Painting Program at the Maine College of Art. Past MECA recipients include MFA alumni Tim Gaudreau ’02, Barbara Rita Jenny ‘02, and Kirsten Reynolds ’04. Faculty member Deborah Wing-Sproul was named the 2011 Maine Arts Commission Media and Performing Arts Fellow. The recognition comes with a $13,000 grant award. Deborah Wing-Sproul works across the disciplines of performance art, video, photography, installation, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. Last spring she performed in Marina Abramovic’s 2010 retrospective at MoMA: The Artist Is Present. Christina Bechstein, Assistant Professor of Sculpture, was awarded a Maine Campus Compact Faculty Fellowship to support her use of problem-based service-learning in course



design. Bechstein will teach a course in which students deliver college access services that impact low-income, first-generation, or under-served Maine high school or adult education students. Last summer Bechstein collaborated with fellow faculty member Megan O’Connell on Of Brick, a project that invited the public to carve bricks that were then incorporated into the architecture of the new Museum L-A in Lewiston, Maine. Publications Caleb Charland, Artist-in-Residence for the Media Collective, had photographs recently featured in Wired, Harper’s and Discover magazines. Many of Charland’s images are tied to scientific concepts ranging from mold growth to physics. His work is also included in an exhibition in Madrid. Woodworking & Furniture Design faculty member Reagan Furqueron was featured in the Lark publication 500 Cabinets. The book also features the work of alumni Oliver Percival ’10, Kelly Rudman ’08 and Ted Lott ’06, as well as former artist-in-residence J.P. Vilkman. Ceramics professor Lucy Breslin and Ceramics alumni James Mitschmyer ’05, Jack Mauch ’07, and Adam Chau ’10 had their work featured in the Lark Books’ 500 Vases: Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Form. Maine Magazine profiled Illustration professor Scott Nash. Nash was instrumental in the development of the Illustration major at MECA and continues to teach in the program while maintaining his professional studio. Art History professor Chris Thompson published Felt: Fluxus, Joseph Beuys, and the Dalai Lama. Centered on a highly publicized yet famously inconclusive 1982 meeting between Beuys and the Dalai Lama, arranged by the Dutch artist Louwrien Wijers, Chris Thompson explores the interconnections among Beuys, the Fluxus movement, and Eastern philosophy and spiritual practice. Exhibitions Woodworking & Furniture Design faculty member Matt Hutton was included in the exhibition Contemporary Maine Wood Sculpture at the Messler Gallery, located on the campus of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport. Hutton also serves on the board of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Meg Brown Payson, Associate Professor of Foundation, had a solo exhibition Hydrostatic Pressure at Eo Art Lab in Connecticut. Photography professor Peter Shellenberger exhibited his radiation photographs at the University of Vermont last fall. Jeffrey Clancy, Metalsmithing & Jewelry department professor, exhibited at the National



Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. The museum hosted Realizing the Neo-Palatial, curated by Garth Clark, which was first featured as a printed exhibition in Metalsmith magazine. Congratulations to those in the MECA community who were accepted to the Portland Museum of Art Biennial: Faculty professors Philip Brou & Debra Wing-Sproul; staff members Rachel Katz MFA ’00 & Coleen Kinsella; alumni Alisha Gould MFA ’10, Gavin Rouille ’09, Lauren O’Neal MFA ’04, Thomas Connolly ’87 and Don Voisine (attended) ’73 and Continuing Studies instructor Kim Bernard. As a series, the Biennial exhibitions create a visual record of Maine’s evolving contemporary art scene and testify to the profound influence that the landscape, traditions, and people of Maine continue to have on living artists. More than 900 artists applied and 47 were selected. Printmaking professor Adriane Herman was awarded the College’s Baie St. Marie Residency in Nova Scotia. In addition to spending time in the studio, Herman mounted Human Doings, an installation at the local mercantile. Herman collects “to do” lists and personal notes and incorporates them into her printing practice. Her lists were also on view this fall at Whitney Art Works in Portland and at the Epsten Gallery in Kansas City.

Top: Lauren Fensterstock, Academic Director of the MFA program, will have a solo exhibition at the Ogunquit Museum of Art this summer.

Printmaking professor Elizabeth Jabar was an artist-in-residence at Quimby Colony, in preparation for her solo show at Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland. The exhibit drawing: marks, traces, and imprints, co-curated by Karen Adrienne and Illustration Department Chair Alex Rheault, was held at the Charles Danforth Gallery at the University of Maine at Augusta and included works by alumni Yeshe Parks (attended) ’05 and Lisa Pixley ’07 and professors Elizabeth Jabar and Ling-Wen Tsai. Sienna Gallery launched the publication of a new monograph on the work of Lauren Fensterstock, the Academic Director of the MFA in Studio Arts, which features color illustrations and an essay by Carol Diehl, Contributing Editor for Art in America. Sienna Gallery represented Fensterstock at the PULSE Art Fair in New York in March. This summer Fensterstock will have a solo show at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and participate in a group show at the Racine Art Museum. This fall, she will have a two-person show with John Bisbee at Aucocisco Gallery in Portland.



STUDENTS Woodworking & Furniture Design major Olivia Harkness ’11 placed in the top 10 in the USA Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals in Bend, OR. Woodworking & Furniture Design student Nicole Farrand ’11 was selected as one of three finalists for the NICHE award in the student division. Sponsored by NICHE magazine, the awards were created in 1989 to celebrate excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft. Artists are recognized in professional and student divisions. As a finalist, Farrand’s work was included in the Buyers Market of American Craft exhibition in February.

Above: Woodworking & Furniture Design student Nicole Farrand ’11 was selected as a finalist for the NICHE award. Below: Kate Fagerstrom ’11 spent the summer as an intern at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Woodworking & Furniture Design majors participated in CraftBoston in March. Presented by the Society of Art and Crafts, this annual retail exhibition is the premiere New England exhibition and sale of contemporary art, craft and design. MECA was one of five New England schools represented. This past summer, Graphic Design major Kate Fagerstrom ’11 worked for eight weeks as a Design/ Art Intern for the Books and Special Projects Department at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in New York City. She worked on the Halloween Special Issue, the Holiday Baking Special Issue, and other future books. She was involved in designs for the publications and also participated on photo shoots. Kate said, “It was so exciting to be able to experience the professional design world and incorporate the skills and knowledge I learned from MECA during my time at Martha Stewart. I was even able to teach the team I worked with a couple little techniques and shortcuts.”


Businessman and designer Andrew Nyce sponsored the Damascus Steel Design Competition within MECA’s Metalsmithing & Jewelry Department. He gave $500 to be divvied up between three winners. Students were given a quantity of Damascus Steel without any particular outcome (sculptural, functional, etc). The jury consisted of Gary Roe ’94, Edie Armstrong and former professor Tim McCreight. Winners were Addison de Lisle ’11 for first prize, Matt Rand ’11 for second prize, and a tie between Emily Secoy ’12 and Aaron Decker ’13 for third prize.

Staff Please welcome Mary Ann Benson as Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Career and Entrepreneurial Services. Mary Ann comes to MECA with over 30 years in the field of Career Services. Most recently she served as Assistant Director of Career Services at the University of Southern Maine. She has an MS in Education from SUNY Plattsburg. While at USM, Mary Ann developed numerous programs to prepare students for internships and future careers. She strongly supports the arts and believes in the positive impact of creative thinkers. Mary Ann will focus on career development, employment, internships, and on-campus employment. Her office is located in the second floor Administrative Center across from Financial Aid. Mary Ann can be reached at She is glad to meet with alumni by phone, email, and in person.

ALUMNI NEWS Rally, the 2011 MECA Alumni Biennial will take place from August 24 through October 9, 2011 in the ICA at MECA and will feature the work of five alumni: Quinlan Corey MFA ’06, Kreh Mellick ’05, Andrea Raynor ’92, Edward Lott ’05, and Aaron Williams ’94. In addition, a video submitted by Brett Walker ‘06 will be featured as part of one of the Thursday evening programs at the ICA. This themed exhibition was juried by Sarah Workneh, Executive Director of Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture; Camilo Alvarez, Owner/ Director of Samsøn Projects; and Aaron Stephan MFA ’02. The MECA Painters: 10 Years Later exhibition took place from January 7th through 29th, 2011 at June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland, ME. This annual exhibit featuring Maine College of Art painting majors a decade after graduation included works by Luke Fuller, Jenny Moore, Bryan Stryeski, and Lin White.


ALUMNI foreigner to receive the Vietnamese government’s highest art honor. He collaborated with Charles Fenn on a fictional diary about Ho Chi Minh, which is widely collected, and he is currently at work on a companion book about General Vo Nguyen Giap (Ho Chi Minh’s right hand man). His latest art work, a series of 25 digitally-created “puzzlepeaces” will be on display at Northeastern University. Bridget Spaeth ’95, Thomas Connolly ’87, Nicole Duennebier ’05, Jessica George MFA ’09, Connie Hayes ’80, Shannon Rankin ’97, Justin Richel ’02, and Celeste Roberge ’79 had work included in the 2010 Biennial at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, ME. The 2011 Portland Museum of Art Biennial, which ran from April 7 through June 5, 2011 in Portland, Maine, featured work by alums Alisa Gould MFA ’10, Gavin Rouille ’09, Lauren O’Neal ’04, Rachel Katz MFA ’00 and Thomas Connolly ’87. Metalsmithing & Jewelry alum Seth Gould ’09 and Ceramics alum Jack Mauch ’06 were awarded Core Fellowships at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. This program takes advantage of Penland’s ever-changing, interdisciplinary learning environment and is designed around a total immersion workshop experience, allowing students to develop their studio work while studying with top instructors in ten craft media. The year-long fellowship culminates with an exhibition and may continue to a second year pending a review process. Gould and Mauch were two of four selected fellows from a field of 100 applicants.

In November 2010, the indie-rock band Phantom Buffalo, which includes Jonathan Balzano Brookes ’02, Tim Burns ’01, and Sean Newton ’02, launched a 15-day European tour through Brussels and France.

Alumni Gathering in San Francisco An alumni gathering was held at Urban Interstice Gallery in San Francisco. Gallery owner Shana Astrachan ’96 and alumna Amber Hasselbring ’02 hosted the event and president Don Tuski was on hand to meet guests, which included Brett Walker ’06, Ricki Jaeckel (attended) ’04, James Donaher ’88, Mali Mrozinski ’04, Reenie Charriere ’09, Sharon Steuer (attended) ’83, and Jennifer Pechacek ’97.

C. David Thomas ’68 reports that the class of 1968 had a reunion at Raymond Pond in the summer of 2010, with four of the eight graduates of the former Portland School of Art attending. David, who is founder and Director of the Indochina Arts Partnership, served in South Vietnam as a combat engineer and artist. He has returned to Vietnam more than 30 times since his service to do research and conduct cultural exchange programs. He recently gave lithography demonstrations at the Contemporary Art Center in Hanoi. He is a past recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Grant to Vietnam, and won a Vietnam Art Medal in 2000, the first

President Don Tuski met with alumni in San Francisco this fall.

Painting by Bryan Stryeski, included in the MECA Painters: 10 Years Later exhibition at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland.



Alumni Print Session The 2010 Alumni Print Session weekend, a collaborative studio opportunity for alumni, was another huge success. Visiting artist Caroline Lathan-Stiefel MFA ’01 provided the theme of Seepage and gave a presentation on her work to the group. The project took place in both in the MECA print studios and next door in the Artist Studio Building at Pickwick Independent Press, owned by Lisa Pixley ’07. Eleven alumni produced original prints on the theme, including Barbara Rita Jenny MFA ’02, Renée Castonguay ’08, Jenna Crowder ’07, Michel Droge MFA ’10, Scott Fuller MFA ’06, Kate Katomski MFA ’02, Liza Kelley ’07, Bennett Morris MFA ’07, Grace Nelson ’82, and Jude Valentine ’78. Contact the alumni office to purchase a folio or individual print. Applications for the 2011 Print Session can be viewed online.

in Stonington, Maine. Her pieces include views of Isle au Haut, shed windows, kitchen utensils, a collection of glass bottles, doorways, and other details. Of her time at Pace House, Anne says the following: “Surrounded by Stephen’s paintings and drawings, I read about his life and listened to him speak about his work on the videotapes available for visitors of the gallery. I learned of his courage to move from Expressionism into figurative art, and in turn reflected on questions I have about my own creative process and direction. He became a model and teacher, encouraging me to take risks with my art. I am deeply grateful for the gift the Paces left to Maine College of Art, which will continue to influence and inspire artists and visitors to their home in a multitude of ways for generations to come.” An even deeper connection was formed when Stephen passed away on September 23, 2010 at the age of 91, during Anne’s residency.

The 2010 Alumni Print Project participants.

VIA Agency Moves into Baxter Building A number of MECA alums have found themselves in the Baxter Building again. Formerly owned by Maine College of Art, the historic Congress Street building, which once housed the Portland Public Library, was sold to The VIA Agency, LLC in 2008 to house their marketing agency. The building has been completely renovated in a manner that preserved many original architectural details. Patrick Sperry ’00, Steve LaChance ’89, Liza Kelley ’07, Chris Cote ’91 and Katie Benedict ’01 are all VIA Agency employees who moved into their new offices this past October. See an historic overview of the building, including the MECA years: Women on the Verge of a Breakthrough Ceramacists Patti Sandberg ’02, the Ceramics Department technician at MECA, and Kari Radasch ’97 were profiled as emerging artists in “Women on the Verge of a Breakthrough” in the September 2010 issue of Portland Monthly Magazine. Stephen Pace House Residency Anne Garland ’93 was an artist-in-residence at the Stephen Pace House in September 2010. Under the influence of the ambiance and history of the old captain’s house, her artwork took an unexpected direction. Honored to work with materials Stephen once handled, Anne used discarded ends of primed canvas he had saved to create paintings that offer an intimate glimpse into Stephen’s world


Above: Painting done by Anne Garland ’93 while an artist-inresidence at the Stephen Pace House in Stonington, Maine. Right: Work by Ally Hager ’09.


Alumni by the Numbers Total number of MFA degree-holding alumni: 135 Total number of BFA degree-holding alumni: 1,783 Total number of alumni living in Maine: 926 71% of alumni currently work as professional artists* 28% currently work as an art teacher* 50% work for a non-profit company or organization* 16% of BFA alumni pursued an MFA degree after graduating* 33% of alumni currently work as craft artists* 21% of alumni currently work as curators* 20% of alums started their own arts-related business*

*According to the 2009 SNAAP survey (Strategic National Alumni Arts Project) conducted by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.


Alumni Profile

The Experience of Being Human Ahmed Alsoundani ’05

Ahmed Alsoudani graduated from MECA with a degree in painting in 2005. In the last six years he has steadily and successfully pursued a career as an artist that has brought him international attention. Last November, Ahmed returned to MECA as a visiting artist for the first time since graduation. His work was also featured in a two-person exhibit with his former instructor, Gail Spaien, Associate Professor of Painting at MECA, at Aucocisco Galleries in Portland. Ahmed was born in Iraq. He fled from Baghdad to Syria during the first Gulf War, and eventually sought asylum in the United States with rudimentary English skills and only a vague knowledge of the City of Portland. He worked several jobs while pursuing his undergraduate degree at MECA. He told the Maine Sunday Telegram that he owes much of his success to the training he received at MECA. Although Ahmed’s paintings are often described as depicting the atrocities of war, he claims they are reflective of universal suffering. His vivid landscapes evoke disturbing and distorted imagery, but contain a morbid humor, and his bright palette 22

is characteristic of a style he began exploring at MECA and continued to refine at the Yale School of Art, where he graduated with an MFA. His visible influences include Caravaggio, Picasso, and Francis Bacon, and he also cites Goya and George Grosz as inspirational to his work. During her recent introduction of Ahmed to a packed audience of MECA students and other community members, Gail Spaien remarked, “In Ahmed’s work we are confronted by the reality of exile, of uncertainty, of conflict, of chaos, of threat, of destruction, of no control. Our job as artists is to communicate, to deliver complex and simple messages about life, to make visual what it means to be a human being. We are here at MECA to study how to communicate what it means to be human. And to do so as authentically as possible… In Ahmed’s paintings, we see a genuine response to the experience of being human that enables us — the audience — to reconsider our own thinking. This is the power and the gift of his creative work.” Ahmed was part of an exhibition in Paris titled Born in Dystopia at the new public exhibition space, Rosenblum Collection & Friends. He has been profiled in Der Spiegel, Art + Auction, and Canvas Magazine. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, The Sunday Times in London, and other publications. He will be one of five artists (and the only painter) featured in the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in June 2011, the first time that country has been represented since 1973. An article about the sale of his one of his untitled paintings, which was sold by art collector Charles Saatchi at Sotheby’s for $463,378, over four times the asking price, was featured in the Wall Street Journal. He is represented by Haunch of Venison in New York, London, and Berlin, and currently lives and works in New York City.


Patrick Plourde ’76 had his work included in an exhibition at Moxie Studio and Gallery in Yarmouth, ME. Michael Marston ’78 is a commercial photographer, audiovisual producer, and a digital imaging specialist, whose clients have included Godiva Chocolatier, AT&T, CBS Broadcast Group, Hoffman-LaRoche, Lancôme, Central Park Conservancy, and Architectural Digest. His photographs have been widely exhibited and he has received an Artist’s Fellowship in Photography from the National Endowment for the Arts, a 9/11 Fellowship from the College Art Association, and two faculty development grants from Pratt Institute.


Donna Caron ’80 exhibited her work at Yvette Torres Fine Art in Rockland, ME. Connie Hayes ’80 gave a talk titled “Up Close” about the edge between representational and abstract imagery in her new work at The Strand Theater in Rockland, ME. The talk was taped and can be viewed through the Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, ME, which recently featured her exhibit New Paintings and Pastels.


Class Notes David Hutchins ’87 was a member of Disney’s special effects animation team responsible for Disney’s ABC holiday special, “Prep and Landing,” which was named Outstanding Animated Program at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ 2010 Creative Arts Emmys.


Francine Schrock ’91 had painting exhibitions at The Danforth Inn in Portland, ME, the Front Room Gallery in South Portland, ME, and Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth. Her exhibit Mesa to Sedona to Jerome was featured at Sandpiper Jewelry Gallery, owned by Michael Hofheimer ’92, in South Portland, ME. Joe Kievitt ’93 had two limited edition prints released by the 20x200 website. Margaret Lawrence ’93 had a solo show at Lakes Gallery in Meredith, NH, completed an artist’s residency in Umbria, Italy, and had her sixth solo show at Greenhut Galleries in Portland, ME.

Fine jeweler Stephani Briggs ’81 and faculty member Dana Sawyer were guides for a tour of the jewelry, decorative arts, and sights of northern India, including Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Jodhpur. Peter Lindquist ’81 started a new business called Maine Green Casket, which provides affordable and ecologically responsible alternatives to burial and cremation containers. Suzanne Anderson ’86 had her work included in Harvest 9 at Stable Gallery in Damariscotta, ME. Julie Richard Crane ’86 has been engaged in painting and printmaking for the last 20 years, returning to Maine from San Francisco in 1996. She took over her father’s frame shop in Camden and is currently represented by Carver Hill Gallery in Rockport, ME.

Painting by Margaret Lawrence ’93.



Keary Rosen ’94 had a piece included in Strangely Funny at the Godine Gallery at the Pozen Center for Interrelated Media at MassArt in Boston. This show was a one-night screening of works that were acquired by and selected to be included in The Chronicle of New Media Art collection. In 2010, his work was also included in shows in Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, Berlin, Munich, Berlin, Greece, and Ireland. Aaron Williams ’94 had work included in the Drift screening, an annual group exhibition/one night video screening, at the Little Wing Performance Space in Santa Fe, CA, featuring conceptual pieces by 20 artists from Santa Fe, New York City, and Vienna. Josh Ferry ’94 had work included in the Aucocisco Summer Group Show in Portland, ME and was in a group show at Aarhus Gallery in Belfast, ME. James Frederick Rose ’94 had a solo exhibit at the Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Shana Astrachan ’96 opened Urban Interstice Gallery in San Francisco for the months of November and December in 2010, showing her jewelry along with many other talented designers. Kate Beck (attended) ’96 had an exhibit titled Conditions of Existence at Pelavin Gallery in Tribeca, NY. Sue Anne Hoyt ’96 had a painting titled “Contention” included in Studio Visit Magazine, Vol. 11, 2010.

Jill Dalton ’99 had a collaborative artist book that she created with artist Crystal Cawley included in The Book: A Contemporary View at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art in Wilmington, DE. Mark Marchesi ’99 launched Merchants Row, a fledgling toy company for kids and adults, with a focus on wooden puzzles.


John Alexander ’00 had an exhibition titled Vermont as I see it at Chop Shop in Burlington, Vermont. Vivian Beer ’00 was selected to participate in a new online community of American artists called USA Projects created by United States Artists to expand its mission of investing in America’s finest artists. Vivian’s fundraising project was aimed to help support her artist residency at SUNY Purchase in NY through the summer. Her work there will culminate in solo shows at The Courthouse Gallery, ME; Purchase College’s art gallery, NY; and The Wexler Gallery, PA. Erica Hansen ’00 exhibited her work in a two-person show titled Vanishing Point at Creative Alliance at the Patterson in Baltimore, MD. Sean Wilkinson ’01, and two of his long-time collaborators have come together to form Forge, a branding and design collective located in Portland, ME. Forge is a full-service agency offering visual identity design, branding, interactive design and development, and social media integration.

Craig Taylor ’96 completed an edition of prints with Forth Estate. The prints were shown at the Editions/ Artists’ Book Fair in Chelsea, NY. Greg Giegucz ’97 was one of two artists featured in “A Great Night for Art,” a silent auction to benefit a memorial fund in honor of Greg’s father, teacher Edward Giegucz. Greg was also selected by The Arts Council of New Orleans as the inaugural artist for the 2010 Community Arts Awards. Shannon Rankin ’97 had her work included in Maps at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery at MECA in Portland, ME; Mapping and Mating at Singer Editions in Boston, MA; Constructed Territory at Robert & Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright University in Dayton, OH.; and Disperse / Displace at Gallerie Voss in Düsseldorf, Germany. Kara Taylor ’97 had an exhibit of her work titled the incomplete story... a self portrait at her gallery, Kara Taylor Fine Art, in Vinyard Haven, MA. Isak Applin ’98 had several paintings included in the group exhibition Contemporary Painting at McCormick Gallery in Chicago, IL with fellow artists Andrea Myers and Jenn Wilson, and in the group exhibit IAAFBJHMJNMOMRSATSW, titled from the participating artists’ initials, at Fountain in Brooklyn, NY.


Sean Wilkinson ’01 (pictured in middle) is a principal of Forge, a branding and design collective.

Carl Haase ’01 had his work included in a group exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art titled False Documents & Other Illusions, curated by Sage Lewis ’04.

Gina Adams ’02 participated in the 13th International Open at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL. Bob Jordan ’02 does freelance graphic work for Armani Exchange and Nike. Sage Tucker-Ketcham ’03 was hired as the Executive Director of The Shelburne Art Center in Burlington, VT.

Owen Bissex ’06 works as a studio assistant at Staab Studios, a natural history model studio, where he fabricates models of dinosaur for museums and films. His work includes sculpting models in clay, mold-making, bronze casting, finish work, and installations. Patricia Brace ’06 had work included in the University of Maine Museum of Art’s I-95 Triennial: A Survey from Four New England States, which featured 44 artists, in Bangor, ME. Crow Cianciola ’06 participated in the Visual & Critical Studies 10th Anniversary Spring Symposium at the California College of the Arts. Joshua Dallaire ’06 had a show called Bio-Geo Luminescence at The Green Hand Bookshop, owned by Michelle Souliere ’04, in Portland, ME.

Sasha (Johnson) Eisele ’04 works with The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire as their North Country Creative Economy & Cultural Tourism Coordinator, working with Northern New Hampshire artists, non-profits, and creative economy businesses to foster a deeper connection and collaboration throughout the region. Sharon Lee Hart ’04 is working on a long-term photography project about farm animal sanctuaries. She also teaches art and photography in Nashville, TN and has taught at UNC Chapel Hill, Watkins College of Art, and The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, among other places. She was awarded the Carter Foundation Scholarship from Maine Media Workshops and an artist residency at Ox-Bow in Michigan. Erin May Thompson ’04 received her MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Mali Mrozinski ’04 is an artist in residence at the Quimby Colony in Portland, ME. Lindsey Tomlinson-Peck ’04 teaches classes, workshops, and private lessons at The Mudroom Pottery Studio at the Great Falls Art Center in Auburn, ME. Rebecca Shelly ’04 had an exhibition titled The Seed OIympics at False Front Studio in Portland, OR. Julianna Swaney ’05 was the featured artist at Redux in Portland, OR for the month of September.



Dean Merrill ’02 was a 2010 recipient of the Jane Morrison Film Fellowship, awarded by the Maine Community Foundation. Merrill runs Apogee Creative Studio in Portland. He has worked as a multimedia designer for several companies, including L.L. Bean, Amayzing By Design, and MECA. The award will support classes at either the Maine Media College or the New York Film Academy.


Jordan Gehman ’06 received his MFA from San Diego State University. His exhibition Playmaker was held at Garbageman Astronaut Project Space in Portland, OR. Ted Lott ’06 had his work included in Triple Crown at Art Loft Gallery in Madison, WI. Martha Miller ’06 had an exhibition titled Mything Persons at Sanctuary Tattoo and Art Gallery in Portland, ME. Matt W. Moore ’06 has published a limited edition of Volume #1 of his new book series — MWM : Diagonal Thinking. He is also offering a line of posters and clothing and is collaborating with various brands to produce custom-designed Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, Telecaster guitars, Aspiral clocks, and other items through MWM Graphics. He designed the cover and chapter imagery for PSFK: Good Ideas For 2010 Book and his work has been exhibited recently in Brazil, Paris, and Portland, ME. Noa Warren ’06 had an exhibition at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York City. As Creative Director at Compuware, Blake Almstead ’07 uses his formal design background to influence new technologies, such as overseeing the designs for mobile device Apps at General Motors. He also teaches motion graphics and design history as an Adjunct Professor at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, MI.


Lisa Pixley ’07 had an exhibition titled Trophies & Memory at Rabelais in Portland, ME. As the Managing Director of Pickwick Independent Press (PIP), a membership-based collaborative print studio, she organized an community event for SPACE Gallery’s “Block Party!” in the fall of 2010. She invited members from PIP as well as printmakers from all over the state to carve giant 4x4-foot or 4x8-foot woodblocks, which were then printed in a performative fashion on Oak Street in downtown Portland onto bed-sheet sized canvas prints, using a 6,000-lb steamroller. Eric Pomorski ’07 had an exhibition titled Relics at the Green Hand Bookstore in Portland, ME. Cat Bates ’09 participated in Collaborative Works in Bronze, an open studio event at Femme Fatile Studio in Kennebunk, ME. Ornamental Foxes is a new collaboration between Washington, DC-based visual storytellers Jenna Crowder ’09 and Keith Lane that works with individuals, schools and other groups on telling stories that create more hope and positivity in the world through projects and workshops. Edwige Charlot ’10 had work exhibited at the Moira Fitzsimmons Arons Art Gallery at the Hamden Hall Country Day School in Hamden, CT. Jake Frederick ’10 is employed at Boston Productions doing Flash kiosk development.

Richard Metz MFA ’00 received a grant to participate in the 2010 Abington Art Center Sculpture Park. His environmentalist anti-consumerist work included in the show involved painting on trees with naturally decaying egg tempera paint. Anna Shapiro MFA ’00 participated in a panel at the 6th International Contemporary Cast Iron Conference in Kidwelly, Wales. She was a guest artist at the SUNY Binghamton fifth intercollegiate pour where she cast iron components for sculptures she is working on in her new studio in Providence. She tended 1,000 plants for Providence’s homegrown art carnival, Wooly Fair, for the Flower Tower, a pyramid of container gardens that were redistributed to hospitals, schools, and other organizations. Her work was included in Joinery, commissioned by the feminist arts collective Hive Archive in Olneyville, RI, and she gave a talk on 17th Century Industrial Iron Casting in Wales at the Steel Yard in Providence, RI in advance of the Steelyard Iron Pour with the Iron Guild in October.

Bennett Morris MFA ’07 had an exhibit titled Dystopic Ornament that included a public lecture and workshop at SUNY Canton in Canton, NY. Jewel Rechsteiner MFA ’07 had work included in Simple Complexities at Whitney Art Works in Portland, ME. Cori Champagne MFA ’08 and Sandra Preston MFA ’08 have been working on the American Nomads project through The Bunny Sandwich Collective. The project tackles the American ideals of the nomadic “Pioneering Spirit” by embracing them through modern art from the contemporary standpoint of colonial heartache and ecological betrayal. The project began in May 2010 at The Vermont Studio Center and involved field tests of creations such as The Northern Topography Conveyance Device, the Sushi Bed, and Disco-ball Hunter’s Party Hats. The latest incarnation of the expanding project was exhibited in the winter of 2010 at FiveSevenDelle Project Space in Boston, MA. Cole Caswell MFA ’08 and Jessica George MFA ’09 were featured in the USM exhibit Patches Within Proximity at the Area Gallery in Portland, ME.

Tim Jones MFA ’02 is a tenured Assistant Professor and Head of Fine Arts at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio. He recently collaborated on the completion of the Palmetto Center for the Arts, a $90 million Fine and Performing Arts facility, and has implemented two degree programs for undergraduate students in Fine Arts and Digital Arts. His latest work includes a video installation as part of a Cage-inspired circus for “Luminaria,” a city-wide celebration of the arts, and a series of photographs for FotoSeptiembre International at Centro de Aztlan, both in San Antonio, TX. Jones was selected to participate in a Creative Capital Development Program in the summer of 2010.

Randy Regier MFA ’08 was the featured artist in the new exhibition Out of the Box: An Installation in the Casella Gallery at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA, which was reviewed in the New England Journal for Aesthetic Research. His NuPenny Toy Store was installed in its final Maine location in the staircase of the Emery Street Mill at 72 Emery Street in Sanford, ME after appearing in storefronts in Waterville and Portland, ME. The NuPenny Toy Store now has its own radio station — the “NuPenny Opera” — conceived, composed, and recorded by multi-media artist Marc Berghaus. Regier also has new work at Firecat Projects in Chicago, IL.

Maysey Craddock MFA ’03 was included in an exhibit at Cris Wor­ley Fine Art in Dallas, TX and has work at the David Lusk Gallery in Memphis, TN.

Gina Siepel MFA ’08 exhibited work at Colby College Museum of Art as part of the currents series, which provides solo exhibition opportunities for emerging artists with connections to Maine.

Kirsten Reynolds, MFA ’04 was featured in Maintaining Pleasure, a 2010 exhibit at Islip Museum’s Carriage House in East Islip, New York. Dana Bell MFA ’04, who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, is the artist behind “Third Meaning,” a line of jewelry created through the contemporary interpretation of traditional milagros, religious folk charms used for healing by Spanish-speaking people. Through sacred explorations of iconography, she casts seemingly commonplace body parts and banal objects in recycled silver and gold to create treasured possessions. John Gayle MFA ’07 is opening a new multidisciplinary contemporary arts space called 3S Artspace that will include a performance space, gallery, and farm-to-table restaurant in a historic factory building in Portsmouth, NH.

Jonathan Wayne MFA ‘08 received a $20,000 fellowship from the Community Partners for Arts and Culture.

Jonathan Wayne MFA ’08 received a $20,000 Creative Workforce Fellowship from The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture for his outstanding work as a photographer and sculptor in Cuyahoga



MFA Class Notes


County, OH. He was one of 20 artists to receive an award out of over 300 applicants. Elaine Angelopolous MFA ’09 exhibited work in three simultaneous shows: Like a Prayer at Barrister’s Gallery in New Orleans, LA; At Her Age at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; and Whirlwinds at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Reenie Charrière MFA ’09 had work included in the three-person exhibit Land Use, addressing issues of excess and resource modification, at the Swarm Gallery in Oakland, CA. Tina Zagyva MFA ’09 exhibited her work at Bauchhund Gallery in Berlin in an exhibit titled Themselves Has Been a Gathering. Alexandra Silverthorne, MFA ’10 was chosen as a Visual and Media Artist Fellow by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (DCCAH). Her work was part of Synergy, an exhibition featuring the DCCAH’s 2011 Visual & Media Artist Fellows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

In Memoriam

Joseph Alton Guertin, 70, of Yarmouth, Maine, died on December 26, 2010, after a year-long battle with esophageal cancer. He was a former BFA faculty member in Graphic Design and was head of the department in the early 70s. He loved teaching and was very involved with the art and design community in Portland. His career eventually led him to New York City, where he worked for the award-winning graphic design firm Chermayeff & Geismar. In 1987, he became the Director of Marketing and Communications for TRW Inc., which was then headquartered in Cleveland, OH. Joe and his wife Cindy returned to Maine, his favorite place, upon retirement in 2006. Shirley Viola Nunes Bradsher (attended) ’42 passed away after a lengthy illness at the age of 87, on December 30, 2010 in Knoxville, TN. Born in 1923, she was quite proud of her New England heritage and had a love of art and painting. She was an artist member and past regional director of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, as well as an active member of the Knoxville Watercolor Society, Art Group 21, and the Knoxville Writers Group, and is survived by her husband and three children. Image at right: Works by Mali Mrozinski ’04. Mali will be an artist-in-residence this summer at the Quimby Colony, where she will work on a new line of garments. She is also was the recipient of a Belvedere Grant from MECA.




ALUMNI OPPORTUNITIES Get Your MOJO On Maine College of Art has a new resource for alumni, students and employers. MECA’s online job and opportunity portal (MOJO) allows students and alumni to post their resumes and employers to post jobs and internships. Listings include a range of opportunities from one-day freelance jobs and paid internships to full-time work. Registration is free. A MECA email account is required for alums. To get a MECA email account, contact Jill Dalton at

Alumni Barbeque Save the Date! A MECA alumni and family barbeque will take place at the home of Erin and Matt Hutton on Saturday August 6th, 2011 at 4:00pm at 24 Mayfield Street in Portland. The event will be a potluck, weather permitting. Contact alums@ for more information or to volunteer to help with the event.

M+B Gallery Call for MFA Alumni Submissions The MFA program promotes the work of MECA MFA students and alumni in The M+B Gallery. During the year, the MFA office interacts with prospective students, trustees, archive users, and friends of the institution. By displaying alumni work in their space they hope not only to promote their program, but to continue a bridge between alumni and current students. Work rotates every three months. Applications can be found at www.meca. edu/mfa. Submission forms are available under the resources section.

Maine College of Art students who are current majors, as well as alumni who majored in Metalsmithing & Jewelry, a free membership to SAS. Visit the SAS website for more information: Activate your free membership by sending an email to Jeff Herman at with “MECA Alumni” in the subject line. Include your name, address, email address, and year of graduation in your email message.

Discount on Insurance MECA has a relationship with Liberty Mutual through which degree-holding alumni may receive a discount on auto, homeowners, and life insurance. For more information, go to or contact our representative, Jeff McAninch, at 1.800.492.0769 ext. 50186 and mention that you are a MECA alum.

Alumni Council MECA’s Alumni Council is a leadership group that works to help enhance the connections between the college and its alumni, identify paths of engagement for alumni and provide support for the work of the Alumni Relations Coordinator. The 2011 Alumni Council members are: Elaine Angelopolous MFA ’09, Asherah Cinnamon ’08, Kate Katomski MFA ’02, Bennett Morris MFA ’07, Jamie Peloquin ’94, Daniel Pepice ’03, Elizabeth Prior ’82, and Francine Schrock ’91. If you would like more information, or are interested in joining the Alumni Council, contact Jill Dalton at

Free Membership to The Alliance of Artists Communities Website Maine College of Art has partnered with the Alliance to offer MECA students, faculty, staff, and alumni subscriptions to at no cost, which includes a directory of more than 300 residencies, a resource library for artists and arts administrators, a guide for artists, blogs, news items, advocacy tools, and more. Contact the Alumni Office at for details on how to access your free subscription.

Free Membership to the Society of American Silversmiths The Society of American Silversmiths (SAS) was founded in 1989 by MECA alumnus Jeffrey Herman ’81. It has since grown into a tremendous resource for silversmiths in America and around the globe. The SAS website offers technical resources, a member forum, hard-to-find items and services, reduced rates on equipment and materials, and personalized service from a professional silversmith on silver care, restoration, and other issues. Jeffrey is interested in assisting other craftspeople to advance their careers, and has offered all


Submissions for class notes received after December 31, 2010 will be considered for inclusion in the Fall 2011 newsletter. Send your news, suggestions, high resolution images, and updated contact information to Jill Dalton ’99 at or Alumni Office Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street Portland, ME 04101 For all other alumni-related inquiries contact: Jill Dalton ’99 Alumni Relations Coordinator 207.699.5018


Your gift to Maine College of Art counts and completes the resources needed to fund instructional costs, quality facilities and public programming. Giving on line is simple and secure. Please visit our website: to make your gift today. To give gifts of stock or to send your check by mail please contact: Rebecca Swanson Conrad Executive Director of Planning and Develoment Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street Portland, ME 04101 207.699.5017 31

See the student artwork at

2011 Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduates

MECA Summer 2011 Newsletter  

MECA Summer 2011 Newsletter

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