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FALL 2016

ART + TECHNOLOGY = INNOVATION MECA explores new links between creativity and technology.


meca leadership update

STUART KESTENBAUM Interim President IAN ANDERSON Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean of the College BETH ELICKER Executive Vice President REBECCA SWANSON CONRAD Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Donald L. Tuski accepted a new position as president of Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, where he was selected from a large pool of applicants for his demonstrated ability to increase institutional performance. Under President Tuski’s six years of leadership, MECA increased revenue by 39%, advanced fundraising efforts by 52% annually, grew Admissions enrollment and improved selectivity every year, and orchestrated and advanced MECA’s Five Year Strategic Plan. He was also responsible for stewarding the $3 million dollar gift from the Crewe Foundation, which launched the new Bob Crewe Program in Art & Music. “My experience at MECA has been truly incredible and I’ve enjoyed being a part of this vibrant community,” he said. Board of Trustees Chair Debbie Reed said, “Thanks to Don’s inspiration and thoughtful leadership and the continued professionalism and dedication of our faculty, staff, alumni, and support base, MECA is uniquely poised for a period of unprecedented growth.”

EDITORIAL BOARD RAFFI DER SIMONIAN Director of Marketing, Communications, & the Annual Fund ANNIE WADLEIGH Assistant Director of Development CLAUDE CASWELL Associate Professor, Academic Studies, Writing



On August 11, MECA’s Board of Trustees announced that Stuart Kestenbaum was selected to serve as MECA’s Interim President. Stu was the director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine for 27 years, where he is credited with establishing innovative programs combining craft and writing and craft and emerging technologies. He received his B.A. in Comparative Religion from Hamilton College in 1973 and went on to attend Haystack in 1975. He also worked at the Maine Arts Commission, is a distinguished author and poet, and in 2016 he was selected as the State Poet Laureate, a position through which he continues to advance the field of creativity and maintain his role as a leader in the Maine arts community. MECA’s Board Chair Debbie Reed said, “We are fortunate to have been able to hire an excellent leader to help us during this transitional period. He is universally respected and well liked. So much so, in fact, that in 2009 he was selected to deliver MECA’s commencement address. Stuart’s awareness of the College, his expertise and knowledge of our community and its current needs, combined with his considerable leadership experience, will serve us well.” Updates on the search for President Tuski’s permanent successor will be posted at

KYLE DUBAY We encourage you to submit news, feedback, alumni class notes, and story ideas for consideration to

ON THE COVER As a printmaking major, Carter Shappy '15 learned how to use a press, mastered a variety of printing techniques and developed aesthetic tastes related to color and form. He also learned how to observe, listen and interpret. This combination of skills helped to inform Carter's Fantastic Empiricism: The Science of Mesocosms and the Expression of Light exhibition at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences ( see page 2). Carter is pictured here from within a piece of his thesis work, The Spiral.

board of trustees

Cover Photograph by: Robert Krivicich

Joan L. Amory

Deborah Spring Reed, Chair

Deborah H. Dluhy

Margaret Morfit

Teddy Stoecklein

Brian Wilk '95, Vice Chair

Annette L. Elowitch

Dan Poteet

Cynthia Thompson

Jane G. Briggs

Edward Friedman ’08

Susan A. Rogers

Kathryn Yates

Daniel N. Crewe

Meredith Koerner P ’16

Susan Schraft, MD

Paula Zeitlin

emeritus trustees Ronald Buford

Betsy Evans Hunt, Hon. DFA ’13

Candace Pilk Karu, Hon. DFA ’13

art and technology at maine college of art FROM GEORGE LAROU ’88 Professor and Program Chair of Digital Media

Dear Students, Alumni, Family, and Friends, The Digital Media Program at MECA started as New Media in 2001. In it’s infancy, students worked mainly with digital video, experimental animation, and web-based interactivity. There were no smartphones, app stores, ubiquitous social networks, mobile games, 3D printers, and VR and AR devices with all their associated art and development tools. Last year we changed the program’s name to Digital Media to better represent the full spectrum of new and established fields that our students are working in today. We have a range of focused electives in filmmaking, animation, and game art, but experimentation and discovery remain the core ethos of the program. While extending their skills as animators, filmmakers, and game designers, many students continue to embrace emerging and evolving technologies such as physical computing, algorithmic art, virtual reality, app design, transmedia narrative, and digital fabrication. All the interrelated and overlapping fields of investigation among our diverse studio practices allow for shared discoveries and synergies as digital technology continually presents us with new and challenging opportunities. It’s an exciting time to be a Digital Media student. All is not digital, though -- our core strength comes from our position as an art college. At MECA all students learn how to draw, use color and composition, think, write, and to communicate creatively and visually. Art school is the perfect place to explore the creative potentials of a range of art, craft, and design practices and build unique combinations of expertise. Digital and traditional skills are presented side by side in MECA’s 11 majors and five minors, allowing students to build their practices on solid traditions with an eye to the future.

AVERY BIRMINGHAM '16 • Mon Petit Garçon, electric guitar, 2015

contents 2

Tech + Art = Innovation



24 MAT


Artists at Work


Alumni News

26 Continuing Studies


Faculty Achievement


Alumni Class Notes

29 Why Give to MECA?


Institutional News


In Memoriam

TECH + ART = INNOVATION FROM PAINTS TO PRINTING, technology has always been married to art in some sense.

As MECA has grown over the years, so have the needs of our students. Besides adequate studio space, the right tools are essential for a contemporary artist in today’s technology-driven society. Thanks to MECA’s new Fab Lab, established in the fall of 2015, students use tools encompassing everything from a CNC router to laser cutting and 3D printing, and the Fab Lab has quickly become an essential creative laboratory. New technology is now also threaded throughout the curriculum. In the fall of 2015, MECA’s New Media major was renamed Digital Media to better reflect the nature of the program in a rapidly expanding industry. Our students are versatile, technologically savvy, and capable of solving complex visual challenges. Digital Media majors at MECA blend the lines of traditional media with cutting-edge technologies to create video games, digital art installations, virtual environments, animated and live-action films, and anything else imaginable in our increasingly digital age. Our

Despite the dazzling advances in technology, however, nothing is more integral to an artist’s career, wherever it may lead them, than a strong foundation.

interdisciplinary curriculum provides the experience needed to build a portfolio that sets them apart as they explore new realms like transmedia storytelling, game art, interactive comics, mobile app design, and multimedia installation. They use the latest digital software, such as Autodesk’s MAYA and Mudbox, Stencyl and Unity Game Engines, Dragon Stop Motion, and Adobe CC Premium Suite (Animate, After Effects, Audition, Illustrator, Muse and Photoshop). Despite the dazzling advances in technology, however, nothing is more integral to an artist’s career, wherever it may lead them, than a strong foundation. This is reflected in MECA’s commitment to our Foundation Program, which includes two semesters of drawing, color theory, 2D, and 3D; extensive studio work (seeing, questioning, and collaborating), followed by two semesters of individual experimentation. Though some students in our Metalsmithing & Jewelry and Woodworking & Furniture Design programs have begun venturing into production work, they still heavily study, value,

"When things are less obvious, when we don’t quite know what we are looking at, I think that facilitates a greater contemplation of that thing– we dive deeper into our search for understanding. That idea is something intrinsic to scientific and artistic discovery.” CARTER SHAPPY '15

Carter Shappy '15 is a painter, installation artist, and printmaker. Currently the print shop manager at Running with Scissors Art Studio in Portland, Maine, he incorporates chance experiments within printmaking, painting and sculptural processes to create artwork and immersive installations that are striking and colorful. His piece The Spiral (see cover), for example, consisted of a large hanging translucent spiralling shape covered with bright screen prints of curling, coiling, tangled circles, net, and spirals reminiscent of beach flotsam. It’s components included screen printing on Dura-Lar, a wooden cylinder, color changing LED light and sound scape. Because he wanted to expand his practice to incorporate a science component, he worked with MECA’s Artists at Work Program to become the first ever Artist in Residence at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. Carter was given studio space and a stipend and worked with Senior Research Scientist Dr. Steve Archer and Research Associate Carlton Rauschenberg who are researching the impacts of ocean acidification on microbiological producers of DMS (dimethyl sulfide), a gas involved in heat reflecting cloud formation. The three of them spent months investigating the relationships between scientific and artistic creativity and discovery, while exploring how to coalesce Carter’s art and Dr. Archer’s research into one engaging and immersive installation. Reflecting on the challenges of translating science into art, Carter wrote in his blog about the project:

TOOLS AT MECA Through accessing the programs of 11 different majors and five different minors, MECA students are able to find the tools they need to become the artists they want to be. Here are just some of the tools our students have access to:

“The idea of taking scientific concepts, many of which I was unable to see or observe empirically, and transforming those concepts into visual art while remaining judicious and respectful of the methodical nature of science was challenging. I went into this residency with the understanding that I was not going to be the person who simply illustrated scientific concepts. So, as in line with previous works of mine, I worked towards a more abstract translation. When things are less obvious, when we don’t quite know what we are looking at, I think that facilitates a greater contemplation of that thing–we dive deeper into our search for understanding. That idea is something intrinsic to scientific and artistic discovery.” For his final work, Carter created a series of six suspended screen-printed plastic cylinders, with each cylinder reflecting a color of the visible light spectrum hung in relation to each color’s absorption at varying depths of open ocean. The piece, Colorcosm, directly emulates the form of pelagic mesocosms, which are experimental water enclosures used in Dr. Archer’s research on ocean acidification and sea/atmosphere gas exchange. An installation of work, Fantastic Empiricism: The Science of Mesocosms and the Expression of Light, (see page 3) was hosted by the lab and celebrated through an open house and reception. The result of the residency reflects a true collaboration between a young emerging artist and an accomplished team of scientists, giving visibility to abstract concepts that impact our environment.

THE FUTURE IS NOW The applications of technology to fine arts are as varied and unique as the artists themselves. Many MECA alumni continue to explore the intersections between creativity, technology, and art through groundbreaking projects, such as the work that Catherine D’Ignazio MFA ‘05 has explored in redesigning the breast pump through a collaborative project with MIT, where she is a research affiliate.

STEM BECOMES STEAM At MECA, we are fond of saying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education needs to become STEAM ( just add “art” education). Without the kind of creative ingenuity that immersion in the study of art and design delivers, STEM may well lack STEAM. How do artists and designers influence your daily life? Look around—from an iPhone app to an artificial limb or an interactive sculpture, artists continue to shape the way our world looks, feels, and connects with us. Maine has seen phenomenal growth in the field of design (interior, graphic, landscape, fashion, industrial...) over the last decade. The Maine chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) boasts 108 members. A Maine teenager and his father are currently preparing to open the Maine Technology Museum, which will house more than 250 rare Apple prototypes. The Maine Technology Institute in Brunswick, Maine, works with entrepreneurs to convert innovative ideas into new products and companies. TechMaine is another online resource that supports the Maine technology community.



























is a Digital Media major focusing on game design. Quinn interned with Chickadee Games in 2015 and worked on developing the mobile game Hamster Clock Super Show through assisting with coding in Stencyl, animating trailers, and other applications. Quinn is also interested in how video games affect people through exploration, education, relaxation, and other areas, and leads the Board Gamers Club at MECA. Chickadee Games is a studio that makes fun, stylish artwork for video games run by Adam Degrandis ’05, who is also a Digital Media Instructor at MECA, and his wife, Sarah.



were engaged by two Portland companies, The Yarn Corporation, which creates social networking tools for alternate reality platforms, and Big Room Studios, a creative technology firm. Samar and Joel did internships to develop a pilot virtual reality video project that premiered at the Camden International Film Festival in Rockland, Maine. The concept was created in partnership with the Island Institute, which works to sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal communities. They created an exploratory virtual reality video experience of island and coastal life that included hauling traps on a lobster boat, a bike ride on Little Cranberry Island from a kid’s perspective, boat building, conversations with working artists, a ride in a Lifeflight emergency helicopter, and a glimpse behind the scenes at Monhegan Brewing Company.


TINA MCLUCKIE ’13 is a sculptor and woodworker who graduated from MECA with a BFA in Woodworking & Furniture Design. Since then she has been working towards a Master of Science degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics, driven by her interest in how illness and trauma impacts the human body and psyche. Her studio practice incorporates wood, wax, latex, fibers, metal, and clay.



is an Assistant Professor of Printmaking at MECA who works in a variety of media. His multidisciplinary projects, which combine photography, sculpture, videography, and more, often depict scenes of ruination that suggest post-apocalyptic scenes. About his art, he says, "As technologies escalate and expand surveillance capabilities they dictate how we perceive and act simultaneously. Our current state of anxiety, insecurity and unease propels us to amplify our pursuit of more expansive autonomous systems that act on the immediacy of both actual and manufactured data. The reality of horror is deferred through the sterile views produced by this technology. My practice is a portal that re-posits the sublime within this projection. It allows multiple points of access into an envisioned future emerging out of the ruination of our perception caused by post-human vision. The nature of this proposed future acknowledges the tension between the beautiful and the horrific."


Protectorate 02, archival pigmented print, editions of 3, 36" x 54", 2006



is a sculptor and illustrator who has worked for youth electronics designer and toy inventor Bill Goodman, for whom he created prototypes and did proof-of-concept work. Ben also ran a concept art company called Out For Justice, devoted to writing and developing original concepts for TV animation. Out for Justice also worked with clients to provide character design, animation, storyboards, character scripts, web, maquettes, brochures, and package design. Ben earned his BFA in Sculpture from MECA and currently teaches Moldmaking and 3D Design as an Adjunct Instructor of Foundation.



is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army with 20+ years experience as a Civil Affairs officer who creates human-based community-oriented work. His Faces of PTSD series featured 3D printed ceramic maquettes depicting the visages of traumatized veterans.





























artists at work 2016 Summer Internships

+ 360 Uncoated

+ The Chart

+ Pickwick Independent Press

+ 7 Suns Printmaking

+ The Clay Studio

+ Portfiber

Internships are 135 hours of an academic experience in exchange for three academic credits, providing valuable time to apply skills learned in the studio to the real world.

+ A Gathering of Stitches

+ Continuing Studies at MECA

+ The Portland Designer

+ Able Baker Contemporary

+ Kingspoke

+ Proactive Resource Design

+ Bennett & Co.

+ Lee Cooper

+ Quince and Co.

+ Bennett Morris

+ Maine Media Workshops

+ Sascha Braunig

+ Bitfry Games

+ Simmons Ardell

+ Braddock Tiles

+ Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation

+ VIA Agency + Wildwood School

Many thanks to the artists, organizations, designers, institutions, companies, and collectives that hosted our student interns this summer:

+ Carol Wilson

+ Nelson Metal Fabrication

ABOVE: MAKENNA POPE ’17 at her internship with

+ Cat Bates Jewelry

+ Patrick Fox Studio

a commercial photography studio in Minneapolis.

+ Catalina Rufin

+ Peppermill Projects

+ Stephen Costanza

New Professional Support Fred Frawley is MECA’s first lawyer–in–residence. A lawyer at the Portland, Maine, firm of Eaton Peabody, Fred’s area of concentration is intellectual property, which includes copyright, patent, trademark, and licensing law. In addition to presenting to all the MECA BFA seniors about copyright issues, Fred held office hours in Artists at Work in the spring to provide one-one-one consultations to faculty, students, and alumni. He worked with artists on contracts, digital tracking of images, and usage rights. He is holding office hours on campus in the fall. Almitra Stanley is an art consultant who assists visual artists in taking their career to the next level. Almitra frequently works with emerging artists through the Joan

Mitchell Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She recently met with alumni to discuss strategies for obtaining gallery representation, increasing sales, and securing grants and residencies. Almitra will return to MECA this winter to work with students in the MFA Program. Devin Green is a certified life coach focusing on supporting entrepreneurs with business development. In addition to working with all seniors, she offered one-on-one sessions with graduating students and recent graduates to provide strategic direction.

Professional Development and Entrepreneurship Grant Awardees Each year, MECA students can apply for grant funds that advance their studio and professional skills by accessing opportunities and experiences beyond the classroom. A special thanks goes to The VIA Agency in Portland, ME, for providing the funding.


Mary will attend the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in North Carolina through a scholarship she received.



Amelia will be attending the Digital Narratives residency at the Banff Centre in Canada, where she also received a tuition scholarship.


Ashley will hone her tailoring skills by hiring an instructor to provide personalized instruction.

Pickwick Fellowship Ashley Hall ’16 was selected to be the 2016 Pickwick Independent Press Fellow. This fellowship provides a graduating senior with a one-year membership to Pickwick Independent Press in exchange for producing a project for the College. Pickwick was founded by Lisa Pixley ’07 and is currently owned by Foundation Instructor Pilar Nadal MFA ’13. In addition to the fellowship, Pickwick also offers internships to current students. RIGHT: Printmaker Ashley Hall '16

Looking for Artists? The Portfolio section of the MECA website is an opportunity for faculty, students, and alumni to showcase their work. If you are looking for a designer to make a logo, a jeweler to make a custom ring, or artwork for your new home, this searchable database of artists and designers is a great resource.

Adulting School The newly formed Adulting School is hosting a one-day event to teach the basics of money management, paying off debt while also saving, meditation, relationship health, and developing a career you love. The goal is to provide a casual atmosphere for those in their 20s and 30s to learn about topics associated with adulthood. Local food and beer are provided. Full tuition scholarships are available to students and alumni. Contact

New Workshops for Fall 2016 Once again, MECA is collaborating with the Maine Crafts Association to bring the Art and Business Institute on campus to present business workshops for artists and craftspeople. We are also partnering with Waterville Creates to make this opportunity available to alumni outside of the Portland area. The session in Portland on October 22 focuses on art licensing, the basics of retail sales, and acquiring wholesale accounts. The session in Waterville on October 23 focuses on online sales, building gallery relationships, and pricing work. Full tuition scholarships are available for students and alumni. Contact



Sophie will be attending the ICON Illustration conference in Texas where she was selected to be an exhibitor.


RIGHT: Illustration by Sophie Cangelosi '16

Spring 2016 Exhibitions in Artists at Work

HALF AND HALF A print exchange between Maine College of Art and Xian Academy of Fine Arts in China.

IT WAS ALL VERY QUEER MECA’s inaugural queer art show, showcasing voices from queer members of our community.

MECA THROUGH AND THROUGH An exhibit of ceramics artwork in association with the College’s accreditation visit.

VISUALIZING PORTLAND’S STUDIO CULTURE Work by MECA's Public Engagement students.

ZINE FAIR A workshop on zine making, along with sales of zines by students.

ON BROADWAY An exhibition of artwork from the book On Broadway: From Rent to Revolution and a book signing with MECA Adjunct Instructor in Graphic Design Drew Hodges.

IN SENSORIUM 2016 BFA Thesis Exhibition: Work by 2016 graduating Illustration students. Drew Hodges, Adjunct Instructor of Graphic Design, with his exhibition.

Art Rental If you are looking for artwork for your office or home but aren’t ready to commit to purchasing, MECA works with a select group of students and alumni to offer their artwork for rental by the month. For a $150 consultation fee, the College will work with you to find a local artist that fits your needs. Artwork rents for $25 per piece per month. For those who can’t bear to part with art at the end of the rental agreement, a purchase option is available.

QUESTIONS? For more information about any of the Artists at Work initiatives, email:

Jessica Tomlinson at or visit

Spencer Thibodeau

Still Standing The Public Engagement Program at Maine College of Art, in partnership with the Abyssinian Meeting House, held Still Standing, a live storytelling event, at the ICA at MECA. The event was a culmination of the project and community partnership with The Abyssinian Meeting House, storyteller (creator of the Hear Tell series) and Foundation Instructor Elise Pepple, and her students in the PE course Storytelling 101. For this project, students interviewed African American elders in Maine to create an archive of stories to be housed at the Abyssinian Meeting House. By documenting these stories, the partnership aimed to celebrate the contribution and experience of African American elders by creating an archive of stories for future generations. Still Standing celebrated the importance of African American experiences in Portland and communicated the significance of this history in the state of Maine.

Public Engagement Collective Actions Public Engagement Fellows Sara Inacio ’17 and Sarah MilkowskiDahlgren ’17 launched the project Converging Roots/Verdant Bloom as part of the exhibition Collective Actions at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art. The students designed an interactive project space and facilitated a series of workshops. Leading up to Earth Day, visitors could participate in a range of creative projects focused on climate change and the environment. Workshops were intended for all ages and included screen-printing poster workshops, a DIY zine station, seed bomb making, films, panel discussions, and a climate change research station. Collective Actions also featured four Public Engagement Capstone projects. The capstone is the culminating experience for seniors in the Public Engagement Minor. Students work independently with their chosen community partner to develop a proposal and sociallyengaged art project that creatively addresses a local or national issue within a real world context. Students partnered with the Maine Seeds of Peace program, Goodwill Industries, Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, and Sierra Club Maine.

Linda Ashe-Ford

PE Fellow Wins 2016 Maine Heart and Soul Award Sarah Milkowski-Dahlgren ’17 also received the Maine Campus Compact Student Heart and Soul Award at the Maine State House in Augusta, Maine at their 15th annual awards ceremony. Sarah’s passion, as well as her artistic work and aspirations, are deeply invested in creating positive change, building community, and creating a healthier planet. She leads the MECA student group Trash Talkers, an environmental group that takes action institutionally as well as within the community of Portland. Since the focus on climate is also a global issue, the group participates in global actions such as 360’s Global Climate March, organized around the Paris Climate Summit. Sarah’s work also focuses on institutional goals such as composting in the MECA Cafe, recycling, and conserving energy. Lelia DeAndrade

James Ford

faculty exhibition + achievement

Lucy Breslin

BOUNTY: 2016 Biennial Faculty Exhibition Curator Sage Lewis '04 selected artists and work coalescing around the idea of bounty, a word that surfaced while viewing the artists’ portfolios for this exhibit in the ICA at MECA from August 24 through September 29, 2016. Bounty refers both to generosity and reward, but particularly references the reward sought by the pursuit of artistic practice. The relation of artists to their subject matter, the histories of makers and philosophers that have come before, and the often private searching that occurs in seeking and finding form for the work are central parts to this theme. Participating faculty include Lucy Breslin (Professor of Ceramics), Michael Connor (Assistant Professor of Illustration), Jamie Hogan (Assistant Professor of Illustration), Hilary Irons (Assistant Professor of Foundation), Kate Greene (Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography), Justin Kirchoff (Professor and Program Chair of Photography), Joshua Reiman (Assistant Professor, MFA in Studio Art and Sculpture), Julie Poitras Santos (Assistant Professor of MFA in Studio Art), Gail Spaien (Professor of MFA in Studio Art and Painting), and Gan Xu (Professor of Art History).

BELOW | HILARY IRONS • Treppenhaus (detail) , oil on panel, 18”x18”, 2015

Professor and Chair of Ceramics Lucy Breslin is enjoying her sabbatical and is spending most of the time working in her studio on a series of ceramic pieces, Passages/Ways of Reading. She jump-started her sabbatical with a one-month residency at Banff Centre, one of Canada's premier artist colonies, which hosts artists in the visual arts, music, theater, and literature. The residency was awarded as a result of a competition open to all 5,000 NCECA (National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts) members. While at Banff, Lucy worked on a series of pieces inspired by Banff National Park.

Michel Droge MFA '10 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Foundation Michel teamed up with the group Doug Varone and Dancers for The Inspiration of Abstraction, an examination of the inspired work of Joan Mitchell through dance, imagery, and dialogue at the ICA at MECA, co-sponsored by the Bates Dance Festival. A solo exhibition of Michel's work was held at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Matt Hutton Associate Professor and Program Chair, Woodworking & Furniture Design Matt was the subject of a feature article in the Portland Press Herald about the national attention he is garnering for his custom furniture, including recognition from the Society of Arts and Crafts, Architectural Digest, Artful Home, and more. He was a finalist for the American Craft Council’s Emerging Voices Award, which honors promising young artists in America.

Hilary Irons Instructor of Foundation With painter Stephen Benenson, Hilary co-founded Able Baker Contemporary, an artist-run gallery with an open curatorial structure in Portland, ME. Other artists involved in the project include Christopher Patch ’97 and Tessa Green O’Brien MFA ’16. Hilary exhibited new work in Petrouchka, inspired by the 1911 Ballets Russes ballet, at Mayo Street Arts in Portland, ME.

LEFT | LUCY BRESLIN • Love is the Whole (e.e. cummings), ceramic,

20" x 20" x 8", 2014

Mark Jamra

Gail Spaien Professor of Painting and MFA in Studio Art Gail Spaien recently completed three years as Chair of MECA's MFA Program and is currently on sabbatical. Besides studio time, writing, travel to London and the San Francisco Bay area, she will be working on a catalog to accompany her upcoming solo exhibit at the Maine Jewish Museum in 2017. In a Floating World will feature a series of paintings examining the symbolism and contradiction embedded in the floral still-life tradition. Touching on themes of well-being and mortality, labor and leisure, and pleasure and denial, her paintings depict an idealized view of the natural world and a denial of unpleasant things. Using the still-life as her subject, she portrays the vitality and serendipity of flower arrangements to characterize the escape and respite that small moments in daily life afford. Gail’s work was also featured in StillLifes and Botanicals at the Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay, ME, and her work will be included in a group show at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in Provincetown, MA, for recent recipients of grants from the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation.

Christopher Stiegler Chair of the MFA in Studio Art and Visiting Assistant Professor of Academic Studies, Art History Chris Stiegler’s Institute for American Art presented Summer Project Space at a neighborhood location in downtown Portland, which included films, lectures, concerts, and other performances, as well as presenting other artworks.

Doug Vollmer Adjunct Assistant Professor of Academic Studies After inspiring and educating MECA students for 40 years as a professor of biology and as a passionate advocate for the preservation of the natural world, Doug has decided to retire. He earned his BA at the University of Maine and his MST at the University of Montana. His popular Coastal Biology class, which included field trips to visit Maine’s unique coastal ecosystems, was one that students talk about for years after they have left MECA. He has received National Science Foundation grants in radiation biology and marine biology and was a collaborative producer of the award-winning video Reading the Water: Lectures on Home Video Ecology From the Gulf of Maine, which documents the interrelationship between three generations of Vollmer men as they explore the Maine shores. Part Darwin and part Steve Erwin, but always uniquely Doug, he disciplined his students to see with clear, fresh eyes the empirical and esthetic essence of Maine’s natural environment. He leaves a legacy of dedicated pedagogy combined with a personal, affectionate flair for investigating both the science and the art of nature.

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The Porteous Society

Maine College of Art’s Porteous Society recognizes supporters who make gifts of $2,000 or more each year to any purpose at the College.

Gifts at this level demonstrate that you share MECA’s commitment to our students by providing them with the tools they need to take risks, think critically, and work creatively to become the next generation of artists and thinkers. Members of the Porteous Society receive periodic newsletters from the President and are invited to special MECA events.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Rebecca Swanson Conrad Vice President for Institutional Advancement at or 207.699.5017.


Professor of Graphic Design Mark Jamra and Neil Patel are partners in JamraPatel LLC, a design studio that creates innovative type systems in non-Latinate scripts for use in underserved language communities. They recently launched their first mobile device app: a keyboard and communication utility for the iPhone and iPad that facilitates the use of N’ko, a West African script. They created the app after researching and designing a N’ko typeface family consisting of 10 fonts in varying weights. The app consists of a keyboard, a field for composing emails, messages and tweets, and a predictive dictionary that offers word options in real time. N’ko is the writing system used for the Manding languages of West Africa, a language community of over 20 million people. “Once we had connected with the leaders of the N’ko literacy movement in West Africa and finished the design of the N’ko typefaces, we noticed there was no keyboard for the N’ko script in Apple devices,” said Mark Jamra. “We also learned that an app can act as a delivery system which will insert a proprietary keyboard into the iPhone or iPad when the app is downloaded. A keyboard that uses our fonts can facilitate communication, and mobile phones are such a critical method of telecommunication in these countries.”

institutional news MAINE STARTUP AND CREATE WEEK MECA hosted Maine Startup and Create Week, June 20-26, 2016. The event, devoted to celebrating cultivating creativity, entrepreneurship, and driving innovation through interviews, hands-on workshops, and social events, featured sessions on “EdTech and the Era of Customized Learning,” “Innovation in Apparel and Outdoor Design,” “Sea Tech,” “Branding through Storytelling,” and more. It supported MECA’s core value of creative entrepreneurship and positioned MECA as a thought leader within this realm. Over 4,000 people attended, with over 150 speakers and panelists, including Seth Goldenberg MFA ’05, founder and CEO of Epic Decade; and David Hutchins ’87, lead animator at Disney.

Art in Exodus From June 3-24, 2016, MECA presented Art in Exodus, a mentoring, exhibition, and storytelling project through which local refugee artists shared their art and culture. The exhibition featured work by five artists from Iraq, Gabon (Africa), and Columbia, and encompassed a variety of media. A related storytelling event, held on National Refugee Day on June 20, served as a community cultural dialogue. The project was funded in part by an Arts & Humanities grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Maine Humanities Council.

105th Commencement On May 7, 2016, MECA held its 105th Commencement. The commencement address was given by Ruby Lerner, founder and Executive Director and President of Creative Capital, an organization that supports innovative and adventurous artists through funding, counsel and career development services. Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees were awarded to Ms. Lerner as well as to Maine entrepreneur David Evans Shaw, and MECA alum C. David Thomas ’68. David Shaw founded IDEXX Laboratories and has wide-ranging interests in technology companies and public service. C. David Thomas ’68 is an artist and Vietnam War veteran who founded the nonprofit initiative Indochina Arts Partnership. He was the first foreigner to be awarded the Vietnam Art Medal.

MECAmorphosis This year’s MECAmorphosis, a celebration of MECA’s emerging artists from its three graduating programs, included an April 29 Runway Fashion Show, which showcased exclusive garments from the BFA Textile & Fashion Design majors and raised critical scholarship funds to educate the next generation of artists. On May 6, MECAmorphosis celebrated three thesis exhibitions: In Sensorium, a four-part exhibition from the graduating BFA senior class, as well as the MFA Thesis Exhibition and the MAT Capstone Exhibition.

SHIVA DARBANDI, Director of the

Joanne Waxman Library at MECA is the former director of Off Campus Library Services at the University of Maine System, where she led several innovative online initiatives, including a partnership with Maine Campus Compact to create an online civic engagement toolkit. Last year, she was accepted into the Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover (ILEAD) leadership development program. CHRIS STIEGLER, Chair of MFA in

Studio Art and Visiting Assistant Professor of Academic Studies, Art History, began teaching in our MFA program in the spring of 2013, and has accepted the role of Chair of the MFA; he will continue to teach in both the BFA and MFA programs. He is an art historian and curator, having founded the projects Town Hall Meeting and the Institute for American Art (IfAA). LIZ AVERY, Assistant Director of

Student Life has a Masters of Education, Counselor Education, and Student Affairs from Clemson University, and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a graduate community director for two years at Clemson as well as a campus activities and events intern and held a student life internship at RISD, which reaffirmed her desire to work in a creative, innovative, and challenging environment. TABITHA BARNARD ’16, Media

Technician is a recent Photography graduate with Honors. She will help maintain the facilities and equipment for the Photography, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Digital Media departments while also teaching and upholding health and safety matters.


NEW ADJUNCT FACULTY PIPER BOLDUC, Adjunct Instructor of MAT MARTY BRAUN, Adjunct Instructor of Illustration

JULIE PENNINGTON, Adjunct Instructor of Textile & Fashion Design VERONICA PEREZ MFA ’16, Adjunct Instructor of Sculpture CASEY RYDER, Adjunct Instructor of Textile & Fashion Design PAUL SHARDLOW, Adjunct Instructor of Digital Media

JULIE CUNNINGHAM ’00, Adjunct Instructor of Ceramics

ERIKA SMITH, Adjunct Instructor of Textile & Fashion Design

ELIZA CURTIS, Adjunct Instructor of Textile & Fashion Design

KEVIN STOEHR, Adjunct Associate Professor of Liberal Arts

DEB DEBIEGUN, Adjunct Instructor of Liberal Arts

KATIE VIDA, Adjunct Assistant Professor of MFA

ANNIKA EARLEY MFA ’16, Adjunct Instructor of Foundation

CHAD WALLS, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts

DREW HODGES, Adjunct Instructor of Graphic Design


REGGIE HODGES, Adjunct Instructor of Digital Media ERIN HYDE NOLAN, Adjunct Instructor of Art History

ERIN MCCUE, Woodworking & Furniture Design Studio Technician TABITHA BARNARD ’16, Media Technician

ADRIAN KING ’12, Adjunct Instructor of Ceramics

ADRIAN KING ’12, Ceramics Studio Technician

ELIZABETH KLEENE, Adjunct Instructor of Painting

EMILE BOISVERT MFA ’18, Foundation Studio Technician

JEFF KLINE, Adjunct Instructor of Digital Media and Liberal Arts

ASHLEY WERNHER-COLLINS ’16, Textile & Fashion Design Studio Technician

EMILY O’NEIL, Adjunct Instructor of Textile & Fashion Design


Assistant Professor in Woodworking & Furniture Design and Exhibition Coordinator has worked as the studio technician for MECA’s Woodworking & Furniture Design Program while also teaching in that department. She will be expanding her role to help coordinate the variety of exhibitions at MECA. She received an MFA in Craft/Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013 after graduating from MECA with a BFA in Woodworking & Furniture Design.

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Salt Institute for Documentary Studies In April, 2016, the future of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, which had announced it would close in the fall of 2015, was made secure. The Salt Institute will continue to operate as a discrete program under the auspices of Maine College of Art. The union of two landmark Maine educational institutions integrating to preserve Salt’s mission couldn't have been possible without significant support from the Quimby Family Foundation and developed from months of critical dialogue and discussion between both entities. MECA’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Ian Anderson noted, “Salt’s approach to documentary storytelling dovetails perfectly with MECA’s programs and our values. We are honored to be able to preserve Salt’s legacy for its alumni, the people of Maine, and future generations of documentary storytellers."

MECA MAGAZINE | FALL 2016 12 / 13



Integrating Art and Research "At their core, science and art are both rooted in a sense of wonder in the world around us and melding the two fields to follow a thread of inquiry feels very natural to me. My work is about fostering paradigm shifts and I'll happily jump from one discipline to another to accomplish that. — JARRETT MELLENBRUCH MFA ’14 Jarrett Mellenbruch MFA ’14, who teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute, has been working on Haven, a functioning beehive sculpture project designed to grow into a nationwide network of 1,000 beehives that provides safe homes for wild honeybees while raising public awareness in the face of mass bee die-offs. He was awarded a $6,000 2016 Rocket Grant by the Charlotte Street Foundation to develop a monitor that will gather and transmit hive data for scientists. The first hive monitor will be installed inside one of his sculptural hives at the Kansas City Zoo.

He also collaborated on the Virtual Vector Laboratory (VVL), a Kansas University interdisciplinary research project that aims to place specially designed photo rigs in the hands of hundreds of researches and residents in Latin America to help investigate and track the insect vector responsible for transmitting the parasite that causes the deadly Chagas disease. The VVL photo rig includes an array of LED lights; is designed to be portable, durable, and intuitive; and incorporates an iPod fitted with a macro lens that uploads images to a server in the university where they are processed by a pattern recognition algorithm. Jarrett is also producing documentary videos for the team to use to increase awareness of this widespread but little known disease. VVL leader and professor at KU’s Biodiversity Institute Town Peterson said, “Jarrett came in and saw that our pictures needed to be improved. He designed a photo stand that you could stick in your day-sack and assemble in 15 seconds. It's a box with consistent background colors, insect size and a nub to stick the insect on. The upper level has a post for powerful LED lights and a cradle where you just drop in an iPod. The phone can only go in the right position. The cool thing about it is that our colleagues in the field can synch the iPod to Dropbox and connect to Wi-Fi in the lab, uploading photos in real time."

14 / 15

MFA Faculty Profile

Adriane Herman


Associate Professor of the MFA and Foundation Adriane Herman traces the trajectory from intention to action. Her Freeing Throwers project recently rolled onto the streets of Kansas City in the form of print ads and audio spots that feature public bus drivers and riders considering habits of consumption and retention. Independent efforts to normalize art consumption dovetail with curatorial collaborations like Slop Art and projects undertaken with students at MECA and at Kansas City Art Institute, where she previously headed the printmaking program. Currently a nominee for a United States Artist Fellowship, Herman holds a B.A. from Smith College, an MFA from University of WisconsinMadison, and a Level II Wilton Method of Cake Decorating certificate. She has had solo exhibitions at numerous venues, including the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Maine, Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, and Rose Contemporary in Maine. Her work has been collected by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, Hallmark Cards; the Ulrich Museum, and Sprint, Inc., and has been written about in The New Yorker, Art on Paper, and Art in Print, as well as in the books A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking, Printmaking at the Edge, and Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall.

TOP-LEFT | JARRETT MELLENBRUCH MFA '14 at work on his Haven project. ABOVE | HRAG VARTANIAN One of the visting lecturers in the MFA

Visiting Lecture Series.

ABOVE | ADRIANE HERMAN with one of her Freeing Throw Pillows. Photo by

E.G. Schempf. LEFT | JIM SHAW • Mississippi River Mural (detail), acrylic on muslin with

aqua resin, foam, acrylic and metal rod, 2013


2016 Visiting Artists Summer Lecture Series

alumni news The Hired Wrights The Hired Wrights collective of 14 artists, designers, and craftspeople was co-founded by Hugh McCormick ’15. Its members are largely made up of MECA alumni, including: Johnny Dickinson ’14, Forest Gagne ’14, Liz Long ’14, Brady Price ’14, Anna Taylor ’14, Nick Gonthier ’15, Emma McCabe ’15, John Novak ’15, Joe Lendway ’15, and Patrick Scholz ’15. Based in Portland, ME, it offers art-related services that specialize in “creating compelling and influential works fueled by a mixture of specialty and creativity.” Their services include illustration, graphic design, woodworking, sculpture, bookbinding, printing, and more. More info can be found at

Pickwick & Friends Print Fair Pilar Nadal MFA ’13 is director of Pickwick Independent Press, a cooperative printmaking enterprise located next to MECA. In 2016, They hosted their first annual Pickwick & Friends Print Fair in Congress Square. Exhibitors included faculty members Adriane Herman (Associate Professor of the MFA in Studio Art and Printmaking), Elizabeth Jabar (Printmaking Program Chair), and Colleen Kinsella (Printmaking Instructor and Studio Technician), as well as alums Christopher Patch ’98, Olan Boardman ’01, Kris Johnson (attended) ’08, Beth Taylor ’08, Shawn Brewer ’12, Shayna Blumert ’13, Jodi Ferry ’14, Lauren Tosswill ’14, David Twiss ’14, Hannah Hermes ’15, Carter Shappy ’15, Ashley Hall ’16, Anne Buckwalter MFA ’12, and Kate Katomski MFA ’02.

Metals Collective Update The jewelers, blacksmiths, bladesmiths, and metalsmiths of the Metals Collective have hosted exhibits inspired by a variety of historical eras. Bloom and Doom, a group exhibition of poison rings and tussie mussies (Victorian nosegays), was held at the Fore River Gallery in Portland, ME. The exhibition featured work by Shelby Goldsmith ’14, Adam Joy ’94, Stephen Lubecki ’02, Naomi Grace McNeill ’08, Jason Morrissey ’98, Jayne Redman ’77, and Maria Wolff ’03. Fore River Gallery is operated by four artists, including Elizabeth Prior ’82, Mike Marks ’03, and Liz Marks ’04. The collective also held The Fragrant Jewel, a Georgian era-themed exhibit of contemporary vinaigrettes (“olfactory ornaments used to stave off the stench”) at the Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box in Portland, ME, which included work by Maria Wolff ’03, Kate Allen ’06, Emily Percival ’06, Naomi Grace McNeill ’08, Cat Bates ’09, and Shelby Goldsmith ’14.

(RIGHT) SUZANNE ANDERSON ’86 • little buggy bye, enamel

on copper, graphite, sterling silver, 2.5" x 2.75" x 18," 2015

TOP | BRUCE BROSNAN ’95 • Set the Twilight Reeling, acrylic on MDF, 42.5” x 33,” 2014

ABOVE | MARGARET LAWRENCE ’93 • From the Porch, oil on panel, 36” x 36,” 2013

Stephen Pace House Residency | Stonington, Maine Artist Stephen Pace and his wife, Palmina, bequeathed their Indian Point home and studio overlooking Stonington Harbor to Maine College of Art in 2007 to be used as an artist residency and gallery. MECA is pleased to offer alumni, faculty, and staff residency opportunities during the spring, summer, and fall months at the Pace House. The following artists were awarded residencies for the 2016 season: Suzanne Anderson ’86; Margaret Lawrence ’93; Bruce Brosnan ’95; Gabriella Sturchio ’12; Adrienne Kitko MAT ’15 (with Ceri Nichols MAT ’15, Shaun Aylward MAT ’15, Debra Schaeffer MAT ’15, and Meredith Leoni MAT ’15); Jonathan Novak ’15; and Visiting Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Samantha Haedrich. Preference for this residency is given to painters. ABOVE | ADRIENNE KITKO MAT ’15 • Pollen Pot, hand-built porcelain, root beer celadon, 8”x9”, cone 06, 2012

MFA Alumni Residency The MFA Alumni Residency is designed to bring MFA alumni back to Maine each summer. The program runs at the same time as the MFA Summer Intensive, and MFA alumni return to the MECA studios for five weeks to engage in an intensive on-campus experience. In 2016, the MFA Alumni Resident was Mary Vaughan, MFA '00. TOP | MEREDITH LEONI MAT '15 • Old Man Winter, ink, digital,

12” x 18,” 2016

Belvedere Fund for Professional Development Alumni working in the field of crafts who hold a BFA degree and have graduated within the last ten years are eligible to apply for grants of up to $1,500, which are awarded through a competitive review process. Winners of the 2016 Belvedere Grant were: Nathan Willever '11 for funds to purchase a pugmill for mixing clay; Patrick Aaron Decker '12 for funds to purchase an enameling kiln; Matthias Rand '12 for funds to purchase a leather rotary punch; and Hannah Merchant '13 for funds to purchase a dust collector for a woodshop.

Baie Ste Marie Artist & Family Residency at the Jenny Family Compound | New Edinburgh, Nova Scotia, Canada The family of Barbara Rita Jenny MFA ’02 established the MECA Baie Ste Marie Artist & Family Residency in 2008. Located in New Edinburgh, Nova Scotia, the Baie Ste Marie Residency is open to MECA alumni, current faculty, and staff. This residency is distinguished not only by its incomparable location on the rugged Atlantic Coast of Canada, but because residents may bring their families to stay in the large house on-site. The following artists were awarded residencies this year: Matt Burnett ’06 with Scott Fuller MFA ’06; Liz Leggett MFA ’06; Eric Vaughn MFA ’12; and Assistant Professor of Illustration Jamie Hogan.

ABOVE | SCOTT FULLER MFA '06 • Alewife, underwater photograph, 2015


MECA MAGAZINE | FALL 2016 16 / 17

alumni residency opportunities

alumni class notes

For more than a hundred years, MECA's alumni have made outstanding contributions in their respective fields. In the 21st century, they now bring the qualities of creative problem solving blended with an entrepreneurial spirit to continue MECA’s legacy of excellence.

ROB LICHT ’84 exhibited his series Untangled: Work

from Baie Sainte Marie at Maine College of Art’s Charles C. Thomas Gallery. The digital photographs recorded his attempts to untangle and reorganize discarded fishing line found on the Nova Scotia shore and to measure the tide, and were completed as an Artist in Residence at the Baie Sainte Marie Artist and Family Residency, which is administered by MECA’s Alumni Office. SHARYN PAUL BRUSIE ’86 collaborated on the short film Heart & Hand with her husband Kevin Brusie. The film, which celebrates the life of a Maine farmer and his animals, was part of the Maine Short Film Festival 2016, which toured 10 Maine theaters.

(LEFT) JULIE FREUND '81 • Tumble, acrylic on panel, 12" x 12"; (RIGHT) ANNE IRELAND '94 • River Reflection, oil on panel, 8"x8", 2014

1960s PATRICIA ALLES ’69 continues to paint after retirement.

She also designed the book Goddess Icons: Spirit Banners of the Divine Feminine by Lydia Ruyle, along with accompanying posters and booklets and is designing Ruyle’s new book, Goddess Icons of Mesoamerica.

1970s SYLVIA ORCHARD ’70 had an exhibit at The Dyer

Library in Saco, ME, entitled Metamorphose of Art. She is a member of Saco Bay Artists, the Society of Southern Maine Craftsmen, the Maine All-Inclusive Pastel Society, and the Oil Pastel Society of Maine.

MATT BLACKWELL ’77 had his sixth solo show,

Southwest by Northeast, at the Edward Thorp Gallery in NYC. It featured mixed media paintings, sculpture, and drawings and included work made in Santa Fe, NM, through a recent Guggenheim Fellowship award.

1980s JULIE FREUND ’81 and ANNE IRELAND ’94 exhibited

work in a two-person show at Ocean House Gallery in Cape Elizabeth, ME. JESS BEYLER ’82 exhibited work in the solo show The Mechanics of Light at the Common Ground Art Gallery in Urbana, IL.

VALERIE MCCAFFREY ’86 was the subject of a Bangor Daily News profile about her thriving business, Garden Guardians, and how she transitioned from painting to creating expressive concrete sculptural garden planters. ROBBI FRITZ PORTELA ’87 exhibited work in a twoperson exhibit at the Maine Potters Market, located in Portland, Maine.

1990s CYNTHIA DAVIS ’90 had work exhibited in Topophilia:

Portland & The Ways of Knowing Place at Zero Station in Portland, ME. JENNIFER STEELE ’90 became chair of the Fort Williams

Park Foundation Marketing Committee, centralized in Cape Elizabeth, ME. SUSAN GAUTHIER ’92 had an exhibit of watercolors at

Casco Bay Artisans Gallery on Commercial Street in Portland, ME.

SAGE LEWIS ’04 completed a residency fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar where she taught painting and printmaking. Her solo show Material Inference was held in Granville, OH, at the Denison Museum. Her work was included in Living Image, an exhibit of 18 artists selected by Artforum photo editor Chandra Glick, at Gravy Studio & Gallery in Philadelphia, PA; Transitional Landscapes at The Center for Fine Art Photography, in Fort Collins, CO, where she earned a juror’s honorable mention; and the digital exhibition Space Jamz through the Humble Arts Foundation. Sage was the curator of MECA’s 2016 Biennial Faculty Exhibition in the ICA at MECA.


LISA BENTLEY TOBIAS ’93 participated in Gallery Rally, a live drawing party and fundraiser event at Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, VA, where artists worked side-by-side to create immediate artwork. NAOMI CHAPMAN ’94 was included in the group

book, Evangeline: A Modern Tale of Acadia, which pairs Mark’s photos of modern Acadia with Longfellow’s epic poem. Much of the work was inspired by Mark’s Baie Ste. Marie MECA residency on the western shore of Nova Scotia; he returned to the area several times to complete the project.

Artists in the Shipyard exhibit She and the Sea at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Essex, MA.


RACHAEL EASTMAN ’94 had work exhibited in Stereo View: Rachael Eastman & John David O'Shaughnessy at Ocean House Gallery & Frame in Cape Elizabeth, ME, and did a gallery talk there.

ERICA HANSEN ’00 launched a new free online webinar series called “Kids Create.” The first program featured tools and activities for doing meditation with kids.

AARON WILLIAMS ’94 had work included in If I

GABRIEL ADAMS ’02 exhibited work as part of a three-

Had My Life to Live Again, a spring break art fair with Mulherin Projects in New York City and in Nurture/Nature at 245 Varet St in Brooklyn, NY.

person installation titled Living Room at the Karvasla Museum in Tbilisi, in the country of Georgia, as part of Artisterium, an annual contemporary art exhibition.

KARI RADASCH ’97 was interviewed by ceramicist

HANNAH BARNES ’02 exhibited Kali Yuga: Drawings

Ben Carter for one of his “Tales of a Red Clay Rambler” podcasts; the episode was called “Kari Radasch On the Color of Joy.” ALISON ALFREDSON ’98 was accepted into three

national juried exhibits: Timeless Miniatures at the Hockaday Museum in Kalispell, MT; Home is Where. . . at Arterie Gallery in Naperville, IL; and Botanical Musings at Kaviar Forge & Gallery in Louisville, KY. She participated in three exhibits with the Mid-Michigan Art Guild, held a solo show in Lansing, MI, and was featured in LandEscape Art Review, a European online magazine.

for an Aging Universe / New Work at the Harrison Center for the Arts in Indianapolis, IN. LISA FERREIRA JONES ’02 had work selected by

Tina Sutton, fashion writer for The Boston Globe, for the distinction in Fiber Decorative Award at the 2015 Holiday Show CraftBoston, which included a cash prize and automatic entry into CraftBoston 2016. STEVEN LUBECKI ’02 had work included in Parachute Games: The Art of Holiday Survival, a playful group exhibition about surviving the art world and the holiday season, at Yellow Peril Gallery in Providence, RI.

ISAK APPLIN ’98 exhibited recent collaborative woodcuts made with artists Carl Baratta and Oli Watt in We Traveled Among Unknown Men at SideCar in Hammond, IN. Two of his drawings were included in the prose poem chapbook Hexagon: On Truth, by Dave Snyder.

LIZ SWEIBEL ’03 had flat file work included as part of the exhibit KIOSK at Odetta Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, was invited to participate in Odetta’s online art store, and participated in an artist’s talk in conjunction with the exhibit.

MARY SCHMALING ’98 had her bridal henna work

Blank Forms, a performance space and curatorial platform in Brooklyn, NY, developed a series of ongoing programs dedicated to exploring the work of pioneering sound artist Maryanne Amacher (1938-2009), known for her work in acoustics and architectural installation and her collaborative work with John Cage and others.

featured in the national wedding magazine The Knot. RENEE BOUCHARD ’99 had a solo exhibit entitled Kaleidoscopic Pathos at the Vermont Governor’s Gallery in Montpelier, VT, and work included in the group exhibit Heaven and Earth 2016: Contemporary Landscapes at McDaris Fine Art in Hudson, NY. MARK MARCHESI ’99 launched a successful

Kickstarter campaign to help fund his upcoming

LAWRENCE KUMPF ’04, founder and artistic director of

LARISSA MELLOR ’04 had works in the exhibition Sew What?, in which contemporary artists explored and extended the textile and fiber medium, at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York, NY.

NICOLE DUENNEBIER ’05 was one of seven painters who received a $12,000 Fellowship for Painting award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council through a competition open to all Massachusetts artists. Her work was also featured at Lens Gallery in Boston, MA; in Ordinary Matter at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, MA; and in Vestiges: Scott Listfield and Friends, Part II in Gauntlet Gallery in San Francisco, CA. PATRICIA BRACE ’06 and Rita Leduc presented Push/ Pull, a site-responsive performance-installation at Public Address Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, that combined Leduc’s kinetic wall transformations with Brace’s ninewalled instrument and reflected their backgrounds in dance and theater design. Live streaming of the opening performance was aired on PA-TV.

CHRIS PATCH ’98 is the creator of Migration, an installation of 43 life-sized, collaged, paper-mache bird sculptures that was exhibited at Mayo Street Arts in Portland, ME. It was purchased by the Portland Museum of Art and included in the PMA exhibition Modern Menagerie, which will run for several years.

MECA MAGAZINE | FALL 2016 18 / 19

was the winner of HGTV’s Ellen’s Design Challenge season two. The episode challenged the final two contestants to design furniture for green rooms at The Ellen Degeneres Show. Vivian won a $100,000 cash prize and her work was featured in HGTV Magazine. She also had work exhibited in Refining Landscapes at Cambridge Art Gallery 344 in Cambridge, MA and her sculptural bench Anchored Candy, No. 8 was on view at the Currier Museum of Art, where she also gave an art talk. One of her chairs was also included in The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design, a traveling exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, WI.

MARTHA MILLER ’06 had work included in the Contemplating Character: Portrait Drawings & Oil Sketches from Jacques-Louis David to Lucian Freud, a traveling exhibition that premiered at the Lowe Art Museum in Coral Gables, FL, and also went to the Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL. The exhibit, which focused on the evolution of portraiture, encompassed work collected by curator and collector Robert Flynn Johnson and included portraits by Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard, Frank Stella, and George Bellows.

campaign, which demonstrated the environmental and social destruction implicit in commercial tuna fishing. His process and work were featured on a blog post for Greenpeace entitled “4 Reasons Art is Essential to Activism,” and in a video on their YouTube video channel. The Bangor Daily News also featured a story about the project. TANYA CASTEEL ’06 has taken a hiatus from making

pottery after 13 years (six of which served as her full-time work) and started painting. She is currently creating gouache paintings of ocean animals, also available as smaller prints through Celphalopodink on Etsy. JARED GELORMINO ’06 had a solo exhibit, Outside(er)

Providence, at Arch Contemporary Ceramics in Tiverton, RI. EMILY PERCIVAL ’06 had work included in the Acadia

Centennial Group Exhibit at the Schoodic Center for the Arts in Winter Harbor, ME. KAITLYN METCALF ’07 had an exhibit of her waterfront-

themed Starboard series at the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, ME. MICHELLE STUCKEY ’07 had work exhibited at the

Yarmouth Historical Society as part of The Tuesday Group Exhibition in Yarmouth, ME. MAEVE (MAISIE) BROOME '08 was interviewed by ANNIKA EARLEY MFA ’16 about her garment

collections in The Chart, an online arts journal cofounded by ASHLEIGH BURSKEY ART ED ’13 and JENNA CROWDER ’09. LONDON DUPERE ’08 was awarded a month-long

residency in Hungary at the International Ceramics Studio with the Special Artists Group, which included visiting the Herend porcelain factory, and participating in a salt-glazing workshop. KORI MICHELE HANDWERKER ’08 co-edited The Other

2010s EDWIGE CHARLOT ’10 was profiled in a Portland Press Herald article about her background and art career. She was selected as one of the members of the Global Shapers Hub in Portland, ME, an initiative launched by Portland’s Treehouse Institute and the World Economic Forum that includes 20 young influencers under the age of 30 who will be part of a global network of young professionals dedicated to community change. Her work was included in the group exhibition Variable States: Prints Now, focused on the intersection of printmaking and technology at Upfor Gallery in Portland, OR. ADAM CHAU ‘10 shared a meal with his husband, who

lives in Amsterdam, via Skype, for which he designed and created an environment that connected them visually and conceptually as part of a performance series at the Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition at the NCECA 50th Anniversary conference in Kansas City, MO. MAGGIE MUTH ’11 had work included in the three-

person exhibit Kith and Kin at Mayo Street Arts in Portland, Maine. She is founder of Stitch HIVE, a community group of hand-stitchers in Portland, ME, which hosts classes and collaborative sewing events such as “Sock Monkey Saturday.” RAY EWING ’12 earned his MFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. His thesis exhibit, Fauxasis, was held at 5G Gallery in Albuquerque. His work was profiled in C 41 Magazine, a magazine of contemporary photography based in Milan, Italy.

Fulkerson, which is being permanently installed at the University of Southern Maine Gorham Campus. GABRIELLA STURCHIO ’12, VIVIAN EWING ’15, DYLAN HAUSTHOR ’15, and GRETA GRANT ’16 were included

in Seeing Through, a juried group exhibition featuring work by Maine-based photographers ages 30 and under, at PhoPa gallery in Portland, ME. Gabriella also exhibited work in Chasing Light, a collaborative series with her twin sister, at the Colburn Gallery at the University of Vermont, and had work included in #NAILEDIT!, a pop-up exhibition that featured artists who work as technicians in higher education colleges and universities around the country, hosted by Treat Gallery at Our Saviour New York in NYC. REESA WOOD ’12 exhibited new paintings at Oak Street Lofts in Portland, ME. MAIA SNOW ’13 exhibited paintings in New Language

at Central Gallery in Bangor, ME, and in Capacitate // Negate // Infiltrate, a two-person show with HAYLEY CUMMINGS ’15, at Mayo Street Arts in Portland, ME. ROSE ALLARD ’14 and Assistant Professor and Program Chair of MECA’s Textile & Fashion Design Program ANNE EMLEIN were chosen for the 2016 Craft Apprentice Program, implemented by the Maine Crafts Association and the Maine Arts Commission. The seven-month CAP apprenticeship offers concentrated peer-to-peer learning experiences for apprentices who demonstrate a commitment to further their abilities as specialized craft practitioners. HANJI CHANG ’14 and her husband Andrew O’Brien run the animation studio O’Chang Comics. Bill Green’s Maine, a WCSH-TV program in Portland, ME, aired a feature about their popular company. Temp Tales, their online animated series about Mainers, has a large online following and their other work includes comedies, commercials, and educational videos. LIZ LONG ’14 had a solo show of drawings, paintings,

and prints at Pinecone + Chickadee in Portland, ME. SAVANNA PETTENGILL ’14 taught photography in an

afterschool program to elementary school children in Dover, NH. Her curriculum included using the classroom as a camera obscura, making photograms, and making and using pinhole cameras. MOLLY STEINMETZ ’14 exhibited All My Friends, a “very large collection of very small portraits,” which featured over 300 mini portraits, at Pinecone + Chickadee in Portland, ME. VIVIAN EWING ’15 had work included in the group

exhibit Hard Lines at Doomed Gallery in London, UK. TYLER GUILMETTE ’15 and DYLAN HAUSTHOR ’15 had work exhibited in a two-person show at the Fuzz Hut in Manchester, NH. TABITHA BARNARD ’16 was hired as MECA’s Media

Collective Technician and Photobooth Coordinator.

Side: An Anthology of Queer Paranormal Romance, a 200-page comic anthology published by The Other Side Press ( Denver, CO). Kori is also the creator of webcomics Prince of Cats and Dovetail and has contributed to many comics anthologies.

Emerging, Ever-Evolving Artist” at the Alchemist Picnic III: A Mid-Atlantic Metals Retreat at the Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, PA.

BETSY LEWIS ’16 had work selected for inclusion in 80x80: An Art Show at The Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina.

NAOMI GRACE MCNEILL ’08 won a 2016 NICHE Award


LYDIA LOY-SANTELLI ’16 had work accepted into the 12th National Juried Exhibition at the Ceres Gallery in NYC, which included 41 works chosen from over 400 submissions by juror Carmen del Valle Hermo, Assistant Curator at the Guggenheim Museum.

for her piece, My Wasp Ring, in the professional silver jewelry category. The highly competitive awards are hosted by NICHE magazine and celebrate excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft. AARON STAPLES ’08 was given a commission by

Greenpeace to create artwork for their Not Just Tuna

ANDREW HAVILAND ’12 gave a talk called “The

business partners at Nelson Metal Fabrication in Portland, ME. They fabricated pieces for the Paul Revere house, a national landmark in Boston. Footage of John Huckins’ welding and metal work was included in the Smithsonian Channel documentary Major League Legends: Hank Aaron. They recently fabricated a geodesic sphere for artist Clint

IVA MILOVANOVIC ’16 was one of only 22

artists awarded a residency to the Archie Bray

Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana in 2016. She has enrolled in the MFA program at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.

MFA RICHARD METZ MFA ’00 was invited to participate

in the Sculpture Symposium, a three-week art residency at Contemporary Art International, where he also had a solo exhibit of paintings and prints entitled The Plant Creatures, in Acton, MA. ANNE SHAPIRO MFA ’00 had a solo show at the Wilson Center at the University of Maine at Orono in Orono, ME, entitled Parvietošana: Displacement, crocheted work that premiered at the Maine Jewish Museum,. Her work was also included in the group exhibit Future Traditions: A Furniture and Textiles Show, a nod to the industrial history of Rhode Island, at the Pawtucket Art Collaborative Mill Gallery in Pawtucket, RI. SUSAN BICKFORD MFA ’01 created an installation entitled

Stillness at the Sheepscot General Store in Maine that incorporated a live saxophone performance and a video of the reversing falls on the Sheepscot River.

KIM VOSE JONES MFA ’12 was awarded a $10,000 Creation Grant through the New Brunswick Arts Board in Canada, which provides assistance to professional New Brunswick artists for the research, development, and execution of original projects in the arts. She plans to use part of the funding to expand her Candyland: The Sky is Falling project. Kim is currently a lecturer of Fine Arts at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. An article about recent work inspired by her MECA Alumni Baie Ste. Marie Residency was included in the Spring 2016 Maine Arts Journal. KIM VOSE JONES MFA ’12,

mixed media, 2014

Candyland: The Sky is Falling,

Sam Richardson ’15 Exploring Modernism Through Sound When the Portland Museum of Art was looking for a way for visitors to create soundscapes in response to paintings in their exhibition O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists in New York, for their PMA360 series, Digital Media Professor and Program Chair George LaRou ’88 recommended that they get in touch with Sam Richardson ’15, which resulted in the Exploring Modernism Through Sound project. Sam came up with some ideas for a reactive space that would generate sounds or a live performance, but eventually the idea of leading people through a creative process emerged as the central theme. The problem with programs like Pro Tools and Logic, software that professionals would use, was that they were much too complex for a casual untrained visitor. “My solution," Sam said, "Was to custom-build an app streamlined to the point where no one “I like being able to give would be too intimidated to pick it up and make people a new way to interact their own composition.” "My BFA is in Digital Media but it was my first time making what I’d consider a ‘functional’ app, using standard developer tools and libraries that could work well enough to stand up to three hours of use. The process of actually building the app involved: collecting ambient sound recordings that evoked the time period and scenes depicted in the paintings; sketching out interface ideas; researching programming solutions; writing code; designing the text and graphics; and testing and tweaking the code and design many, many times.”

with art. There’s something about mixing new media and traditional media that appeals to me for whatever reason. Maybe I just want to be able to work in programming and art at the same time and not deal with some kind of ‘left brain vs. right brain,’ ‘science vs. art’ distinction. It all feels the same to me.”

Sam had about three weeks to pull together the project, from conception to final product. Using Swift programming language and AudioKit, an open source audio toolkit for Apple platforms, he was able to create a grid of 10 or 16 sound loops that the user could tap to start or stop and that could be combined to make a composition. The sessions could be saved and titled, as well as listened to or added to, by being accessed from any location. “This sort of took the place of a live performance by various sound artists,” Sam said. “Visitors’ own compositions became a part of the event that was displayed.” “The museum staff who worked with me were really happy with the direction and how the whole thing turned out. It was a surprisingly well-running installation, by my standards,” said Sam. “I think the event went very well, better than I had hoped. I saw all sorts of people use the app in different ways—one visitor went to every iPad and spent minutes making intricate soundscapes, others played with it in passing, and a few picked up an iPad and carried it from painting to painting. Everyone seemed to get something different from the experience. My favorite was a little girl whose face lit up whenever she played a different sound. I had a few great conversations with like-minded people too.”

MECA MAGAZINE | FALL 2016 20 / 21

SIMON VAN DER VEN MFA ’01 has been working on a number of new projects, including Nest, sculptures inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, which includes ceramic eggs and found objects; Scale, sculptures based on the egg form, partially funded by a Maine Arts Commission project grant; Bronze, new bronze cast pieces from clay and wood; DeKooning Slag, an exploration of evolution, growth and decay through regenerating images through various technological processes and materials; Bellven, an ongoing collaboration with Blue Hill potter Mark Bell; and Shoji Pattern, forms based on 16th century Japanese art.

in memoriam PATRICK JOHN O’BRIEN ’08 Patrick John O'Brien passed away unexpectedly at the age of 31 on March 17, 2016. He was born in Nashua, NH, on June 27, the son of John P. and Anne M. (Leavitt) O'Brien of Rye. He was raised in Boxford, MA, and graduated from Masconomet Regional High School. Patrick graduated from MECA with a BFA in Sculpture and was a talented artist and sculptor who appreciated the beauty of the world around him. After he graduated, Patrick pursued numerous artistic endeavors across the country, including working for the Green Project and Tool Lending Library in New Orleans. He was most recently employed as a welder with FWM Inc., of Hudson, NH. Through MECA, he worked on the City of Portland community art project Art Underfoot, casting 125 clay tiles depicting various images made by school children and others, which were installed in Longfellow Square in Portland, ME, where they remain today. Patrick is survived by his parents, John P. and Anne M. O'Brien, his sister Meghan O'Brien, his brother Shaun O'Brien, and other family members.

with his sculpture Constructed Memory, Franconia Sculpture Park, Minnesota, 2009.


ESTHER ELLEN STAFFORD ‘54 Esher Ellen (Dorr) Stafford passed away June 11, 2016, at the age of 86 in Yarmouth, ME. She was born prematurely at home on March 22, 1930, in Lewiston, ME, and was so small the doctor doubted she would survive. She grew up in Cumberland, the oldest of 11 children, and graduated from Greely High School in 1950 and MECA, when it was Portland School of Art, in 1954. She married Page W. Safford on New Year’s Day in 1955 and they lived in Puerto Rico. In 1969, they settled in Auburn, ME, where they raised four children. Esther continued painting and writing throughout her life and was passionate about her cats, politics, and reading. She was very excited to receive a personal phone call from President Jimmy Carter thanking her for hosting a party for his Aunt Ruth. More than 50 years after graduating from the Portland School

NEDRET ANDRE MFA ’06 had a solo exhibit, Imagine

Seagrass 2015: 50 Ways to Say Seagrass, a 50-piece project of new work, at Stetson Gallery in Marblehead, MA. “Seagrass for me represents diversity; it is about the interconnectedness of many living organisms,” she said. KATE HOLCOMB HALE MFA ’07 received second prize

for her work in the exhibit On the Edge at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA, juried by Denise Markonish, curator of Mass MOCA. Her mixed-media installation No Cars Falling Down, selected out of well over 1,000 entries, received the Best in Show prize in the Cambridge Art Association 15th National Prize Show juried by Paul Ha, Director of the LIST Visual Arts Center at MIT. The show was exhibited at the Kathryn Schultz Gallery and the University Place Gallery in Cambridge, MA COLE CASWELL MFA ’08 exhibited Patterns of Aggression,

a photographic project that explores the entanglement of technology, aggression, and patterning related to contemporary aspects of survival, hosted by the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts at the USM Glickman Family Libraries in Portland, ME. GINA SIEPEL MFA ’08 was a visiting lecturer at Mount

Holyoke College’s department of Art and Art History in South Hadley, MA. REENIE CHARRIÈRE MFA ’09 was included in the group

exhibition Predictions at the Nave Gallery Annex in Somerville, MA. Her work was also included in Smaller Footprints: Artists Examine Global Warming at MOAH: CEDAR in Lancaster, CA, and in Rain Percussions at Radius Gallery in Santa Cruz, CA. ALEXANDRA SILVERTHORNE MFA ’10 had work exhibited

in drift, a four-person photography exhibit on the act of journeying at the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata, MD. She spent time photographing in Morocco for

of Art, and much to her surprise, several of Esther’s drawings were used as illustrations for a children’s book about birds called From Nana’s Window, authored by her granddaughter, Maggie Gousse. Esther moved to Yarmouth in 2010 after suffering a spinal injury from a fall and lived the remainder of her life battling the effects of cerebral palsy from her birth. Regardless of her continual physical pain, she brought humor and joy to all those who knew her. She passed away surrounded by her four children: Kenneth L. Safford, Melissa S. Gousse, Rebecca L. Starr Leeds, and Jonathon P. Safford. Along with her children, she is survived by nine of her siblings, nine grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.

a body of new work and is working on a series entitled All the Ways In, All the Ways Out, documenting the ways in which people access a lake in rural New Hampshire; part of this latter work was exhibited at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA. Her work was included in the group exhibit Photographers@Work at Studio Gallery in Washington, DC, and at the National Institutes of Health galleries in Bethesda, MD. She wrote a blog and hosted an Instagram account for the Gather Made Artist Collective and participated in the annual Montgomery College Faculty + Staff Exhibition at Cafritz Arts Center in Silver Spring, MD. ANNE BUCKWALTER MFA ’12 had two solo exhibits:

Darling Hush of Danger at Thomas Young Gallery in Boston, MA (which included a short promotional Vimeo video), and Faintly the Future / L’Avenir Dissimule at Galerie Youn in Montreal, Quebec. TONI JO COPPA MFA ’13 had a solo exhibit entitled Fauna, Factual and Fancied at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, ME, through the Maine Film Center’s Art in the Lobby program. SANDRA LAPAGE MFA ’13 created Berenice’s Garden,

a site-responsive installation inspired by the Gothic atmosphere of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Berenice.” It was hosted by The Vanderbilt Republic as the fifth show in a series by artists of the 9th Street Phenomenon at Gowanus Loft in Brooklyn, NY. MICHELLE RIDGEWAY MFA ’14 had work included in the national juried exhibition Spectrum: Contemporary Artists Exploring Gender at the Hera Gallery in Wakefield, RI.

MAT / ART ED SHEA BROOK MAT ’16 was hired as a K-2 art teacher for the Saco School Department, which includes

Fairfield School and Young School in Saco, ME. She is a member of the New Hampshire Art Association and continues her studio practice as a painter, sculptor, and graphic designer. KYLIE ELLIS MAT ’16 has been hired as the sole visual arts teacher at Center Elementary School and the Hall Memorial School in the Willington Public School district in Connecticut. She will be teaching K-8 and will have access to a professional video production studio that she will be able to utilize for the arts. She is currently designing a place-based curriculum supported by Teaching for Artistic Behaviors methodology and Visual Thinking Strategies. MARGARET MOUNTCASTLE MAT '16 taught art at

the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association's summer enrichment program and has accepted an art teacher position at Mast Landing School in Freeport, Maine. ANDREA REISING MAT ’16 was an ELL student

mentor at Portland Public High School, taught in MECA’s Continuing Studies Program, and conducted workshops at the REAL School, the Maine Youth Justice League, and Engine Gallery STEAM Camp, all in southern Maine. JASON FARSON MAT ’16 held a STEAM Camp with a Poland Maine Community School PK-6 art teacher and the Town of Poland Rec Department director. The camp had expanded outreach into the community and included students from four different towns spanning five grade levels. ANGELA ZUKOWSKI MAT ’16 is substituting for

her student teaching mentor who will be on leave in the fall of 2016 and is working on an artwork series that will be displayed at the Oxford House Inn in Fryeburg, ME.

REV. PAUL PLANTE ’87 The Very Reverend Father Paul Alphonse Plante, 73, passed away peacefully in Falmouth, ME, on June 30, 2016, from pancreatic cancer. Besides serving as a Roman Catholic priest, he was also a celebrated artist. Paul always believed that his ability to create art was a sign that God is real, “I, myself, as a human being, as a person, can do something that is original and that has spirit in it,” he said shortly before his death. Paul painted thousands of 4”x4” square pastel portraits of the eyes of birds which were exhibited at galleries in Maine (including Caldbeck, Gleason Fine Arts, the June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Mast Cove, and Susan Maasch) as well as in New York and Boston. He had solo exhibits at Colby College Museum of Art, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and the Farnsworth Museum, all in Maine, among other venues. A Sanford native, he studied at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Sherbrooke, Quebec and the Grand Séminaire in Montreal, where he earned a degree in Philosophy. He was ordained at age 27, but didn’t enroll in MECA until he was in his 40s. According to a recent Bangor Daily News profile, though one of his instructors encouraged him to devote himself to art full-time, he said, “Art has always filled a very important space in my life and yet I still knew that I did not want to do just that,” he said. “I said no, the rest is too inspiring and too important for me.” He served the communities of Old Town, Auburn, Biddeford, Lewiston, Portland, Winslow, and Oquossoc as a priest, working only until he became too ill. Paul is survived by his two sisters, Beatrice (Plante) Legere and Irene (Plante) Roberge, a brother, Michel of Toronto, Canada, and other relatives. Before he died, Paul made arrangements to sell much of his unsold work and art that he had collected over the years at an auction to benefit the Roman Catholic Church. The auction, run by Barridoff Galleries, takes place on October 28 and includes his own work as well as work by Jeff Koon, Marsden Hartley, and others. As Paul himself said, “I am leaving a body of work, simple as it is. It represents, very much, who I am and, hopefully, even after death, people who connect with my work, will connect with me — my spirit.”


Northern Cardinal, oil pastel on paper, 5”x5”, 2002. Image courtesy of Caldbeck Gallery.

alumni events + opportunities CALL FOR ART


MECA has openings for exhibitors in the Charles C. Thomas Gallery in the Administrative Center at MECA. The Gallery was named for a former Board of Trustees member who served from 1993 to 2005 and was an exemplary and generous leader, friend, and advocate for the College. A hallway gallery with 76 linear feet of wall exhibition space, it is suitable for 2D work only. Alumni interested in submitting work for consideration can contact Dietlind Vander Schaaf at

MECA has partnered with SALT to offer our students and alumni financial education resources, advice, and self-paced courses. SALT is a program developed by the nonprofit American Student Assistance, which offers live, one-on-one counseling by trained advisors and online tools to help students and alumni develop financial skills and a full understanding of debt management. Membership to SALT is a free benefit to all MECA alumni. Learn more about various loan forgiveness programs, repayment options and more. Visit to register for your free account.

NEED AN INTERN? MECA students earn three academic credits for a supervised learning experience with a creative professional. Internships are 135 hours long over the course of 15 weeks, beginning September 1, January 15, and May 15. If you would like to offer an internship, contact

MECA portfolio site

ALUMNI PRINT SESSION Degree-holding alumni with printmaking experience are invited to apply and participate in the annual Alumni Print Session from October 7-10 to create 20 portfolios with 11 prints each. To learn more, email

keep in touch Our alumni are extremely important to us. Send your news, suggestions, high-resolution images (300 dpi minimum), and updated contact info to Submissions for Class Notes received after our deadline will be considered for inclusion in the next magazine.

Alumni Office Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street Portland, ME 04101

Artists at Work is a connector for businesses and individuals looking for creatives for hire. Opportunities range from both part-time and freelance work to commissions and exhibitions. To better serve both employers and artists, Maine College of Art hosts a portfolio site for alumni, faculty, and students in the majors that allows employers to search portfolios by discipline to get a better sense of who will be a good match for their project, job, exhibition, or retail store. MECA screens inquiries and then makes the connection.

Create your portfolio at

mat A Convergence of Visual Arts and Technical Skills

G. Spaien Photo

R.Katz Photo

Over the past 10 years, the work of Margaret Mountcastle MAT ’16 has crossed disciplines from sculpture to woodworking to boatbuilding. She says, “While there are distinctions between them, when I shape the leg of a chair, or stand back to consider the composition of an artwork, my lenses overlap. In both cases, I rely on visual thinking and technical craft. As an MAT candidate, I had the recent pleasure of interning at the woodworking program at Portland Arts & Technology High School (PATHS), in Portland, Maine, where I promoted this convergence of visual arts and technical skills with my students.” “In considering how to infuse visual art into the regular woodworking curriculum, I used technical education and visual arts standards to set objectives, guide direct instruction, and assess student learning. Although the standards lay out concepts that should be taught and a time frame for teaching them, how they are taught is open and full of possibility. My intention to support students in meeting rigorous interdisciplinary learning goals motivated and inspired several woodworking art projects and the strategies I implemented to ensure student success.”

“Challenging my students to meet these standards, I considered: What lessons would spark engagement with both woodworking and art? Would the skills and concepts of each discipline add to the whole learning experience? In an action research project, I questioned and refined my practice to ensure student achievement and positive outcomes to these questions.” “Starting out, students built boxes based on Tramp Art folk style, with technical skills serving their creative vision. I observed students using chisels, saws, and sandpaper, and conversations revealed individual thinking. The next project, reliefs inspired by sculptor Bernard Langlais, reinforced technical and visual art skills and challenged students through the freedom of using larger wooden canvasses. One student made a wolf relief and added personal meaning by bringing materials he gathered from his grandmother’s woods. As he worked, he envisioned their future creative purpose in self-designed projects that would merge art and woodworking.”

FEATURED ARTWORK | Work by Portland Arts & Technology High School students reflects how visual art can be infused into a woodworking curriculum.

For more information about MECA’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program, and how to apply, visit

MECA MAGAZINE | FALL 2016 24 / 25

“My students remind me that education is expansive. In the woodshop, each skill we practice and each idea we uncover has the potential to push our work in new directions and broaden our perspectives. Artistic vision brings excitement to woodworking and merges creativity and function.”

continuing studies

Faculty Profile: Diane Dahlke “I want my students to find and nurture that which only they can express with their work.”


Tell me about the populations and courses you teach.


I’ve been teaching through Continuing Studies since 2000, and have worked with high schoolers all the way up to some men and women in their 80s. My students are linked by a serious desire to learn about painting and a willingness to try out new things and ideas. Practice of Painting is a multi-level class for advanced beginner painters, as well as those with more experience. Every week there is a lesson, including topics such as materials and techniques, color mixing, and the pros and cons of working from digital devices and photographs. Personal Practice is for experienced painters looking for a scheduled time and space to paint. We have a group critique every week. In both courses, I carve out time to work with each student individually.


Can you share with us something about your own art background?


Since childhood, I knew that I was an artist. I earned my BFA in painting at Syracuse University. Many years later, I returned to school and received an MFA from Vermont College.


What do you enjoy about teaching in the Continuing Studies Department? Why do you think you have so many returning students each semester?


I love the variety of people that I meet. I truly care about providing them with skills and helping them develop as artists. I want my students to find and nurture that which only they can express with their work. And, as probably any teacher will tell you, I constantly learn from my students and am inspired by them.


What are you working on right now in your own personal practice?


As far as process goes, I enjoy layering color and shifting it this way and that. Currently I’m working on paintings of ice and liquids in glasses, thinking about the relationship between abstraction and realism. My long-standing concern is exploring beauty as something that attracts, but at the same time contains hints of mortality, because it is ephemeral.

Programs During the fall, winter/spring, and summer terms, Continuing Studies offers weekly art courses, weekend workshops, and week-long intensives in a wide variety of subjects to over 1,500 adult students annually from the Greater Portland area and beyond. Youth programs run throughout the fall and spring on weekends, in addition to our increasingly popular summer camps for artists ages 8–17. Summer 2016 highlights for youth programs included Painting and Drawing, Magazine Making, Claymation, Digital Photography, Creative Music Immersion, and Game Design, as well as themed camps for 8-to-10year-olds, such as Outer Space and Under the Sea, Watercraft to Minecraft™, Mechanical Cardboard Constructions, and more.

CREATE V: The Annual Continuing Studies Student and Faculty Exhibition took place on the first floor of the Porteous Building, September 1–27. This annual exhibition showcases work by Continuing Studies faculty and students who have taken a course in the last two years. All of the work was either created in class or as the direct result of having taken a class and learning new skills. This year, approximately 100 artists are participating. Proceeds from the sale of work are split between the individual artists and MECA’s Student Scholarship Fund.

Photo by Sharon Paul Brusie ’86

Pre-College Enrollment has been booming in Pre-College! MECA hosted the largest Pre-College class in the school’s history in the summer of 2016, with a total of 74 students attending—over twice as many as four years ago. In addition to a required Life Drawing course, Pre-College students chose two areas of study, including painting, illustration, metals and jewelry, printmaking, ceramics, photography, and textile and fashion. This year, students elected to also take music, with a focus on songwriting/ composition, recording, and performance. Students attended PreCollege from across the United States and abroad, including France, the UK, and Columbia this year. Students continue to report that the program changes how they perceive themselves as artists and that the rigor of the program, combined with the support they receive from faculty, staff, and BFA students serving as residential advisors, allows them to reach new heights.

CS Exhibitions at Townsend Real Estate and Art Gallery Continuing Studies has formalized a rotating art exhibition relationship with Townsend Real Estate and Art Gallery, which exhibits work by Continuing Studies students for two- to three-month exhibitions in their Cape Elizabeth office and gallery. Continuing Studies students Steven Hayes, Diane Noble, Rachel Michaud ’81, Sara Gray, and Kathryn Wagner have each exhibited work. A portion of the proceeds from each sale benefits Maine College of Art. To receive updates on openings at Townsend, sign up to receive MECA’s monthly e-news at

Salt Institute for Documentary Studies With MECA acquiring the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies this spring, Continuing Studies has begun administering the intensive open-enrollment workshop component of Salt programming. Three individual week-long courses in Radio Documentary with Michael May (senior producer of NPR’s Story Lab); Short Documentary Film with Matt Moyer (freelance photographer and filmmaker for National Geographic); and Documentary Photography with Amy Toensing (photojournalist for National Geographic) ran in August 2016. The Salt workshops are an exciting addition to Continuing Studies and bring dozens of students from around the country to Portland.

International Trips and Retreats Twenty Continuing Studies students participated in a painting retreat with Continuing Studies faculty Janet Manyan at the Château de La Napoule in the south of France. Continuing Studies has built a fantastic relationship with La Napoule Art Foundation. For the past two years, Continuing Studies students have traveled for a week each May to paint and explore the breathtaking and culturally rich French Riviera and its environs. One participant from 2016 says, “I wish I could live my real life like we did in La Napoule: eat, paint, eat, paint, wine, critique, eat, moonlit walk, then bed. . . all alongside other artists in the incredible setting of the French Riviera. Yowza!” Upcoming international travel trips through Continuing Studies may include a painting retreat with Diane Dahlke at the Château de La Napoule in France (May 2017) and a drawing and cultural studies trip to the island of Kea in Greece with Judy Allen-Efstathiou (June 2017). Details on all of our International Trips will be available soon and we will hold information sessions throughout the year.

CS 2016 Winter/Spring Term Adult Courses + Workshops: September 19–December 16, 2016 Youth Courses + Workshops: October 9–November 13, 2016 Winter Intensives: January 9–13, 2017 Looking Ahead: smART Camps for Youth during February and April school vacations.

To find out more information on CS programming and upcoming events, visit or call 207.699.5061.

MECA MAGAZINE | FALL 2016 26 / 27

Annual CS Exhibition

MECA SHOP visit to browse new MECA merch items, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants, water bottles, and more!







In honor of nationally known artist Dahlov Ipcar (b. 1917), in collaboration with master printer David Wolfe of Wolfe Editions ( Each print is valued at $1,500. Available for a limited time for $1,250 each.

Proceeds benefit MECA’s Student Scholarship Fund.

Call 207.699.5015 to purchase or for more information.

Odalisque, woodblock print, 15”h x 27”w, 2014 Limited edition of 100, signed and numbered by the artist.


A Limited Edition Print by Dahlov Ipcar 30

28 / 29

Our students need the right tools to realize their visions. MECA’s new Fab Lab offers our students the opportunity to apply new and emerging technologies to fine arts. Students are trained to use vector drawing and modeling to output their designs to laser cutters, 3D printers, and CNC routers. The sky’s the limit for our students to design, experiment, and create bold work.

Your gift to our Annual Fund, however large or small, provides critical support to our students through scholarships, visiting artists, facilities needs, and more. Make your own transformative gift today! Making a gift online is safe and secure. Visit

There are many ways to support MECA. For other giving options, including making gifts of stock, providing event sponsorships, enrolling in the monthly sustainer program, or including MECA in your estate planning, please contact: Rebecca Swanson Conrad, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Maine College of Art 522 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101 207.699.5017 |





FALL 2016 9.29.16

DAVID JOHANSEN + MARA HENNESSEY Singer, Actor, Performer / Visual Artist + Writer


ALLYSON MITCHELL Maximalist Artist, Sculptor



SPRING 2017 2.2.17

DYANI WHITE HAWK Contemporary Artist + Curator


ABELARDO MORELL Boston-based Photographer


IAN LYNAM Multidisciplinary Designer


IN THIS REALM: Five Artists Exploring

Gender, Identity, and Transformation October 6—21, 2016 Exhibition Opening Friday, October 7, 2016 5:00­–8:00pm Anguish October 28, 2016—January 14, 2017 Exhibition Opening Friday, October 28, 2016 5:00–8:00pm

Multidisciplinary Artist

The Unity of Opposites

Lectures begin at noon on the second floor in Osher Hall at 522 Congress Street in Portland, Maine. Events are free and open to the public.

February 1—March 3, 2017 Exhibition Opening Friday, February 3, 2017 5:00–8:00pm

MECA Magazine Fall 2016  

Published twice a year, the goal of this publication is to instill institutional pride by informing and engaging students, alumni, faculty,...

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