Thursday, April 10, 2008

Art fuels my fires

Say what you want about a never-ending winter, life here has been pretty colorful. I attended the recent Celesoiree at the Portland Company one slushy Friday night. Having donated a piece of art, I scored a comp ticket and checked out this lively ILAP fundraiser to benefit Maine's immigrant communities. Great food, African drumming and dance, and wonderful lighting by Pandora LaCasse made the whole place jump. As silent art auctions go (and I've done my share) this one was spacious, well-lit, and displayed quite a diversity of local art, with my fellow Peaks Islanders showing well.

I wanted to join this dance, but I was too chicken!

The one drawback to these things is that you can't help but hover near your piece to spy on someone who might make a bid.

This is my "cosmic coronation"..and I wonder who made the winning bid. I left like a geeky Cinderella to catch an early boat
back home, before very many bids were made on anything. I heard it got hot after I left. Story of my life!

Speaking of fairy tales, there are a number of fairy tale adaptations around MECA these days. Jess Shea, graduating senior in illustration, has a piece from her graphic novel version of Alice in Wonderland at the ICA's BFA thesis show. According to Michelle Ollie, co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, the graphic novel market has exploded, going from 10 million to 300 million in sales in the last five years. Michelle visited the illustration department recently to tout the CCS program and share provocative advice like: Be a stripper. She's referring to web strips, the new channel of distribution for comics. She urged the students to get their work OUT THERE, build an audience, and then the publishers will come to you.

She knows what she's talking about: Michelle is an award-winning designer with an MBA, quick to assess the asset management of creative content providers. She did this meeting students individually, encouraging them to hone their many skills in drawing, writing, design, layout, typography, software, math, sequencing, storytelling, and good humor.

Dani Evans, junior, decided to act. She set up an esty account and a web strip, all in the same week! She has this thing about bunnies.

Moral of today's fairy tale: Don't leave the party too soon!

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