Sunday, February 6, 2011

sweet slice of MECA

A pie I made for a recent illustration faculty gathering sums it up: sweet things are going on at Maine College of Art. I'm pretty excited about the illustration department, growing and transforming.
The ever stylish Alex Rheault hosted a potluck, she's seen here with visiting illustrator Dave Schlafman.
It was a rare but delicious chance to connect over what we care about: making illustration as exciting a field for our students as it is for us.

Things just got hotter as the week went on. My sophomore class brought in their love zines, little editions of their take on love. Guest illustrator and faculty cohort, Michael Connor, joined the discussion. His Coelacanthus novel, below on the right, is in the works!

Meanwhile, illustration majors mounted a collection of suspended eye candy in the window of the Porteous Building on Congress Street for the First Friday February Showcase. Thanks, Erin Hutton, for the invitation! They called it Opposites Attract, with discs illustrated on both sides.

They brought their unique angle on the concept.

Love is a force of nature, after all.

Inside, students showed work and offered handmade valentines for sale.

 Mary Anne Lloyd's class of juniors made valentines together over tea.

I bought creations by Wyatt Barr and Ali McCahon, who manned the table. Surprise treats for my valentines, don't tell!

Nearby was senior virtuoso major, Alysa Avery, with more valentines and ready to draw amazing likenesses in minutes.

She shared the table with Lori, who has cute stuff totally down. Must have these.

Here is junior, Alex Cecillio, a most cheerio student, with her handmade, edible confections.

Only an illustration major would try to draw a band-aid with icing.

I checked out the dazzling exhibit right next door in the ICA.  As the best art space in Portland, they've made a fascinating installation of very shiny and complex works. You just gotta see it. Alyson Schotz's
"Arnolfini 360 Degrees x 12" beckons you in the front gallery.

This piece by Daniel Rozin, "Peg Mirror," is gorgeously unassuming. Go up to it. It's kinetic, and it's about you.

After being blown away by this show, I made my way back to Casco Bay Lines. Stopped in quickly to check out a curious exhibit at the Whitney. Needed to check out The Jar Project in which friend and former MECA faculty, Damir Porobic, has an ironic offering, a print of a found jar, inside the jar.

First Fridays never fail to fill me with awe, about the hive that is MECA, making new elixir on a daily basis. And the beat that is Portland, full of heart and light. The creator of Portland's sparkle, Pandora LaCasse, is another MECA cohort.

OK, now it's my turn to make valentines. Go, go, glue sticks!

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