Maine College of Art

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Maine College of Art
Maine College of Art
Motto Educate artists for life.
Type Private Art School
Established 1882
President Don Tuski[1][2]
Undergraduates 436
Postgraduates 34
Location Portland, ME, USA
Colors Orange
The historic Porteous Building, a 1904 beaux arts style building, houses Maine College of Art's classrooms, libraries and galleries.

The Maine College of Art (MECA) is a fully accredited, degree-granting art college located in the Arts District of Portland, Maine. Founded in 1882, the Maine College of Art is the oldest arts educational institution in Maine. In addition to offering a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Masters of Arts in Teaching, Master of Fine Arts, and a Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies, the school has a Continuing Studies Program for adults and youths. MECA is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD)[3], a consortium of thirty-six leading art schools in the United States, and is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NASAD[4]).


Maine College of Art's renovation of the Porteous Building in the late 1990s[5] was the beginning of the transformation of Congress Street into the Arts District. Offering one undergraduate and three graduate programs, as well as Continuing Studies, the College has become the largest employer of visual artists in the state. With 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2) of space, this former department store is now a five-floor vertical campus.[2]

Academic programs[edit]

Undergraduate Program[6]
The four-year professional Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is awarded in 11 studio disciplines: Ceramics, Graphic Design, Illustration, Metalsmithing & Jewelry, Digital Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textile & Fashion Design, and Woodworking & Furniture Design. Five minors are available in Art History, Public Engagement, Art & Music, Writing, and Drawing. Public Engagement has become integrated throughout the curriculum, with all first-year students required to participate in a First-Year Initiative (FY-In) class with a selected community partner.

Students have access to studio spaces, individual studio spaces as majors (juniors and seniors), and a 10:1 student ratio. Each student is given a key to the building.[7]

Master of Fine Arts Graduate Program[8]
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at MECA, an accredited, full-time, program, provides options to artists in various phases of their career. The full-time program allows students to complete four semesters of coursework and studio requirements off-campus, requiring two intensive summer semesters in Maine. Students are supported by a cross-disciplinary curriculum and a core, visiting, and advisory faculty.

Master of Arts in Teaching Graduate Program[9]
The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program is an accredited, full-time, 10-month residency, which educates students in educational practices and an exploration of artistic development. Upon completion the program and after passing the Praxis exams, students are eligible to be certified art educators in Maine and 40 other states.

Salt Graduate Certificate of Documentary Studies[10]

The Salt Graduate Certificate of Documentary Studies is an accredited, 15-week program, which educates students in media arts. There are currently four tracks of study: Radio, Short Documentary Film, Photography, and Writing.

Maine College of Art acquired Salt Institute of Documentary Studies[11] in the spring of 2016.

Continuing Studies Program[12]
The Continuing Studies Program at the Maine College of Art offers open-enrollment courses for adults, youth, and children. Adult Continuing Studies courses and classes for young artists are offered in fall, winter/spring and summer semesters. The summer three-week Pre-College intensive provides high school students with an opportunity to explore pursuing degrees in art and design.

Facts about Maine College of Art[edit]

Maine College of Art, December 2013
  • There are 436[13] undergraduate students. The student to faculty ratio is 10:1.
  • Roughly 32% of MECA students come from Maine and 68% are from the New England area outside Maine.[14]
  • The Porteous studio building, located downtown in the heart of the Arts District, is open 24/7.
  • The Visiting Artist Summer Lecture Series, hosted by the MFA Program, offers free lectures from leading artists, designers, authors, curators, and scholars in contemporary art fields from around the country.
  • Housing for 140 students is provided among three residence halls, all located within one block from the Porteous Building.
  • The five “arms” in the E within the MECA logo, designed through a charrette process with MECA students, represent the school's five floors.[15]

The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art[edit]

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA offers a diverse range of educational experiences while agitating discussions about the nature, meaning, and parameters of art, as well as hosting exhibitions, events, and perspectives that might not otherwise be represented at the College, in Portland, or in Maine.

Recent exhibits include:[16]

  • Anguish, October 28, 2016 – January 14, 2017
  • Ann Hirsch: Sharing Love, July 1–August 15, 2016
  • MFA Thesis Exhibition, May 6–27, 2016
  • Tinderbox: January 11–March 5, 2016
  • Thomas Moser Legacy in Wood: July 22–September 20, 2015
  • Residual Utopia, Alumni Biennial 2015: October 9–December 15, 2015
  • The Wrong Kind of Bars: August 21–October 12, 2014
  • Idea of North: February 22, 2014
  • Kate Gilmore: Mind the Square: June 3–August 4, 2013
  • Alex Da Corte: Fun Sponge: June 3–August 4, 2013
  • MEGAWORDS: August 16–October 6, 2012
  • Lisi Raskin + Kimberely Kay: MotorPark: June 13–October 6, 2012
  • Lili Reynaud-Dewar: Cléda’s Chairs: April 26–29, 2011
  • Fracturing the Burning Glass: Between Mirror and Meaning: January 26–April 10 , 2011
  • Mind Bending with the Mundane: September 1–October 17, 2010

Visiting artists[edit]

MECA’s Master of Fine Arts Program brings a national and international roster of visiting artists, curators, and scholars, to Portland, Maine to deliver public lectures, attend critiques, and conduct studio visits with graduate candidates during their week-long visits.

Recent visiting artists include Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic; Seth Goldenberg MFA ’05, founder of the Epic Decade; sculptor Huma Bhabha; photographer Lori Nix; sculptor Keith Edmier; performance artist Ann Hirsch; and artist Jim Shaw.[17]



  • Connie Hayes ’80 (Painting), painter, Rockland, ME
  • William Mills ’80 (Painting), Gepetto Studios, NY, NY
  • Stefanie Briggs ’81 (Metalsmithing & Jewelry), luxury jeweler Addison Delisle ‘11, metalsmith, apprentice to master blacksmith Doug Wilson
  • Laurie Lundquist ’84 (Sculpture), environmental artist and co-founder of Deep Creek School, Tempe, AZ  Vivian Beer '02, furniture designer and maker, Manchester, NH
  • David Hutchins ’87 (Graphic Design), lead animatornimator, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Los Angeles, CA
  • Karen Siatras ’91 (Graphic Design), graphic designer, Smithsonian American Museum of Art, Washington D.C.
  • Carrie Zeisse ‘92 (Photography), United Way, Executive Vice-President for Operations MECA photo alum, MBA from MIT's Sloane School of Management.
  • Brian Wilk ’95 (Printmaking), design director, Hasbro Inc., Pawtucket, RI
  • Eric Hongisto ‘97 (Painting), artist and professor, San Francisco, CA
  • Kari Radash ’97 (Ceramics), ceramic artist
  • James Zilian ’99 (Ceramics), designer, Simon Pearce, Quechee, VT
  • Ryan Greene ’02 (Sculpture), Historic Preservationist for Bernacki & Associates, Chicago, IL
  • Gary Robinov ’04 (Digital Media), founder, White Dog Arts
  • Ahmed Alsoudani’ 05 (Painting), painter, New York City, NY
  • Adam deGrandis ’05 (Digital Media), game artist
  • Micheal Desouza ’05 (Graphic Design) and Justin Velgos ‘05 (Graphic Design), founders, Portland, ME
  • Nat Edmunds ’05 (Digital Media), art and design teacher, Baxter Academy
  • Caitlin Riordan ‘06 (Printmaking), printmaking technician and visiting instructor at Pratt Institute, NY, NY Julianna Swaney ‘05, artist and illustrator, , Portland, OR
  • Blake Almstead ‘07 (Graphic Design), digital and user experience lead, Lochbridge, Detroit, MI
  • Bradly Werley ’09 (Digital Media), art department production assistant, LAIKA, LLC
  • Chun-Hua Chang ’14 (Digital Media), co-founder and artist, O’Chang Comics
  • Joel Tsui ’16 (Digital Media), freelance digital photographer


  • Aaron Stephan MFA ‘00, artist Randy Regier MFA ‘07, artist
  • Seth Goldenberg MFA ‘05, founder of the Epic Decade
  • Catherine D’Ignazio MFA ’05, assistant professor of data visualization and civic media at Emerson College
  • Gina Siepel MFA ’08, visiting lecturer, Mount Holyoke College
  • Kimberly Vose Jones MFA ’12, sculptor, installation artist, lecturer, writer
  • Jarrett Mellenbruch MFA ’14, adjunct professor, Kansas City Art Institute
  • Tessa Green O’Brien MFA ’16, painter and co-founder of the Portland Mural Initiative

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Don Tuski, President of Olivet College will assume this position July 1, 2010 "Olivet College President to resign", Lansing State Journal (March 23, 2010)
  2. ^ Keyes, Bob, "New MECA president sees creativity market growth", Portland Press Herald (March 18, 2010)
  3. ^ "What is AICAD? - AICAD". AICAD. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  4. ^ "National Association of Schools of Art and Design". Wikipedia. 2016-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Porteous Building". Greater Portland Landmarks. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  6. ^ "BFA Majors - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  7. ^ "MECA at a Glance - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  8. ^ "Graduate - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  9. ^ "Graduate - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  10. ^ "Graduate - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  11. ^ "Maine College of Art Announces Acquisition of Salt Institute of Documentary Studies - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  12. ^ "Continuing Studies - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  13. ^ "MECA at a Glance - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  14. ^ "MECA at a Glance - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  15. ^ LLC, UnderConsideration. "Brand New: New Logo for MECA". Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  16. ^ "Past Exhibitions - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  17. ^ "Summer Visiting Faculty - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  18. ^ "Alumni Directory - Maine College of Art". Maine College of Art. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 

Coordinates: 43°39′21.05″N 70°15′39.88″W / 43.6558472°N 70.2610778°W / 43.6558472; -70.2610778