Muchos MECA!

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Art Classes, drawing, Illustration, Maine College of Art | 0 comments

The spring semester at Maine College of Art is nothing if not frenzied. A LOT happens, and for many reasons, this one was jam packed. My class of junior illustration majors began with a bang: a Sweet Art Shop of valentines had to be installed at the Portland Museum of Art just one week after their return from winter break. Hustle, I said, and they DID.

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Maxwell Erwin’s packed an eyeful of desires.

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Cody Gauthier’s valentine tells a short lonely story, perhaps you can relate?

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We moved into an editorial project, with students choosing from one of three magazine articles. A Rolling Stone piece about David Bowie got the most takers. Here is a striking Ziggy by Amelia Walz:

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Meghan Wilson chose a Nautilus psychology article about animal self-awareness.

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Haley Flight chose a New Yorker fiction story, putting her fondness for patterns to work.

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The next challenge was to apply an illustration as surface design. Mattea Weinberg drew a slew of art museums from all over the world, and fit them on a phone.

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Lewis Rossignol created 3 skate deck designs from his notebooks.

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Meghan Wilson created wrapping paper for a birthday party.

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Meanwhile between projects we also drew from a model. Amelia Walz’s watercolor drips with drama.

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We also drew from each other. Here Annelise Zeender models, captured by her peers.

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In the halls, MECA work was all over in Through and Through, a display for the NASAD accreditation underway.

It involved gathering student work from three years of courses, in every department. A tedious task, but ultimately very gratifying. Here’s a little slice from  junior students then and now.

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Our fourth project tied in with March’s Shakespeare fever in Portland. Actor and founder of Guerrilla Downtown,  Linda Shary, joined the conversation as Guest Critter for a work-in-progress critique of poster illustrations for a Shakespeare play.

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Here is Gunnar Johnson‘s for Macbeth.

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Maxwell Erwin played with the essence of a duel.

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Annelise Zeender’s cut paper illustration for The Tempest blew us away.

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In March, MECA enjoyed a visit from Bob Mankoff, Cartoon Editor of the New Yorker along with Emily Flake.

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They came for a special screening of Very Semi Serious, and stayed to be hilarious and lead a cartooning workshop with some lucky students. We did a few of the exercises in class later, drawing the same thing within ever smaller time frames.

How about a bat, at 4 minutes, 2 minutes, 30 seconds, and 5 seconds.

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Or a burglar?

Students had the final month to work on a series of three illustrations of their choosing.

Cody created character studies for the Sandlot, and Ham was the class favorite.

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Mattea illustrated a series of local bakeries, with Union Bagel making us all hungry.

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Gunnar created three portraits of our presidential candidates.

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Everyone pulled off such a variety of solutions! From politics to panaceas, this junior class worked all the angles.

They trekked to Peaks for a studio visit right before the final class.

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It was my honor to share the classroom and studio with these growing talents.

Have a great summer, illo ninjas, and keep those eyes and pencils sharp. Tomorrow I’m off to see what the Textile and Fashion students have been up to. MECAmorphosis, here I come!

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