April 7, 2013

Art Review: At ICA, as interactive as it gets

By DANIEL KANY

(Continued from page 1)

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The people are part of the show in “The Peninsula School of Art.”

Courtesy of ICA at MECA

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“Triumph” by Alex Da Corte.

Courtesy photo

Additional Photos Below

ART REVIEW

"THE PENINSULA SCHOOL OF ART"

BY ROBERT DOANE

WHERE: Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA, 522 Congress St., Portland

WHEN: Ends Sunday; Crit Club will continue to meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays HOURS: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday; until 7 p.m. Thursday

HOW MUCH: Free

INFO: 775-3052;

meca.edu/ica

Despite their absence from the dialogue at ICA, I am particularly impressed by the philosophical reverberations of Doane's "school." After all, on some level, a school within MECA smacks of competition -- which effectively reminds us that art education can be a commercial product in America.

So, while much conceptual art grump-stumbles against commercialized objects, Doane is effectively flanking the idea of the marketable art education.

On one hand, it's a success story in Maine: MECA and USM's degree in art and entrepreneurial studies come to mind first, but in just a few years under department chair Jeff Badger, for example, Southern Maine Community College's Fine Art offerings have grown from one art instructor to 36 this semester.

On the other hand, commercialized education inspires the worst kind of corporate intrigue. For example, former Maine Gov. John McKernan has been under False Claims Act legal fire as CEO of Education Management Corp. -- which operates the nationwide Art Institute schools -- for its alleged "multifaceted, corporate-wide scheme" to capture as much money as possible from the U.S. Department of Education's financial aid programs. At issue is the $11 billion in federal grants and loans used by students to pay tuition to the Art Institute and its sister schools under McKernan.

PS is about art education as consumer product, but Doane's work is more focused on direct engagement with art in the most positive sense. MECA should be proud of what Doane and Fuller are accomplishing. I am certainly impressed.

If you're interested, show up to the Wednesday Crit Club. Everyone is invited, and it is a happening place.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be contacted at:

dankany@gmail.com

 

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

People can talk about art – or anything else that’s on their minds – in “The Peninsula School of Art” by MECA sculpture student Robert Doane, a work of art and an actual school all in one.

Courtesy photo

click image to enlarge

People can talk about art – or anything else that’s on their minds – in “The Peninsula School of Art” by MECA sculpture student Robert Doane, a work of art and an actual school all in one.

 


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