Open house 'a success'

Maine Media Workshops + College premieres new programs

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Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 3:30pm
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Cameras focus on the still life of an orchid. (Photos by Chris Wolf)
Maine Media phtography students try to capture the still life of an orchid.

ROCKPORT — Meg Weston, president of Maine Media Workshops + College, said their May 8 open house was a success and more importantly, it brought a lot of people from around the state to their campus.

"What we discovered is that we are known all over the world, but people in Maine are not that familiar with us," said Weston. "That was important to us. We had people from Bangor, Portland, Waterville, Bath and Orono visit us. They had done their homework and I was very pleased to see that."

The open house also served to introduce new programs available at the college. The low residency Master of Fine Arts program is a three-year program that allows students to connect with accomplished professionals and mentors from around the world. The Independent Filmmaking program is exactly that -- for students interested in becoming independent film makers. The 30-week program allows students to complete the course in modules or all at once.

A Professional Certificate in Visual Storytelling completes the new programs and allows students aspiring to be professionals in the world of media arts to become fluent in multiple forms of visual media to effectively tell a story. Media Arts is an evolving field and the program allows students to become proficient in the skills needed to move within that field.

"The open house allowed prospective students to see things going on around the campus," said Weston. "They had the opportunity to talk to faculty and administrators, see the campus."

The campus keeps a staff of 18 year round, but that number swells to around 125 in the summer months. There are more than 50 instructors on and around the campus during its peak sessions.

Weston is in her second year as president of Maine Media Workshops + College. Maine Magazine just featured her in a profile in its latest issue. http://themainemag.com/people/profiles/2238-meg-weston-.html

"I've been in Maine a while," said Weston "I love it. There are just so many inspiring things happening here and I get to see it. This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary. On June 7 we'll be giving out awards for our contest, Spirit in Place. The contest closed last February, but it was open to anyone. We had a special Midcoast section for the contest and the photos from that part will be donated to the Penobscot Bay Area Chamber of Commerce for anyone to access."

Since 1973, the Bluedots, as they were referred to by locals, have been wandering the towns and country sides in search of images to begin, enhance and professionalize their careers as photographers and filmmakers. Some of the world's best photographers have been instructors for the college, and they have attracted a wide and diverse group of people interested in the art and science of photography.

Returning this year to the Maine Media Workshops is the Young Artists program, described as a unique opportunity for creative high school students (ages 14-18) to immerse themselves in all aspects of photography, filmmaking, animation and design. The campus creates a safe environment for teens to explore the discipline they are passionate about with peers who share their love of visual arts. Students learn from professional photographers, filmmakers and multimedia artists, while they enjoy the summer on the coast of Maine.

On June 7, the Workshops will hold a special showing at the Maine Center for Contemporary Art. The exhibition, Mentor: 40 Photographers, 40 Years, will feature the work of some of Maine Media's best-known master teachers alongside the work of their students, who continue the connection with Maine Media through teaching and mentoring.

The year-long celebration features many programs designed around 40 years of Maine Media. For details on these and other programs, information and classes available for 2013, check out www.mainemedia.edu/.

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Chris Wolf can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com.