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Press Releases

Press Releases

Collaboration between Maine College of Art and Bayside East seniors featured at Oak Street Lofts


A class of Maine College of Art students spent their fall semester with a group of residents at Bayside East, an affordable housing community for seniors, to create art inspired by the residents’ special objects. The students created 11 original prints based on the stories and memories shared by the residents.

Portland, MAINE, February 5, 2014 — A class of Maine College of Art students spent their fall semester with a group of residents at Bayside East, an affordable housing community for seniors, to create art inspired by the residents’ special objects. The students created 11 original prints based on the stories and memories shared by the residents.

On Friday, those prints will be on display at Oak Street Lofts gallery, which is open for First Friday Art Walk from 5-8 p.m. Several Bayside East residents will be in attendance to share their experiences working with the students as well as the objects that inspired the prints.

The students in Professor Pilar Nadal’s “Gathering Influences: Collecting, Collections, Collectors, Collectibles” visited the residents of Bayside East several times over the fall semester. Residents showed them items they had collected over the years, such as old newspapers, postcards and family mementos. The students also held a hands-on printmaking demonstration at Bayside East, and took residents on a tour of the Maine College of Art studios.

The students created 11 original prints inspired by the residents’ items and stories, and presented the artwork to the residents to display in their community room at a potluck lunch in December.

One Bayside East resident said of the partnership, “It’s community development for both, for us and for the college. What it brings to the community room is what we were looking for. This is extremely nice to have.”

The partnership with MECA is one way Avesta Housing strives to strengthen ties between residents and the larger community, and to enhance a sense of community for residents. To read more about the MECA partnership, visit Avesta’s blog.

Completed in January 2012 and located in the heart of the city’s arts district, Oak Street Lofts is a unique community that caters to artists looking to work and live affordably in Portland. Oak Street Lofts has a number of artist-friendly features, including the first-floor gallery space where residents can curate shows and showcase their work, shared work space with storage for supplies, and artwork-hanging systems in the hallways. Its 37 efficiency apartments also include open storage for art supplies and equipment. The gallery, located at 72 Oak St., is open to the public every First Friday Art Walk.

Oak Street Lofts is also the first affordable multi-family building in Maine to achieve LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Oak Street Lofts also received the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in Green Housing. For more information on Oak Street Lofts, visit http://www.avestahousing.org/properties/60/Oak-Street-Lofts.

Looking for more?

Check out Avesta's blog, The Porch Light, for more news, updates and stories.

Contact Development and Communications Manager Sara Olson at 207-245-3352 or by email.