Jean McGinnis of the Maine Center for Creativity, Mark Bessire of the Portland Museum of Art, and Willa Wirth, Silver Designer, give us insights into the creative brain and help us understand the importance of having a healthy mind as we strive to lead healthy lives.
Our first featured guest is Jean McGinnis of the Maine Center for Creativity. Ms. Maginnis has spent the past 5 years advocating for the support and stimulation of Maine’s creative industries by working collaboratively with business leaders through the 501 © 3 organization she founded. Her organization created Art All Around, an international design competition that received 560 proposals from 80 countries to paint art on the above ground storage tanks owned by Sprague in the Port of Portland. The goal of Art All Around is to put Maine on the map for creativity and innovation. She has raised $600,000 toward the completion of this arts and industry collaboration.
Art All Around is the largest open space art project in the world and the first public art project planned with satellite view in mind. Her professional experience includes working for WGBH, Boston’s public television and radio stations as well as Development and Membership work for both the Portland Museum of Art and the Children’s Museum of Maine. She also worked for major Advertising agencies in Maine where most recently she was a Senior Marketing Strategist. She has managed the advertising strategic planning and brand development for a number of large companies. In 2007, Ms. Maginnis graduated from the Institute for Civic Leadership course focused on collaborative leadership. Ms. Maginnis was appointed to the Governor’s Creative Economy Council in 2005 and served on the Board of Directors at the Portland Players in South Portland, the oldest community theater in Maine from 2004-2007. Recently, her organization was presented with a special award for Creative Enterprise by the advertising club of Maine. She is married and has two sons. Jean graduated from Boston College cum laude with a degree in Communications and concentration in organizational development.
Her studio storefront is located at the top of Munjoy Hill. 99 Congress St. Open Monday -Saturday 12-6. Experience an artist loving what she does…. in action!
Bessire holds a M.B.A. from Columbia University, a M.A. in art history from Hunter College, and a B.A. from New York University. He was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Museum of Art and a Fulbright Fellow in Tanzania. He has published widely, including three books with MIT Press, has organized numerous traveling exhibitions, and has participated on national art juries. He is active in local, community, and national public art programs and also lectures on museum studies.
Bessire is a founding board member of the non-profit organization Africa Schoolhouse, which is dedicated to building schools in rural Africa. He is a member of the Maine Arts Commission, the Board of Advisors at SPACE Gallery, and the University of Southern Maine Board of Visitors. He resides with his family in Portland.