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Art supply store forced off campus for MECA expansion

1:00 AM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --The Art Mart in Portland serving Maine College of Art students and the community is being forced to move out of its location in the MECA building.

The Owner of the Art Mart, Keith Christy, says MECA gave the store six months to move out. "I think I was hurt a little bit, thinking all of the hard work that I've put in to this was being taken away." However The Art Mart has already begun negotiations with a vacant space across Congress St. "The exposure I think will be better for the general public," says Christy.

The President of MECA, Don Tuski, says the school values a convenient art supply store, and pledged to help The Art Mart find a new home. "Part of it is to have more room to do some things," says Truski. "But part of being an art school is to have some things like a shop or a store to sell artwork that the school makes, that alumni make, and part of it is to have a more updated presence on Congress street."

According to Truski, enrollment in the college is up by 62 students over the last 3 years. MECA offers students a new major, studying textiles, apparel, and fashion. Tuski specific plans are to have a student, faculty, and alumni gallery in place of The Art Mart's space.

Renovations to the Maine College of Art are slated for this summer.

The Art Mart hopes to sign a lease for the new place on March 1.

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