For the Fifth Anniversary of the Portland Fine Craft Show (PFCS), MCA invited Brooke Hoerner/AP Curiosities of Bowdoinham, ME to lead the design and development of visual elements and create a ‘visual identity’ for the Show. 

In her studio practice, Brooke creates sculptural and functional ceramics and jewelry with a lighthearted aesthetic incorporating concepts and colors inspired by the natural world. Furthering a theme in her own studio work, Brooke explored the concept of a Cabinet of Curiosities, inviting Amanda Mitchell to collaborate on illustrative components. “Having your own business, you have to be good at everything, but also know when you need to pull in other people,” Brooke said of her choice to collaborate. “And I love Amanda’s work.”

For most of the project, Brooke and Amanda worked in separate studios – exchanging ideas, drafts and sketches by email and text. (Significant and inspirational images and moments from the project development are featured below.) A first draft from Amanda featured cut out boxes, and together they began to imagine how a kind of story could flow from one box to another. Amanda drew out the boxes in an iPad program to create a mock up version while Brooke selected, arranged and photographed her ceramic pieces and prepared them digitally to be characters in the story that was beginning to take shape.

Brooke recalls one day she was feeling anxious about progress until she received a draft from Amanda revealing her latest work.”It was amazing, I felt this relief – I knew she totally got my vision.”

Born and raised on the Front Range of Colorado, Brooke Hoerner holds a degree in business and marketing from the University of Colorado Boulder. What was meant to be a temporary move to the East Coast seven years ago, Maine has now turned into a home and a lifestyle. Brooke was raised by a family of artists and has furthered her art discipline through community and continuing education classes. She began working with clay six years ago and is drawn to the extraordinary amount of techniques available to achieve a variety of results, as well as the scientific nature of the medium. In addition to clay, she also works with metal and copper electroforming, a process of fusing copper onto another object. Her work explores both the lighthearted and more serious aspects of nature, delving into playful colors, shapes, and forms. Brooke considers herself lucky to be surrounded by some of nature’s most beautiful landscapes and finds inspiration in the natural world that surrounds her. See Brooke’s work at APCuriosities.com 

Amanda Mitchell is the artist-founder and owner of Delany Arts, a community art center which opened in Yarmouth, ME in 2018.

The 5th Annual Portland Fine Craft Show will be Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 9am-5pm on Congress Street between State and High Streets in Portland, ME. Learn more here.