Our world is transforming. We need leaders with vision to show us the way. This year, our annual report celebrates what MICA students and alumni do best. They don't just find a way. They make a way.
Letter from President Lazarus
I am extremely proud that MICA is a place where the words transformation and leadership have become synonymous with everything we do—and that has made us an international trailblazer in both artmaking and thought.
We begin with a uniquely gifted pool of freshmen noted both for their creative talent and their intellectual capacity. They undertake a Foundation learning regimen that transforms them from high school students into more mature adults capable of undergoing the rigors our demanding faculty construct to turn their raw talent and passion into powerful, refined skills that can move people to think and act. Our faculty further work with the Meyerhoff Center for Career Development to move students into the professional realm. Finally, they undergo a culminating period of self-discovery and mastery as they design senior thesis projects that mark their transformation into prepared, purposeful artists and designers poised to impact every segment of society in powerful ways. Most importantly, these students learn that they must constantly reinvent their artmaking vision, their skill set, and the way in which they engage society.
That same regenerative process has led the faculty to create several graduate programs unique in the world, and already phenomenally accomplished students are flocking to them. MICA is transforming how the world approaches graduate art education, steering the development of instruction that addresses emerging issues in art and design in a way that no other institution has both the positioning and capacity to match.
For proof, you have to look no further than the accomplishments of our students, alumni, and faculty over the past year. For example, Mount Royal School of Art Graduate Director Frances Barth was elected to join the National Academy, an extremely high honor that places her amongst the most significant American artists and architects of the past 200 years. Prestigious fellowships were awarded to MICA faculty and alumni, including grants from the Smithsonian and the Guggenheim Foundation. And members of the MICA family garnered renown through recognition in numerous areas of creative excellence—from Fulbright and Baker awards to inclusion among the Sondheim prize finalists.
The College has spent the past year transforming itself, again—building the infrastructure our students demand to make the most of their learning experience. On one side of North Avenue, we have completed an approximately $20 million renovation of the Graduate Studio Center, with street-level galleries, a new auditorium, eatery, and state-of-the-art studio and instructional space. On the other side, we have begun construction of a new student residence that will house 240 additional students, and we are renovating the entire Commons complex to enhance the freshman social and living experience—adding a multifunctional black box performance space, a tiered lecture hall, artist studios, a laundry center, mailboxes, and a café lounge.
Featured Artists & Donors
BFA, Graphic Design, 2011
Graphic Designer / New York, NY
MFA, Mt. Royal School of Art
Owner, Jordan Faye Contemporary / Baltimore, MD
Recipient of the Hearst Fund Scholarship
Transformation of our facilities is just a component of the infrastructure we are building to support our students' ability to impact society. For example, we also established the Launch Artists in Baltimore program (LAB), which awards $10,000 each to graduate alumni who stay in Baltimore to pursue a creative project that improves the community. We partnered with the Open Society Foundation and Animating Democracy to launch the Baltimore Art + Justice project, a first-in-the-nation initiative to map artists who are working in communities to make them better. And in partnership with Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, we developed the MBA/MA in Design Leadership program, the first such partnership between an art college and a major research university.
In short, we are transforming how people think about art and design education. Our focus is not only on producing the most highly skilled visual professionals in the world, we also take our responsibility to the greater society very seriously—to produce the leaders in culture, commerce, and community engagement the world must have at this unique moment in history, when visual communication can be shared with and move people like never before.
Like butterflies who emerge from cocoons to go forward into the world and help pollinate it, MICA students use their time at MICA to grow themselves into leaders who transform the world. They become global leaders and move others to think and to act.
That is creative direction. And it has become the hallmark of the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Your support makes the transformation process possible for our students and alumni who always find a way, or better yet, make one.
WE THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THE MICA FAMILY.
Fred Lazarus IV, President