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Graduate Honorees

Honorary Degree of Fine Arts - Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson is a noted conceptual artist of the 21st century. Early in his career, he worked as a free-lance museum educator for the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Crafts Museum. In the late 1980's, Wilson created a series of "mock museums" that addressed how museums consciously or unwittingly reinforce racist beliefs and behaviors.

In 1992, he partnered with The Contemporary Museum to produce "Mining the Museum," and reorganized the Maryland Historical Society's collection to highlight the history of Native and African Americans in Maryland. In 2001, he was the subject of a retrospective, Fred Wilson: Objects and Installations, 1979-2000, that exhibited at the Center for Art and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore Country. The show traveled to numerous venues in the United States. For the 2003 Venice Biennale, Wilson created a multi-media installation titled "Speak of Me as I Am," focused on representations of Africans in Venetian culture.

In 2007, Fred Wilson was invited to be a part of the Indianapolis, Indiana Cultural trail, but was later rejected because his proposal to rework the only African American depicted in the monument was deemed too controversial.

Wilson's unique artist approach is to examine, question, and deconstruct the traditional display of art and artifacts in museums. Wilson attempts to lead viewers to recognize that changes in context create changes in meaning.

Fred has also been the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant and a Larry Aldrich Foundation Award.

Honorary Degree of Fine Arts - Alice Aycock

Alice Aycock studied at Douglass College in New Brunswick, New Jersey, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968. She then went to New York City where she studied for her masters at Hunter College. Her early sculptures were site-specific and were largely made from wood and stone and involved reshaping the earth. Aycock's outdoor pieces and installations are permanently sited throughout the United States and abroad in Israel, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan. Aycock's works can be found in the collections of Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, LA County Museum, the National Gallery, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation. She exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Documenta VI and VIII in Kassel, Germany and the Whitney Biennial.

In 2008 she was awarded the Americans for the Arts Public Art Award for "ghosts Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks" in Nashville, Tennessee.

Alice Aycock has been a distinguished faculty member at MICA since 2010. She also teaches at the School for Visual Arts.

Honorary Degree of Fine Arts - Yvonne Rainer

From the age of twelve, Yvonne Rainer had been exposed to artists, writers, poets and ballet. She went to Lowell High School, and after graduation, attended San Francisco Junior College for a year, then Berkeley for a brief period.

Rainer was one of the organizers of the Judson Dance Theater, a focal point for vanguard activity in the postmodern dance world throughout the 1960s; she formed her own company after the Judson performances ended. Rainer is noted for an approach to dance that treats the body more as the source of a variety of movements than as the purveyor of emotion or drama. Many of the elements she employed-such as repetition, patterning, tasks, and games-later became standard features of modern dance.

In her early dances, Rainer focused on sounds and movements, and often juxtaposed the two in arbitrary combinations. Rainer's choreography was a combination of classical dance steps contrasted with every day, ordinary, pedestrian movement. She used a great deal of repetition, and employed narrative and verbal noises (including wails, grunts, mumbles, squeaks, and shrieks, etc.) within the body of her dances.

Over time her work shifted to use more narrative and cohesive spoken word. Ordinary Dance (1962) was a combination of movement and narrative, and featured the repetition of simple movements while Rainer recited a poetic autobiography. A turning point in Rainer's choreography came in 1964, when, in an effort to strip movements of their expressive qualities.

Rainer aimed to remove the drama from the dance movement, and to question the role of entertainment in dance. In 1965 Rainer created her "No Manifesto," which was a strategy formulated to demystify dance. This exploration in reducing dance to the essentials climaxed with one of Rainer's most famous pieces, Trio A (1966), initially part of a larger work entitled The Mind Is a Muscle. Something of a paradigmatic statement that questioned the aesthetic goals of postmodern dance, Trio A was a short dance that consisted of one long phrase.

Rainer has choreographed more than 40 concert works.

Honorary Degree of Humane Letters - Sylvia Brown P'02

Carmen Sylvia Brown is an educator and business woman whose philanthropy and volunteerism have dramatically improved Baltimore's African-American community.

In 1994, along with her husband, Eddie, she established the Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Family Foundation. She and her family have contributed millions to various charitable causes over the past 19 years, including a $1 million challenge grant to the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the establishment of the Brown Community Health Scholarship at the Bloomberg School to support doctoral research aimed at eliminating health disparities in Baltimore.

Eddie and Sylvia have underwritten several full academic scholarships to help minority students get a MICA education. In addition, in 2014, the Brown's established the Eddie C. & C. Sylvia International Study Abroad Grant Program.

Sylvia has a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Howard University and a Master of Science degree in health education from Indiana University. She taught middle school and college, and she worked for 13 years with the Brown family's real estate company. Today, she is involved with a number of community organizations, including the Health Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Their daughter Tonya Ingersol '02 is a graduate of the Hoffberger School of Painting

Honorary Degree of Humane Letters - Eddie Brown P'02

Eddie C. Brown is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Maryland's Brown Capital Management, one of the country's oldest African-American-owned investment management firms. Widely lauded for his business acumen, he is equally revered for his philanthropic commitment to the Baltimore region.

Brown attended Howard University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, owing in large part to a scholarship that covered his full tuition. He would go on to earn a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from New York University and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University Kelly School of Business. Brown was a vice president and portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price before starting his own firm in 1983. In 1998, the U.S. Secretary of Labor appointed him to the Employment Retirement Income Security Act Advisory Council, and he joined the Maryland Economic Development Commission a year later.

Eddie has been involved at MICA since 2001 when he served as the first Graduate Parent Representative on MICA's Board of Trustees in 2001. Shortly after joining the Board and seeing the architectural plan for MICA's first academic building in nearly 100 years, Eddie and Sylvia made the lead gift of $6 million toward the building's construction costs and created an endowment for its operating costs. At the time, the gift was the largest single gift ever received by the College and one of the largest gifts from an African-America family in the nation's history. The Brown Center, named in their honor, has received local and national accolades as an architectural gem, but it also plays an important role in helping MICA to attract high-caliber students who are interested in the digital arts.

As noted above, he and his wife Sylvia have established the Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Family Foundation and the Turning the Corner Achievement Program.

Eddie and Sylvia have underwritten several full academic scholarships to help minority students get a MICA education. In 2014, the Brown's established the Eddie C. & C. Sylvia International Study Abroad Grant Program.

Their daughter Tonya Ingersol '02 is an graduate of the Hoffberger School of Painting

Medal of Honor recipient is Dr. Leslie King-Hammond

Leslie King-Hammond was born in the South Bronx and grew up in South Jamaica and Hollis-Queens, New. She won a full stipend-tuition scholarship awarded under the SEEK Grant (Search for Education, Evaluation, and Knowledge) at the City University of New York, Queens College (BFA degree, 1966-69). In 1969, she attended The Johns Hopkins University under a Horizon Fellowship for doctoral studies in art history. In 1973, she began to teach art history courses at MICA. In 1976, she completed her Ph.D. and was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies at MICA. She received Mellon Grants for Faculty Research in 1988, 1989, and 2005. In 1985, she won the Trustee Award for Excellence in Teaching. As a member of the "Girls of Baltimore," she won an NEA artist grant in 2001. In 2008, she retired to become Graduate Dean Emerita and was appointed the Founding Director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA.

Dr. King-Hammond sits on juries, boards, organizations, and art commissions including Baltimore Museum of Art (1981-1987); President, College Art Association (1996-2000); Board of Overseers, Baltimore School for the Arts (1996-1999); Executive Board, International Association of Art Critics (2000-2003); Vice President, Jacob Lawrence Catalog Riasonne Project; Trustee, Center For Emerging Artists (2005-2007); Advisory Board, Edna Manley School for the Visual Arts, Kingston, Jamaica (1988-Present). In the spring of 2006, King-Hammond was appointed Chairperson of the Collections and Exhibits Committee at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture and in January 2007 became the Chairperson of the Board of the Lewis Museum. She also sits on the Board of the Creative Alliance for the Artists, Baltimore, MD.

Most recently, some of her major exhibitions and publications include her book, Hughie Lee-Smith, (2010) Pomegranate Press. King-Hammond has won Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Studio Museum in Harlem (2002), Lifetime Service, MICA (2005), The DuBois Circle (2006), Women's Art Caucus-College Art Association (2008), and the James A. Porter Colloquium, Howard University (2008). In 2008, she was granted an Andy Warhol Curatorial Fellowship. The Detroit Institute of the Arts gave her the Alain Locke International Prize in 2010.