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Leslie King-Hammond Serves as Expert in Washington Post Article About Race and Art

Story looks at 'the state of black art'

Posted 01.25.10 by MICA Media Relations

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Instead of race being used as the dog that bites our tail, race is now used as the flag, the anthem you use to create your path to freedom. 

Dr. Leslie King-Hammond

An article about how black artists capture the complex issue of race in their work, which appeared in the Sunday, Jan. 24, issue of The Washington Post, featured Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, founding director of the new Center for Race and Culture at MICA and graduate dean emeritus, as an expert in the field.

Race issue a two-edged sword for black contemporary artists, written by staff writer Blake Gopnik, quoted King-Hammond as saying that "race is a political construct, a total mythology" that "tries to lock you into an inauthentic identity." Black artists can use their awareness of this as "fodder" to make art that liberates them, and us, from the limiting identities of race. "Instead of race being used as the dog that bites our tail, race is now used as the flag, the anthem you use to create your path to freedom."

The article also mentions the Transformations: New Directions in Black Art conference, which took place in late October 2009 at the College and was organized by King-Hammond's Center for Race and Culture and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University.

Image caption: Dr. Leslie King-Hammond

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 48 states and 61 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.