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MICA Celebrates Commencement With Exhibition, Art Sales, May 15–19

Light and space artist James Turrell and conceptual artist Fred Wilson speak at Undergraduate and Graduate Commencements, respectively

Posted 04.14.14 by MICA COMMUNICATIONS

2013 ArtWalk

BALTIMORE--MICA celebrates its 165th Commencement with public arts-related events and exhibitions showcasing work from emerging artists and designers.

ArtWalk 2014
Thursday, May 15, 5-9 p.m.; Campuswide, Starting at Cohen Plaza, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Tickets: $30 (includes lite dinner and a drink)
Explore MICA's campus with fellow art enthusiasts and collectors, meet graduating artists and designers, and discuss their artwork at the annual preview party for the 2014 Commencement Exhibition. At ArtWalk, a visually energizing 3K walking tour, guests can purchase outstanding work by graduating seniors before the exhibition opens to the public.

More information and ticket purchases will become available at

Commencement Exhibition 2014
Friday, May 16-Monday, May 19; Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Campuswide
Reception: Sunday, May 18, 1:30-5 p.m.
The 2014 Commencement Exhibition highlights works by nearly 400 emerging artists in the undergraduate class of 2014. By transforming the College's permanent galleries, hallways, classrooms, and open spaces into one expansive gallery space, each student is able to show a substantial body of work.

Programs of study: animation; art history, theory, and criticism; ceramics; drawing; environmental design; fiber; film and video; general fine arts; graphic design; humanistic studies; illustration; interactive arts; interdisciplinary sculpture; painting; photography; and printmaking.

Masters Benefit Art Sale
Saturday, May, 17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Graduate Studio Center, 131 W. North Ave.
This annual benefit art sale offers a chance to browse and buy affordable works of art from students in MICA's M.F.A., M.A. and post-baccalaureate certificate programs. A percentage of the proceeds from the event will support a graduate scholarship. The sale is a rare opportunity to visit the studios and facilities of the College's graduate programs and speak with the artists directly.

Commencement Speakers and Honorary Doctorate Degrees

Undergraduate Commencement
Monday, May 19, 1 p.m.
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall: 1212 Cathedral St.

James Turrell, an internationally acclaimed light and space artist whose work can be found in collections worldwide, will speak at the Undergraduate Commencement and receive an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts. The recipient of several prestigious awards, such as the Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, Turrell currently resides in Flagstaff, Ariz., to oversee the completion of a monumental land art project at Roden Crater, an extinct volcano the artist has been transforming into a naked-eye celestial observatory for the past 33 years.

Bill Steinmetz '50 (general design) and Betty Cooke '46 (art education)-owners of Cooke Steinmetz Designer and Consultants and THE STORE LTD and decades-long active alumni-will receive Honorary Degrees of Fine Arts. Steinmetz is a former MICA faculty member and has served on the Board of Trustees for more than 23 years. Cooke taught Design and Materials at MICA for 22 years, and her jewelry designs have won multiple prizes, including the 1979 and 1981 De Beers' Diamond Today Awards. The MICA black box-styled theater named after the couple, the Betty and Bill BBOX, significantly enhanced the College's ability to support performing arts. The Wm. O. Steinmetz '50 Designer-in-Residence program, established to enhance MICA's design culture by bringing outstanding practitioners to campus, was created by Cooke, together with gifts from others in honor of Steinmetz. The couple has also provided support for MICA scholarships.

Congressman Elijah Cummings, representative for Maryland's 7th Congressional District, will receive an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters. Serving 14 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, he became the first African American to become speaker pro tempore in Maryland's history. He is currently a member of multiple committees, boards and commissions throughout the state.

Graduate Commencement
Monday, May 19, 5 p.m.
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall: 1212 Cathedral St. 

Conceptual artist Fred Wilson is the speaker for the 2014 graduate class and will receive an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts. His artistic approach examines, questions and deconstructs the view of art and artifacts in museums. His multi-media installation, Speak of Me as I Am, which highlighted Africans in Venetian culture, was spotlighted in the 2003 Venice Biennale. Wilson has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and a Larry Aldrich Foundation Award.

MICA faculty member Alice Aycock will receive an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts. As a sculptor, her outdoor works and installations are permanently sited around the United States and in countries abroad. She has exhibited in museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery in London and the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation in Paris.

Yvonne Rainer, choreographer and dancer, will receive an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts. She has choreographed more than 40 concert works and became an organizer of the Judson Dance Theater in New York in the 1960s. She then created her own dance company after the theater ended performances. Rainer's dance pieces evolved from dance steps contrasting with simple movements to incorporate more narrative and spoken word.

Philanthropists Eddie Brown P'02, founder, chairman and CEO of Maryland's Brown Capital Management, and educator Sylvia Brown P'02 will receive Honorary Degrees of Humane Letters. The Browns' charitable foundation, Eddie C. & C. Sylvia Brown Family Foundation, has supported such Baltimore-based institutions as MICA; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the Enoch Pratt Free Library; Brown Scholars at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. The Browns' donation of $6 million toward the creation of MICA's Brown Center was one of the largest contributions made by an African-American family to an educational institution at that time. The Browns have underwritten several full academic scholarships to help minority students get a MICA education and have established the Eddie C. & C. Sylvia Brown Family Foundation International Study Abroad Grant for MICA students. Their daughter, Tonya Ingersol '02, is a graduate of the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting.

Honorary Degrees Presented Prior to Commencement
President Fred Lazarus IV presented the following Honorary Degrees while on his trip to China last fall.

Pan Gongkai, president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China, received an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts. He has served on multiple boards in China and was featured in the 2011 Venice Biennale. Gongkai is known for his large-scale ink paintings, which have been showcased in exhibitions throughout the world.

Ai Weiwei, the controversial contemporary artist known for his work on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games, received an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts. He is a well-known political activist throughout the world, using artwork and other visual media forms as criticisms toward the Chinese government. Weiwei has received numerous awards, including runner-up for "Person of the Year" by Time magazine in 2011.

Events are free, unless a price is otherwise noted.

Image Caption (top to bottom): 2013 ArtWalk; copyright James Turrell, photograph by Florian Holzherr; and Fred Wilson.

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 B.F.A., M.F.A., M.A., M.A./M.B.A., M.A.T., M.P.S. and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report, 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.