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MICA Congratulates Sondheim Prize Winner Geoff Grace

Geoff won this year’s $25,000 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize

Posted 07.14.08 by MICA Media Relations

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Geoff Grace

BALTIMORE--Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) graduate Geoff Grace (BFA, MAT '04) won this year's $25,000 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize for his work, it's the linger, not the long. The announcement was made July 12 at a special ceremony and reception at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Organized by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in conjunction with Artscape, the prize recognizes the achievements of visual artists living or working in Maryland, Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, and southeastern Pennsylvania.

Grace was a Sondheim Prize semi-finalist in 2006 and a finalist in 2007. He succeeds last year's winner, Tony Shore (BFA '93), and the 2006 inaugural winner, Laure Drogoul (MFA '81).

MICA's BFA/MAT program allows students to engage in an intensive studio program, earn a BFA in fine arts or design, and then complete the necessary requirements for a Master of Arts in Teaching-all within five years.

The MAT program emphasizes that a successful art educator must also be a practicing artist. Grace said his professors at the College showed him how to balance those two sides.

"I didn't have a lot of studio experience prior to coming to MICA," he said. "I got into that in a huge way during the undergraduate portion of my studies. Some of my earlier exhibiting opportunities came from work I did in the graduate year that included a thesis show in addition to my student teaching."

Grace teaches art and photography at Overlea High School. He has exhibited in Baltimore at Gallery Four, Maryland Art Place, School 33 Art Center, Contemporary Museum, Artscape, Area 405, and Baltimore Museum of Art.

Read The Baltimore Sun's profile of Grace.

Jurors for the 2008 prize were Laura Hoptman, curator at the New Museum in New York; Mickalene Thomas, a New York-based artist working in the mediums of painting, drawing, and photography; and Darby English, an art historian specializing in postwar and contemporary American art, cultural studies, art theory, and criticism.

Of 2008's five other Sondheim Prize finalists, four are MICA faculty or alumni: Rinehart School of Sculpture director Maren Hassinger, Becky Alprin (MFA '08), Melissa Dickenson (BFA '02), and Molly Springfield (post-baccalaureate certificate '00).

The work of all six finalists, "Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize Finalists: Artscape at the BMA," is on exhibition now through Aug. 3 at the BMA, 10 Art Museum Drive.

Grace will talk about his winning work Thursday, July 17 from 1-2 p.m. at the museum.

An exhibition of semi-finalists' work takes place July 17-Aug. 2 in MICA's Decker and Meyerhoff galleries, Fox Building, 1303 Mount Royal Ave.

For more information about the MAT program, call 410-225-2300.

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.