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Sen. Verna Jones and MICA Present the Eighth Annual BSU Exhibition in Annapolis

Due to ongoing inclement weather, the public reception with the artists for the Senator Verna L. Jones Annual BSU Exhibition has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 10.

Posted 02.03.10 by MICA media relations

This exhibition looks at some themes and issues that artists of color explore and is a great example of the College's ongoing commitment to engage the community at large in thoughtful discussions of art. 

Carla Johnson '13, A Cry for Help

BALTIMORE-The Senator Verna L. Jones Annual BSU Exhibition, inaugurated by state Sen. Verna L. Jones (Baltimore City), showcases the work of members of MICA's Black Student Union (BSU). Maryland legislators and residents view and purchase work made by emerging artists of color at an exhibition in Sen. Jones' office in Annapolis that lasts for the duration of the 2010 legislative session (through Monday, April 12). Due to ongoing inclement weather, the public reception with the artists for the Senator Verna L. Jones Annual BSU Exhibition has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 10 (originally Feb. 17), 6-8 p.m. at her office in Room 420 of the Miller Senate Office Building, 11 Bladen St., Annapolis.

"I am honored each year to offer the emerging artists at MICA a different setting in which to share their work," Sen. Jones said. "This exhibition looks at some themes and issues that artists of color explore and is a great example of the College's ongoing commitment to engage the community at large in thoughtful discussions of art."

Co-coordinated by MICA's Office of Advancement and Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development, the show evolved from a request by Sen. Jones to MICA President Fred Lazarus for African-American student artwork to display. Now in its eighth year, more than 50 students have participated in the exhibition-some for all four years of their undergraduate careers.

The 2010 show features artists from across Maryland (Baltimore, Cheverly, Clinton, Columbia, Damascus and Suitland) as well as Louisiana and Texas. Since its inauguration in 2003, Sen. Jones has presented each participating student with official state citations.

"Students are empowered by the reactions, responses and praise given by those in attendance at their exhibitions," said Clyde Johnson, assistant dean of diversity and intercultural development. "Sen. Verna Jones' office showcasing the students' art enables them to present their work to some of Maryland's top political strategists who patronize and appreciate young artists of color. The students feel honored that a senator opens this avenue for their professional development."

Many of the pieces in this exhibition first debuted in BSU's fall 2009 show Rims on My Slave Ship, designed to evoke thought and push the envelope, said Stephen Edmond '11, who organized the original exhibition. "Our goal was to create an exhibition with a concept and content that was meaningful to viewers, yet personal to the artists themselves," he said. "We wanted the experience to be enlightening and enjoyable while laced with a bit of shock and discomfort."

Sen. Jones represents the 44th district of Baltimore City. She is a member of the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee and is chair emeritus of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. She also served as chair of Maryland Women for Obama.

The mission of the Black Student Union, overseen by the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development, is to improve the quality of campus life for students of color and provide the best environment to foster the creation of artwork. All MICA students are invited to join the BSU and enter their artwork for consideration to exhibit and sell in the annual show.

About the 2010 artists

Painting major Calvin G. Blue Jr. '13 (Harvey, La.) tries to express his perspective on life issues in his work and has recently begun using a more innocent and child-like approach for ideas. His exhibition piece is his response to the nation's economic struggles. This is the third year Stephen Edmond '11 (New Orleans) is participating in this exhibition and was the primary organizer for the fall 2009 BSU show, Rims on My Slave Ship. A graphic design major, he relentlessly pushes for craftsmanship, creativity and passion in his work.

Mika Eubanks '11 (Cheverly, Md.) is majoring in fiber with a concentration in experimental fashion and a minor in culture and politics at MICA. Her involvement at the College, including serving on the board of the BSU, earned her the College's Emerging Leader Award. Her work focuses on family, culture and social issues in the community. Antoinette M. Hawkins '11 (Baltimore) is working toward a B.F.A. in painting and an M.A. in teaching. Through paint, she feels she best communicates her innermost thoughts and interests as a developing artist.

Antoine Heath '11 (Clinton, Md.), an environmental design major, depicts forms and light sources in his work. Dellonese Isaac '11 (Baltimore), who is pursuing a general fine arts major, enjoys using a variety of textures to give her work physical depth.

Through her artwork, graphic design major Carla Johnson '13 (Dallas) tells the stories of struggle that people had to go through in their time of history. Fiber major Brittany Marrow '11 (Suitland, Md.) uses her concentration in experimental fashion to incorporate fiber and textile design with painting and sculpture, creating abstract expressionist works around her idea of inner beauty in women and sexuality.

In her work, illustration major Solange Quarshie '10 (Damascus, Md.) deals with the theme of materialism and its ties to societal relevance and worth. Amelia Stinnette '12 (Baltimore), who is a painting major, explores the sense of power in darkness that is commonly mistaken for weakness or evil. Painting major Olivia Taliaferro '12 (Columbia, Md.) aims to make a statement on contemporary ideas of beauty in American society versus age-old stereotypes.

To learn more about the individual artists or to schedule interviews with them, please call the Office of Communications at 410-225-2300.

 

Image caption: Carla Johnson '13, A Cry for Help, digital print.

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 49 states and 65 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.