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John Wilson '68 '85

Students from John Wilson's '68 '85 environmental design class assemble a cannon for the Maryland Historical Society.

Since 2004, faculty member John Wilson '68 '85 and his environmental design students have been assisting dozens of area museums and historic buildings in real-world community service projects aimed at teaching students the crucial role artists and designers play in the public's understanding of history.

Wilson, who served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1958-62, has been a faculty member at MICA since 1972 and is also a design coordinator for the Naval Academy Business Services Division in Annapolis, Maryland. Under his leadership, students have designed everything from interactive displays to graphic support materials for organizations such as the Federalsburg Historical Society, Caroline County Historical Society, Baltimore Historic Ships, and many more.

President of the Maryland Historical Society Burt Kummerow said MICA has been a huge asset to the organization. "The students have shown remarkable talents in analyzing some of the challenges both inside and outside of the 168-year-old museum and library," he explained. Recently, four students-Leslie Giron '12, Nicolas Pascual '13, Kyle Sullivan '13, and Sol Winer '13-were tasked with designing a full-scale replica of a shipboard cannon that will be on display at the Baltimore Visitor Center until May, when it finds a permanent home at the Maryland Historical Society. This and other installations are important parts of an exhibition being installed at the museum for the city and state's bicentennial commemoration that begins in June.

"In this time of budget shortfalls, the imaginative help from future designers has not only given the students valuable on-the-job training, but it has given institutions assistance that they might not otherwise be able to afford," said Kummerow, adding he looks forward to continued work with the College.