“Life is never a linear path; it’s a network.” Elizabeth Turk ’94, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship and MICA Alumni Award Winner
MICA’s alumni are among our greatest ambassadors, in what they accomplish and what they say about their time on campus.
MICA alumni make an impact in a multitude of fields. Their achievements are a testament to the foundation of skill, discipline, and ingenuity they develop while studying with members of MICA’s acclaimed faculty.
It would be next to impossible to note all of the extraordinary achievements of MICA’s 16,000 plus alumni, as they continue to set new standards for art and design in almost every field of artistic endeavor. For example, the MacArthur Foundation awarded Elizabeth Turk ’94 (Rinehart School of Sculpture) a 2011 Fellowship (known as a “Genius Grant”), and the accolades continue from there.
During the past fiscal year, James Kochalka ’91 (Mount Royal School of Art) was named the first ever cartoonist laureate for the state of Vermont. Kochalka draws the nationally syndicated daily comic American Elf. His appointment lasts for three years. Joyce Scott ’70 (art education) accepted the United States Artist Award in December, one of only fifty of America’s finest artists so awarded annually. She was also honored with the Women’s Caucus for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for 2010 and was recently profiled on the PBS show Craft in America. Joy Adams ’81 (Hoffberger School of Painting) was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship.
MICA alumni are clearly an important force in the Baltimore area. Four MICA alumni won Mary Sawyer Baker awards for their work as outstanding Baltimore artists. Gary Kachadourian ’79 (general fine arts), who gained an extraordinary reputation for his drawings and printed booklets, prints, and posters, won a major grant as part of his award.
Smaller grants went to Shaun Flynn ’01 (general fine arts), Justin Sirois ’01 (printmaking), Bruce Willen ’02 (graphic design) and Nolen Strals ’01 (general fine arts). Sirois, a writer and designer, has published books including Silver Standard, Secondary Sound, MLKNG SCKLS, and Falcons on the Floor. Willen and Strals are musicians and own the acclaimed design firm Post Typography.
Alumni are making a difference internationally. For instance, Alayna Wool ’05 (general sculptural studies) received a 2010 Women of Peace Award from the Women’s Peacepower Foundation for her work Collective Photographic Memory of the Surviving Achis. Wool has lived in a rural Guatemalan village for the past three years, creating a photographic record for the victims of armed conflict—records which can be used to pursue justice. The organization paid tribute to Wool by saying, “Alayna is dedicated to using her talent as an artist to bring peace around the world even at her own personal risk.”
Other recent alumni are also expanding their influence. Errol Webber Jr. ’08, the youngest cinematographer to shoot an Oscar-winning film, Music by Prudence, worked to turn that documentary short into a feature film which was screened at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam. Likewise, Hilton Carter ’02’s first short film, Moth, about the trials of a woman who has moved to Los Angeles, was a finalist at the HBO Short Film Competition and was aired last fall. Jason Bryant ’04 (Mt. Royal School of Art) was named Artist of the Year by F.A.M.E. NYC Magazine for his unique ability to blend hip-hop, Hollywood, and skateboarding culture. Sarah Tooley ’09 (MA in Community Arts) was named a Baltimore Community Fellow and will receive a $49,000 grant to help solve the challenges facing the city’s neediest communities.