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Aperture Foundation and MICA Announce New Educational Alliance to Launch in 2014

Funding for this program has generously been provided by S. b. Cooper '72 (photography) and R. L. Besson through the Cooper/Besson Fund, Inc.

Posted 02.24.14 by MICA Communications

Regina DeLuise, chair of the Photography Department at MICA, holding Aperture magazine.

New York and Baltimore--Aperture Foundation and MICA are pleased to announce the formation of a new educational collaboration that, beginning in 2014, will bring Aperture artist workshops and lectures to the MICA campus in Baltimore and a new MICA Summer Internship program to Aperture Foundation in New York.

The new partnership is designed to enrich the B.F.A. in Photography Department curriculum at MICA-widely recognized as one of the leading art and design schools in the nation-with the programming at Aperture Foundation, a prominent photography non-profit based in New York. Funding for this program has generously been provided by S. b. Cooper '72 (photography) and R. L. Besson through the Cooper/Besson Fund, Inc.

Aperture Foundation's educational offerings regularly include lectures and workshops with important contemporary artists and photographic practitioners. The new educational collaboration will bring these programs to MICA's campus, offering students in-person experiences with the most relevant and wide-ranging practices and thinking on photography. Working in collaboration with the photography faculty at MICA to determine the needs and interest of its students, Aperture will invite artists involved in the Foundation's educational program to participate in one annual workshop and two lectures/senior critiques at MICA each academic year.

The first artist talk at MICA will take place on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in MICA's Graduate Studio Center Auditorium (131 W. North Ave., Baltimore) with Richard Renaldi whose work from the book, Touching Strangers (Aperture, 2014) will be the subject of an exhibition this spring at Aperture Gallery in New York.

Aperture will also offer a paid internship in New York every summer, beginning in summer 2014, to a MICA undergraduate photography student on the recommendation of the MICA faculty. The MICA Summer Internship at Aperture will be Aperture's first paid internship and will provide MICA students with valuable work experience in New York City and exposure to the international photographic community that regularly flows through Aperture's
offices and gallery.

Artist, photographer, filmmaker and MICA alumnus S. b. Cooper '72 (photography) worked closely with Aperture and MICA to conceptualize and underwrite the new collaboration.

According to Cooper, "When, as a student, I had the chance to work with Minor White, the father of Aperture, as well as Lisette Model, and A. D. Coleman in workshops at MICA, those experiences enriched me, stirred my imagination, and led me to new visions. Since then, I have always admired Aperture's dedication to the fine art of photography and the exploration of the still image. As a patron of Aperture and an alumnus of MICA, I know they have similar missions. With this program, I hope the two institutions can propel the fine art of photography forward and the brains of the students and the artists that meet them. I hope the students will feel as enriched as I was to
experience various artists and their visions in a close and personal way. Aperture is unique, as is MICA, in their abilities to keep their pulse on the future and break molds. I hope this program adds to that."

S. b. Cooper and R. L. Besson, through the Cooper/Besson Fund, Inc., are also supporters of the publication series Aperture Ideas: Writers and Artists on Photography, most recently underwriting Aperture's publication of Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow: Essays on the Present and Future of Photography by David Levi Strauss.

Image caption: Regina DeLuise, chair of the Photography Department at MICA, holding Aperture magazine.

Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other-in print, in person, and online. Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as "common ground for the advancement of photography," Aperture today is a multi-platform publisher and center for the photo community. From its base in New York, Aperture Foundation produces, publishes, and presents a program of photography projects and programs--locally, across the United States, and around the world.

One of the first programs of its kind worldwide, the BFA in Photography program at MICA was established more than a century ago. Building on this legacy and acknowledging the impact photography has had on contemporary art and culture, the curriculum encourages a diversity of approaches. Today, the department is committed to providing an educational experience that seeks to cultivate an informed and engaged practitioner.

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 52 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 ten by U.S. News and 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.