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Christopher Sims '08 Exhibits Guantanamo Photographs at Civilian Art Projects in Washington, D.C.

Works by MFAST Alumnus Depict Everyday Life on Naval Base

Posted 03.05.09 by MICA Media Relations

Christopher Sims, Chapel, Camp America, 2006

Guantánamo Bay: Photographs by Christopher Sims, a new exhibition at Civilian Art Projects in Washington, D.C., features 25 photographic works by MICA master of fine arts in studio art (MFAST) alumnus Christopher Sims '08. Sims's photographs depict everyday life at the naval base and joint detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Shot in 2006 after working for nearly three years to gain access to the base, the images are on view in the United States for the first time during this exhibition, which runs through March 14.

Jayme McLellan, director of Civilian Art Projects, discovered Sims's work as a panelist during the MFAST professional development seminar and thesis exhibition.

"Putting MICA students in touch with curators and other arts professionals is an essential part of the MICA and MFAST experience," said Zlata Baum, director of MICA's MFAST program. "These professional development opportunities not only give our students the chance to gain valuable feedback from arts experts but, can also result in what happened with Chris--a solo exhibition in a wonderful gallery space."

Washington Post art critic Jessica Dawson likens Sims's photography to that of renowned environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude in that his journey through U.S. military bureaucracy is integral to his art.

Unpopulated and lacking an overt political message, this exhibition reveals a much-talked-about (but rarely seen) landscape as an outpost of the American commonplace: fast food restaurants and parking lots, prison cells, playgrounds, and cul-de-sacs. The subtle strength and candor of this work provides a counterpoint to passionate rhetoric about this infamous military base, yet adds its voice to the on-going debate about American values in a time of war and transition.

Civilian Art Projects is located at 406 7th Street NW in Washington, D.C. For more information, call 202-347-0022.

For more information about MICA's MFAST 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 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.

Media coverage of Guantanamo Bay: Photographs by Christopher Sims