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Black History / Black Future

Artist books and photographs

Posted 02.03.17 by Allison Fischbach

Ginger Burrell's "Assume the Position" on display

This month in our cases we are showcasing artists' books and photographs centering on African American artists. Photographs on display juxtapoze contemporary works with early 20th century black photographers and images, while artists books build on events in African American history and reflect on the experience of being black in America.

Works on display include intricate artist books by Clarissa Sligh, artist and essayist, who weaves together the cultural, historical, personal and political to explore concepts of memory and transmutation, and perceptions of boundaries and identity.

Ann Tyler's Billy Rabbit is also a sober exploration of America's history of lynching, expressed as a retelling of the Br'er Rabbit story. Alongside is Lois Morrison and Julie Chen's Memories of Fruit, which threads stories and recipes while invoking the Billie Holiday song "Strange Fruit".

On our lower level are selections from our photography collection, including works by black female photographers such as Winifred Hall Allen and Gail Hansberry. Features from our photograph collection also focus on Baltimore's black youth and are created by local collectives such as Wide Angle Youth Media and Baltimore Youth Film Arts.

Also stop by our zine shelf and circulating display to find other contemporary works by national and local black writers, essayists and artists.

We are always looking to expand our collection. If you have recommendations of artist books and zines by black writers and artists, please let us know by emailing refer@mica.edu.


Thumbnail: Clarissa Sligh's "Reading Dick and Jane with me" (N 7433.4 .S55 R4 1989 Cage) Photo by Meredith Moore.
This Page: Ginger Burrell's "Assume the Position" (N 7433.4 .B8658 A97 2013 Cage) Photo by Meredith Moore.

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.

This page was last updated on 02/03/2017.