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High Grounds Coffee Features Work By Several MICA Alumni and Faculty on Its 12-Ounce Bags

Baltimore and Urbanite magazines highlight coffee shop that supports MICA artists

Posted 12.30.09 by MICA Media Relations

Thomas Wilson LaGrange '04

BALTIMORE--MICA alumni and faculty artwork is showcased on roasted coffee bean bags being sold throughout Maryland, Washington, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Baltimore Artists Blend 12-ounce bags from local coffee shop High Grounds in Highlandtown (3201 Eastern Ave.) feature an image of work by a local artist and are designed to help promote the local art scene and struggling artists, said shop owner Brett Bixler.

The coffee bags -- filled with a fair trade, medium-to-dark roast blend "designed to bring creativity, passion, and inspiration to your daily life" -- feature local artists' bios and a piece of their artwork on the label. And Bixler estimates that at least half of the 20 artists he's featured on the labels so far have some tie to MICA, whether it is a recent graduate or faculty member.

One of the newest additions to the line features Aurora Bridge, a "little ink drawing" by Catie Kull '09 (illustration), who works at the shop as well as at Creative Alliance, which is conveniently located across the street from High Grounds. Another label has Rhyme and Reason, a graphite drawing by Thomas Wilson LaGrange '04 (sculpture) on it, while the bold, graphic work of Felipe Pereira Goncalves '04 (general fine arts) is on yet another.

Bixler told Baltimore magazine, which featured the coffee labels in its January 2010 issue, that "we thought this would be a great way to give [the artists] exposure in a totally low-key, totally Baltimore way. ... This is a great way to get people from all over the place excited about Baltimore art." Urbanite magazine also mentioned MICA artists on the High Grounds labels in its November issue.

The Baltimore Artists Blend coffee is sold at many retailers, including regional Whole Foods locations. For a complete list and more information on High Grounds, visit www.highgroundscoffee.com.

Bixler said he is always looking for more local artists to feature. If you are interested or want to nominate an artist, e-mail him with the subject line mentioning Baltimore Artists Blend.

Photo caption: Thomas Wilson LaGrange '04, Rhyme and Reason, artwork featured on High Ground's Baltimore Artists Blend coffee.

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.

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