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Graduate Student Send-Off

Lauren Jefferson '15 (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting M.F.A.), "Capture" (detail), ink and oil on canvas, 2013.

Lauren Jefferson '15 (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting M.F.A.), "Capture" (detail), ink and oil on canvas, 2013.

How graduate program standouts will use their education to change their worlds

Posted 04.01.15 by MICA COMMUNICATIONS

MICA graduate students come from all walks and backgrounds, and are likewise headed for greatness in a cros-sspectrum of fields. Here is a sampling of graduate program standouts and how they are planning to use their education to change their worlds.

Jasu Hu '15 (Illustration Practice M.F.A.)

Jasu Hu ’15 (Illustration Practice MFA)After studying graphic design in China, Jasu Hu decided MICA would help her realize her dream of becoming a professional illustrator. Her decision has paid off in spades. She was the new talent winner of the AOI Illustration Awards in the United Kingdom in 2014, and she was the student winner of awards issued by Creative Quarterly and Applied Arts magazine. Her work has also appeared in American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, 3X3 and Spectrum.

Hu, World’s End Clothes, illustration

Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. She has been interviewed by Varoom, an illustration report magazine. Also, the AOI Illustration Awards competition featured Hu's award-winning work, World's End Clothes, and an interview on the website.

Hu plans to move to New York after graduation to continue her illustration career. "MICA helped me develop my personal voice and more solid understanding of illustration," she said.

Image caption: Jasu Hu '15 (Illustration Practice M.F.A.); and Hu, World's End Clothes, illustration.

Evan Daniel Smith '15 (Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts)

Evan Daniel Smith ’15 (Fine Arts Post-Baccalaureate Certificate)A recipient of a merit scholarship to MICA's post-baccalaureate certificate program, Evan Daniel Smith came to MICA to better understand his artistic practice. "I had graduated from art school a number of years prior with a major in painting. In the interim, I had never had the opportunity to engage with a community of artists in a conceptually rigorous way regarding my more mature work," he said. At MICA he was able to do that while receiving instruction in robotics and programming, so he could incorporate technology into his practice.

Smith, Phone Calls, microcontroller, vibration motors, oil paint, and cell phones mounted on canvas.Prior to the program, Smith exhibited Pi-Formance at the Cathouse FUNeral Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. "The title refers to the performance aspect as well as the physical act of forming Pi (3.14159...)," he said. "It was very exciting to see people interested in the connection of art and mathematics."

"MICA has helped me develop a more rigorous approach to the problems I want to address in my practice," Smith said. After graduation, he will participate in a conference called Dialogues on Meditation and Healing in Iksan, South Korea, where he will discuss connections between mindfulness, memorizing pi and art. He also plans to enroll in an interdisciplinary master of fine arts program.

Image caption: Evan Daniel Smith '15 (Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts); and Smith, Phone Calls, microcontroller, vibration motors, oil paint, and cell phones mounted on canvas.

Lauren Jefferson '15 (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting M.F.A.)

Lauren Jefferson ’15 (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting MFA)When considering graduate studies, Lauren Jefferson knew two things: she wanted to be an artist, and she wanted to work with people. "I knew that with MICA's wide range of disciplines, people and resources I would gain exposure and knowledge to do just that," she said.

While at MICA, Jefferson headed up GradEx, an organization that works closely with the SVA Graduate Student Council to further the presence of graduate student work on campus and within the Baltimore community. She is a recipient of the Hoffberger Foundation Fellowship, and she counts MICA's community spirit as one of its greatest assets.

After graduation, Jefferson plans to apply to the Fulbright Program for study in Nicaragua. "My goal is to have my own business as a freelance wedding planner, open and run a community arts center and continue with my studio practice," she said. "The MICA experience, like that of being refined by fire, has helped me gain a better understanding of who I am as an artist and what I treasure."

Image caption: Lauren Jefferson '15 (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting M.F.A.).

Patti Kalil '15 (Studio Art M.F.A.)

Patti Kalil ’15 (Studio Art MFA)Patti Kalil is no slouch in the art world. The Brazilian native is the coartistic director of the experimental puppet theatre company Pointless Theatre Co., located in Washington, D.C.. The company received the 2014 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company and was named Washington Post's "Washington's Best Theater of 2014" for its production of Sleeping Beauty: A Puppet Ballet.

Kalil's academic credits and training include a bachelor of arts in Theatre Design and Stage Management with a minor in Classic Mythology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a professional internship in Theatrical Properties at Juilliard School in New York.

an image from a jazz-puppet show Kalil designed for Pointless TheatreAfter completing her degree at MICA, Kalil hopes to continue the work she has been doing at Pointless Theatre, but she also hopes to expand on her ambitions as a fine artist.

"MICA's [M.F.A. in Studio Art] program has given me the absolute freedom of personal artistic expression I've craved all these years," she said.

Image caption: Patti Kalil '15 (Studio Art M.F.A.); and an image from a jazz-puppet show Kalil designed for Pointless Theatre.

Q-mars Haeri '15 (Critical Studies M.A.)

Q-mars Haeri ’15 (Critical Studies MA)Q-mars Haeri, who goes by Q, came to MICA from Iran to explore the relationship between art and society. With a background in theater and a bachelor's degree in dramatic literature, Haeri found his way to MICA after working in a theater group as a writer and director.

At MICA, Haeri is working as the assistant producer for The Man of Mode, a restoration comedy for MICA's April theater production. "Apart from the 17th-century language of the play, The Man of Mode deals with a lot of issues that are relevant to us as 21st-century humans," he said.

An image from a Brecht play Haeri directed working with Vaahe Art GroupHis master of arts thesis is about the architecture of a theater house in Iran built in the 1870s and demolished in the 1940s. "I am studying why this monument only lasted 70 years and was destroyed by the government of the time-never to be built again," he said. "Studying this event gives us a better vision of Iran's contemporary history."

Haeri is looking ahead and applying to a few dramaturgy graduate programs for next year. He is grateful for the nurturing he received while at MICA. "The faculty are extremely supportive and, as an international student, I have found their consulting very helpful in every regard," Haeri said.

Image caption: Q-mars Haeri '15 (Critical Studies M.A.); and an image from a Brecht play Haeri directed working with Vaahe Art Group.

Phil Meredith '15 (Design Leadership M.B.A./M.A.)

Phil Meredith ’15 (Design Leadership MBA/MA)As a creative designer and a small business owner, Phil Meredith was the perfect candidate for MICA's M.B.A./M.A. in Design Leadership program. "I value how the program takes a creative approach to tackling difficult business problems," he said.

Meredith founded his company Maturus Design to provide a wide spectrum of design media and marketing communication services. As a member of the Deaf community, one of his goals is to one day create original content showcasing American Sign Language as an art form.

Prototype of a collapsible lightweight jacket for transporting and filtering water that was co-developed by MeredithOne highlight of Meredith's time at MICA was being part of a three-person team that developed a prototype of a collapsible lightweight jacket for transporting and filtering water for underdeveloped countries. The prototype was entered into a Johns Hopkins University business plan competition as part of the school's Social Entrepreneurship course.

After completing his degree, he will continue to apply the new knowledge to his business ventures. "The environment of creative leadership and excellence that has been established at MICA by both the professors and my cohort has changed the way I approach strategy, management, and decision making," he said.

Image caption: Phil Meredith '15 (Design Leadership M.B.A./M.A.); and prototype of a collapsible lightweight jacket for transporting and filtering water that was co-developed by Meredith.

Top image caption:  Lauren Jefferson '15 (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting M.F.A.), Capture (detail), ink and oil on canvas, 2013.