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Senior Send-Off

Zachariah J. Schmitt's '15 (Printmaking B.F.A.) "Range Life Two" (detail).

Zachariah J. Schmitt's '15 (Printmaking B.F.A.) "Range Life Two" (detail).

MICA's graduating seniors have high expectations and even greater promise

Posted 04.01.15 by MICA COMMUNICATIONS

Even before graduating MICA, students have often impacted fields from film to journalism to advertising, and this year is no exception. Here's a sampling of seniors who have high expectations and even greater promise.

Natovian McLeod '15, '16 (General Fine Arts B.F.A., Teaching M.A.)

Natovian McLeod ’15, ’16 (General Fine Arts BFA, Teaching MA)Natovian McLeod '15, '16 (General Fine Arts B.F.A., Teaching M.A.) applied to eight colleges but came to MICA. Even though she had planned to run track in college as she had in high school, she learned about MICA's community engagement initiatives for students while visiting and was hooked. She's always thought it important to appreciate each other's differences and found that being an art student at MICA underscored those values. As a student, through MICA's Community Arts and Service program, she has taught art lessons at Mt. Royal Elementary and Bolton Hill Nursery, spearheaded an after school arts class for Dunbar High School students and volunteered at Baltimore United Viewfinders. She has also served as a mentor at the Johns Hopkins Incentive Mentoring Program, now called Thread, and is currently interning at the Green Mount School.

McLeod, Gentle Agression, acrylic and wood, 2014"I really love the environment, how if you take the initiative to step out of your comfort zone, you can learn so much from the school and from Baltimore. I always tell students not to focus solely on your classes because I think that's when you get lost as an artist," she said.

McLeod is the assistant director for MICA's Annual Benefit Fashion Show and is on the Senior Advisory Council. After college, she plans to open her own school and create an artistic brand with her mother, a fashion designer.

Image caption: Natovian McLeod '15, '16 (General Fine Arts B.F.A., Teaching M.A.); and McLeod, Gentle Aggression, acrylic and wood, 2014.

Matthew Adelberg '15, '16 (Painting B.F.A., Teaching M.A.)

Matthew Adelberg ’15, ’16 (Painting BFA, Teaching MA)Matthew Adelberg came to MICA to explore his two loves: painting and teaching. He's managed to do that by working as an art and social action teacher at Beth Am Synagogue in Baltimore, as well as a teaching assistant at the Creative Alliance. He also served as a teaching intern in MICA's Young People's Studio Program. In exploring his passion for painting, Adelberg spent a summer in Norway working as a studio assistant and apprentice to the famed Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum.

Adelberg, Floral Vanitas, oil on nickel plating, 2014Adelberg credits MICA with giving him the connections that have led to his greatest opportunities when it comes to showing his work and exploring his craft. With one more year to go to finish the Master of Arts in Teaching program, he is looking for ways to get the best of both worlds. "I'll be happy to paint and then teach, or I'll be happy to paint and teach at the same time," he said. "I really love doing both."

Image caption: Matthew Adelberg '15, '16 (Painting B.F.A., Teaching M.A.); and Adelberg, Floral Vanitas, oil on nickel plating, 2014.

Kimi Hanauer '15 (Interdisciplinary Sculpture B.F.A.)

Kimi Hanauer ’15 (Interdisciplinary Sculpture BFA)Kimi Hanauer knows collaboration. She is a founding member of Process Collective, a curatorial collaborative that puts on shows throughout Baltimore.

For the past three years, Hanauer has coordinated programming at Penthouse Gallery, an art space in Baltimore's Station North Arts & Entertainment District. Out of this coordination, Alloverstreet: East Oliver Street Art Walk was born. Alloverstreet is a monthly night of simultaneous art openings and events spanning the many arts spaces in the Station North area.

A banner for Alloverstreet, a monthly celebration of art coordinated by Hanauer.In her sophomore year, Hanauer worked at For Art Repurposing, a Brooklyn-based recycling company. While there, she initiated a project to bring several truckloads of recycled art and construction materials from Fashion Week directly to MICA students and the Baltimore art community. "I figured the materials would be really useful to students," she said.

Other highlights of Hanauer's MICA experience include an internship at Baltimore-based museum The Contemporary and receiving the France-Merrick Foundation Community Arts Partnership Fellowship. After graduation, she plans to stay in Baltimore to continue developing her ongoing projects, open a new art space and maintain her MICA connections.

Image caption: Kimi Hanauer '15 (Interdisciplinary Sculpture B.F.A.) (photo by Shannon Patrick); and a banner for Alloverstreet, a monthly celebration of art coordinated by Hanauer.

Braden League '15 (Interaction Arts B.F.A.)

Braden League ’15 (Interaction Arts BFA)Braden League's work tends to incorporate the cities in which he resides. For example, his senior thesis, the Baltimore Beer Synth Project, "stems from my love of local beers," he said.

In 2014, he spent a semester abroad at Prague's Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts. There, "I was able to prove myself as an artist outside of MICA," he said. League also spent a summer working at the Digital Harbor Foundation teaching children everything from circuit bending to 3-D printing. One project he's proud of is The Correspondence Cap, a baseball cap with an LCD screen on it that prints text like "One Coffee Please." 

League’s The Correspondence Cap.

"It allowed you to order coffee without actually talking to the barista. [It] uses an Arduino microcontroller, a small programmable computer, which had messages programmed onto it that would change based on the input of a dial held in the user's hand," League said.

After graduation, League wants to continue working in interactive art and media and attend graduate school, something he believes MICA has prepared him for. "MICA taught me how to be more confident in everything I do, whether in art or life," he said.

Image caption: Braden League '15 (Interaction Arts B.F.A.); and League's The Correspondence Cap.

Renan Machado '15 (Graphic Design B.F.A.)

Renan Machado ’15 (Graphic Design BFA) as his alter ego “Andy Frogg”Renan Machado considers himself a natural born leader. His colleagues would likely agree. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and raised in Miami, Machado took on a range of leadership roles at MICA, including foundation workshop leader and orientation leader. One of the most rewarding roles was serving as a teaching assistant/residential coordinator for MICA's Summer Pre-College Program. Some of the teens in the program have since embarked on a formal art education. "It's really nice to see some of those students at MICA now," Machado said.

Machado, LifeMaster (detail), graphic design, 2015.Machado also made an impact outside of MICA. After interning with Abercrombie & Fitch in Ohio, where he worked on T-shirts by Hollister, he was offered a two-year contract by the company after he graduates. While he's excited about his budding career, there is much he will miss about his MICA years. "The people I have met, the person I've become-my MICA experience was all worth it," Machado said.

Image caption: Renan Machado '15 (Graphic Design B.F.A.) as his alter ego "Andy Frogg;" and Machado, LifeMaster (detail), graphic design, 2015.

Kurina Sohn '15 (Fiber B.F.A.)

Kurina Sohn ’15 (Fiber BFA)Kurina Sohn has no shortage of MICA highlights. A recipient of the Meyerhoff Internship Scholarship, Sohn won the coveted Fabric Workshop and Museum Apprenticeship in Philadelphia last summer where her responsibility was to design and produce one-color and three-color prints. "The apprenticeship helped me clarify my goals as an artist and designer," she said.

Sohn’s Camouflage.She also collaborated with Peabody instructor/choreographer Constance Dinapoli and dancers on a performance for MICA's Experimental Fashion Event. "I am developing a line of five garments and props for the performance," she said.

After graduating, Sohn hopes to work in dance/performance production. "It is an honor to learn from such creative minds at MICA and get exposure to an industry where I know I'll belong," Sohn said.

Image caption: Kurina Sohn '15 (Fiber B.F.A.); and Sohn's Camouflage.

Bhakti Patel '15 (Animation B.F.A.)

Bhakti PatelBhakti Patel knows how to get things done. As a Student Voice Association representative for the Animation Department, Patel looked for ways to improve life for fellow students and co-founded the Animation Mentoring Program (AMP).

While interning at Chicago-based production studio Sarofsky, she worked on ads for Capital One, American Family Insurance and Mike's Hard Lemonade. She also pitched a title sequence for the NBC television show Marry Me. Bhakti Patel's workNot only did the experience inspire her senior thesis--a title sequence based off of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata--but "the opportunity really reaffirmed my desire to go into advertising," she said.

Currently weighing multiple job offers, Patel credits MICA with preparing her for whatever comes next. "MICA really strives when it comes to creating an open and collaborative community," Patel said.

Image caption: Bhakti Patel '15 (Animation B.F.A.); and Patel's senior thesis, which creates a title sequence based off of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata.

Timothy Mahoney '15 (Photography B.F.A.)

Timothy Mahoney ’15 (Photography BFA)Timothy Mahoney has his eye and his lens on the future. Last summer, the photography major worked in New York City as an intern at Bonni Benrubi Gallery, as well as a freelance photo assistant and digital technician. At the end of his internship, he was offered a job as a part-time art handler for the gallery.

Mahoney’s Soccer Game, Marcy Playground, Bed-Stuy, New York, from the series Singles: New York, 2014Mahoney also became a full-time photo assistant and digital technician for Bon Duke, a Brooklyn-based photographer and director. While working with Duke, "I met numerous photo editors, stylists, models and creative directors that built a foundation for a career as a freelance photographer in New York," he said.

Mahoney is clear on how MICA has paved the way to his success. "MICA is the Ivy League of art schools," he said.

Image caption: Timothy Mahoney '15 (Photography B.F.A.); and Mahoney, Soccer Game, Marcy Playground, Bed-Stuy, N.Y., from the series Singles: New York, 2014.

Zachariah J. Schmitt '15 (Printmaking B.F.A.)

Zachariah SchmittDescribed as a standout senior, Zachariah Schmitt is ready to take the printmaking world by storm.

He completed an internship with North Carolina-based Supergraphic last summer where he served as shop assistant to two artists who are both showing internationally. "I did a lot of printing and the rest of the time I helped fine tune the shop," Schmitt said.

He also served as the lead printer on MICA's Dolphin Press and Print project Salvatore Scarpitta fine art print, produced for the Hirshhorn Museum. "Overall, the entire process allowed for future MICA printmaking graduates to understand a small bit of what the experience feels like to work in a professional fine art printmaking situation," he said.

Next up for Schmitt is an attempt to secure a scholarship to a graduate program, but he doesn't expect that experience to outshine what he has at MICA. "The Printmaking Department will forever be one of the more important places I have been, as well as the most phenomenal faculty I have dealt with in my life," said Schmitt.

Image caption: Zachariah J. Schmitt '15 (Printmaking B.F.A.).

Top image caption: Zachariah J. Schmitt's '15 (Printmaking B.F.A.) Range Life Two.