an essay from MICA President Fred Lazarus
Posted 08.01.10 by Fred Lazarus
MICA is redefining art and design education. As the stories highlighted in this new design of Juxtapositions show, MICA's impact on the world is broad and demonstrable. From art galleries to corporate boardrooms, and from impoverished neighborhoods in third-world countries to world class medical institutions, MICA students, faculty, and alumni are showing how artists and designers are helping society rethink everything. We've rethought how Juxtapositions can be used to inform and excite the MICA family, and the resulting magazine will allow us to not only share information about exhibitions and events, it will allow us to bring you stories about how members of the global MICA community are solving seemingly insurmountable problems and identifying new opportunities.
- Visualizing Sustainability
- Gaming Booms With Alumni
- Four From MICA Community Receive Notification of Fulbright Fellowships
- Alumna’s Fulbright Now Clothes Cambodians
- WICV Explores Question of ‘What Is Radio’ While Teaching Business Skills
- Villarrubia Walks the Interdisciplinary Talk
My view is simple: Creative minds are the foundation of our nation's most unique competitive advantage, and the integration of art and design into every aspect of human endeavor will lead to unprecedented societal advancement. We continue to be pioneers in the creation of an educational environment that trains our students to be leaders in that movement.
The quality of our academic programming is our top priority. However, instead of protecting the status quo, we believe those programs can only maintain their relevance by being dynamic--employing new ways of thinking, novel teaching methods, and a blend of technologies and creative media. We are supporting the growth of graduate programming by ensuring that our students have access to the space, resources, expertise, and technology they need to help them turn their vision into reality. And we will shortly introduce new graduate programs that build on the distinctiveness of our current top-ranked offerings, and make sure that we have state-of-the-art gallery, studio, and instructional space to match.
We are constantly engaging with our undergraduate population, and we know that we have to help prepare them to go out and make their mark in the world. We are excited about our efforts to rethink the way we help students prepare for creative careers as artists, designers, exhibitors, entrepreneurs, or corporate leaders. We are integrating career guidance and professional preparation into our curricula at all levels so students can connect what they are learning in the classroom with what they will experience once they leave MICA. Just as important, we are encouraging students to leave the confines of MICA to intern or study internationally.
Finally, we are leading a revolution in the way art and design education embraces community engagement. Virtually all of our programs demand that students learn how to interact with society and understand how their work will impact the populations that come into contact with it. Our groundbreaking research centers have helped students approach their work with a more directed sense of purpose and have also helped government and non-profits understand how art and design can affect policy outcomes. Now, we are raising the bar even further, renovating a facility in East Baltimore to serve as a home for our graduate programs that have community engagement at their core. MICA students and faculty will create solutions for the community where they work and live, in a manner we hope will become a national model of artistic educational immersion.
During trying times, most institutions have to rethink the way they do things in order to survive. MICA continues to thrive because constant innovation is not an emergency occurrence to be used only during a recession--it is our way of life. We are well positioned to continue to light the way because of your support, patronage, and ideas. Thank you for being a part of the MICA family.
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 3,300 undergraduate, graduate and open studies students from 48 states and the District of Columbia 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 10 by U.S. News & 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.