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MICA Alumni Engage in Community Activism Projects

Baltimore magazine, Urbanite, City Paper cover MICA Alums Using Art to Encourage Activism

Posted 06.01.11 by MICA communications

MICA alumni are being praised for using their art to encourage community activism through various projects. Here are some recent highlights:


Baltimore Magazine featured alumnus Justin Sirois' ‘01 in June as they highlighted his Understanding Campaign. Sirois created the campaign to encourage American and Middle Eastern relations. With it, he asks Americans to learn just one word of Arabic to open up a dialogue between the two cultures. He used his graphic design training from MICA to create pieces of artwork that depict the word "understanding", or as it is said in Arabic "fhm" to bridge the differences between the languages.

Sirois credits MICA with giving him the necessary tools to understand how art can be used to inspire people in various ways.

Urbanite Baltimore Magazine praised Ryan LeCluyse '11 for his REBU!LD project, which encourages people to explore the city of Baltimore despite persistent stereotypes of danger circulating the area. People are invited to see LeCluyse's combination of photography, design, research and on-site installations that show how the Baltimore region is slowly being rebuilt.

Ashley Milburn ‘ 07 was interviewed by the Baltimore City Paper for his work with the "Highway to Nowhere." This stretch of land developed from an attempt to connect Interstate 95 with I-70, only a construction hiatus began in the 1970s and left behind a 1.4-mile stretch divided highway from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the West Baltimore MARC train station. Milburn, partnered with Culture Works, managed to bring Roots Fest 2011, the 35th- anniversary celebration for Alternate Roots festival, to ‘nowhere' by combining arts with activism.


READ: Baltimore Magazine- "Local artist launches a crusade to ease Arab-American tensions with just one word"

READ: Urbanite Baltimore Magazine- "If You REBU!LD it, They Will Come"

READ: Baltimore City Paper- "Roots Fest 2011 turns the "Highway to Nowhere" into a local destination"

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.