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2013 Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degrees

Laurie Anderson and Mary Miss '68 (Rinehart School of Sculpture) will speak to the undergraduate and graduate classes.

Posted 04.15.13 by mica communications

Laurie Anderson (Photo by Tim Knox)

BALTIMORE-MICA welcomes the following speakers and honorees to its 164th Commencement.

Undergraduate Commencement

 Monday, May 20, 1 p.m.
Laurie Anderson, a performance artist and musician best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology, will speak at Undergraduate Commencement and receive an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts. As a writer, director, visual artist and musician, she has created groundbreaking works that blur the lines between visual art, theater and music.

Timothy D. Armbruster, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Goldseker Foundation, will receive an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters. Armbruster has served on numerous boards and committees in Maryland and throughout the nation, encompassing the arts, urban policy and domestic and international philanthropy, and has been a leader in the redevelopment of Midtown and the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.

Photographer, illustrator, director and producer Derek Blanks '00 (illustration) will receive the Alumni Award. In addition to having works shown at several national galleries, Blanks' clients include Essence magazine, EBONY magazine, Black Entertainment Television, Sony Music Entertainment, Def Jam Recordings, Warner Brothers Records, Virgin Records and Universal Records.

Photography and printmaking faculty member Laurie Snyder will receive MICA's Medal of Honor. Snyder came to MICA in 1993 to teach photography and artist's books classes. She and her late husband, artist John Wood, made Baltimore their home, creating art and exhibiting together and separately throughout the country. Her artwork has spanned a variety of techniques and media, including music, pottery, photography, books and quilts.

Environmental design faculty member John Wilson '68 '85 (interior design, Interior Design) will also receive a Medal of Honor. Wilson began teaching in the former Interior Design Department at MICA in 1972 and continued with the department as it evolved through interior architecture and design to environmental design. As department chairman on three occasions, Wilson introduced a series of professional, community-based projects for several historic sites, including Historic Ships in Baltimore and the Maryland Historical Society.

Graduate Commencement

 Monday, May 20, 5:30 p.m.
Speaking to the graduate class of 2013 and receiving the Alumni Award will be Mary Miss '68 (Rinehart School of Sculpture), an artist whose work seeks new means of engaging the public in the world. Her works blur the boundaries between sculpture, architecture, landscape design and installation art, often allowing visitors to become aware of an aspect of a site that would typically go unnoticed, such as its history or ecology. She recently launched a project to transform Broadway into the new "green corridor" of New York City.

Ellen Dissanayake, an independent scholar and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington whose work focuses on the anthropological exploration of art and culture, will receive an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters. Her writing synthesizes many disciplines, including evolutionary biology, ethology, cognitive and developmental psychology, cultural and physical anthropology, neuroscience, and the history, theory and practice of the arts.

Doreen Bolger, the director of the Baltimore Museum of Art since 1998, will receive an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters. Bolger has overseen the museum as it has made a renewed commitment to arts education and community engagement. Her commitment to the community includes service as the vice chair of the Maryland Citizens for the Arts, as well as service on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, Art on Purpose, the Charles Street Development Corporation and Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. She has been an advocate and supporter of
artists in Baltimore, both personally and professionally.

Director of the Mount Royal School of Art Frances Barth will receive MICA's Medal of Honor. Barth's paintings, videos and animations have been exhibited throughout the country and world, and her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, all in New York. She is the recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman grant, the Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation's Individual Support Grant, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants.


Additional information on Commencement-related events and exhibitions can be found here.


Image caption: Laurie Anderson (Photo by Tim Knox)

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.

When and where are the Commencement ceremonies?

The Commencement ceremonies are on Monday, May 20, 2013 in the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, just south of the Mount Royal Station building. Doors will open an hour prior to each ceremony, and guests need to be seated before the procession begins promptly at 1 p.m. (undergraduate) or 5:30 p.m. (graduate).

There are three paid parking garages very close to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall: Fitzgerald Garage located on Oliver Street at Mount Royal Ave.; Cathedral Street Garage at the corner of Preston and Cathedral streets (diagonal from the venue); and Symphony Center Garage across Park Ave. from the venue. Graduates will receive a map with the parking garages highlighted at the student briefing on the Friday before Commencement.

Receptions for graduates and their families immediately following the ceremony will take place at Cohen Plaza. 

Additional Commencement information for parents & families.