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MICA Community Publications

Student and faculty zines and chapbooks from MICA's archives

Posted 04.01.17 by Kelly Swickard

Student publications on display.

For National Poetry month, this exhibit focuses on MICA's long tradition of writing, self-publishing, and book arts. Book arts has a broad definetion, encompassing artists' books, chapbooks, and zines (art zines, photo-zines, perzines, comics, etc.) All these distinctions are often used interchangeably in discussing DIY and self-published works.

Zines are usually self-published, DIY, non-profit, limited edition, folded, stapled, and photocopied and are often produced by members of marginalized groups or created to highlight certain social issues.

Chapbooks are usually small collections of poetry, not more than 50 pages in length, allowing for self-publishing and limited runs. Both Zines and Chapbooks can be very personal in content, and sometimes incorporate artwork and illustrations.

This exhibit demonstrates the wide-range of materials and styles. There are "traditional" photocopy zines, beaded covers, cloth bags, metal rivets, cardboard, and more. The limit of the material is only on the creator. Currently, Zines and Chapbooks are having a renaissance as tools to speak out against social injustice, provide voice for marginalized groups, and speak about self-care or poetic expression.

This exhibit focuses on the MICA community's publications, including faculty and student works created for poetry and literature courses overseen by Chezia Thompson Cager. Additionally, many were created to support Fire: a MICA student publication and its' precursor, Juice. Most works here are from the 1990s through the early 2000s, as well as some from the 1970-1980s.

On the upper level, there is a flyer from the first Zineposium and poetry reading. Decker Library and Chezia Thompson Cager are hosting Zineposium II, on April 14 in the Pinkard Gallery to help maintain this long MICA tradition of zines and chapbooks.

Futher reading:

Freedman, Jenna. Barnard Zine Library: About Zines - Definition.
Klems, Brian A. Writers' Digest: What is a chapbook?


Thumbnail: Student zines and chapbooks from the early 2000's. Photo by Meredith Moore.
This page: Student publications from the 1990s. Photo by Meredith Moore.

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.

This page was last updated on 04/01/2017.