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MICA Names France-Merrick Community Art Partnerships Fellows for 2012-2013

Award recipients use grant money to begin community based projects

Posted 06.28.12 by mica communications

Five juniors and one senior have received France-Merrick Community Art Partnerships Fellowships: Anda Brown '14 of San Leon, Texas, Isabella Gonzales '14 of Juno Beach, Fla., Jessica Lewis '14 of North Wales, Pa., Lisa Deng '14 of Gaithersburg, Md., Samantha Brodowski '14 of Sayville, N.Y., and Ju Hyun (Rachel) Park '13 of Port Washington, N.Y.,

Each student will use the fellowship to begin working on projects that will use art as a way to develop social change in the community as well as in the lives of Baltimore citizens.

Anda Brown '14, who is double majoring in interdisciplinary sculpture and humanistic studies with areas of concentration in mixed media, fibers, installation and performance, will use her award to create a costume in collaboration with the community of Tuerk House, Inc., a not-for-profit substance abuse treatment program.

"We will discuss what inspires and motivates them, and they will channel that inspiration into the creation of the costume or character. The term ‘character' will be used to describe both the persona we will create visually and the qualities that make a person an inspiring leader," Brown said.

Brown feels that this project will be very beneficial to restoring the lives of the recovering addicts.

"Participants will gain the experience of creating an originally designed costume, seeing how art can give a voice to feelings that are too big for words to describe," she said. "Working with a consistent population all year will provide me with the ability to build deeper and meaningful relationships, using art as a means to open communication."

The finished piece will be performed as a part of the CAPfest (Community Arts Partnership Festival) parade in the spring of 2014, and later displayed and worn in a public space by either the creators or an elected member of the community whom they wish to be recognized.

Isabella Gonzales '14, an interdisciplinary sculpture major with an area of interest in sustainability & practice plans to work with the Tuerk House as well.

"I plan on creating an exhibition with the patients of the rehabilitation center, she said." The exhibition will be determinate on the clients that come to class weekly and will cover works that center on eco-friendly practices, awareness of space and place and reflection in the individual recovery process."

The client's works will be made through sculpture, performance, spoken-word and painting. The exhibition will have an interactive opening where past clients and out-patients may attend and perform along with the public.

Gonzales, who has previously worked at the Tuerk House as an assistant and main teacher for two years, believes her project will be beneficial and extremely necessary to the recovery of patients at The Tuerk House.

"Making works of art that are conscious to the environment where the patients dwell, and that relate to the 'everyday practice' will make more sense than merely learning how to depict a photo-realistic self-portrait," she said.

Jessica Lewis '14, an animation major with an area of focus in illustration, will use her award to integrate art with physical therapy for patients at the Kernan Center for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. After being told several stories by her grandfather about how art saved his life, Lewis knew exactly how she would plan her program.

"My lessons will include therapy techniques such as blind contour drawings, free thought writing, and clay sculpting," she said. "All of these areas are thought to help channel the meditative qualities of art making while still building motor skills," she said.

Lisa Deng '14 is pursuing her bachelor of fine arts degree in art history with an area of focus in animation. Deng is determined to secure the funding of a permanent art center at CAP's current site partner Project PLASE (People Lacking Ample Shelter and Employment) with her award.

Many clients at Project PLASE express their frustrations about their situations which cause more stress in his or her life. Deng believes that channeling these energies toward creative exercises could be a powerful and empowering undertaking.

Samantha Brodowski '14, who is  majoring in environmental design with concentrations in curatorial studies and photography, plans to create an art therapy hand-building clay program at the Franciscan Center.

Because of these daily strains, Brodowski feels that working with clay will serve as a great stress reliever and creative outlet. She has previously spent semesters working with the Franciscan Center as well as Baltimore Clayworks.

Ju Hyun (Rachel) Park '13 is majoring in Ceramics in addition to pursuing her Master of Teaching Arts degree. With the France-Merrick Partnerships Fellowship, Park will work with special needs students as well as with these students' parents.

Park has a great amount of teaching experience, as she has worked at Bolton Hill Nursery, Mount Royal, Gilmore Elementary and Baltimore Clayworks.

The annual France-Merrick Community Arts Partnerships Fellowships provides financial support for MICA students engaged in community service through the College's Community Arts Partnerships program. Established in 1998 with funding from The Wallace Foundation, CAP involves students in community-based art projects in neighborhoods that are among the most economically and culturally challenged in Baltimore City. CAP projects have covered a wide array of visual arts, including murals, collage, puppetry, fabric art, costumes, book making, digital art, video, animation, photography and photojournalism.