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MICA Presents 'Abby Sangiamo: A Retrospective'

Thursday, Nov. 6 - December 19

Posted 10.29.08 by MICA Media Relations


Abby Sangiamo: A Retrospective opens Thursday, Nov. 6 in the Meyerhoff Gallery at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). This 50-year retrospective of work by longtime faculty member Albert "Abby" Sangiamo includes pastels, acrylics, oils, and charcoal drawings.

According to Howie Weiss '75, the senior thesis program coordinator for painting, drawing, general fine arts, and printmaking at MICA, it is inconceivable to imagine the College without the direction and departmental chairmanships of Sangiamo, one of the best portrait and life-drawing teachers in the country.

Sangiamo's role as a mentor-he hired many MICA faculty and cultivated their teaching careers-is legendary, Weiss said. "Abby guided many of us through our rough beginnings as rookies and, in his role as chair of four departments, provided an environment where we could grow, experiment, and pull together our ideas," he wrote in the gallery guide that accompanies Abby Sangiamo: A Retrospective.

Exhibition highlights include selections of the 600 portraits of students undertaken by the artist in the 1970s and early 1980s. A number utilize thick, authoritative rapid strokes with heavy loaded color, while others have delicate color barely rubbed on the paper, creating the more ethereal personalities. Twenty-five years later, Sangiamo revisited some of the portraits, adding body adornments such as tattoos, extreme hairstyles, and cosmetics.

In addition to the portraits, Abby Sangiamo: A Retrospective includes works from the artist's Plate Series, Tree Series, Water Series, Knots Series, and Beach Scene Series.

"This exhibition reveals Sangiamo's amazing and prolific career as an artist," said Gerald Ross, Director of Exhibitions. "His works are in numerous collections and he is considered one of the preeminent portraitists of his time. Aside from grandeur or acclaim, however, he has always considered teaching to be the highest honor of an artist. For nearly five decades at MICA, Sangiamo has taught some of the brightest stars of the artworld today."

Abby Sangiamo: A Retrospective is on view Thursday, Nov. 6-Friday, Dec. 19 in Meyerhoff Gallery, Fox Building, 1303 Mount Royal Ave. A reception takes place Thursday, Nov. 6, 5-7 p.m. Gallery talks take place Monday, Nov. 17, 2 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m.

MICA's galleries, which are free and open to the public, are open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

For more information, call 410-225-2300.

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.