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MICA Takes Top Honors in City Paper's "Best of Baltimore" Issue

Film Series, EDS Exhibition Honored

Posted 09.22.10 by mica communications

Installation view of EDS' "Bearing Witness" exhibition.


MICA students, faculty and alumni received top mentions in the Baltimore City Paper's Best of Baltimore issue, which highlights the city's best neighborhoods, events, restaurants and arts venues.



Awards Won:

• Bearing Witness, which was the culmination exhibition of MICA's undergraduate Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS), was awarded Best Big Show. Eighteen MICA undergraduates collaborated on the project, a 10-year retrospective of the work of husband-and-wife duo Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry. The couple's work, which explores race, identity, and economic disparity, made for an "acutely resonant" show, the City Paper wrote.

Dan Geva, Israeli Film Series• MICA's contemporary Israeli film series, curated by 2010 Schusterman Visiting Art Resident Dan Geva and his wife Noit, was named Best Film Series. Contemporary Israeli Films was noted for its selection of “haunting and beautiful” films that explored Israeli culture and identity.

Other Mentions:

• MICA interdisciplinary sculpture/printmaking concentration student Gaia '11 was honored for the city's Best Street Art. Gaia, whose portraits of animals and obscure characters have become staples of Baltimore's art scene, was praised for creating imagery that has become "an exciting component of the city's changing facades."

Open Space, a gallery that is collectively owned by 16 MICA graduates, was named Best Gallery. The paper praised the adventurous spirit of the gallery's owners, observing that "Open Space is clearly not afraid to try something new, occasionally fall short of expectations, and, more often than not, exceed it."

• MICA alumnus Justin Sirois '01 (printmaking) was honored for Best Campaign. Sirois collaborated with Iraqi refugee Haneen Alshujairy to create the Understanding Campaign, a project designed to break down entrenched prejudices and taboos. The project asks participants to read one word in Arabic—fhm—which means "understanding."

• The Best Improvisation art category named two MICA-related "public galleries": Axis Alley and Mirkwood Estates. Axis Alley, created by MICA interdisciplinary sculpture faculty member Sarah Doherty, utilized 23 vacant properties in the Old Goucher neighborhood of Baltimore for site specific artworks. Several artists in the MICA community created artwork for the project (for a full list, click here). Mirkwood Estates, operated by two MICA graduate alumni, comprises both indoor and outdoor art spaces, and was singled out for its outdoor sculpture gardens. The gallery was founded by Jimmy Joe Roche '08 (Mount Royal School of Art) and Graham Coreil-Allen '10 (Mount Royal School of Art).

• MICA alumni and faculty were mentioned as part of the city's Best Site-Specific Work, Evergreen Commons, including C. Ryan Patterson '06 (sculpture), Michael Benevento '05 (sculpture), Gary Kachadourian '79 (general fine arts), Sarah Doherty (faculty, interdisciplinary sculpture) and Jonathan Taube '10 (interdisciplinary sculpture). They were named as artists who assisted with the creation of the piece, which is an urban park built on the grounds of the home of a 19th-century railroad magnate. The project, described as a "cheeky" incitement to class warfare, is part of the Evergreen Museum and Library's biennial outdoor sculpture exhibition. MICA alumni who participated in the project also included Lee B. Freeman '09 (sculpture), Marian Glebes '04 (general fine arts), and Jill Fannon '04 (general fine arts). Environmental design faculty member Fred Scharmen is one of the project's co-creators.

Charm City Yoga was named the city's best yoga studio. The studio is run by MICA alumna Kim Manfredi '88 (painting) '09 (Hoffberger School of Painting).

• Animator and MICA faculty member Karen Yasinsky was mentioned in the issue's Best We're Gonna Miss You section, which highlights local artists who will be moving out of the city. Yasinsky was recently awarded the 114th Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome and will spend the upcoming year in Italy.

• A play created and performed by a number of MICA students and alumni, Rooms Play, was named Best Sh*t We Totally Missed. The innovative production takes viewers into 20 different rooms, each featuring a different play. MICA alumni Sam Shea '10 and Susana Pilar Diaz '10 were among the performers. Video from the play can be seen here.

Current Gallery was named Best Rebirth.  The cooperatively run gallery is owned and operated by MICA alumni Michael Benevento '05, Monique Crabb '09, and Andrew Liang '02.

Mark Brown, a DJ as well as a MICA 2007 alumnus, was awarded Best Dance Night for Deep in the Game, an event that features an eclectic selection of music crossing a variety of genres.

Mount Vernon, which is within walking distance of MICA as well as other arts venues, was named Best Neighborhood. And On The Hill Café, a shop frequented by MICA students, was called the Best Place to Get a Sandwich in the city.

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.