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MICA Takes on "Bully Pulpit" at (e)merge Art Fair, Oct. 4-7

MICA will host a booth at the (e)merge Art Fair, at the Capital Skyline Hotel (10 Eye St. S.W.) in Washington, D.C.

Posted 09.10.12 by mica communications

Neil C. Jones '10 (Photographic & Electronic Media), "TRADOC Reg 350-6 (Welcome to the Army)," 2010 (installation shot).

MICA continues to set itself apart--this time as an art school participating in an art fair. MICA will host a booth at the (e)merge Art Fair, at the Capital Skyline Hotel (10 Eye St. S.W.) in Washington, D.C., from Thursday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 7. MICA's (e)merge curator and faculty member Kimberly Gladfelter Graham envisions the booth's theme as a Bully Pulpit, a position of significance that provides the holder an opportunity to speak out on any matter.

Bully Pulpit acknowledges artists as important voices of our time and highlights a selection of its graduate alumni artists--including Sean Bennett '12 (Mount Royal School of Art), faculty member Mina Cheon, Ph.D., '99, Jennifer Coster '12 (Rinehart School of Sculpture), Neil C. Jones '10 (Photographic & Electronic Media), trustee Michel Modell '06 '10 (Post Baccalaureate, Hoffberger School of Painting), Adam Void '12 (Mount Royal School of Art) and Erin Zerbe '11 (Photographic and Electronic Media). Each of these artist's works take on many of today's most pressing current issues.

"In a world of 15 minute news cycles and pithy sound bites, art is not only relevant, but an imperative voice in the consideration of today's complex and vital concerns. Art's relevance comes from its willingness to invite questions and engage in dialogue," Graham said. "It doesn't demand party loyalty or simplify complex issues. Spanning topics including the economy, environment, international relations, women's rights, health and civility, these works and their makers from MICA's graduate programs don't shy away from our most crucial conversations."

Aside from the featured artists, additional MICA alumni will also participate in (e)merge by exhibiting their works.

(e)merge Art Fair 2012
Thursday, Oct. 4, 7-11 p.m. (invite only); Friday, Oct. 5-Saturday, Oct. 6, noon-7 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 7, noon-5 p.m.
Capital Skyline Hotel: 10 Eye St. S.W., Washington, D.C.
Adults: $15, Students & Seniors; $10, Groups of 10 or more

Participating Artists

Through his work, sculptor and new media artist Sean Bennett '12 (Mount Royal) analyzes many distinct yet interconnected facets of the booming global technology industry, ranging from the sleek marketing of crippled designer electronics to issues of Internet security, hacktivism and crypto anarchy. By utilizing materials, such as pipe bombs, a fake social security card, and hacker tools, in a manner reminiscent of how corporations present smart phones or netbooks to the buying public, Bennett's works intentionally provoke questions and convey the sensation of control and paranoia familiar to all of us living in today's techno-centric world.

Faculty member Mina Cheon, Ph.D., '99 (Hoffberger) is a Korean-American new media artist, scholar and educator whose artwork combines Internet and movie sourced imagery with strong primary colors and bold outlines to mimic the language of advertisements and political propaganda. Her piece Pokémon turns Kim Jung-II into the target of a joke, inspired by the 2004 film, Team America: World Police, the most popularized characterization of the powerful and former leader of North Korea.

Jennifer Coster '12 (Rinehart) has created a collection of scenarios and experiments with nature, exploring the codependence of body and environment. Her latest projects, Peculiar Traces of Empire and Canaries in McMansionland focus on how we reconcile our role in the globally escalating environmental strain.

Neil C. Jones '10 (Photographic & Electronic Media) is a direct and empathetic photographer working comfortably between photojournalism and independent projects. TRADOC Reg 350-6 (Welcome to the Army) is part two of a four-part project revealing the processes of the military experience. Welcome to the Army addresses indoctrination through stark and direct photographs of the back of the soldiers' heads. The images capture the initial moments of military basic training, specifically the Army haircut--the symbolic and literal transformation from individual to soldier. Despite the process and its intentions, these images also serve to show that total homogeneity is impossible. Each man--the shape of his head, the way his ears protrude and the color of his skin--is different from another.

Trustee Michel Modell '06 '10 (Post Baccalaureate, Hoffberger) grew up in a military family and was exposed to many people, cultures and attitudes as her family traveled to various places around the world. As a young artist, she translated her environment through her creative practice. Her work investigates how humor facilitates the exposure of social instabilities resulting from the changes of standards and values within a community.

Adam Void '12 (Mount Royal) is a recipient of the LAB (Launch Artists in Baltimore) award, which offers five $10,000 awards each year to new MICA graduate alumni pursuing initiatives in Baltimore. District of Corruption, Void's installation for the MICA booth at the 2012 (e)merge Art Fair, is an exploration of the issues surrounding Washington D.C.'s homeless population, its Occupy encampments and the upcoming Presidential elections. District of Corruption will challenge the viewer's conception of these contemporary issues by exposing their connections and appealing to a hidden aesthetic beauty.

CONTROL, by Erin Zerbe '11 (Photographic & Electronic Media), is a process oriented performance documentation where the artist puts on layer after layer of control garments and corsets until she is unable to breathe. Then, frantically, she takes them all off again. The piece deals with the ideas of fatness, feminism and body policing as they relate to the marketing of "control" over our bodies.


Image caption: Neil C. Jones '10 (Photographic & Electronic Media), TRADOC Reg 350-6 (Welcome to the Army), 2010 (installation shot).

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.

Additional Artwork by MICA Graduate Alumni Participating in Bully Pulpit at (e)merge:

Adam Void, Invisible.

Adam Void '12 (Mount Royal), Invisible.

Jennifer Coster, Canaries in McMansionland.

Jennifer Coster '12 (Rinehart) , Canaries in McMansionland.

Michel Modell, liar liar pants on fire, 2010.

Michel Modell '06 '10 (Post Baccalaureate, Hoffberger) , liar liar pants on fire, 2010.

Mina Cheon, Pokemon.

Mina Cheon '99 (Hoffberger), Pokémon.

Erin Zerbe, Control, film still.