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MICA Ventures Emphasize Teamwork, Community

Forging collaborations with outside organizations and exploring resources and the communities beyond the MICA campus, many faculty and students have developed fascinating projects this year.

Illustrated Poetry Rides Around City for 12th Year

Next time you ride the public transit in Baltimore, whether it be bus or light rail, look for illustrations created by MICA students in the Words on Wheels project, on display beginning Tuesday, April 12 (for information on the public launch, click here). A collaboration with the Maryland Transit Administration and Baltimore City Public Schools now in its 12th year, Words on Wheels brings together Baltimore City school children's winning poetry and MICA students' matching illustrations to create beautiful posters displayed on buses and trains throughout the city for the entire year. The Words on Wheels project, led by MFA in Illustration Practice Director Whitney Sherman, is funded by the Goldsmith Family Foundation and Eastern Savings Banks.

  • WATCH: a video about Words on Wheels.

Foodie Illustrations Make Drool-Worthy Books

Students in Rebecca Bradley's Illustrating the Edible class last fall created intricate designs to showcase their favorite recipes. They were featured on the cult foodie blog, They Draw & Cook, and subsequently on the Food Network's website. These and other illustrations on the blog were noticed by Weldon Owen Publishing and are being turned into a cookbook, They Draw & Cook, Volume 1, due out in early fall 2011 with 108 full-color recipes. Students Julianna Brion, Kathleen Marcotte, Cailin Nealon, Kristin Nohe, Sarah Straub, and Kevin Valente, as well as Bradley, will have their work featured in what Publisher's Weekly has called one of the 10 most-anticipated cookbooks for 2011.

The Illustrating the Edible class took on a second project, and a second book, with the help of Graphic Design Chair Brockett Horne and students from the department: a guidebook of the Station North-area restaurants, reviewed and illustrated by the class, and then compiled into a reader-friendly format by the designers. For a free guidebook, visit the graphic design office in Brown 301.

MICA Enters Global Fair With Local Designs

Hoping to continue a winning trend at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York--at which MICA was named best design school in 2010--the Environmental Design Department is presenting a different type of project this year. The team, led by faculty member Inna Alesina, is partnering with Dominic Muren, a lecturer in industrial design at the University of Washington, and 10 of his students. The collaboration is centered on a parallel experiment in design and manufacturing using local resources. Both teams of students will develop products from sustainable materials in their respective local environments, Seattle and Baltimore. With thousands of miles of separation, vastly different plant species and patterns of growth, weathering, and resource availability, these two teams should invent distinct objects. This year's fair takes place from Saturday, May 14-Tuesday, May 17.

Graphic Design Students Win Visualizing Marathon

A team of four MICA students received first-place honors for their entry in Visualizing.org's recent Visualizing Marathon, a 24-hour design competition in New York that encourages students to use design to tackle complex, real-world problems. Twenty teams from eight design schools were challenged to visualize the impact of humanity's footprint, and the winning visualization was created by MICA graphic design students Christina Beard, Christopher Clark, Chris McCampbell, and Supisa Wattanasansanee. The design, One Day Cause + Effect, which looks at energy emissions and water use over a 24-hour period, was lauded by the jury for its personal narrative, striking design, and clear ability to be understood by the viewer. Another MICA team, including students Isabel Uria, Ann Liu, Melissa Barat, and Bryan Connor, received an honorable mention. See all MICA entries at flickr.com/groups/gd_mfa_mica.

Students Blend BSO Music Into Artwork

The spring semester InterArts: MICA/BSO class culminates in an exhibition presented by MICA student artists, with works inspired by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, on view from the last week of April through May 17 (including Commencement) at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall lobby, 1212 Cathedral St. This MICA/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra collaboration was launched by MICA faculty member Pat Alexander and BSO violinist Ellen Orner in 2005. The goal of the class is to present visual art in the context of the symphony space. Students working in a wide range of mediums attend rehearsals and concerts and research the symphonic program as they are guided through the process of transforming a concept into a site-specific work of art, preparing it for exhibit, and presenting it to a non-traditional visual art audience.

Course Contextualizes Modern Photography at BMA

In connection with The Baltimore Museum of Art's (BMA) exhibition Seeing Now: Photography Since 1960, on view through Sunday, May 15, MICA's Contemporary Directions in Photography course, taught by Nate Larson, wrote written responses to seven of the exhibition images that are available at artbma.org and also accessible to the viewers at the exhibition on smart phones via scannable QR codes. "It's a nice way of contextualizing the historical work with responses from the next generation," Larson said.

Additionally, the students are designing and performing site-specific pieces to be captured by Baltimore traffic cameras, which stream live to the web and will be saved digitally, to be viewed at the BMA on Sunday, April 3 in conjunction with a panel discussion, Watching You: Surveillance Exposed, coordinated by Larson with artists Hasan Elahi and Merry Alpern. Admission to the exhibition and program is free, though tickets are required for the panel and will be available at the BMA Box Office one hour prior to the event.

Film Tells Holocaust Survivor's Stories

Viennese Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz has been telling his story in Baltimore since 1962. See You Soon Again, a documentary, recently completed by many MICA community members and others, shows how his story is received by Baltimore youth and the community at large. See You Soon Again was directed by Bernadette Wegenstein at Johns Hopkins University and Lukas Stepanik from the Vienna Film Academy, with editing by MICA Video & Film Arts Chair Patrick Wright, cinematography by faculty member Allen Moore and Garrett Guidera '06, sound by Matt Davies '09, title design by MFA in Graphic Design Director Ellen Lupton, and post production by Allison Turrell '05, '06. Finished in the winter, it is now being submitted to film festivals.