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Artists, Authors, Designers and Curators Speak at MICA This Fall

MICA Hosts Regional, National and International Artists to Discuss Their Work

Posted 08.15.11 by MICA communications

Mequitta Ahuja in her studio at the Studio Museum in Harlem

BALTIMORE--This fall MICA brings regional, national and international artists, authors and curators to lecture at the College, discussing their work, life and career experiences. Open to the public and free, unless otherwise noted, these lectures offer a rare opportunity to learn about the creative process from prominent contemporary figures in the art world.

Monday Artist at Noon: Mequitta Ahuja
Monday, Sept. 12, Noon 
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave. 
Mequitta Ahuja, 2011-12 Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart chair in painting, refers to her work and method as "automythography," a constructive process of identity formation in which nature and self-invention merge. She uses crayon, brush and palette knife in her drawing and painting process, building form and surface through the accumulation of lines and strokes. The physicality of Ahuja's painting techniques is mirrored by her female protagonist's assertive presence in the painting. She is both subject and maker of her world. Ahuja will be discussing her work and sharing some of the projects she anticipates for her time at MICA.

House Industries
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 6 p.m.
Main Building: Main 110, 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Known throughout the world as a prolific type foundry, House Industries has made a considerable impact on the world of design. House Industries fonts scream from billboards, wish happy whatever from tens of thousands of greeting cards, serve as the basis for consumer product logos and add elements of style to a wide range of mainstream media. In their illustrious career, House artists have mastered a large cross-section of design disciplines. Their typography deftly melds cultural, musical and graphic elements. From early forays into distressed digital alphabets to sophisticated type and lettering systems, House Industries' work transcends graphic conventions and reaches out to a broad audience. What ultimately shines in the House Industries oeuvre is what always conquers mediocrity: a genuine love for their subject matter. Rich Roat of House Industries will provide a free presentation at MICA.

A New Art Dialogues' Presentation: Andy Bichlbaum
Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Andy Bichlbaum is an assistant professor at Parsons The New School for Design, but he is most known as a member of the Yes Men, an activist group known for a variety of hoaxes meant to disrupt or subvert mainstream, consumerist institutions. The group's antics began when they switched the voice boxes of Talking Barbie® and GI Joe® dolls and then returned them to store shelves so that shoppers would purchase the gender-bending toys. With a mission to tell the truth and expose lies, Bichlbaum has transformed into Jude Finisterra (a fictitious Dow Chemical executive who appeared on BBC World and promised massive reparations to Bhophal survivors), Rene Oswin (a fake Housing and Urban Development official) and Hingo Sembra (not really of the Chamber of Commerce) in order to shame large corporations and institutions. Co-sponsored by the Contemporary Museum, this event is free for Contemporary Museum members, MICA students and faculty. Admission will be $5 with a non-MICA student I.D. and $10 for the general public.

James MeyerArt@Lunch: James Meyer
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 12:30 p.m.
Brown Center: Room 320, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art James Meyer traces a narrative of the artist-traveler-an artist who stages his or her mobility as part of an artwork-from the '60s until the present day. Focusing on such artists as Ed Ruscha, Douglas Huebler and Francis Alys, the talk is part of a larger study of the meaning of the '60s and '70s in contemporary art and culture.

Matthew Day JacksonMatthew Day Jackson
Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.
The Gateway: BBOX, 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Matthew Day Jackson's art considers the evolution of human thought, the fatal attraction of the frontier and the faith man places in technological advancement. His work addresses the myth of the American Dream, exploring the forces of creation, growth, transcendence and death through visions of its failed utopia. Recent work expands on these underlying ideas inherent in the American mythology and focuses on the plurality of this mythology pointing to its existence outside American Culture. In relation to the Discovery Channel-like video, other works take on a quality somewhere between the forensic and the paranormal, the serious and the droll. A mix that Jackson often pursues: the primitive and newfangled, the authentic and fabricated, the self-mythologizing and art historical. The fact that one cannot quite tell whether Jackson's fabrications are parodies or quotations of portentous artists like Joseph Beuys is part of their mystery.

Colleen Asper ’80, Monday Artist at Noon: Colleen Asper '80
Monday, Sept. 26, Noon
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Artist, writer, curator, event organizer and former faculty member Colleen Asper '80 will present a wide range of imagery and stylistic approaches being explored by today's young artists through various modes of working and schools of thought. Asper will also discuss the various websites, galleries and other places pertinent to the younger generation's art scene. Asper received her B.F.A. from MICA and her M.F.A. from Yale University in 2004 and is a recipient of the Helen Winternitz Award and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. She is also the co-founder, along with Jennifer Dudley, of Ad Hoc Vox, a roving series of panel discussions and events on a wide range of topics in the arts.

Image caption: Colleen Asper '80, "colleen asper", oil on panel, 2010

Tim Otto Roth
Thursday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
The Gateway: BBOX, 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave.
German artist Tim Otto Roth discusses  his recent science related projects in public space, including his light art exhibition in collaboration with the Space Telescope Science Institute. From the Distant Past is not only an extraordinary art and science project in public space about the origins of the universe, it is also an artistic reflection on the phenomenon of color by the means of concept art using laser light as a minimalist tool of graphical notation. In the evenings from Sept. 25-Oct. 2, green animated waves will pulse over the corrugated steel facade of the Maryland Science Center at the Inner Harbor. The wave patterns recalling anthropomorphic associations with a heartbeat or a brain wave tell us a story about the oldest colors in the universe. Roth will also reflect in his talk the phenomenon of spectra which revolutionized astronomy 150 years ago. The lecture is sponsored by MICA's School for Professional and Continuing Studies. Register for the talk here

Paul Stopforth, Monday Artist at Noon: Paul Stopforth
Monday, Oct. 3, Noon
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Paul Stopforth created several controversial bodies of work at the beginning of his career, revealing his courageous spirit despite living in a repressive society in South Africa. Stopforth left for the United States in the late 1980s to take up a position as artist-in-residence at Tufts University. He currently works at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Despite his choice to emigrate, Stopforth continues to maintain ties with his homeland by addressing fragments of history and memory in his work. Stopforth will be discussing these experiences and his decisions as an artist in this talk.

Image caption: Paul Stopforth, "Singer: Siren Song", gouache on panel, 2010.

How to Make BooksEsther K. Smith & Dikko Faust / Purgatory Pie Press
Monday, Oct 3, 12-1:30 p.m.
Main Building: Room 110, 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave.

Faust and Smith travel as visiting artists, lecturing, demonstrating, and making collaborative projects in art centers and universities. Their joint venture, Purgatory Pie Press has had solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum and London's Victoria & Albert Museum, with their work in collections include MOMA, Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney, the Tate, National Gallery of Art, Cooper-Hewitt, the Getty, Corcoran, San Francisco MOMA, and the Walker. Faust hand sets wood and metal type and experiments with letterpress as a printmaking medium and Smith edits and designs and hand sews books. She is also authored and co-designed three books has for the Random House imprint Potter Craft: How to Make Books; Magic Books & Paper Toys; and The Paper Bride. This lecture concludes Smith/Faust Purgatory Pie Press Residency in the MFA in Illustration Practice.

Image caption: How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith

Teddy Cruz at UC San Diego. (Photographer Erik Jepsen, Kay Gordon, executive assistant to Michele Humphrey, senior director, UC San Diego Creative Services)Wm. O. Steinmetz '50 Designer in Residence Lecture: Teddy Cruz, From the Global Border to the Border Neighborhood 
Monday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m.
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Teddy Cruz, 2011 Wm. O. Steinmetz '50 Designer-in-Residence at MICA, is the co-founder of the Center for Urban Ecologies at the University of California-San Diego, where he currently teaches. Cruz has his own research-based architecture practice in San Diego and has received international recognition for his urban research on the Tijuana-San Diego border. Cruz will discuss his career path at the public lecture. During his week-long campus visit, he will meet and hold workshops with faculty and students from different disciplines as well as speak at Morgan State University. The Wm. O. Steinmetz '50 Designer-in-Residence program was established to enhance MICA's design culture by bringing outstanding practitioners to campus to share their valuable experiences and perspectives to share with students, faculty, and professionals in the field and the public. It was created thanks to an endowment fund established by his spouse, Betty Cooke '46, together with gifts from others in honor of Steinmetz. This talk is part of Free Fall Baltimore.*

Image caption: Teddy Cruz at UC San Diego. (Photographer Erik Jepsen, Kay Gordon, executive assistant to Michele Humphrey, senior director, UC San Diego Creative Services)

Kate GilmoreKate Gilmore
Thursday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m.
The Gateway: BBOX, 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Kate Gilmore's work explores themes of displacement, struggle and female identity. She is the sole protagonist in her performative videos, in which she attempts to conquer self-constructed obstacles. Struggle is Gilmore's primary subject, playing fierce women undergoing messy, Sisyphean tasks. "I've always been obsessed with the idea of the underdog, and the idea that what is assumed of you isn't necessarily what you are," says Gilmore, "It's in that transformation from what is expected to what you really are that struggle happens." Gilmore strives for compositional perfection, and her incongruous party clothes are always perfectly coordinated with the installation itself. Combining physical comedy, palpable effort and a whiff of real danger, Gilmore's work evokes time-based "endurance" work of the 1970s, such as that of Vito Acconci, and expands on feminist and performance art in the tradition of Joan Jonas and Marina Abramovic.

Teemu Mäki, The Future of Art
Thursday, Oct. 6, 5 p.m.
The Gateway: BBOX, 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Finnish artist Teemu Mäki, Ph.D. Fine Arts, is an extraordinary artist for many reasons. Since 1986, he has had 45 solo exhibitions in seven countries, though none in the United States. His work will be included in the Contemporary Museum's 2012 series of Finnish exhibitions. His work takes many forms: video, multimedia installation, theater and painting, and he almost always works collaboratively, whether to make the art or to generate content. He has interviewed prostitutes to uncover their motivations for being prostitutes, and he has worked with immigrants to understand what it's like to be a minority. In Finland, he's considered a provocateur given his collaborative methods and his forthright approach to investigating overlooked social conditions.

Richard Kendall in the Impressionist gallery at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (courtesy of Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute). Monday Artist at Noon: Richard Kendall
Monday, Oct. 10, Noon
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Art Historian Richard Kendall is internationally known as a curator of 19th- and 20th-century European art and as one of the foremost Degas scholars in the world. His exhibitions have been presented at major museums, both in the United States and abroad, including in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts, where he is curator-at-large; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; and Tate Gallery and the National Gallery in London. His talk will center on the exhibition, Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement, which opens at the Royal Academy in London in September, of which he is a co-curator. This talk is jointly sponsored by the Homewood Art Workshops of The Johns Hopkins University.

Image caption: Richard Kendall in the Impressionist gallery at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (courtesy of Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute).

T M Hoffman performs flute Music@Lunch: T.M. Hoffmann, Integral Asia-Music Goes Regional in a Global World 

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 12:30 p.m.
Brown Center: Room 320, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Close-up interaction between and among intrinsically related Asian cultures facilitate both creativity and coherence in art and scholarship. Rendering authentic Indian classical and Asian crossover music using Japanese instruments and Indian raga (melodic framework which gives performers a melodic basis) and tala (which provides a steady framework for rhythmic improvisation), renowned tri-cultural artist and scholar T.M. Hoffman performs shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and koto (13-inch harp like instrument), and sings along with his presentation and talk.

Julia Bryan-Wilson
Friday, Oct. 21, 4 p.m.
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Julia Bryan-Wilson, associate professor in art history at UC Berkeley will discuss the relationship between handmade art and activism since 1970, focusing especially on the AIDS Quilt and its role in AIDS activism. This lecture is sponsored by the departments of art history, theory & criticism, and fiber, with the support of Academic Services and Graduate Studies.

Monday Artist at Noon: Jennifer New
Monday, Oct. 24, Noon
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Artist Jennifer New will share details of her book, Drawing From Life: The Journal as Art, at this Artist at Noon Lecture. The inspiring book dives into the personal lives of 31 contributors, artists and writers as it takes pieces out of their visual journals and reveals them for the world to read. New said, "Visual journals are created in a secret language of symbols. Intentional or not, they are private maps only their makers can follow. No one else can look at a page and understand the specific meaning of a punching bag or a set of arrows. And no one else can remember the moment of its making." It is this concept that New will explore during her talk: the relationship between a maker and their product of thought.

Inna AlesinaInna Alesina: Exploring Materials
Monday, Oct. 24, 7-8 p.m.
Brown Center: Room 310, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Product designer and author Inna Alesina discusses the interrelationship of materials and ideas. This lecture concludes Alesina's Residency in the MFA in Illustration Practice program where she created challenges to the students to create object based solutions that integrate with personal narratives. This lecture is made possible with funding from the MFA in Illustration Practice program.

Additional lectures may be added to the schedule. High-resolution images of most of the talks are available upon request. For updated information, visit events.mica.edu or contact the Office of Communications at 410.225.2300.


Free Fall BaltimoreFree Fall Baltimore is made possible by presenting sponsor Susquehanna Bank and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, The Abell Foundation, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, American Trading and Production Corporation (Atapco) and Baltimore Community Foundation. Special thanks to Free Fall Baltimore media sponsors: The Baltimore Sun, The City Paper, The Urbanite, The Jewish Times, The AFRO-American Newspapers, Maryland Public Television, WBAL-TV, WJZ-TV, WBFF/Fox45-TV, CW/Baltimore-TV, WMAR-TV, WUTB-TV, WYPR Radio, WEAA Radio, Radio One: Magic 95.9; Spirit 1400; WOLB; 92Q, and CityPeek.

Image caption: Mequitta Ahuja in her studio at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

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.