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Six 2015 Sondheim Finalists Have MICA Ties

Magnolia Laurie '07 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA), "a rumor, a murmur of what was and what's next," oil on panel, 2014.

Magnolia Laurie '07 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA), a rumor, a murmur of what was and what's next, oil on panel, 2014.

Members of the MICA Community Are Recognized as Prize Finalists and Semifinalists

Posted 06.26.15 by MICA Communications

The MICA community is poised to be recognized again by the larger arts community as a collaborator with the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), and possibly as an honoree. Artscape, organized and administratively operated by BOPA, is a perennial public attraction that garners national attendance and participation. It teems with artistic diversity, creating a changing canvas during the venue. It is fitting the annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize pays homage to that type of creativity that abounds at the festival.

READ: All-Baltimore Sondheim Prize Finalists Announced

Prize finalists include past artist-in-residence Mequitta Ahuja, Zoë Charlton, Director of Fabrication Studios Benjamin Kelley '10 (Rinehart School of Sculpture MFA), part-time faculty member Magnolia Laurie '07 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA), Jim Leach '14 (Rinehart School of Sculpture MFA), Malcolm Lomax '09 (Painting BFA), Ryan Syrell and Daniel Wickerham '09 (Painting BFA).

Three jurors will review the installations at the BMA, 10 Art Museum Drive, from June 24 through August 9. After interviewing each of the finalists, the jurors will choose from an impressive array of artistic styles and prior educational and professional achievements.

READ: 2015 Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalists Showcased at BMA

The top finalist will receive a $25,000 fellowship that will go to towards his or her professional development and is accompanied by the added benefit of visibility. The award recipient will be announced during an award ceremony and reception on Saturday, July 11 at the museum. The remaining finalists will receive $2,500 honorable mention awards from the M&T Charitable Foundation.

A semifinalist exhibition will be on view on July 16 through August 2 in the Fox Building's Decker and Meyerhoff galleries, 1303 Mount Royal Ave. An opening reception will take place Thursday, July 16, 6 p.m., also in the Fox Building.

MICA community members who are finalists for the 2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize:
Mequitta Ahuja
Mequitta Ahuja's figurative paintings and works on paper employ Indian painting traditions and reference her African-American and East Indian background. Ahuja has an extensive exhibition history that includes shows at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Brooklyn Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Her artwork is in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Urlich Museum in Wichita, Kansas, among others. Additionally, she has an upcoming exhibit of seven works at the Saatchi Gallery in London. An artist residency at MICA brought Ahuja to Baltimore in 2011, where she received a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2013. She is also a recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2011 and a Joan Mitchell Award in 2009. Ahuja received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois in 2003 and a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College in 1998.

Benjamin Kelley
With motives driven by the smell of oak, high heels on glass and the elegance of precision, Benjamin Kelley '10 (Rinehart School of Sculpture MFA) re-contextualizes found objects with altered and fabricated structures. His local and national solo exhibitions include CONNERSMITH in Washington, D.C., Open Space in Baltimore and Patty and Rusty Rueff Gallery at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, among others. Group exhibitions include those at Baltimore's The Contemporary, Maryland Art Place, Gallery Four and Creative Alliance. The MICA alumnus and staff member was awarded the Toby Devon Lewis Fellowship in 2010 and the GoGo Emerging Artist Projects of CONNERSMITH in 2010-2013. His work has also been featured in such publications as the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, and Baltimore City Paper.

Magnolia Laurie
Magnolia Laurie '07 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA) creates detailed paintings and installations that reference the sustained need to try and to build, with sometimes precarious results. She also received a Bachelor of Arts in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Laurie is a former Hamiltonian Fellow from 2009-2011, and was a Platform Artist in Washington D.C.'s (e)merge Art Fair in 2012 and 2013. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2013, Jentel Foundation in Wyoming in 2013,  Creative Alliance in Baltimore from 2007-2010 and the Vermont Studio Center in 2007. Laurie is a recipient of a Mid-Atlantic Creative Fellowship in 2015, a Maryland State Arts Council Grant in 2011 and an Individual Artist Grant from the Creative Baltimore Fund in 2009. Her recent solo exhibitions include those at frosch&portmann in New York and VisArts in Rockville, Maryland. Her work has also been featured in exhibitions at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, Jordan Faye Contemporary in Baltimore, School 33 Art Center in Baltimore and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Laurie is a part-time faculty member at MICA and American University in Washington, D.C..

Jim Leach
Jim Leach's '14 (Rinehart School of Sculpture MFA) sculpture has been in various solo and group exhibitions, including shows at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, Vox Populi in Philadelphi, Maryland Art Place, Gowanus Loft in New York and Legation, A Gallery in Cleveland. He also has an upcoming solo exhibition scheduled at the Sculpture Center in Cleveland. In 2013, Leach was selected by Maryland Art Place for the 30: Thirty Creative Minds Under 30 lecture series and in 2014 to speak in Sculpture X: The Social Political Object. Leach has been reviewed in several periodicals including Cleveland Scene magazine, Washington City Paper, and Baltimore's BmoreArt. Leach also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kent State University in 2011 . At MICA, he was the recipient of the 2012-2014 Rinehart Fellowship.

Wickerham & Lomax
Wickerham & Lomax is the collaborative name of artists Malcolm Lomax '09 (Painting BFA) and Daniel Wickerham '09 (Painting BFA). Formerly known as DUOX, the two have been collaborating since 2009. Working across diverse media including sculpture, installation, websites, prints, video and performance, curatorial platforms and institutional contexts, they have created a body of work that is focused on the deviation from the digital space to the physical space. Wickerham & Lomax have exhibited widely in both Baltimore and New York, including solo exhibitions at Springsteen Gallery in Baltimore,  New Museum in New York, Artists Space in New York, Open Space in Baltimore, as well as at Link Art Center in Brescia, Italy. Their upcoming exhibition is at AC Institute Art Gallery in New York. They have also been included in several group exhibitions, including Baltimore, Contemporary Cross Section at the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut, and Baltimore Liste at The Contemporary in Baltimore.

Semifinalists of the 2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize (MICA connections in bold):
Lauren Adams (Faculty)
Seth Adelsberger
Mequitta Ahuja - Finalist
Stephanie Barber
Kyle Bauer
Stephanie Benassi
Keith Bentley
Dustin Carlson
Vincent Carney
Zoe Charlton - Finalist
Crissìan Chen
Larry Cook
Leah Danell Cooper '09 (Studio Art MFA)
Hoesy Corona
Erin Curtis
Nancy Daly '11 (Photographic & Electronic Media MFA)
Frank Day
L. E. Doughtie '15 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA)
Hasan Elahi
Maggie Gourlay
Lillian Hoover '05 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA)
Benjamin Kelley - Finalist
J.T. Kirkland
Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter (Faculty)
Magnolia Laurie - Finalist
Jim Leach - Finalist
Rosemary Liss
Timothy Makepeace
Katherine Mann '09 ( LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting, MFA)
Quentin Moseley '72 ( LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting MFA) (Faculty) 
Danielle Mysliwiec
David Page
Louie Palu
EunJung Park '15 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA)
Ruth Pettus
Benjamin Piwowar
Nick Primo '14 (Rinehart School of Sculpture MFA)
Samantha Rausch '14 (Rinehart School of Sculpture, MFA)
Renee Rendine
Beverly Ress '83 (Rinehart School of Sculpture MFA)
Jamea Richmond-Edwards
Margaret Rogers '12 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA)
Pamela Rogers
Margaret Rorison '12 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA)
Rachel Rotenberg
Kenneth Schiano
Ginevra Shay
Leslie Shellow '99 (General Fine Arts BFA)
Amy Sherald '04 ( LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting MFA)
Ally Silberkleit
Jared Soares
Ryan Syrell - Finalist
Jerry Truong
Stewart Watson
Daniel Wickerham & Malcolm Lomax - Finalists 
Yuriko Yamaguchi

For more on the 2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, visit artscape.org.

Top image caption: Part-time faculty member Magnolia Laurie, a rumor, a murmur of what was and what's next, oil on panel, 2014.