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Students Exhibit at City Hall, April 9-May 14

Exhibition Seeks to Evoke Thought on the Nation’s Longtime Economic Struggles

Posted 03.18.10 by mica communications

Sabrina Kogan, Tent City

BALTIMORE--MICA students are bringing their coursework to City Hall. Art representing research and design based on growing poverty problems in the nation will be on display from Friday, April 9-Friday, May 14 at the Baltimore City Hall Rotunda, 100 N. Holliday St. In 19.6% ...26.2% ... ?: An Exhibit About Poverty and Homelessness, a collection of artwork will provide a point of reference, focus and empathy to help the audience comprehend the issues associated with suffering from economic marginalization--in all of its complexities and contradictions. A public opening reception is on Friday, April 9, 7-9 p.m. and is free, though donations are welcome and will be contributed to the MICA Community Arts Partnership.

Recently, Baltimore officials enumerated 3,419 individuals experiencing homelessness during their "point-in-time" survey in January 2009, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 19.6 percent of the city's residents live below the poverty line, with the number reaching 26.2 percent when focusing on families. Though great strides have been made in the city over the years, the government and numerous community-based organizations continue their work to assist those in need.

Through a new course at MICA, entitled Poverty and Homelessness, students explored the history, theory and artistic representations on the subject. They spent significant time volunteering in the community and creating public service announcements as well as art in various mediums-including ceramics, mixed media, painting, photography and video-to try to express what the nation is experiencing through imagery. The artists hope to engage the viewers of this exhibition, animate their imagination and generate debate, thereby helping to sustain the community and encourage participation in a collective civic life in Baltimore and the nation.

Artists in this exhibition include: Alex Alexander, Alex Bernard, Margaret Braun, Kerri Dougherty, Eleni Giorgos, Sabrina Kogan, Taylor Means, Cun Shi, Ae-Hyun Shin and Addison Wahler. Ben Howard and Amira Rasayon from MICA's department of environmental design assisted in the conception and installation of this exhibition. Environmental design faculty member Kuo Pao Lian and language, literature & culture faculty member Craig Keller supervised the project.

The exhibition has received financial support from the MICA language, literature & culture and environmental design departments, and Keller. In addition, Johns Hopkins University Press donated several titles for display and gifts at the exhibition. Thanks are especially provided to the following officials in the Office of the Mayor: Diane Glauber, the president of the Office of Homeless Services; and Curator Jeanne Davis. Additional thanks go to the following organizations dedicated to eliminating poverty and associated issues, and for providing support as guest lecturers at the MICA course or a volunteer site: Helping Up Mission, Open Society Institute-Baltimore, RESULTS (Washington, D.C.) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Baltimore.

Baltimore City Hall is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ID is required to enter the building.

High-resolution images are available upon request. For more information, call the communications office at 410.225.2300.

Image caption: Sabrina Kogan, Tent City, hand-set letterpress on chipboard, blotter and museum board, 2009.

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.