The painting department at MICA is characterized by tremendous energy, national reputation, diverse offerings, and dialogue fueled by an excellent faculty and by visiting artists and critics, as well as liberal arts faculty, who embody an extraordinary range of opinions and approaches. Our studio- and critique-based curriculum fosters solid training and technical proficiency, as well as independent and personal expression. The result is a highly energized and intense program in which you receive constant feedback and build an extensive professional network.

Painting Alums Among 2013 Sondheim Semi-finalists

The Baltimore Office of Promotions & the Arts (BOPA) has announced the semifinalists for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, including 26 members of the MICA community, including two painting alumni--Jordan Kasey '08 and Brian Kain '85. The Prize awards a $25,000 fellowship to assist the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living in the Greater Baltimore region.

Approximately six finalists are selected for the final review for the prize. Their artwork is exhibited in the special exhibition galleries at the Walters Art Museum on Saturday, June 29 through Sunday, August 11. An exhibition of the remaining semifinalists' work will be shown in MICA's Decker and Meyerhoff galleries inside the Fox Building, 1303 Mount Royal Ave. on Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, August 4. An opening reception for the semifinalists' exhibition will take place Thursday, July 18 from 6-9 p.m.

Alumni Profile: John Aquila

John Aquila painting group mural

John Aquila came to MICA because of Baltimore. Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, a city much like Baltimore, he saw it as a place he wanted to help grow and flourish.

Being an orientation leader his sophomore year led him to become involved with admissions and student activities. He probably gave a tour to most of the freshmen on campus. He saw this role as a way to spread his love of the school and Baltimore to those interested in coming to MICA. "Tours were way to share my experiences with prospective students," he said. "MICA is a great asset to Baltimore culturally, and Baltimore is an asset to MICA because of the location and endless opportunities."

Read John's full profile.

Image: John Aquila (pictured at right) creates a mural at the University of Maryland complex.

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WATCH: Celebrated artist Jeff Koons '76 at a Monday Artist at Noon lecture.

Koons was one of five artists from around the world awarded the U.S. Department of State's first ever Medal of Arts for their outstanding commitment to international cultural exchange and the Art in Embassies program. Read more about the honor here.