Heart of the Matter

MICA Brings Renowned Artists and Designers to Campus This Spring

MICA’s campus is a supportive, creative ecosystem that empowers students to find their voice, and foundational to this experience is having access to thriving, professional creatives as well as their work. That’s why the heartbeat of our community is driven not by the spaces across campus, but by the people and artwork filling them. 

With nearly 175 visiting artists and designers and over 100 exhibitions annually, MICA is a space where you are immersed in the give and take of creativity. From lectures to studio visits and from critiques to exhibitions, everyday, our students are able to interact with some of today’s most renowned visual makers and thinkers. Following are just a few of the activities happening on campus this spring.

MICA recently hosted Austrian graphic designer, storyteller, and typographer Stephan Sagmeister as the 2024 William O. Steinmetz ’50 Designer-in-Residence. Co-founder of the prestigious design firm, Sagmeister & Walsh, he is known for his uniquely packaged and designed books, posters, and album covers for Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, David Byrne, and Aerosmith.

As part of the residency, Sagmeister took part in a lecture and book signing in MICA’s Falvey Hall, where he discussed his work as a designer and author and signed copies of his new book, Now is Better.

Named after alum, faculty member, and trustee William Steinmetz (1927-2016), the Steinmetz program is MICA’s most prestigious annual design event. Past designers-in-residence include Cheryl D. Miller ’74 (Graphic Design and Illustration BFA), Lucille Tenazas, Chip Kidd, and Eddie Opara.


Currently on show in MICA’s Meyerhoff Gallery is Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: International Posters on Gender-based Inequality, Violence, and Discrimination.

The exhibition, on view through March 10, features posters created by both men and women to celebrate and acknowledge the vital role that all citizens play in protecting and promoting human rights while challenging gender inequality and stereotypes, advancing reproductive and sexual rights, protecting women and girls against brutality, and promoting women’s empowerment, education, and participation in society. The posters argue for the empowerment of women, the achievement of equality between women and men, and the elimination of discrimination against women and girls.

Also through March 10 is Transcending Tradition: The Art of Elizabeth Talford Scott, and the MICA Quilt Group, on view in Decker Gallery. Presented by MICA’sExhibition Design Seminar (EDS), this year marks the 25th anniversary of the seminar’s groundbreaking exhibition Eyewinkers, Tumbleturds, and Candlebugs: The Art of Elizabeth Talford Scott.

The exhibition is being held in conjunction with No Stone Left Unturned: The Elizabeth Talford Scott Initiative, a reunion of the artist’s work at five museums and four university sites across Baltimore City. In addition to Talford Scott’s Covered Wagon (1983), the show in MICA’s campus features examples from the MICA Quilt Group made during the pandemic. A quilt by the EDS students is also exhibited. 

Atlantika Collective: Climate for Change is in MICA’s Pinkard Gallery through March 3.

As a worldwide ecological crisis unfolds before our eyes, more voices are needed in demanding urgent action to prevent the ultimate cataclysm for the human race. Over the last two years, the artists of Atlantika Collective—including MICA alums Gabriela Bulisova ’03, ’05 (Photography BFA, Photography and Digital Imaging MFA), Billy Friebele ’08 (Studio Art MFA), Mark Isaac ’07, ’08 (Digital Arts MA, Photography and Digital Imaging MFA), Katie Kehoe ’11 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA), and Yam Chew Oh ’16 (Fine Arts Post-Bacc)—have addressed this critical issue from diverse vantage points.