Bill Gaskins returns to MICA as Director of the Photographic & Electronic Media MFA uniquely suited to lead and take it to the next level. His depth of experience represents a rich tapestry of practice, teaching, and research in photography and media.

Bill Gaskins is an informed and inspired professor, acknowledged by his students and peers for his teaching as a winner of the Watts Prize for Faculty Excellence, Cornell University Department of Art in 2016, and the University Distinguished Teaching Award at the New School University in 2011.

Bill explores questions about visual and media culture in the twenty-first century through photography and media from an interdisciplinary professional and academic foundation that includes his body of arts and culture writing framed through photography, the history of photography, visual and material culture, and American and African American Studies scholarship. A critical entry point for Gaskins’ work is his fascination with the myths of photography, and American life through depictions of race in visual culture.

He is the author of the groundbreaking monograph, Good & Bad Hair: Photographs by Bill Gaskins, and has published essays and reviews in numerous journals including, The Society of Contemporary Craft, Artsy, Exposure The Journal of The Society of Photographic Education, and The New Art Examiner, among others. His relevance as a contemporary artist has garnered attention through books, catalogs, solo and group exhibitions at major venues including the Crocker Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, and The Smithsonian Institution.


Critic in Residence: Danni Shen

Danni Shen is an independent curator and writer. She is currently Project Director & Curator of the next Jamaica Flux: Workspaces & Windows 2021 produced by the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), which commissions new, site-specific, public projects by artists in collaboration with local business and social organizations around Jamaica, Queens, New York. Previous curatorial roles include at SPRING/BREAK Art Show LA Frieze + NY Armory week editions, OUTPUT Shanghai (byoutput), and Empty Gallery—a black-cube space dedicated to time-based, non-object-oriented, interdisciplinary practices physically located in Hong Kong. She is based in New York, where she was also the Curatorial Fellow at Wave Hill, Curator-in-Residence at Residency Unlimited, and Guest Critic at NYU Tisch-ITP. Shen has also managed various media initiatives for Prospect New Orleans U.S. Triennial, ArtsConnection, Empty Gallery, and the Today Art Museum in Beijing included. She is a regular contributor to various publications including BOMB Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, onscreentoday介面, and has written catalogue essays for artists Jillian Mayer, Wonjung Choi, Esperanza Cortés, Mo Kong, and Rina Banerjee among others. Her work has been cited in Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life edited by Ruha Benjamin. Shen is the current recipient of the Art Writing Workshop and the Art Critic Mentoring Program in collaboration with CUE Art Foundation x International Association of Art Critics.

Shen’s curatorial research investigates the intersections of techno-ecological practice, unpacking the anthro- in Anthropocene, and culture as a survival mechanism within post-colonial, digital times + global supply chains. Upcoming exhibitions include at 601artspace, Herkimer Place, and in 2020.


Artist in Residence: Mark Alice Durant

Mark Alice Durant is an artist and writer living in Baltimore. He is author of 27 Contexts: An Anecdotal History in Photography, Robert Heinecken: A Material History and McDermott and McGough: A History of Photography. His essays have appeared in numerous journals such as Art in America, Aperture, Dear Dave, FOAM Magazine, Photograph, and many catalogs, monographs and anthologies, including Vik Muniz: Seeing is Believing, Jimmie Durham, Marco Breuer: Early Recordings, Richard Learoyd: Portraits and Figures, and The Passionate Camera: Photography and Bodies of Desire. With Jane D. Marsching, he was co-curator and co-author of Blur of the Otherworldly: Contemporary Art, Technology and the Paranormal. He was co-curator and co-author of the traveling exhibition Some Assembly Required: Collage Culture in Post War America and curator of Celestial at the Camera Club of New York and Notes on Monumentality at the Baltimore Museum of Art.  He has served on the faculties of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, UCLA, the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College, and Syracuse University. He is a professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Maryland. In 2011 he started the website which is devoted to writing about photography and contemporary art.  In 2017 Durant began publishing Saint Lucy Books.