In her role at MICA, Holmes serves as the chief academic officer, responsible for all aspects of the development and delivery of educational programs, including curricula, faculty, facilities and budget, and ensuring and supporting the achievement and fulfillment of academic excellence across all disciplines of the College.
A 1997 MICA alumna, Holmes returned to Baltimore in 2018 to serve as the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. In this position, she led the collaborative development of two new First Year Fellows programs, four new minors, and a new interdisciplinary major in Ecosystems, Society, and Justice, as well as the new Center for Creative Entrepreneurship with a major gift from the Ratcliffe Foundation. Prior to MICA, Holmes served as the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she generated an honors program, professional practices curriculum, the Conversations on Art and Science lecture series, and stewarded the partnership with Northwestern University focused on data visualization.
In her early career, she worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan as an invited member of the Michigan Society of Fellows, then moved to Chicago to join the Department of Art and Technology Studies at SAIC where she served as Department Chair, coordinator for the first-year digital curriculum, and was promoted to associate, then full professor. Holmes’ own education reflects a broad base in both the fine arts, design and media studies: Holmes received her BA in Art History from Williams College, a MFA from MICA, a MFA in Digital Arts from UMBC, and a PhD from the University of Plymouth in the UK.
Holmes is also a practicing digital media artist. Her studio practice explores the potential of art and design to promote environmental awareness and sensitivity to shifting ecologies on the planet. Projects include a commission for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications where sequences of experimental animations visualize real time energy loads. Her paper detailing this work, “Eco-visualization: Combining art and technology to reduce energy consumption,” earned a Best Paper award at Creativity and Cognition 2007. She has lectured and exhibited worldwide: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, 01SJ Biennial, Siggraph, Interaction in Japan, ISEA Nagoya, Microwave Festival, Hong Kong. A recipient of the Michigan Society of Fellows research fellowship in 1998, Holmes has earned the Illinois Arts Council individual grant, an Artists-in-Labs residency award in Switzerland, 2010 Rhizome Commission, and a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from UMBC.