Staff and Faculty

MICA's PreCollege Art and Design residency staff and faculty are regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized working artists and designers, scholars, instructors, critics, advocates, and mentors. Many faculty are MICA graduates; indeed some are former PreCollege students such as yourself.

Meet our Director of Youth and Community Education

Natovian McLeod  graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2015 with her BFA in General Fine Arts and her Master of Art in Teaching in 2016. She was an Elementary Art Teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools for 6 years and in 2022 she was awarded Maryland Elementary Art Teacher of the Year. Natovian has facilitated professional development focused on artist reflection, literacy skills, and student engagement. Her practice addresses anti-racist and culturally responsive practices in art. Before becoming the Director of Youth Programs and Community Education at MICA, Natovian was the program coordinator for MICA's Art and Design College Accelerator Program (ADCA) and for the PreCollege Art and Design Residency Program. She is committed to arts education and hopes to promote more access and educational opportunities to students in Baltimore.

Meet Some of our Faculty

Karl Williamson (Digital Fabrication)

Karl Williamson is a designer, artist, and educator. He studied Industrial Design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and Design for Emerging Technologies in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Design MFA program. Before joining the MICA faculty he was the first Product Design program coordinator at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala (2014) and led the development of a 25,000 square foot prototyping lab in the University of Wisconsin's College of Engineering (2017).

In his teaching, Karl supports developing designers engaging in a plurality of roles that product design students may find themselves; from consumer products to speculative futures, responsible user-centered design to experimental work with materials and process.

Casey Leach  (Graphic Design)

Casey Leach (they/he pronouns) is graphic designer, illustrator, sound designer, and educator from Baltimore, MD and New York. They specialize in editorial illustration and publication design, and has had experience in sound design in music. They are currently an educator at Northwest High School in Montgomery County, teaching Digital Art and Art History. They have a Mastery in Art Teaching program at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and has a BA in Graphic Design. Vector illustration, digital painting, and sound composing have been their recent body of work.

Mai Ly Degnan (Illustration)

Mai Ly Degnan is an award-winning illustrator and professor. She earned her BFA in Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as her MFA in Illustration Practice at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Mai Ly enjoys creating humorous illustrations with tedious line work, pattern making, and bright colors. Her work has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators of New York and Los Angeles, American Illustration, and 3x3. Some of Mai Ly's favorite things include greeting cards, pattern making, and pugs. Selected clients include Boston Globe, Bust Magazine, Baltimore City Paper, VICE Magazine, NPR, Frankie Magazine, The Bark Magazine, Tigress For Girls, and The Oyster Review.

Haylin Choi (Graphic Design)

Hayelin is a visual storyteller with illustration and graphic design background. Hayelin made her illustration debut with Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious, which earned a starred review from School Library Journal. Her recent publication also includes Bread Lab! She studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and is pursuing a graduate degree in graphic design at MICA.

Kenya Miles (Fiber and Textiles)

Kenya is a multidisciplinary artist & the alchemist behind Traveling Miles Studio. A one woman textile and fine art studio utilizing sustainable materials from earth pigments to natural dyes. Kenya’s work honors ancient practices while harmoniously drawing on a distinctive contemporary voice. From the valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico to the red clay roads of Ntonso, Ghana, Kenya's process is a ledger of years of wandering and apprenticing around the globe. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence and Farmer with the Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative. Kenya has facilitated workshops at the Berkeley Art Museum, Headlands Center for the Arts, and the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. She was a guest artist at BMA’s “The Possible” and recently had a solo exhibition “The Central Sun” in San Francisco. In January 2020, Kenya started Blue Light Junction, a natural dye studio, alternative color lab, retail space, dye garden & educational facility in central Baltimore. Blue Light Junction focuses on growing, processing, and preserving the history of natural dyes and their artistic, practical, and commercial applications. Kenya is an avid traveler, gardener, and above all else Indigo’s mother (her son).

Lillian Bayley Hoover (Drawing and Painting)

Lillian Bayley Hoover's paintings explore the banal, awkward, overlooked, and imperfect elements of our material environment. Hoover was awarded a full fellowship at Vermont Studio Center for a residency in 2015. In 2012, she won the Bethesda Urban Partnership's Trawick Award. She has been selected as a semifinalist for Baltimore's Sondheim Prize on five occasions. Hoover has received many other honors, including the Bethesda Young Artist Painting Award, three Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a grant from Philadelphia's Center for Emerging Visual Artists, which allowed her to conduct research and photograph in Istanbul, Turkey.

Christopher Batten (Drawing and Painting)

Born in Detroit, Christopher Batten began his undergraduate training at the Columbus College of Art and Design, and later completed his training at the College for Creative Studies where he earned a BFA in Illustration in 2006. Batten is a 2017 graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art’s LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting MFA program, where he received a Hoffberger Merit Scholarship, the Dr. Leslie King Hammond Graduate Award, and two AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships. While at MICA, Batten also served as a Graduate Program Assistant to Joan Waltemath, Hoffberger School Director. His artwork has been exhibited in cities such as Detroit, New York, San Antonio, Baltimore, and Atlanta. Subsequently, Batten’s works have appeared at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and Red Bull Arts Detroit.  He has been an Artist in Residence at Red Bull Arts Detroit and the Creative Alliance.  Batten is also an art educator and is currently faculty at Bard High School Early College Baltimore and an adjunct professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. 

Laura Amussen (Interdisciplinary Art)

Laura Amussen received her MFA from MICA’s Rinehart School of Sculpture in 2006. Since graduating she has been an active participant in Baltimore’s local art scene. She is an award-winning artist, an educator, and independent curator. She was the director of exhibitions and curator at Goucher College for over ten years, where she programmed and mounted over 100 exhibitions. Amussen applies a thematically based, curatorial approach to her work, producing multiple works simultaneously, one informing the other. Her multidisciplinary methods often include large-scale site-specific installations, intimate sculptures, mixed media works, videos, projections, photographs, and performances, her practice is that of a visual storyteller. Drawn to natural materials, her work often investigates the universal themes of ecology, spirituality, and psychology, while referencing the natural world as metaphor. Amussen is the recipient of several awards, most recently the Mary Sawyers Baker Artist Award for Interdisciplinary Art. Her work has been exhibited locally and nationally, as well as featured and reviewed in many publications such as Sculpture Magazine.

Kat Navarro (Animation)

Kat Navarro (MICA ‘16) is a Baltimore-based animator and interdisciplinary artist. She often explores spontaneous and memory-based narratives, mixing analog and digital techniques. She works closely with Baltimore School for the Arts in developing and teaching animation and new media curriculum. She has worked on several collaborative animations encompassing traditional screen, full-dome, and live-performances.