Tag: art school

Local Illustrators Offer Low-Cost Art School Alternative in North Baltimore

Baltimore Academy of Illustration instructor Greg Houston shows off the school’s new student portfolio website. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

In a nondescript two-story building in North Baltimore’s Homeland neighborhood, two professional illustrators are busily building – literally, cutting pieces of a door frame and drywall – for a new classroom. When they’ve finished construction, their long space will be divided into classrooms A and B.

Reality Check: Baltimore Artist Hyeseung Marriage-Song Paints Portraits that Persuade

"Across the Table": The artist's self-portrait with two chatty men, both modeled by her husband. The "made-up" cityscape is inspired by both Paris and Rome.


MICA instructor Hyeseung Marriage-Song paints portraits in the realist tradition: While her full body of work tours like a striking and diverse all-ages yearbook offering of pretty, not-so-pretty, and downright quirky members of the human race, she clearly spies a unique beauty in each subject’s face. Each emits a glorious glow, whether symmetry’s on her side or no. The painter prof’s fastidious and fluent attention to detail delivers, not just reality, but an exciting interpretation of inner light.

Born in Korea in 1978, Hyeseung (pronounced Hey-soong), 33, relocated to Houston at age two, with her first generation immigrant parents. The eldest of three siblings — her brother and sister born in the U.S. — Hyeseung maintained impressive focus from an early age.

“My mother tells me I was pretty weirdly focused when I was three and four years old and would sit at my Fisher-Price desk for hours and draw people and characters,” Hyeseung says. “My mother was my first art teacher; though she was trained as a nurse, [she] was a fair draftswoman thanks to the well-rounded education she got in Korea, and she taught me how to go beyond stick figures. The first things I counted, apparently, were the five fingers on each hand of my squiggly princesses.”

MICA Shows: Where Fashion and Personality Mingle

Allina Liu. All photos by Derek Blanks, '00.

Couldn’t make it to NYC’s Lincoln Center this past February for fashion week, but love a good runway show? No worries. MICA student designers showcase boundary-pushing couture on catwalks near you this spring.

In April, two shows will feature MICA students’ garment and costume designs.  The concept for Transcend, the 19th Annual Benefit Fashion Show at the Brown Center, is “a runway show that will explore the outward manifestation of the unconscious mind.” The students’ collections are a result of thinking about physical adornment as a reflection of the wearer’s emotional and spiritual mindset. Milquetoast, an Experimental Fashion Event at St. John’s Church, is the anything-but-timid culmination of the Experimental Fashion Concentration that combines runway fashion with live performances by costumed characters, projected video and music by DJ J-No and other musicians.

Amelia Stinnette and Erik Clark

MICA Graduate Student Exhibitions: Break from the Everyday

Shana Goetsch

Is one day starting to fade into the next? Are your surroundings getting a little mundane? Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” He might not have known about the MICA graduate-level artists’ exhibits at the time he said this, but it would have been just the type of solution for your ennui that he’d have in mind.

Beginning on February 24, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) graduate students will showcase their work across campus and Station North venues until June 13. Exhibits include paintings, sculpture, photographic media, graphic designs, social design projects and installations.

Many of these artists seek to have a positive impact on everyday lives by creating works that reflect ways that art can influence and improve communities. Some of the pieces portray troubling aspects of our community, such as Kim Llerena’s inkjet print from scanned negative of a dilapidated home interior with a crumbling, flaking ceiling. Other works are more uplifting,  such as Michelle Nugent’s ink and gouache paint portrait of family with pet that conveys a sense of fullness and satisfaction.

Graduating students will show their thesis works in Off the Rails, a series of three exhibitions. The works will be discussed at Gallery Talk sessions throughout March and April.

MICA’s galleries are free and open to the public Mondays through Saturdays, 10am – 5pm, and Sundays, 12 – 5pm. For a complete schedule of openings and receptions visit MICA’s website.

So brush aside the cobwebs of late winter doldrums to take a fresh look at life MICA-style.

MICA to Offer Degree in… Business?


Of all the strange graduate school programs out there, perhaps the most unexpected is the new MBA program that will be offered by MICA starting this fall.

There will certainly be people who bridle at the idea of an art school offering a degree that’s more commonly associated with starchy-collared, suit-wearing squares who prioritize money over all else. Of course, MICA’s dual MA/MBA in Design Leadership (offered in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business) will hardly be traditional, especially because it’s one of the only programs of its ilk in the country.  Aimed at “business, engineering, and design focused students,” the program will incorporate some traditional business school topics (finance, marketing, human capital management) along with more creative subjects (design theory, visualization, cultural awareness).

Starting the program might be a smart business decision in itself:  students are flocking to graduate programs in increasing numbers, and business programs in particular. And the administration insists that it’s responding to student interest in offering the program, not just economic opportunity.

So what do you think — is MICA responding to the issues of the day, or selling its soul?

MICA Student Runs for City Council (Not as Performance Art)


We all like to see someone who deserves success get it. An art school senior, De’Von Brown is the first MICA student to run for a district seat on the Baltimore City Council. We’re assuming he’s got a killer creative portfolio, he’s also Governor Martin O’Malley’s endorsement. Over the last year, we’ve seen Brown’s adventures played out in the local media: his story of returning to the States from the inspirational Baraka School in Kenya; his graduation from the Academy for College and Career Exploration in Hampden. Now we watch with great interest as his journey takes him (possibly) toward the 12th district seat. Brown is a video and film arts major. I say let’s vote for him today! You can’t deny “Member of the Baltimore City Council” will look damn good on his visual-art-centric resume when he graduates.