Kyle Hackett ’13 felt that coming to MICA was his destiny. The history of the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting as the first, and one of the only, schools dedicated exclusively to painting is a legacy that he had to be a part of. His interaction with faculty — notably program director Joan Waltemath and guest critics has been invaluable, contributing to a supportive atmosphere of study and innovation that empowers students serious about art.
Though thrilled to be accepted into one of the most selective academic programs in the world, Hackett doubts that he would have been able to attend were it not for the Roberta Polevoy Fund Scholarship he received. It was a validation for him that hard work is still rewarded. The scholarship, which supports graduate students at MICA, is made possible through the Baltimore Community Foundation, which promotes education and neighborhood development as a means to enhance Baltimore’s growing economy and the ability of residents to thrive.
He hopes that by sharing his own story through painting, he can help others as they make sense of their stories. Ultimately, in addition to making art, he wants to teach at the college level, and he would love to create a fund of his own that helps young people facing adverse living conditions to develop their talents.
Hackett, who is currently based in Washington, D.C., has completed multiple residencies including The League Residency in New York as the Ruth Katman Scholarship recipient, Contemporary Artists Center, New York, and Vermont Studio Centere, where he was the recipient of the Civil Society Institute Fellowship. His honors and awards include Best in Show at the 7th Regional Juried Biennial Exhibition for the Rehoboth Art League and Best in Show at the 2014 Bethesda Painting Awards Exhibition, where he was the youngest winner in the contest's history. His work has been featured in The Washington Post and was distinguished as one of "Ten Memorable Paintings of 2014" in The Huffington Post. Hackett was also a semifinalist for the 2016 BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London, United Kingdom.