Graduate Programs

Studio Art (Summer Low-Residency MFA)

MICA's M.F.A. in Studio Art Low-Residency (MFAST) program is designed for experienced artists, teachers, and other art professionals who want to pursue graduate study without disrupting their ongoing careers.

Program Overview

MFAST integrates practice with theory, encouraging students to be independent thinkers and researchers.  Students may focus on one specific medium or work across various media. MFAST students are encouraged to work in ways most appropriate to their individual research and a full range of contemporary art practices are welcomed. 

The program spans just over three years. This includes an intensive six-week summer residency over four summers, combined with independent work during the academic year, and short winter sessions over a long weekend in February each year. 

With the help of distance learning tools,  students keep in contact with their dedicated faculty mentors and a strong community of peers, visiting artists, critics, and alumni while away from campus. While on campus, students occupy individual studios and display work in MICA’s exhibition spaces. Candidates must develop their own studio facilities for use during the academic year.

Rachel Stein (MFAST 2024) leads workshop as part of "Awaken" group Exhibition

MFAST fourth-year Rachel Stein is one of ten artists featured in "Awaken," a group exhibition at Towson University's Holtzman Gallery from June 18-July 26.

"Awaken" explores the senses: how we perceive the world through sensation, and how our senses can be challenged. The senses are neurological phenomena, shaping our perception of self and our surroundings. The artists in this exhibition bridge the gap between personal sensation and the tangible world, transcending the conventional boundaries of consciousness and evoking feelings of nostalgia, playfulness, and wonder.

As a special event, Rachel Stein will be leading a hands-on zine making workshop inspired by the themes of the Awaken Exhibition on Wednesday, June 26th 5-8pm.

"Awaken" On View June 18 – July 26
Closing Reception July 26

Holtzman MFA Gallery, Center for the Arts, Towson University, Towson, MD 21252,
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (closed June 19)

Current First-year Student featured in two MD quilting exhibitions

Karen Middleton (MFAST 2027) will be exhibiting her quilting work and leading demonstrations at two Maryland events this summer! "Quilts by the Bay," a two-day quilting showcase hosted by the Annapolis Quilt Guild will feature three of Karen's quilts as well as a wide variety of other displays at Severna Park Middle School, 450 Jumpers Hole Rd, Severna Park, MD 21146, on June 21-22. Karen will also be doing a quilting skills demo at noon on Saturday, June 22.

Another opportunity to see Karen's work will be at the Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Show at 11472 Ocean Gateway, Easton, MD 21601, where she will be demonstrating quilting techniques on Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, along with many other artisans in metalwork, basketry, leatherwork, and pottery.

(Pictured below: two of Karen Middleton's quilts featured in "Quilts by the Bay" exhibition).

Fritz Horstman (MFAST 2011) Publishes New Book

MFAST alum Fritz Horstman's new book "Interacting with Color: A Practical Guide to Josef Albers's Color Experiments" will be published by Yale University Press on June 4.

This book is a companion to Josef Albers's "Interaction of Color", first published in 1963. Horstman's book focuses on 8 essential experiments in Albers's text, providing many more images, step-by-step explanations, new resources, and anecdotes from Albers's as well as Horstman's own classes that make this sometimes challenging material accessible to a wide range of ages and levels of expertise.

A presentation of the book, which will be followed by a hands-on workshop, will take place at Mass MoCA on July 13.

Ashton Phillips (Class of 2023) opens Solo Exhibition at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Los Angeles

Recent MFAST graduate, Ashton Phillips recently opened a solo show at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Los Angeles. "Ashton Phillips: Worm Hole - A Portal For Plastic Bodies," uses sound, text, chromatic light, and pyres of partially-metabolized polystyrene plastic, preserved in egg tempera, beeswax, and mealworm-fertilized mud, to transform the gallery space into a speculative portal for plastic bodies. At a time when trans and nonbinary people are being targeted by statehouses, neo-fascist Tiktok celebrities, and schoolhouse bullies, Worm Hole imagines a cosmic pathway to an alternative reality where the plasticity of material bodies, including their capacity to morph shape, transmute substance, and heal, is celebrated and revered.

On April 27th at 7pm, the artist will perform an activation to open up the Worm Hole, using touch, movement, and sound to connect and expand the materiality of the space and the plastic bodies within it.

A closing reception will also be held on Saturday, May 25th with readings from the Phillips’ Trial by Pyre - a poetic, nonlinear research brief of facts assembled through the artists’ experimental and materially-driven practice, including meditations on plastic, metamorphosing mealworm/beetles, purple, (anti) transness, environmental justice, evolutionary biology, testosterone, and pump jacks.

Asma Waheed (MFAST 2026) awarded NCECA Fellowship

MFAST second year Asma Waheed was recently awarded a Graduate Student Fellowship through the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Asma’s research will be focused on Pakistani ceramics in Multan, Pakistan. In addition, Asma will be a panelist at NCECA’s 58th Annual Conference, Coalescence, in Richmond, Virginia. The panel, “Finding Clay People in Foreign Lands” investigates ceramic traditions and innovations over time and from around the world, and includes Fabiola De la Cueva (Moderator), Asma Waheed, and Japheth Asiedu-Kwarteng. A preliminary description of the panel states: “It takes great resilience, perseverance, determination, and courage to thrive and negotiate new spaces away from your homeland. Clay has been a medium of contact to build and embrace a community of belonging as we negotiate and tackle the trauma of being displaced on foreign land.”

In addition to her work with NCECA, Asma was a keynote speaker at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ as part of a celebration of Islamic Heritage month. Asma’s lecture highlighted Islamic art, particularly calligraphy, geometry and biomorphic patterns, and the impact art has in preserving religious and cultural heritage.

MFAST Director presents Exhibition at Athenaeum

Brooklyn-based artist, Fabienne Lasserre presents Listeners, an immersive and responsive installation consisting of a series of sculptures made of clear vinyl spray-painted with translucent gradients of color. The works obstruct, frame and direct vision, passage and movement. They always imply bodies: people who look through, walk around, and peer over. Simultaneously, the inert objects are dynamic as they reflect light and sway slightly when a viewer walks by.

Since the mid-2000s, Fabienne Lasserre’s work has been deeply indebted to feminist thought. She thinks of her early sculptures as bodies envisioned outside of traditional dichotomies such as male/female, self/other, inside/outside. With time, these interests extended to the context surrounding bodies rather than to corporeality itself. Thinking of the body as a locus for political and philosophical metaphors, she makes objects that can enclose or frame a human. In these new works, Lasserre explores form, shape, and color in order to point to the many ways in which movement and location affect our ways of relating to the world and to one another.

The installation will be activated by a commissioned dance by choreographer, Beth Gill and an accompanying sound piece by experimental composer, Jon Moniaci. The new work will premiere at the Athenaeum on March 15 and 16.

This exhibition is supported by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and a Public Impact Grant from the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

MFAST Faculty Jackie Milad awarded Creative Capital Grant

MFAST Faculty Jackie Milad has been awarded a 2024 grant from Creative Capital. The 2024 “Wild Futures: Art, Culture, Impact” Awards in Visual Arts and Film/Moving Image represent 50 projects by 54 artists from all over the country. Creative Capital awarded groundbreaking projects focused on painting, drawing, sculpture, public art, video art, architecture and design, printmaking, installation, documentary film, experimental film, narrative film, and socially engaged forms. Milad’s project, No Soy / Ana Agnabi will be a suite of monumental paintings paired with a grouping of one hundred small to mid-size bronze, stone, and epoxy clay sculptures inspired by ancient Egyptian shabti figures.

MFAST students and Faculty awarded residencies at MassMOCA

Two MFAST Students and faculty member were awarded fully funded residencies at MassMOCA for the 2023-2024 cycle. The Studios, an artist and writers residency program situated within the MassMOCA museum’s factory campus is operated by the Assets for Artists department. MFAST faculty member Howard el-Yasin received a General Fellowship, and students Corrine Yonce (Class of 2023) and Najee Haynes-Follins (Class of 2024) each received a University Fellowship.

Katie Murphy (MFAST '25) opens exhibition in Nashville

MFAST third year Katie Murphy presents "Slippers of Fire," an exhibition of paintings at Galerie Tangerine in Nashville. In a statement about the exhibition Murphy writes: "These paintings represent and explore my relationships: with my self, my family, my friends, and with Southern culture, especially in the context of being a woman. I consider the places and spaces where I’ve been allowed to exist, and I find myself questioning the containers offered. I am looking for avenues of choice and agency, for cracks within the traditional narrative that was drawn up for me."

The exhibition runs from September 28 - November 29, 2023, with an opening reception on September 28.

Benji Stiles (MFAST '25) opens exhibition in Houston

MFAST third year Benji Stiles presents "A Human Day," a survey exhibition of multimedia works from the past five years, including painting and drawing on linen, Duralar, wood and cardboard, as well as found object works. The exhibition, on view at Reeves Art + Design in Houston, is on view from October 5 - 28th, with an opening reception on October 6 from 6-9pm.

Work of Louie Palu (MFAST 2023) in two upcoming Exhibitions

Louie Palu (MFAST Class of 2023) will have his work in two upcoming exhibitions this summer and fall. The first titled "Distant Early Warning” examines the Arctic, militarization, climate change, and will be featured in the Kranj Foto Fest (August 24-28, 2023) in Slovenia. Palu’s second upcoming exhibiton is his 15-year long project on hard rock mines titled “Cage Call”, which traces the source of metals used in digital devices, photography, and their social political connection to labor. This will be a solo exhibition at the Image Centre in Toronto (September 13-December 9, 2023) curated by Gaelle Morel.

All Images © Louie Palu

Dear Black Girl: Letters to My Sisters

As part of “Outside In,” the MFAST 2nd & 3rd year group show held at the MICA Lazarus Graduate Center, Tamara Payne (Class of 2025) created a home-like space in the gallery, covering the walls with African textiles, antique furniture, mirrors, and frames, as well as embroidered and printed quotes from collaborators reflecting on experiences of black girlhood. At the closing reception, held in the galleries on North Avenue on Wednesday, July 19, Tamara led a procession of other black women and girls across North Avenue and into the installation. “It was an installation and performance piece,” said Payne in an exclusive interview with BMORENews.com. “I just aimed to bring light to Black women and show how we have to show up in the world. The light is unmatched. We’ve made so many contributions to the world and other families. We’ve invested in other cultures. When are we going to have our time? Yesterday we had our time. And it’s not over.”

MFAST Director opens new Exhibition in Toronto

MFAST Director Fabienne Lasserre opens a new exhibition of work at Zalucky Contemporary in Toronto. "With What Eyes" presents a series of new paintings continuing to expand upon a visual language that prioritizes the viewer's experience of space. In this latest series of work, geometric forms painted in vivid colours line the walls of the gallery, lean into corners and dangle from the ceiling. The works encroach into the space, drawing attention to certain architectural features­­­­ while obstructing others. In this way, Lasserre’s abstract paintings behave much more like sculptures, coaxing the body’s perpetual movement throughout the space.

The show runs from April 6, 2023 - May 6, 2023, with the Opening Reception on Thursday April 6, 6-8PM.

MFAST Faculty Jackie Milad Opens New Exhibition

MFAST Faculty Jackie Milad opens an exhibition of works with musician and multi-media artist Tom Boram at Current Space in Baltimore.

A vivid accumulation of fabric and sound, footage and paint, pours out in layers of experiences and artifacts. In "Evil Eyes, Curses, and Floating Computers", Jackie Milad and Tom Boram immerse us in a maximal, colorful world. There are a million guiding influences – media, culture, and personal history – collaged together through improvisation and fragmentation.

Milad’s source materials include years of drawings, cut up and recombined, including renderings of Egyptian and Mesoamerican objects and past performances. Boram’s videos question reality and technology through durational performances and systems of chance. The exhibition runs February 11 - April 15, 2023.

Davin Watne (Class of 2013) to open new solo show in Missouri

In his new exhibition, "Hello Darkness My Old Friend", MFAST alum Davin Watne presents two bodies of work that explore the concept of darkness - both the physical absence of natural light and the feeling of deep foreboding. Darkness is explored as an emotional state, a physical space, and a cultural signifier. The exhibition is at Haw Contemporary in Kansas City, MO, and runs from March 24 - May 3, 2023. An opening reception will take place on Friday, March 24 and Artist talk on Saturday, April 8, 2-3pm.

Fritz Horstman (MFAST'2011) opens solo exhibition in San Francisco

MFAST alum Fritz Horstman's first exhibition with Municipal Bonds in San Francisco features a selection of work from his Folded Cyanotypes series. The work comprises deep blue images of shapes that emerge from the confluence of folded paper and sunlight. Made by first folding paper by hand into an intricate pattern, they are then unfolded and cyanotype photographic fluid is applied by brush. Working in the dark to protect the light-sensitive material, the paper is refolded and placed in natural light, which the artist sometimes manipulates using mirrors and lenses. The paper is then rinsed in water, and pressed flat to dry. What was exposed to light in the process turns blue when developed, and what was not remains white, furthering the spatial complications by reversing lightness and darkness.

New Exhibition by MFAST Faculty Nadia Hironaka

MFAST Faculty Nadia Hironaka and long-time artistic collaborator Matthew Suib open "Understories," an exhibition of new and recent films, sculpture, and holograms at Locks Gallery in Philadelphia. The show focuses on the theme of nature - growth, nurture, cultivation, cycles. The show's title 'understory' refers quite literally to the underlying layer of vegetation, specifically the trees and plants between the forest canopy and the ground cover.

At the heart of the exhibit is the film "Field Companion", a work set in a microcosmic forest, based loosely on the pine barrens that dot Southern New Jersey near the artists’ home. Like many, the duo found refuge and solace throughout the COVID-19 pandemic hiking and foraging in these remote, natural landscapes. As America’s social fabric frayed deeply over recent years, they considered forest ecosystems in terms of symbiotic and collaborative relationships that sustain coexistence and community. In "Field Companion", the forest has been condensed and transplanted to a terrarium in the artists’ studio. Twelve cubic feet of pines, shrubs, ferns, moss, fungus and carnivorous plants are reflected infinitely in the terrarium’s mirrored walls and captured with a motion-controlled camera and specialized macro lens that dramatically shift the scale and perspective of this miniature landscape. This exhibition will not only feature the film - which was shown as an immersive experience last year at Rowan University Art Gallery then Locusts Project in Miami - but also an accompanying terrarium.

Also featured will be "Pink Carnations" - an experimental reflection of a Japanese American family’s history at an internment camp during WWII. Through family photos, historical films, home movies, original 16mm footage and oral accounts from family members, Pink Carnations portrays a deeply poetic narrative spun from a mutating garden vegetation.

Aethenium awarded $60,000 from Andy Warhol Foundation for MFAST Director Fabienne Lasserre Exhibition

The Athenaeum, the University of Georgia’s downtown contemporary art space, was awarded a $60,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support the exhibition "Fabienne Lasserre: Listeners", which will premiere in January of 2024. The exhibition will feature a series of sculpture/painting hybrid works by MFAST Director and artist Fabienne Lasserre, as well as an accompanying commissioned work by modern dance choreographer Beth Gill that involves a series of dancers moving in and around the sculptures, activating the installation through the dancers’ repetitive movements. The exhibition is curated by Athenaeum Director Dr. Katie Geha.

Bart O'Reilly (Class of 2012) featured in BmoreArt

Painter, poet, and alum of MFAST Bart O'Reilly was recently featured in BmoreArt, Baltimore's Contemporary Art Magazine. In the article Bart discusses his recently published book "My Father's Work Shed," and his practice in general.

Katrina Bello (Class of 2013) opens Exhibition at Caldwell University

Katrina Bello (MFAST Class of 2013) announces the opening of her exhibition "40,000 Tons" at the Mueller Gallery at Caldwell University in Caldwell, NJ, opening Feb. 1 and running through Feb. 28. An artist’s talk will be held Wednesday, Feb. 1, 5-6 p.m. with the opening reception: 6-8 p.m. The exhibit and events are free and open to the public.

Michelle Lisa Herman (MFAST' 2020) featured in Culture Caleidoscoop

Earlier this year multidisciplinary artist Michelle Lisa Herman (Class of 2020) was interviewed for the debut edition of the new, peer-reviewed, international art research platform, Culture Caleidoscoop. Art historian and museum editor Sarah McGavran conducted the interview and collaborated with her on the final result. In it, they discuss Herman's AI-generated book, "Let's Talk Art."

Jackie Milad (MFAST Faculty) featured in BmoreArt

Mixed-media artist and MFAST Faculty member Jackie Milad was recently featured in BmoreArt, Baltimore's Contemporary Art Magazine. In the article Jackie Milad talks about her solo booth at the Armory Show, a residency at the Academy Art Museum, a travel grant, and a BMA commission.

Howard el-Yasin (MFAST Faculty and Class of 2016) opens a solo show in Hartford, CT

Real Art Ways presents a solo exhibition by Howard el-Yasin, curated by David Borawski. The exhibition is now on view through Sunday, January 8, 2023. Gallery hours are Wednesday–Sunday from 2 to 9pm. Admission is free. Real Art Ways is located at 56 Arbor Street, in Hartford.

In their solo exhibition Specific Matter, el-Yasin looks at social value and marginalized racial and gender identities through the use of cast-off, everyday materials.

Billy Friebele (MFAST' 2008) Opens Solo Exhibition at Loyola University of Maryland

Interdisciplinary artist Billy Friebele (MFAST' 2008) opens solo exhibition at Loyola University of Maryland.

The exhibition, entitled 'Sentient River' runs from September 6 - October 6, 2022, at the Julio Fine Arts Gallery at Loyola University of Maryland. A panel discussion, "Sentient River: The Environment at the Intersection of Art, Science, & Philosophy," will be held at the McManus Theater on September 29 at 6:30pm.

Anike Robinson (MFAST' 2023) Exhibition Opening at UNC at Chapel Hill

Mixed media artist Anike Robinson (MFAST' 2023) brings her imaginative Gris Gris Gurlz exhibition to the Stone Center’s Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the Fall 2022.

The exhibition will open on September 22 at 6:30pm, with Gallery Talk by the artist and an artist reception. The exhibition will run through the Fall term and closes on December 10.

Sarabel Santos-Negrón (MFAST Class of 2019) featured in Caribbean Linked VI Residency

Ateliers '89 Punto Di Beyas Arte Aruba, in collaboration with The Fresh Milk Art Platform, Barbados and ARC Magazine is pleased to announce that the regional artist residency Caribbean Linked VI will be taking place at Ateliers ‘89, Oranjestad, Aruba from July 25 th through August 16th, 2022. The official opening event will be held on Wednesday, July 27th from 7pm – 12am.

Creatives from around the French, Spanish, English and Dutch Caribbean will convene to produce work, meet cultural practitioners in the Aruban art community, participate in public talks, blog about their experience and present a closing showcase of works during this three week period. The final event and exhibition opening will be held on Sunday, August 14th.

Eileen Wold (MFAST’ 2010) opens a solo show at CORE Gallery in Seattle, WA

MFAST alumna Eileen Wold is showing her latest work from June 2nd to June 25th 2022 at CORE Gallery in Seattle, WA. Entitled Arctic Amplification, Wold’s body of work visually explores how climate change impacts local landscapes. Reflecting on this question brought the Artist to the scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and their research on extended wildfire dry seasons as it relates to jet stream changes caused by Arctic melt.
Wold will be giving an artist talk along with Dr. Hailong Wang who will share his climate research, on June 17th, 5-7pm at CORE gallery.

Nugent Koscielny (MFAST '2020) opens a solo show at Riverviews Artspace, Lynchburg, VA

Entitled ‘Tangible nothingness: An unfinished becoming’, the show will be up from May 6th through June 16th, 2022. The exhibition will examine the intersection of experience and perception. Tangible Nothingness is an opportunity to consider how our interactions within our world shape us and we then shape our world, how we affect and are affected by our environment and by our experiences, translated through psychology, biology/physiology, technology and installation design.
The multi-media exhibition will be designed with consideration of contemporary ways in which we move through our world, notice speed and time, and interact with others around us. The work illustrates and invites the audience to consider how perception and association are the basis for what may be understood.

Nicole Herbert (MFAST’2009) opened a solo show at The Art Association of Harrisburg, PA

From April 8 to May 12, the Art Association of Harrisburg, PA, is showing On Site, a sculptural exhibition by MFAST alumna Nicole Herbert.
'Herbert’s artistic practice is guided by the question, “How can art be used to call attention to things that we take for granted?” This question is inspired by her anthropology studies as an undergraduate and her time living abroad in Niger, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. Studying other cultures helped cultivate a respect for different perspectives. Living in a foreign country for an extended period of time challenged what Herbert took for granted and provided a new perception of her home when she returned. In keeping with Victor Skhlovsky’s idea of ostranenie, or having the familiar or commonplace made strange, Herbert seeks to highlight overlooked aspects of the everyday in her work'.
Excerpt from the artist’s statement

Mary Stuart Hall (MFAST ‘2020) shows work in Atlanta Airport

MFASt alumna Mary Stuart Hall is part of a group show called “City as a site” in Atlanta Airport. The Artist’s is showing an installation entitled “As the Crow Flies” comprising a framed 12 ft cyanotype , hundreds of ceramic houses, and a text on the windows that refers to the horizon line.
“A string of moments compressed or deflated into one location, As the Crow Flies considers our place in space and time as one that is shifting and relational. Whether we are moving through space at the speed of flight or the incremental pace of everyday life, our understanding of a moment in time cannot be separated from our spatial encounter. We can move through space, but not time. And yet, it is time that lets us know we have moved, time must be motion, it must be forward motion. Although limiting time to the fluidity of our experience of it, seems reductive. The interval between here and there, then and now is the predominant force that shapes our past, our future, and where both of those are located. Lost, floating between the fields of space and time, a horizon line is an illusion that locates us, anchors us between a here and a there, an up and down. We are here at this time, in this space, for now” Artist’s statement.
The show will be up for at least a year at concourse E in Atlanta Airport. It includes 6 artists dealing with place in and history in several different ways. The curator of the show, Jess Bernhart, was particularly interested in the way the airport was a unique venue to explore the idea of a non-place.

Fritz Horstman (MFAST '2011) to open a solo show at Ishibashi Gallery, Concord MA

Glacial Movements is a solo show by MFAST alumnus Fritz Horstman, opening March 31at Ishibashi Gallery, Concord, MA . Horstman will be showing several sculptures from his U-Shaped Valley series, as well as new Folded Cyanotypes
“Folded Cyanotypes is a series of two-dimensional objects, which carry the memory of light, three-dimensional space and manual manipulation, and which stem from an interest in natural structure. Made by first folding paper by hand into an intricate pattern, they are then unfolded, and coated with cyanotype photographic fluid. Working in the dark to protect the light-sensitive material, the paper is refolded, then placed in natural light, and sometimes manipulated using mirrors and lenses. The paper is then rinsed in water, and pressed flat to dry. What was exposed to light in the process turns blue when developed, and what was not remains white, furthering the spatial complications by reversing lightness and darkness.”
Excerpt from Artist's statement

Opening reception from 7-8pm on Thursday, March 31
After the opening the gallery is open by appointment until May 14, 2022.

Howard el-Yasin (MFAST '2016) and Katrina Bello (MFAST '2013) are participating in a group show curated by Fritz Horstman (MFAST '2011)

Curated by MFAST alumnus Fritz Horstman, the exhibition Becoming Trees which opens on March 31 at Concord Art, brings together the work of fifteen artists, including MFAST alumnus and faculty member Howard el-Yasin and MFAST alumna Katrina Bello, whose depiction of trees evinces a variety of approaches to empathy for the subject. The body of the tree and the human body are compared and conflated. The threshold between what is human and what is nature is critiqued, massaged, and permeated; poked at with fingers and with branches; hugged and held at arm’s length.
Excerpt from Curator’s statement

Becoming Trees
Concord Art
March 31 - May 8, 2022
Opening reception from 5:30-7pm on Thursday, March 31

Jackie Milad opens a solo show at Luis de Jesus Los Angeles

Faculty member Jackie Milad opens a show at Luis de Jesus Los Angeles gallery. This exhibition is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view from February 26 through April 9, 2022.
Jackie Milad’s practice is motivated by a need to record and tell her personal story, and in doing so, assert stories like her own into the collective history. As a child in a multi-cultural immigrant family, Milad struggled to connect the history of her Honduran and Egyptian ancestry to her life as an American. For this reason, she deeply considers authors of history and how those stories are recorded and shared across generations and borders.

Cara Ober (MFAST’ 2005) wins the 2022 Sue Hess Legacy Arts Advocate of the Year Award

MFAST alumna Cara Ober wins the 2022 Sue Hess Legacy Arts Advocate of the Year Award, presented to individuals whose advocacy efforts have significantly benefited the entire Maryland arts community. Cara Ober is an artist, arts writer, curator, and the founding editor and publisher at BmoreArt, the leading resource for contemporary art and culture in the Baltimore region and a platform for creative and critical discussions. Under the leadership of Cara Ober, B-more Art became the go-to Art publication in Maryland, promoting diversity, supporting emerging artists and makers, and contributing to create an increasingly influential art scene in Baltimore.

"We Are All Swiftly Fleeting", a virtual exhibition of recent work from the graduating classes of 2022 and 2023

"We Are All Swiftly Fleeting" is a virtual exhibition showing recent work from the graduating classes of 2022 and 2023, open from February 1st to June 15, 2022.
The emphasis of the MFAST program is in integrating practice with theory, where students are encouraged to be independent thinkers and researchers who may focus on one specific medium or work across various media. During each 6 week summer intensive, graduate students in their 2nd and 3rd academic years of the MFAST program, are invited to participate in a public exhibition of their work. “We Are All Swiftly Fleeting” is an online iteration of that annual event.

MFAST Director Fabienne Lasserre included in the exhibition Looking Back/ The 12th White Columns Annual

MFAST Director Fabienne Lasserre is participating in the White Columns 'Looking Back' exhibition in NYC from January 22 to March 5, 2022. This 12th iteration of the Annual show, is curated by the New York-based artist Mary Manning. "The 'Annual' exhibitions hope to reveal something of the complexities involved in trying to negotiate – and engage with – New York’s constantly shifting cultural landscapes. The format of the exhibition inevitably encourages highly subjective and personal responses to the realities of viewing art in New York City. The ‘Annual’ exhibition series hopes to illuminate aspects of the specific, yet highly idiosyncratic networks – historical, social, aesthetic, etc. – that individuals follow in an increasingly expansive and fragmented cultural environment. Writing about their experience working on the exhibition Manning said:“As the global pandemic raged on for another year in 2021 I felt that I was still working with confusion and some heartbreak, so the experience of getting to go look at art with a purpose of sorts had a different, more joyful register. I primarily used love as a guiding metric to select these works, being aware of the messy hard work that comes with love and the rigorous emotional work that went into making these pieces.” – Mary Manning, 2022.”

Solange Roberdeau (MFAST 2012’) opens a show with Artist Jochen Holz

Solange Roberdeau (Class of 2012) is showing her newest work along with London-based Artist Jochen Holz at the Blunk space gallery, Inverness CA from December 11, 2021 to February 6, 2022
“Solange and Jochen work across different mediums – drawing and glass – but share a penchant for spontaneity and experimentation. Both artists push the limits of their materials by incorporating and combining innovative processes and techniques. Additions of lusters and gilding, wood rubbings and textures, add depth and richness to their work. For this exhibition, Solange produced three series of drawings using sumi and walnut ink, including a collection of pieces made at the JB Blunk house, which will be presented alongside handmade tableware and neon lights by Jochen. Working with ink, paint, paper, wood, fabric, and nontraditional gilding (applying metal leaf to a surface), Solange creates drawings that reflect the cadences of the natural world and her immediate surroundings."

Lindsey Bailey (MFAST '2016) explores the dynamics of shadow, light and colors in new show

Zhàomíng Illumination 照明 is a new solo show by MFAST alumna Lindsey Bailey (Class of 2016) at the Pence-Chowning Art Gallery in Campbellsville University, Kentucky.
"Utilizing a variety of mixed media, I have created installations in each of the three spaces at the Pence-Chowning Art Gallery. Each installation is lit at various angles to create shadows on objects and walls. These shadows may be abstract or representational, and are loosely based on my experience living in China for three years. Some of the shadows are outlined with silver tape to reinforce the shapes. Threads of tiny bunting seemingly connect each installation, decorating found objects and discarded items, hiding their wear and tear. My process involves a lot of play and a vibrant energy. I want my work to energize the space or the space to be dynamic"
Excerpt from Bailey's statement
Opening: December 30th, 2021 to January 29th, 2022
Reception and artist talk: January 27th, 5 - 7pm
Workshop for students, January 27th in the afternoon

Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, have created a new immersive film installation for Locust Projects

Philadelphia-based artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, known for their fantastical moving images and alternate realities, have created a new immersive film installation for Locust Projects. Field Companion, set in a microcosmic forest, is based loosely on the pine barrens that dot Southern New Jersey near their home. The exhibition opened to the public with a reception on Saturday, November 20, 2021 and is on view through February 5, 2022.

MFAST alumni Kate Hooray Osmond ('2019) and Mary Stuart Hall ('2020) opened a show in Charleston SC with artist Alice Keeney

Entitled "Prototype for a Landscape", the show shines a light on the unspoken connections that hold our communities together. Artists Alice Keeney, Mary Stuart Hall and Kate Hooray Osmond explore themes of Power, Transcendence, and Generation within our land. Portraits of healers, agricultural field maps, celestial constellations, and molecular forces reveal the deeper threads that bind us to our land and to each other. With over 50 new artworks that range from small black and white photographs to large, bright printwork and gilded paintings, the show reflects a shared humanity and reveals that there is much more to a landscape when we consider the connections beyond what can be seen. The show is on view at City Gallery October 22 through December 21, 2021.

TRANSFORMATION - THESIS WORK OF THE MFAST GRADUATE CLASS OF 2021

The emphasis of the MFAST program is in integrating practice with theory, where students are encouraged to be independent thinkers and researchers who may focus on one specific medium or work across various media. MFAST students complete their graduate studies over three years plus one summer. Each year, students come to MICA for an intensive six-week summer residency combined with independent work during the academic year and a return to campus for a short winter session. This exhibition represents the culmination of this rigorous academic and creative endeavor.

Fabienne Lasserre, MFAST Co-Director interviewed Artist Annette Wehrhahn for BOMB magazine

The first time I heard of Annette Wehrhahn, I was standing in front of a huge painting of hers at a mutual friend’s apartment. It was an extraordinary work! At once garish, glamorous, cool, and vulnerable—it was total magic. When I finally met her several years later, it was during the preparation for Soloway gallery’s inaugural show, Parts and Labor, in 2010. Annette and three other friends, one of whom, Munro Galloway, was the person who had Annette’s dazzling painting in his living room, had just opened the space in Brooklyn and invited about forty artists to contribute small works. Years later, Annette and I had a two-person show at Safe Gallery in Brooklyn in 2016, and then traveled together to Luxembourg for an exhibition curated by Wallace Whitney at Ceysson & Bénétière Gallery in 2017. I still smile when I remember how much we laughed and the many stories she told me as we worked on those shows. Annette and I had a really strong connection right when we met and have been big fans of each other’s work since.
Annette lived behind Soloway for seven years and was the director for eleven. Her current solo exhibition at the gallery, Human Remains, marks her retirement as director after these many fruitful years.
—Fabienne Lasserre

Damon Arhos (MFAST ‘2017) opens a Solo exhibition at the Catalyst Contemporary gallery

“The word Cervidae describes the large family of even-toed, hoofed mammals that possess deciduous antlers. Members of the order Artiodactyla, these animals include deer, elk, moose, and the like. Growing up in Texas, Damon Arhos reflects on a variety of expectations for his behaviors and interests. “Hunting, for example, was a strong should”. The artist makes the parallel with expectations for gender and sexuality that he describes as inherently social.
With the solo exhibition Cervidae, Arhos explores gender and sexual identity via the image of a so-called “trophy buck” – one that, for him, represents pride, strength, and honesty. “By repeating this form, I am reenacting and contemplating my own actions – in many cases, those influenced by the beliefs and expectations of others. In addition, as I produce the work, I am imagining how I might have affirmed myself during many uncomfortable moments” notes Arhos.

Jacqueline Bishop (MFAST ‘2016) featured in the British Ceramics Biennial

Growing up in Jamaica, Jacqueline Bishop remembers her grandmother’s delicate bone china crockery that she kept in a large mahogany cabinet and only used on special occasions. Yet, the beautiful and bright images on these plates hid a brutal history of slavery and colonialism bu European countries. In “History at the Dinner Table”, Jaqueline depicts this history on 18 plates by reversing the narrative by juxtaposing somber images of hangings and auctions with vibrant images of fauna and flora. The powerful images are printed on delicate Staffordshire porcelain rivaling in beauty with the European pieces Jacqueline admired at her grandmother’s house as a child.

Members of the MFAST Class of 2021 present their thesis work at the Montpelier Arts Center

At the MFAST low-residency graduate program, most of a calendar year is not, in fact, spent on campus. The nature of MICA’s pedagogy also emphasizes the necessity of ongoing practice and its personal stakes—facilitating the exploration of how one makes work across mediums newly encountered or long-beloved, without the intensity of expectation (by students or others) to engage the art market or certain professional art worlds. As layoffs, this year have spread across the art world, with museums closing their doors to limited reopening and so many arts organizations being shuttered altogether, the professional opportunities for being an artist have faltered, and those remaining have searched themselves for why they make art, and how they might continue.
It is a truism that all art is rooted in the spheres of the personal, however during this year, the personal sphere has been a particularly pressured category and space for experience and exploration—with trajectories of life and thresholds upended, one’s a sense of kin wrecked by fear, illness, and grief, and the home now simultaneously an office, studio, ICU and school. And so it is no wonder that the work I saw investigated the personal as a realm organized by architecture, history, and matters of public concern.
Excerpt from an essay by Dr. Jeannine Tang

Fabienne Lassere's Eye Contact exhibit featured in Art papers magazine

Paintings have always talked to walls—what’s on, built into, attached to, hung from, and tucked away inside them; how they continually frame, curate, hold, and design our bodies’ activities—but Fabienne Lasserre’s exhibition Eye Contact, at TURN Gallery’s new, Upper East Side location, does even more. These works don’t attempt to erase the space with what they depict, or how. Rather, they absorb it, conversing with architectural niceties, nosing around the edifice’s many attributes, making something akin to an expanded transcript of the visible world in the moment.

Howard el-Yasin curates group show Legacy & Rupture

City Gallery is honored to present Legacy & Rupture, a group show curated by interdisciplinary artist and educator Howard el-Yasin. Work by artists Nathaniel Donnett, Sika Foyer, Merik Goma, James Montford, Ransome, Kamar Thomas, and Marisa Williamson will be on display from May 1 through May 30.

Legacy & Rupture brings together these seven wonderful contemporary black artists whose work expresses the multiplicity of our identities framed by the everydayness of precarity, trauma, and memories. Critical black consciousness thinker Christina Sharpe reminds us that “the past that is not past reappears, always, to rupture the present.” If rupture, as such, is also understood to mean resistance, black aesthetic practitioners have the capacity to resist the historical materiality (race, class, gender, and sexuality) and the subjectivity of blackness. The artwork in this show explores differences in representation rather than the reproduction of blackness.

Foraging and Landing: A conversation between Angelina Gualdoni, Fabienne Lasserre, and Sangram Majumdar on "Two coats of paint" blogazine

Contributed by Sangram Majumdar / I think I met Angelina first through a mutual friend Karla Wozniak when Karla and I were residents at the Sharpe Walentas Residency in 2009. Soon we realized we had other things in common, including MICA, where she went for a brief time. I met Fabienne when she began teaching at MICA, and over many drives between Baltimore and Brooklyn we learned a lot about each other. Both Fabienne and Angelina are also part of a studio group that have been meeting for a while, seeing each other’s work evolve and grow over time. On the occasion of their respective solo exhibitions in New York –– Angelina Gualdoni at Asya Geisberg Gallery and Fabienne Lasserre at Turn Gallery — we sat down via Zoom to talk about their recent work.

Members of the MFAST Class of 2020 Present Their Thesis Work at VisArts Galleries

April 2 - May 14, 2021

The Maryland Institute College of Art’s low-residency MFA (MFAST) program has always transcended significant distances, bringing together geographically-dispersed artists already established in their practices for intensive sessions of learning and critique. Rather than mediums, approaches, or themes, these artists hold in common the desire to develop their art within a tight community while they maintain their connection to their home locations and careers. The class of 2020, comprised of eight students living from Baltimore to Berlin, also share the unique experience of a pandemic disrupting their plans for a final in-person, on-site gathering and exhibition last summer. Consequently, the period for producing their culminating works has extended into unprecedented months of protests against social injustice, a presidential campaign reflecting extreme divisions in American society, and widespread uncertainty about personal and economic health. - Excerpt from essay by Kristen Hileman

Ritual Cleansing, an Outdoor Public Performance by Liz Miller (MFAST '20), Opens April 18th

In conjunction with the MFAST Class of 2020 exhibition at VisArts, join us for an outdoor public performance in front of the Gibbs Street Gallery on April 18th at 3PM. This performance will be led by Liz Miller, whose work is on view from April 2 – May 14, 2021 in the Kaplan Gallery.

This performance is a ritual cleansing of one of the sites where three African-Americans were lynched in the 1880s. Sidney Randolph was lynched a block from VisArts. Four performers will ritually cleanse the space. Each performer will serve as a surrogate for one of the lost lives; the creator of the ritual will preside as high priestess over the ceremony. The artist Liz Miller has conceived the ritual cleansing concept in conjunction with her wearable hair sculptures.