Julie Benoit
Katie Walberg

Kelly Valdez

MICA this summer features an exhibition of thesis work of 11 graduating artists in the MFA in Studio Art, a low-residency program that allows experienced artists to develop a professional body of work, a unique personal voice, and an expanded understanding of contemporary art through intensive studio practice. Artwork will be on view Monday, June 29-Saturday, July 11 in Decker, Meyerhoff, and Fox 3 galleries of Fox Building, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave., and Pinkard Gallery of Bunting Center, 1401 W. Mount Royal Ave. A public reception with the artists takes place Friday, July 10, 6-8 p.m.

Many of the MFA artists explore the everyday, the ordinary, the mundane; it is a theme found throughout much of the diverse work in the exhibition. For example, artist Nicole Herbert seeks to encourage active perceptions of the physical environment by challenging conventional ways of looking.

“My aim is not only to suspend fleeting impressions of familiar objects and contexts, but to also explore how signification can shift when the same object is represented in a variety of media,” Herbert said.

Other artists investigate the “atrocity landscape,” “urban landscape,” and “human constructed landscape.” Katie Walberg makes comic books, graphic novels, and environmental gestures/installations featuring collected refuse to illuminate the relationship between practical human life in a consumerist society and the excessive levels of waste and environmental congestion that result from it. Kelly Valdez’s textured and multi-layered cityscapes show how she repeatedly encounters specific areas in the city and how her position and movement throughout it as an observer shift

Artists include: Kerry Adams, Julie Benoit, Leah Cooper, Salinda Deery, Bruce Feldman, Nicole Herbert, Michael Iacovone, Jennifer Miller, Sondra Peron, Kelly Valdez, and Katie Walberg

To see more images of MFAST artwork, click here.
To hear MFA artist Leah Cooper on WYPR’s Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast, click here.