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Three Alumni and One Faculty Member Exhibit Solo Shows at the Maryland Institute Collage of Art
Stephen Marc, Drapetomania, 2010; courtesy of the artist.

BALTIMORE, MD.- Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is host to three solo shows of MICA alumni work to accompany the exhibition The Narcissism of Minor Differences, running approximately one month each in Fox Building’s Meyerhoff Gallery. Critic, writer, scholar and internationally known visual artist Joseph Lewis III ’89 (Mount Royal School of Art), who creates art based on the theory that a practitioner can act as change agent, broadly reviews intolerance through representational digital prints, from Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010– Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011.

New York sculptor Marc Andre Robinson ’02 (Rinehart School of Sculpture) will explore his South African background, Friday, Jan. 14–Sunday, Feb. 13. Rwandan-born American Valerie Piraino ’04 (general fine arts), who works in media as varied as sculpture and photography, plans to share her current installation explorations consisting of family slides and shorthand text, Friday, Feb. 18–Sunday, March 13.

Additionally, from Friday, Jan. 28–Sunday, March 13 in Bunting Center’s Pinkard Gallery, foundation faculty member Dennis Farber will present images and albums that revive the memory of those who died in the genocides of the past century.

The Narcissism of Minor Differences showcases 18 acclaimed artists, including Francisco de Goya, Philip Guston and Sam Durant, who explore the dark side of intolerance using art, historical artifact and documentation, from Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010–Sunday, March 13, 2011 in Fox Building’s Decker and Meyerhoff galleries.


Joseph Lewis III ’89 (Mount Royal School of Art), THE WORD. Joseph Lewis III’s creative decision-making process is led by the theory of practitioner as change agent—establishing a voice and place for diversity. His images, intended to compel internal and personal meditations, are a collection of markings that reconstruct opportunities, interventions and narratives about how people build relationships among themselves, regardless of the implications. In this exhibition, Lewis, the dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine, reviews intolerance through representational digital prints and from multiple perspectives with the main antagonism being between man and the elements, choice, race and representation, and other social phobia or memories that haunt people’s daily lives.

Marc Andre Robinson ’02 (Rinehart School of Sculpture) Friday, Jan. 14–Sunday, Feb. 13; reception: Thursday, Feb. 3, 5–7 p.m. Like many second-generation immigrants, a large portion of Marc Andre Robinson’s heritage has been minimized, ignored and even hidden. His mother is an Afrikaner who grew up on a large farm called Witfontein, meaning “White Fountain,” just outside Pretoria, which is historically known as the apartheid capital of South Africa. In 1964, at the age of 21, she moved to the United States, became an expatriate, secretly married his father, a black American artist from D.C., and never returned.

With Robinson’s recent grant from Art Matters, he traveled to South Africa for the first time. He made a multi-layered body of work about the anticipation, experience and reflections of visiting his mother’s birthplace. A central element of this new work is a site-specific installation Robinson created while in South Africa. This project, mainly visible from a satellite camera, was inspired by his slowly witnessing over four years, through Google Earth, the demolition of his family’s farm and subsequent construction of a golf course in its place. Robinson addresses the idea of transformation within this intimate space of familial origin, which is inextricable from a country still healing from the effects of colonialism and apartheid.

Valerie Piraino ’04 (general fine arts) Friday, Feb. 18–Sunday, March 13; reception: Friday, Feb. 18, 5–7 p.m. Valerie Piraino, based in New York City, works in installation, sculpture and photography. Using an archive of family slides, Piraino creates installations by distorting projected images through materials, such as picture frames, glass or mirrors. By reimaging and juxtaposing slides, Piraino asks what it is like to imagine someone’s private life. She aims to recreate a fragmentary likeness of memory, believing this can be truer to life. For Piraino, these family slides present stories that can be heightened and dramatized by time, absence and nostalgia.


Dennis Farber (faculty member, Foundation Department) Friday, Jan. 28–Sunday, March 13; reception: Friday, Jan. 28, 5–7 p.m. Dennis Farber presents five albums that bind together images both found and made. The images, not intended for documentary purposes, invite visual and narrative connections, stories to be imagined and questions to be asked. Memory gives humans an emotional connection to the past and keeps the dead from perishing altogether. In photographs, it is possible to see generations past and present, stirring up notions of ancestor, family and clan. Though alluding to the Holocaust and other atrocities, the images as a whole do not speak to a specific historical event. Instead, they emulate our knowledge of lost populations: a palimpsest of images—vague, fugitive and a powerful reminder. Foundation and humanistic studies faculty member Amy Eisner, whose poems accompany this exhibition, will give a reading during the reception.

Maryland Institute College of Art | The Narcissism of Minor Differences | Marc Andre Robinson | Dennis Farber |

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