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Exhibition curated by MICA students showcases art by current, former prisoners

— “American Made: Mass Production/Mass Incarceration” opens Saturday, April 29, and examines concepts of mass production and forced labor in art by prisoners.

Students in the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) present “American Made: Mass Production/Mass Incarceration,” an exhibition and reading room that showcases photography, zines, video and other visual art forms produced by current and former prisoners that examines concepts of mass production and forced labor in prisons.

The exhibition opens with a reception and artist talk on Saturday, April 29, at 6 p.m., and runs through Saturday, May 27, at Maryland Art Place, 218 W Saratoga Street.

Founded in 1997 by M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice founding director George Ciscle, EDS is a yearlong course that provides students professional experience in curatorial practice by working collaboratively with mentors to research, plan and produce a major exhibition. This year’s seminar was led by MICA faculty Jeffry Cudlin.

For “American Made,” EDS students examined how craft works as currency in the U.S. prison system, and organized the exhibition to showcase creativity as a reaction to incarceration while exposing production from forced labor.

Work in “American Made” includes an installation by Philadelphia-based artist Jesse Krimes; text and photos by San Francisco-based anthropologist Sandra Cate and photographer Robert Gumpert; videos from the Real News Network presented by Baltimore-based artist Bashi Rose ; painting by Philadelphia-based artist Russel Craig; new drawings by Angelo, in collaboration with Chicago-based collective Temporary Services; posters by New York-based designer and artist Josh MacPhee; and zines and other publications including The Beat Within by David Inocencio (San Francisco), Tenacious by Victoria Law (New York), and South Chicago ARA/ABC Zine Distro by Anthony Rayson (Chicago).

Scheduled events for “American Made” that explore the intersection of mass incarceration and mass production include:

Saturday, April 29, 6 - 9 p.m.:

“American Made” opening and talk by participating artist Jesse Krimes and performance by mentor and D.R.A.M.A. co-founder Soldier, followed by a reception catered by Eye Can Bmore, an organization staffed by formerly incarcerated individuals.

Thursday, May 4, 6 - 8 p.m.:

Guest speaker Anthony Rayson discusses his collaborations with prisoner writers and artists. He will present original prisoner artworks and zines, which will be followed by a zine-making workshop.

“American Made” is organized and curated by EDS students Sera Boeno, Cynthia Fang, Maya Fell, Betty Gonzales, Sukhmani Kaur, Joe Leonard, Zoe Moldenhauer, Lucas Nelson and Jenna Rayman. The exhibition is made possible by Friends of EDS.

For more information about MICA’s Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS), visit micacuratorial.org/exhibition-development-seminar-eds.html.

Maryland Art Place (MAP)

Maryland Art Place inspires, supports, and encourages artistic expression through innovative programming, exhibitions, and educational opportunities while recognizing the powerful impact art can have on our community. MAP creates a dynamic environment for artists of our time to engage the public by nurturing and promoting new ideas. MAP has served as a critical resource for contemporary art in the Mid-Atlantic since 1981. mdartplace.org. MAP is supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Baltimore County Commission on the Arts & Sciences, and the William G Baker Jr. Memorial Fund. For more information, visit mdartplace.org.

Image credit: South Chicago ARA/ABC Zine Distro

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.