Rachel Schreiber | research
The Face of MICA
Exhibited: Maryland Institute College of Art Sabbatical Exhibition, September 2006
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The Face of MICA: Installation Shot
The Face of MICA: scheme
“The Face of MICA” is a site-specific public art work that was installed in the central public plaza of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore during the time that I taught at the college. The intention of this piece is to honor laborers whose service is often performed behind the scenes of the institution. Workers who often circulate unnoticed in the context of the institution were presented in large, individual photographic portraits in a highly visible location. At the same time, the piece critiques the promotional literature published by institutions that typically highlights the handful of people of color among the faculty, students, and administration in order to demonstrate the institution’s diverse population. Although their roles are central to the operation of the institution, the individuals presented in my piece are not those typically used to advertise the school. By describing them as “the face of MICA,” I seek to highlight the fact that, despite well-intentioned diversity initiatives, the majority of people of color associated with the college are (still) to be found among its service sector. This fact reminds us of the intimate connection between race and economic class in American society.