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The Maryland Institute College of Art

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Obviously this is a personal account of myBright
Obviously this is a personal account of my experience at MICA. I graduated from a diverse public school with about the same amount of kids that attend MICA. I went through high school with a normal social life. I obviously have interest in art, but also in writing and other classes that require some sort of thought. That being said, if you are anything like me, do not attend this school.

To address the topic of diversity: there is none. The student population (as well as staff for that matter) can be described as pretentious, self centered, and white. They're all white or asian. To address the social aspect: as I said, I'm used to having a normal teenage social life. At MICA, there are no options. If your idea of a fun time is sitting in a circle smoking cigarettes talking about indie rock, then you'll be fine. If you enjoy going to an occasional party, you're fucked. There are none. It's a city campus so parties are extremely rare and if there are any they'll be in a tiny dorm in Leake Hall with no music and probably a total of 15 people max. To touch on the bit about classes: it's a pain in the ass to push to get any academic classes your freshman year. They give you critical inquiry and art matters but you won't learn anything in those two classes. They're basically there to make the school look good and impress the parents who are sending their trust fund babies to MICA. It's foundations year so this might not be a concern for most anyways, but I've heard it doesn't get easier as you progress in your education at MICA. A lot of the interesting academic classes are set up so that they're only available to humanistic studies majors, and in order to obtain that major you must also major in something else. When you're learning about the school they'll boast about how classes are available for MICA students at Johns Hopkins, but I've tried to contact my advisor to figure that out and somehow that fell through the cracks. I have never met a foundations student who actually does take outside classes at Johns Hopkins.

STAFF: The staff is totally incompetent. They're all spacey artists who have no idea which way is up. You could imagine asking a person like this to help you drop or switch a class is not very easy, and you will end up essentially making it happen on your own through a different staff member who has nothing to do with academic advising.

CAMPUS: UGLY AS HELL. Everyone calls it the bubble. I know somebody who took the social shuttle (which is a yellow school bus by the way) to target by herself and sat there for three hours just to get out of the bubble.

SAFETY: If you do decide to attend, you'll receive messages from Campus Safety once a week or more about a MICA student getting mugged or robbed.

Lastly but most importantly,
EDUCATION: I pay 50,000 dollars a year to teach myself at this school. Your art will progress, but that's only because you're spending all of your time doing that and nothing else. The professors grade based on how much they like you. If you want to do well in a class, suck up to them and come up with outrageous conceptual stories for every piece you complete. The education just isn't worth the money. If you're not planning to be a studio artist who shows their work at galleries, and you're looking for a practical job (I plan on majoring in GD so I can eventually own my own business and market myself), you are valueless in the eyes of staff and your peers. I really wouldn't advise you to waste your money just because everyone has told you that MICA is the Harvard of art schools. It most certainly is not.

ALSO,
they require for you to live on campus both freshman and sophomore year to suck as much money out of you as possible. If you attend this school you will find right away, that apparently 50,000 dollar tuition is not enough for them, and they will do anything they can do get the additional dollar out of you.

HOUSING: Housing is nice
FOOD: food is good
Moral of the story: don't go to MICA

more→Feb 15 2015
1st Year Female -- Class 2018
Question
Innovation: B, Education Quality: F
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Here are my thoughts about MICA, bottom lineQuite BrightDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Here are my thoughts about MICA, bottom line and point blank. MICA is and does deserve to be considered one of the top art schools. We do have great, caring, considerate faculty and I am amazed at some of the work and drive of many students. MICA will not make you a great or successful artist, but MICA will give you the resources to become a better artist. It is all about how you use the system to create the work that you want to create. Yes, some students are easily caught up within the pretension of the school - students who value conceptual theory, their parent's money, and their own problems - and yes, they can feel like the majority. However, there are many great, humble, and down to earth students at MICA. I would not go to MICA if you seek to be in a more commercially oriented art field - instead I would go somewhere like Parsons. It's easy to get caught up with the pretension and arrogance art school can breed, but like I said MICA does offer you the resources to further your work. And perhaps the greatest resource that MICA can offer you is the access and degree of competition - which hopefully you can either choose to view as a plus, advantage, and motivating factor. But that is YOUR choice to take it. MICA will give you access and exposure to the art world, despite being located in isolated Baltimore.

My advice to those going to art school is to keep an open mind, be willing to change your preconceived notions about what art is - but always keep precious what art means to you. Because if you lose sight of that you will give up.

Baltimore has its up and down sides to it. The upside is that because it is in an isolated community, (yes there is a definite MICA bubble) there's an ability to be more focused on your work. Also, you can become closer with your peers at this school - which can sometimes be a downside as there isn't a lot of diversity in personalities - but an upside when it comes to making connections and valued friendships. Also, Baltimore has a great music scene and there is a quiet buzz beneath the city.

For the person complaining that a teacher told them their Graphic Design work was too visually oriented, I hope you take to the time to understand that graphic design is very much based in ideas - and in that field ideas are often more valued. Whether or not you choose to go to art school, this is really a time in your life where you can grow and develop as a person. Sometimes that requires you to be open and willing to do that. Also, the art world is a competitive and cut throat place getting cluttered and flittered with many people. Will MICA hand over everything to you? No. Will going to a well regarded art school offer you success? No. And yes, this school can be very easy to coast by - but honestly, I think you would have to be willing to take the easy route if you want to do that. However, if you are a self motivated person and can overcome the squabbles of youthful idealism and face the reality of what the art world is - you have a school with great resources.

more→Jan 26 2015
2nd Year Female -- Class 2017
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Individual Value: A, Scholastic Success: D
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If you like to take 55k a yearBright
If you like to take 55k a year and flush it down the toilet MICA is the PERFECT place for you. in all honesty i regret going back for a second year. I come from a working middle class family. my family has worked for every dime they have ever made, I'm going to this school for half price and still have massive debt for when i graduate. you may ask your self why I'm telling you about my finical background? Why? because 99% of micas population is a bunch of arrogant self righteous rich kids that want to be a "starving artist" aka live off of mommy and daddys trust fund. me being middle of the road girl I'm looked down upon for wanting to be in the work force (art teacher, art therapist), to the rest of micas student body I'm seen as taking the "easy way out" I'm nothing but a joke to them because apparently that makes me less of an artist. as for micas student body i think i could write a novel on how nasty they are, if you've ever seen the movie mean girls that is mica in a nut shell, except Regina George is wearing free people and smoking cigarets. if you don't agree with the rest of micas views you're basically just piece of shit, god forbid you EVER do the "norm" or be your own person. everyone will cry about how poor they are and how hard they have it but then go buy a pack of cigs and drive off in their nice leather interior BMW or Mercedes. there is no social scene you will spend every night smoking weed in your room alone or going to some bad party run buy some guy who will probably make fun of you once you leave. you're honestly better off staying home alone watching reruns on netflix.

Also for such a "prestigious" art school you think you would have a massive work load and hard critiques but instead its just pulling teeth to ever get anyone to speak in class. The faculty is most unhelpful and I'm convinced gives out grades based on opinion and I'm pretty sure I'm right ,they are all very talented but have no idea how to teach. if you actually want to LEARN in college you'll never learn anything at MICA. I've been here or two years and written 1 paper and taken 2 tests, i can't tell you one thing i have learned at mica. sure my art has gotten better but thats only because I've gotten older and i do it every day but i can't say I've actually learned anything useful to apply to the real world. in closing DONT GO TO ART SCHOOL if you want to BE AN ARIST, PRACTICE EVERY DAY YOU WILL GET BETTER. go to school and learn how to market yourself learn,love and prosper, be a business major and get yourself out there, if you honestly know art is your calling i beg of you to never waste a dime on art school, you'll loose touch of reality and get nothing out of it. everyone here feeds off of misery and anger. you're already an artist and none can take that from you and never doubt that even if you do make the mistake to go here. :)

more→Dec 27 2014
2nd Year Female -- Class 2017
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Individual Value: B, Education Quality: F
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The Maryland Institute College of Art

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