MICA Mondays: Paulette

MICA Mondays is a project of the UB Post (University of Baltimore) showcasing the talent and work of students and alumni of the nearby Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) released every Monday during the fall and spring semesters.

Artist Details: Paulette – MICA 2020




Produced By: Nathaly Rivera

Edited by: Nathaly Rivera

MICA Mondays: Eric Simelton

Eric Simelton is a senior at MICA studying animation. His art, inspired by his love for anime (such as shows like Dragon Ball Z), draws on his passion for high octane fights and motion graphics. Simelton is currently working on his portfolio for graduation, and is looking to work in the animation industry.

MICA Mondays is a project of the UB Post (University of Baltimore) showcasing the talent and work of students and alumni of the nearby Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) released every Monday during the fall and spring semesters.

Artist Details: Eric Simelton – MICA 2020



Produced by: Benjamin Kahn and Jeff Dominguez

Host: Benjamin Kahn

Edited by: Jeff Dominguez

MICA Mondays: RJ Sterling

RJ Sterling is a graduate student at MICA studying comic book artistry. His art, inspired by his love for storytelling, draws on experiences from himself and social conflicts within minority groups. Sterling currently teaches aspiring comic artists and has his own LLC, Hilarious Comics.

MICA Mondays is a project of the UB Post (University of Baltimore) showcasing the talent and work of students and alumni of the nearby Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) released every Monday during the fall and spring semesters.

Produced by: Benjamin Kahn and Jeff Dominguez

Host: Benjamin Kahn

Edited by: Jeff Dominguez

MICA Mondays: Dylan Jones

Dylan Jones is a senior at MICA studying painting. His art, inspired by his love for sports, draws on experiences from himself and other athletes to include perseverance, injury, defeat, and triumph.

MICA Mondays is a project of the UB Post (University of Baltimore) showcasing the talent and work of students and alumni of the nearby Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) released every Monday during the fall and spring semesters.

Produced by: Benjamin Kahn and Jeff Dominguez

Host: Benjamin Kahn

Edited by: Jeff Dominguez

Baltimore Print Studios continues to thrive in a burgeoning Station North


This year,  (BPS) is celebrating five years of business. A public-access printing studio, BPS is located at 18 W. North Ave in Station North. The husband and wife co-founders, Kyle Von Horn and Kim Bentley, run all parts of the business, including hosting workshops and studio hours, and working on private design commissions.

BPS works with two types of printing: screen printing and letterpress. Screen printing is a process that uses silk screens to create all sorts of striking images. Letterpress uses older machines and handset type to create beautiful typographic items – from chapbooks to stationary to posters. Both require expertise, but more importantly: they require equipment. Letterpress equipment is especially difficult to come by, since the machines are all older, and many are rare or expensive. The two Vandercook SP 20s, for example, are huge machines, and not items most people would be able to fit in their house.

The price and cumbersomeness of the equipment is a large part of why Von Horn and Bentley founded BPS. The model – which was meant to provide a space where people could learn and practice printing without purchasing expensive equipment – drew inspiration from other cities, which offered spaces for printing artists to produce their craft.

Having worked the printmaking program at MICA for a number of years, Von Horn had seen first hand how often graduates of the printing program were in dire need of space.

“They didn’t have access to the equipment, and some of this stuff is hard to find, or hard to maintain, or expensive,” he said. “We thought we could create a space that would be a resource for the design community.”

The pair looked for potential spaces throughout the city. When Baltimore Print Studios opened its doors back in 2010, Station North had already begun to live up to its designation as an Arts and Entertainment District. Things were changing quickly in the neighborhood, and Von Horn and Bentley felt that North Avenue was an ideal location for an art related space.

Since BPS opened its doors five years ago, many other businesses have followed suit. Red Emma’s moved into an expansive space on the corner of Maryland Avenue, and just this past year, Hopkins and MICA opened the new film space in the Center Theater. Meanwhile, the Parkway theater is being renovated to become a multi-use arts, film and office space. These are only a few examples of the change happening throughout the neighborhood.

Throughout all this change, BPS continues to run a threefold purpose of studio hours, commissions and workshop. The studio hours are available to those who are either experienced in printing, or have attended the appropriate introductory workshops. The rental fees are generally $15 per hour. Van Horn and Bentley also work with private individuals who might commission a variety of printed items – such as wedding invitations or business cards – and sell their own work as well.

Workshops are going to be of the most interest to readers who haven’t worked on this type of printing before. Offered on a monthly basis, workshops are limited to small groups of six to nine, ensuring that every student receives the help he or she needs. The introduction courses – in screen printing and letterpress – are offered on a monthly basis, with other seasonal or featured workshops occurring as well. This month, for example, is the ever-popular holiday card workshop, where participants make their own set of cards.

“We provide typical holiday phrases – ‘happy’, ‘merry’, ‘something’, ‘whiskey’,” explains Von Horn.

At the end, everyone leaves with a set of their own cards. Though the holiday workshop is full, there are still openings in the Valentines workshop that will happen in February.

“These include skills like bookmaking or textile printing,” explained Bentley. “Basically, these are things we’re not expert at, but we do have the facilities and the knowledge to help co-teach the workshops.”

Generally, the workshops cost 150 dollars, and run most of the day, from 10 am to 4 pm. Lately, they have also been working with a number of visiting artists and designers as well. Both the regular and the one-time workshops fill up very quickly – when I checked the website, every listed workshop was full – but interested parties can sign up for BPS’s mailing list to receive notification of sign-ups.

In addition to running BPS, both Von Horn and Bentley work other jobs. When I ask them about their work life balance, they look at each other and smile weakly. At this point, they are at the end of their BPS work week. Tomorrow, they will go into work for their other jobs. This is their week every week.

“A lot of the shop stuff happens at the end of the week,” said Bentley. “And the beginning of the week is for other work. And then evenings, that’s the time we have to talk about the shop.”

Though it seems like this leaves little time for leisure, it is clear from how they talk about their work, and their willingness to devote so much of their time to the space, that BPS is a labor of love, built as much on passion as it is on dedication and business skills.

All through the interview, their little dog sat under their desk, watching passersby walk down North Avenue and occasionally letting out a warning bark or two. I could see why she was so interested, and why she probably loves coming to work with them. There was, as usual, a lot of foot traffic on North Avenue: a mixture of MICA students, people making bus connections and locals just enjoying their neighborhood, a neighborhood that Baltimore Print Studios has helped to shape.

To learn more about Baltimore Print Studios, see upcoming workshops and sign up for the mailing list, visit: http://baltimoreprintstudios.com/


All photos courtesy of Jessica Kim

Former Mayor Schmoke begins first school year as UB President

By Andrew R. Koch

Reviewing why UB became four-year institution

Kurt Schmoke has started his first year as President of the University of Baltimore. However, this isn’t the first time he’s been in the spotlight.

President Kurt Schmoke. Photo Courtesy of University Relations
President Kurt Schmoke. Photo Courtesy of University Relations

Schmoke became president of the university on July 7, taking over for Robert Bogomolny, who announced his retirement last Spring. Schmoke served three terms as Mayor of Baltimore from 1987 to 1999. Prior to that, he was Baltimore City State’s Attorney for five years. Growing up, Schmoke was recognized for his accomplishments on the gridiron as a star quarterback at Baltimore City College High School. Prior to coming to UB, Schmoke was Dean of the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

“There were a couple of graduates of the University of Baltimore who first raised the possibility of my coming here with me. I hadn’t really thought about it,” Schmoke said when asked why he chose to apply or the UB President opening after serving as the Dean of the Law School at Howard from 2003 to 2012, and then as general counsel and even interim Provost. “When I found out that President Bogomolny was retiring, and these graduates said something to me about it, I just started reading more about the University of Baltimore, and was very impressed with the progress and the energy of this place over the last few years […] I thought my experiences as an elected official plus the higher education experience could be of great benefit to a public university.”

Schmoke said that’s when he decided to apply, and he feels fortunate to have been selected as the eighth president of UB. Schmoke says while he did learn a lot about Baltimore during his time as Mayor and State’s Attorney, he’s had to relearn the city because of how much it’s changed from when he was Mayor to now.

“That’s been one of the exciting things about coming to this position,” Schmoke said. “The city has made a lot of progress in a number of different areas. The University has made tremendous progress, and I had to learn about those things and how we can fit in the agenda of the city as an anchor institution.”

During a June 25 ceremony at Baltimore City Hall, UB joined seven other universities, including Loyola, Johns Hopkins, Morgan State, Coppin State, and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), along with the Bon Secours Health System, when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the city to provide jobs, investments in the community, and solutions to issues facing Baltimore.

The effort is towards a goal set by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to get 10,000 more families to move into the city. President Schmoke said UB will likely work together with the other universities on development projects. He says the administration would also like to work with the other institutions to develop synergies in programs such as communications design and digital entertainment, as well as other programs that are strengths for UB, such as business and pre-law.

“We really want to emphasize that we’re a career-oriented university,” Schmoke said, citing UB’s slogan, “Knowledge That Works.” “Everyday, I’m learning about another high quality that’s offered at the University of Baltimore, and I think it’s up to us now to try to let the community know a little bit more about some of these programs.”

President Schmoke says as one of Baltimore’s anchor institutions, UB will be working to not only make a positive economic development impact on the city, but also to make a positive impact on educating “Baltimore’s children.” However, changes are being discussed that could affect who can get what Schmoke called “a high-quality education at an affordable price.”

The University of Baltimore was established in 1925 as an institution for transfer and graduate students. In 2007, the University became a four-year institution when it enrolled its first group of underclassmen. However, the majority of students who enroll at UB are transfers and graduates. According to an article that appeared in the Sept. 5 edition of The Baltimore Sun, about 200 freshmen enroll at UB each fall, but that number has leveled off. In an interview that day with The Sun, Schmoke discussed how flat public funding the University is receiving is creating a need to work more efficiently. Schmoke says he was looking to start a conversation in the UB community, but wasn’t recommending changing the university back to what it used to be.

“I just wanted to understand better why the change was made, and whether the reasons that supported the change … still exist here in 2014,” Schmoke said, adding that the conversation with the University so far has been “very robust.”

“And what seems to be emerging is support for a more targeted, focused freshman admissions policy that align our admissions of freshmen with the strong upper-division programs that we offer, for example in business and accounting and forensic science.” He said he wanted to start a discussion about whether or not the University should focus more on its graduate and transfer students, or continue promoting freshmen admissions.

“What has come back from the community is that we shouldn’t consider this as an ‘either-or’ proposition,” Schmoke said. “Maybe we ought to consider it as making some adjustments to what we’re doing.”

Schmoke says there’s been support for both positions, and the administration is working on building a consensus, and he’s been talking with both faculty and students. At the most recent Student Senate meeting, he says the consensus he got from them was to keep freshmen admissions, but to align them with some of the upper-division professional and career-oriented programs so students can better distinguish what the University has to offer compared to other schools in the region, such as the University of Maryland Schmoke says a final decision about changing the type of institution UB is won’t be made until sometime in early October.