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GBCA and MICA host welcoming event for President Samuel Hoi

11/17/2014, 6 a.m.
The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) jointly hosted a community-driven networking event ...
New MICA President Samuel Hoi and Derek Palmer, director of the Graffiti Warehouse Gallery at “Kick it up with Sammy,” an event to welcome Hoi, which was held on October 28, 2014. (Photo: Ursula V. Battle)

— The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) jointly hosted a community-driven networking event to welcome new MICA President, Samuel Hoi to Baltimore. Titled “Kick it up with Sammy,” the event took place on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at Gallery 788 located on Hickory Avenue in Hampden.

The event drew more than 120 attendees, which included GBCA members, MICA representatives, curators, and gallery directors. The purpose of the event was to introduce President Hoi to Baltimore's broad artistic and cultural community.

Michael Franco, Vice President for Advancement for MICA; Jeannie Howe, Executive Director of the GBCA; Doreen Bolger, Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art; Amy Eva Raehse, Executive Director/Curator, Goya Contemporary; Eduardo Rodriguez, Founder and Director, Gallery 788; and artists Lu Zhang, Chris Bathgate, Jeffrey Kent, Amanda Burnham, and Lynne Parks were among the who attended the event.

“MICA is an amazing art school that really understands its responsibility in the local, national, and international context,” said Hoi. “I think this event is amazing because it is one of the prime examples of how MICA is in the community, and also how genuine the Baltimore community is in welcoming a new person into town. It is an incredible coming together of passionate souls who all want who want to advance the interest of arts and artists.”

Hoi previously served as president of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. He succeeded former MICA President Fred Lazarus IV, who stepped down after a 36-year tenure. Under Hoi's leadership, enrollment at Otis increased as much as 34 percent, operating resources more than doubled, and the endowment more than tripled. Hoi was installed as the president of MICA on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.

Located at 1300 W. Mt. Royal Avenue, MICA offers Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Arts in teaching degrees as well as a variety of programs. The school is dedicated to the education of professional artists and designers, and the development of a collegiate environment conducive to the evolution of art and design.

Launched in 2001, the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) has served as a catalyst, incubator, and advocate for arts and culture programming in and around the Baltimore region. GBCA nurtures and promotes a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable arts and cultural community essential to the region’s quality of life.

“The crowd was excited and energized to meet Sammy Hoi, who was engaging, accessible, and made the rounds to talk to everyone,” said Sonja Cendak, Grants Program Manager for the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. “This was a unique opportunity to get face time with Sammy, who is poised to become one of the most influential people in Baltimore's arts sector. Sammy's commitment to community engagement and to truly learning about Baltimore's rich artistic life beyond MICA’s walls was evident.”

In addition to meeting and talking with President Hoi, attendees also were also given an opportunity to take photos, browse the displayed artwork, and enjoy refreshments provided by CHOUX Catering in Hampden.