“I always made sure that all those people who thought they weren’t part of the opportunity to participate in the arts could find a way to become part of that experience,” said Leslie King Hammond, PhD, graduate dean emerita and founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA. Her words are realized with the creation of the Leslie King Hammond Graduate Award. The inaugural award provides $5,000 to $10,000 to 11 incoming and five returning MICA students from various backgrounds, experiences, and groups who have been historically underrepresented in the fields of fine arts, design, and related practices. The scholarship supports the expansion of diversity in the College’s graduate community.*
In explaining her role and her work, Dr. King-Hammond has said:
The intent of my professional activities in the art world at large has centered on facilitating the means to get artists of color and women more ideally represented in the larger arena… My efforts have focused on the redefinition of history as it more correctly profiles the role of the artists in America.**
Major exhibitions and publications include Celebrations: Myth and Ritual in African American Art (Studio Museum in Harlem, 1982); Art as a Verb (The Maryland Institute College of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Met Life Gallery, 1988); Gumbo Ya Ya; An Anthology of Contemporary African American Women Artists (Midmarch Arts Press, 1995); Vice-President and essayist for the Jacob Lawrence Catalog Riasonné Project, Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence (University of Washington Press, 2000); Aminah Robinson: Aesthetic Realities/Artistic Vision in The Art of Aminah Robinson (Columbus Museum of Art, 2003); Hughie Lee-Smith (2009) Pomegranate Press; Co-Curated and Co-Authored with Lowery Stokes Sims, The Global Africa Project (Museum of Arts and Design, 2010).***
“I’m passionate about the role of the arts in government and society,” King-Hammond said. “Artists have a definitive place in the 21st century. With all these challenges facing us all, the only ones who make order out of the chaos are the artists, the writers, the architects.”****
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