I knew going in, Senior Thesis 2020 would be a wholly unique experience. I have taught our capstone course for many years, but have always done so collaboratively. With my colleague Lynn Silverman on sabbatical and a smaller graduating class, this would be the year our department moved to a new model. Also, after envisioning the implementation of our newly founded Endowed Chair of Photography, the inaugural Chair, Dr. Deborah Willis Ph.D. would be linked to my class and walk this important road with us.

To say that embarking on a yearlong, senior thesis project presents enormous creative and personal challenges is an understatement. At this stage of their development, what we ask of our students is to be fearless. We ask them to take up the mantle of their future lives and truly implement what they’ve practiced during their undergraduate experience. I often say being an artist is not for the faint of heart. We must be agile, develop the desire to stand firm on a moving platform and thrive in an uncertain environment. I can’t help but feel my class of 2020 is being baptized by fire.

A month has passed since COVID-19 shut us down. From my new social distance, I’ve witnessed a great range of emotion. Although the disbelief, frustration and anger seem to be shifting, the reality remains. My class continues to work intensely and with great passion. They have created compelling and beautiful work over their senior year at MICA. What I know now, is that their dedication to their practice and to each other has been forged. This will fortify and serve them always.  

To the Mica Photo class of 2020, thank you for being so brave and for working so sincerely towards your goals. I admire you and feel privileged to be walking this path alongside you.  

Regina DeLuise, Professor of Photography, Maryland Institute College of Art

April 18th 2020

© Jay Gould


On March 11th, MICA Photo Seniors received the news that the college would be closing due to the spread of COVID-19. It felt like the light inside of us had burnt out, everything we had worked so hard for these past few years was at risk of being taken away. We had less than a week to remove everything we had from the department and our studios, after which the campus and its facilities and resources would close indefinitely. After the initial shock of not having any more classes together, not being able to show at our senior exhibition or walk at graduation, we stood up, brushed ourselves off, and did what we do best: create.

MICA Photo Senior Portfolios

Alli Reichert    

Asha Holmes

Jacueline Foss

Rebecca Gohn

Emma Cheshire

Sara Eckstine

  Edgardo Salomon

Noah Fisher

Sam Glick

Jason Magid

Matthew Wagner

On the day of the department closure, seniors Sarah Eckstine, Sam Glick, Jason Magid, and Matthew Wagner arrived with wine bottles, milk cartons, and any empty containers we could find and drained all the chemicals. Armed with black plastic, cardboard, and lots of duct tape, we spent the next 12 hours building a darkroom and developing station in Matt’s basement. Over the weeks we had put together two working enlargers and a print developing set up, a ventilation system, a print dryer, a scanning and computer station, and a mini fridge full of film and Natty Boh.