Open Studies Summer class

Upcoming Summer class (3 credits) offered through Open Studies…Register now!


Simko_MICA_Interdisciplinary Methods_2018

Nick Simko| Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri | 9am – 1pm | May 16 – June 7 | 16 sessions | 3 credits | $1,650

Course Description:

Using photography as a point of entry, this course will explore the complex roles that photographic image-making plays across disciplines. Students will be assigned thematic projects that consider a wide variety of interdisciplinary approaches, including but not limited to: process-based image-making, performance and the camera, images as sculptural objects, text and image, photo-as-design, experimental processes, bookmaking, digital imaging techniques, video, and site-specific installation. Each student will cultivate their own practical, conceptual, and material methods in response to in-class technical instruction, artist presentations, readings, class discussions, and critique. The course will culminate in a self-directed final project that reflects each student’s personal engagement with photography in relation to their own interdisciplinary practice. Prerequisites: No prerequisite. Open to all disciplines.  Note: No class on May 28.

Above still: Janine Antoni, Touch, 2002, Color video, sound (projection); 9:36 min. loop


Summer photo courses in Open Studies

“Open Studies” offers photo classes for credit this summer…

MICA Photo is pleased to announce that there will be two very interesting photo courses offered in the “Open Studies” (previously known as Continuing Studies) program here at MICA. Instructor Nick Simko is teaching two different sections:

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.49.06 PM                                             Claude Cahun (​French, Nantes 1894–1954)​,​ Que me veux tu?, 1929, ​Gelatin silver print

CSPH370: “Queer” Photography: Definitions, Dissonances, Departures

Dates: 5/25 to 7/13 on Thursday from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM, 1.5 Credits Offered through MICA Open Studies under “Summer Community Education Courses”

Course Description:

What does it mean to be a “queer” photographer? This term is certainly a loaded one, especially when entangled with the image-maker’s pivotal role in re-presenting themselves and others. The term “queer” is used by some photographers today to contextualize their practice (for purposes such as political intention, subject matter, methodology, etc.) Simultaneously some photographers epitomize “queer”-ness in their work through strategies of purposeful ambiguity and definitional transgression by never allowing the term to come to the fore at all. As we move forward in a cultural climate of national and individual identity emergency (that is, a situation in which “emergence” can occur), this course will aim to expand upon the myriad definitions of what “queer” photography might be.

“Queer Photography: Definitions, Dissonances, and Departures” will feature several thematic studio-based assignments informed by queer theory readings, in-class discussions, written response, and critique. The course will culminate in a self-directed final project that explores the methods in which artists seek out and discover unaccounted-for sites of radical reinvention in the context of their photographic practice.


Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.48.44 PM                                                                                                                          Cindy Sherman, ​Untitled #92​, 1981

CSPH315: Setting the Scene: Staged Photography

Dates: 5/25 to 7/13 on Thursday from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM, 1.5 Credits Offered through MICA Open Studies under “Summer Community Education Courses”

Course Description:

Though the discovery of photography was largely fueled by a desire to objectively capture visible reality, it has equally been a methodology in which to manifest manifold imagined worlds of the photographer’s own invention. As a relatively new medium, less than two hundred years old, photography has produced countless artists who exploit both its possibilities and limitations in order to represent our dreams while also challenging the power of the photograph as a “fact.” These image-makers go to great lengths to enchant, deceive, inspire, and fool their audience, using tactics sourced from theater, film-making, literature, and even by reiterating the very history of art itself. As our contemporary age is governed by a seemingly endless configuration of images, it is now more than ever that we must examine how these constructed photographic narratives shape our world and ourselves.

This course will cover strategies and ideas relating to staged photography. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of artists who have employed an element of fiction, narrative, drama and/or myth into their photographic practice. Through the consideration of historical and contemporary sources, students will be required to develop their own concepts resulting in a cohesive body of work. In order to realize these final projects the coursework will also cover the multifaceted processes of “building” a photographic image including storyboarding, studio lighting, digital imaging techniques, print production and more.



Nick Simko is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. Simko’s studio practice focuses on the deconstruction of visual culture through material experimentation, inventive iconoclasm, and visual play. Simko’s photographs, collage, and tapestries have been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the United States. Simko holds a BFA degree in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is presently completing an MFA in Photography at the University of New Mexico.