Events and Exhibits

MIIS Mural and Piece Street Asphalt Art Projects

Fall 2023 was a busy time for the Institute Committee for Art in Public Places (ICAPP). The committee collaborated with multiple groups to develop and finish a mural on the side of the McCone building at 499 Pierce Street. The committee is also working to finalize an asphalt art project on Pierce Street. The Institute will hold a special event to celebrate the completion of the new mural on Wednesday, November 8 from 3:30-6pm PT.

MIIS Artist Showcase 2023

Share Your Artistic Talent with the MIIS Community & Beyond!

The MIIS Committee on Art in Public Places (ICAPP) is excited to host a group art exhibit, the first annual MIIS Artist Showcase, on campus during the month of May. Art submissions are open to all MIIS students, staff, and faculty. The show will be juried and there will be prizes awarded for first, second, and third place.

Applications are due by April 15. Most types of art are accepted (e.g., photos, paintings, drawings, sculpture, digital art, ceramics, etc.). There will be a rotating digital display included alongside the physical displays of art. Learn more about the show and access the online application form.


Monterey Spoken Word Event: All Roads Lead to Monterey with Tim Thomas

When: Friday, April 14 (6-7:30pm)

Where: McCone Boardroom


Middlebury Institute Poetry Box Reveal

The committee on Arts in Public Places is proud to partner with the International Cultural Gatherings group to celebrate the new public poetry box on the Middlebury Institute campus. The event is open to the MIIS community and the public. The event will feature poems read by the Monterey County poet laureate, Daniel Summerhill.


Location: Outdoor patio by the library and Lara-Soto Adobe

When: January 29, 2023 · 3:00–4:00 PM


CAPP aims to complete one art project per academic semester. If you are interested in creating your own arts project or art exhibition, please fill out the Arts Project Proposal.

Art Exhibits and Events at the Middlebury Institute



Photographer James Blair National Geographic Exhibit

Where: Samson Reading Room

When: Ongoing starting February 1, 2022

Being There: Photographs by James P. Blair

Thanks to a collaboration with the Middlebury College Museum of Art, MIIS has received a permanent exhibit of National Geographic photographer James P. Blair’s work. The exhibit will feature a rotation of photos by the famous photographer. 

National Geographic Photographer James Blair’s Exhibit in the Samson Reading Room

International Bazaar Student Photo Contest Winners

Where: Samson Student Center

When: September 21-30, 2021

Nature Category: Kissing Rock Sunrise (Pacific Grove) by Luis Santiago

Quintessentially COVID: A Time, Place, and People – A COVID Moment by Meng Zhang

Home: What it Means to You Category: morning snugs by Lindsay Bryda

Food Category: Lamb Kabobs (all locally-sourced ingredients) by Tony Sinkewich

Thanks to the student participants, StuCo Student Engagement Committee, MIIS Arts Club, and the Institute Committee for Art in Public Places for making this exhibit possible.

Art for Mindfulness and Mental Health (making Mandalas)

Where: Zoom, Sign up:

When: Tuesday, March 2 12-1pm PT

We are glad you are able to join us for the Art for Mindfulness and Mental Health workshop on Tuesday, March 2, at 12pm Pacific. Please use the zoom information below to join the workshop.

If you hear from friends who would like to join last minute, feel free to forward this calendar invite or direct them to the sign up:

This event is a collaboration between the MIIS Arts Club, Committee for Art in Public Places, and Student Services. 

MIIS Virtual Art Show

Where: Zoom (Register here anytime including the day of the event)

When: Saturday, December 5 from 4-6pm PT

The event will feature MIIS student, faculty/staff, and alumni artists as well as a performance by the Middlebury College choir. 

Cohosted by the MIIS Arts Club, QAAM, and iCAPP. 

Salon Jane: Celebrating International Women’s Day

Join us to celebrate International Women’s Day while enjoying the artwork of Salon Jane at a viewing and reception.

Where: McCone Upper Atrium

When: Friday, March 6 from 5:30-7pm


Salon Jane is an artist collective of six women photographers—Martha Casanave (MIIS alumna), Susan Hyde Greene, Jane Olin, Anna Rheim, Robin V. Robinson, and Robin Ward—who all work outside the traditional sense of straight photography, experimenting and expanding their creativity with the support and honest feedback of the rest of the group.Photography will be on display through June 2020.

Oliver Klink: Cultures in Transition

Join us for a captivating slide show and lecture by Oliver Klink, who will share his 15-year photographic project, covering 5 Asian Countries (Bhutan, Myanmar, Mongolia, China, India) and discuss the changes people went through, the subtleties that made their lives evolve, and their spiritual guiding light. This event will be hosted by AASMB -Asian Art Society of Monterey Bay and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS)

Date: September 11, 6:30pm in MIIS Irvine Auditorium (ongoing)





Moses Nyanhongo: Shona Sculpture 

In collaboration with Gallery Sur in Carmel, the Middlebury Institute will preview the opening of LIFE IN STONE, an exhibition of recent sculptures by acclaimed Shona stone sculptor, Moses Nyanhongo, from Zimbabwe. The one-day even will feature a display and exhibition of sculpture hand carved in a variety of beautiful stones, as Moses demonstrates his sculpting techniques and shares the cultural heritage of the Shona Sculpture Movement.

Date: September 26, 5-7 pm in the Holland Center Courtyard






Henry Simonds: Global Impact, 2011-2013

A contemporary photographer, installation artist, exhibition curator, and film producer, Henry J. Simonds sees himself first and foremost as an interpreter of culture. As the self-styled “Chief Sphaeralogist of the International Sphaeralogical Society” he has meticulously explored and documented the wonderful world of the “Super Ball,” the bouncy toy inveted by Norman Stingley in 1965. One of the 21 close-up views of this toy is on display in the Middlebury Institute library. A second close-up view is on display in Old Chapel at Middlebury College. The remaining pieces will be distributed to the Middlebury Schools Abroad campuses. This will be the first installation that spans the entire Middlebury campus network. 



Jean Brenner: Patterns of Tradition

MIIS alumna, Jean Brenner, developed these works after being inspired on a trip to rural India in 1995. The Patterns of Tradition exhibit is displayed in the Segal building and historic Lara-Soto Adobe. 

Artist Jean Brenner has explored abstraction, figure, and landscapes in her art. She has traveled extensively for the past seventeen years in order to experience traditional culture before it disappears under the rising tide of T-shirts, tennis shoes, and transistor radios. Since 1993, her paintings have centered on women and traditional life in developing countries. Learn more about Jean Brenner.


Decoding Language Symbols in Chinese Arts

The Asian Art Society of Monterey Bay is partnering with the Middlebury Institute to offer a presentation by Ms. Zhao Hua, Professor at the Confucius Institute at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Ms Hua has an academic interest in Pun Rebus (谐音字画 Xié Yīn Zì Huà)—essentially wordplay in Chinese visual art. She has come up with an innovative teaching philosophy: learning the surprising meanings behind 《谐音字画》 Xié Yīn Zì Huà enhances students’ grasp of the Chinese language and at the same time increases their understanding of Chinese culture. Her book on the subject titled《谐音”画”汉字》Xié Yīn Huà Hàn Zì, was published by Peking University Press in 2012. Event is free and open to the public. Date: February 6 from 5:30-7pm in the Irvine Auditorium at MIIS




Student Focus: Using art to highlight our connection to national marine sanctuaries, December 2018 

The Center for the Blue Economy is displaying the work of one of its most recent fellows, International Environmental Policy student Andrea Fisher. “At each sanctuary I spoke with fishermen, sanctuary staff, visitors, indigenous people, sanctuary volunteers, and other community members to better understand how they feel and identify with the place. Afterwards, I produced an acrylic painting for each sanctuary to summarize and celebrate the species, activities, and emotions mentioned during the conversations. I decided to paint my findings, because art can showcase the ocean’s beauty, as well as capture complex stories, relationships, and emotions that are otherwise difficult to express. Below you can see the painting and read the highlights for each sanctuary.” -Andrea Fisher

View the artwork at the Center for the Blue Economy through April 2019. 




Martha Casanave “Magical Pinhole Photography”, Summer 2018

Martha Casanave travelled to Russia in 1988 and made beautiful and dreamy images of Leningrad in winter using a pinhole camera (film camera with no lens). Her work is on display in the Samson Reading Room. 




Nest Sculpture with Jayson Fann, April 2018

With support from the Johnson Arts Residency Program Fund at Middlebury College, the MIIS CAPP team is co-sponsoring this live sculpture project on the Holland Center patio. Jayson Fann is a renowned Big Sur and international artist. We encourage CAPP supporters to attend the spring 2018 events offered through the MIIS Intercultural Arts and Leadership program at MIIS. Read news story



Rotating Student Exhibit, March 2018-Ongoing

This exhibit will likely be located in the library and focus on a new student art exhibit every 1-3 months. The first installment features a painting by MIIS Master of Public Administration Student, Francesca Victoria Aka. 


Holland Center: Peru Local Community Development, Spring 2018 

CAPP partnered with Middlebury Magazine to bring photos from this story on the community development approach of MIIS-alumni founded Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development and their work in Peru. 



McCone Upper Atrium: 55 Inches, Spring 2018

Join us April 17 for presentations with photographer and local climate activist. Learn more.

Local photographer Oliver Kink will be featured in the upper McCone atrium. The 55 inches” series focuses on sea level rise and glacier melt.  

Oliver’s work has been published with National Geographic, Days of Japan, Black & White magazine, Popular Photography magazine, DailyMail, My Modern Met, FeatureShoot, 6 mois Magazine,, among others. In 2017, his project “Circus” was selected as Top 50 projects “Seeing in Sixes” by LensWork Magazine, and by RFotoFolio as “selected artists”. In 2016, he was selected as Critical Mass Top 50 fine art photographer, “Best of the best” emerging fine art photographer by BWgallerist, and received People’s Choice award from Black and White Magazine single image contes for “Stepwell”. In 2014, his image “Herding Instinct” won the grand prize at the Rayko International Photo contest.  Other awards have included the Mike Ivanitsky award for photographic excellence (2009) and nominations at the prestigious Black & White Spider Award (2010-2016). 



PhotoWings Flash Grant: Bursting the Bubble: Fostering Connections between Community and Campus, Fall 2017

The purpose of this project is to bring together diverse stakeholders from the Monterey County region and Middlebury Institute of International Studies to develop a photo exhibit that will be displayed on the MIIS Campus, Monterey Museum of Art, and local city halls. Each photo will include a story that personalizes the subject and shares a more holistic representation of these members of a shared community. These photos will depict students and community members alike, to see what lies beneath the surface level. View video.




This photo was taken by MATESOL ’01 alumna, Tarana Patel Chatterjee, and was an annual student photo contest winner. CAPP printed the photo on canvas where it was placed at the entrance of the Admissions Adobe and one accent wall was painted “Middlebury Blue”.  The photo was previously on displace in the Samson Student Center. 

“Chasing Buddha” by Chester Ng, Spring 2017

CAPP is engaging with the local photography community to feature a local artist. We are pleased to exhibit three photos from Bhutan taken by Chester Ng in the lower McCone Atrium. Chester Ng is a Fine Arts photographer who focuses on dance, motion, abstract and cultural themes. His images capture both movements and expressions as well as the encounter between the subject’s energy and himself. He combines a journalistic style with an aesthetic sense to create images with mood, emotion and relevance. He invites viewers to create their own “real or imagined” stories with his images and to celebrate the spontaneity of the moment.

Chester’s photographs have received international recognition from Black & White Magazine, American Art Collector, Black & White Spider Awards, Monochrome Awards, Color Awards, PX3, Photography Masters Cup and Photographer’s Forum. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries around the Central Coast and the Bay Area. He is based in Monterey and is a member of The ImageMakers of Monterey and The Independent Photographers.

Samson Reading Room, Fall 2016

Visit the Samson Reading Room to view the new Global Perspectives Gallery. It features photos taken by MIIS alumna Sumaya Agha during her work documenting the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and include a presentation about her work and the human stories behind the crisis.

Sumaya Agha is a freelance photographer from the Monterey Peninsula who has spent over three years documenting the Syrian refugee crisis and the related refugee crisis flooding Europe. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, BBC Focus on Africa, Forbes Africa,, and The New York Times.

The photographs are of Syrian refugees in Jordan, living in refugee camps and host communities and refugee, and refugees migrating through Europe. The photos were taken to document humanitarian projects, to show the need of refugees, and to produce human interest stories of the beneficiaries. Most of the work was produced for Mercy Corps. News coverage of the gallery opening can be viewed here.

More of Sumaya’s work can be viewed online here.

GSIPM Front Desk, Spring 2016

img_1076The front desk of the GSIPM department was redesigned. In addition to receiving a coat of blue paint and a new sign, the area now displays student photos.  Students were asked to submit photos from immersive learning experiences, and ultimately six were chosen for display. They represent Bhutan, Japan, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, and Rwanda. These photos were printed on high quality canvas and are displayed with a single explanatory placard.




Samson Center, Fall 2015

life-aquatic-yeji-goodmanjpgThis project refreshed the art hanging in the Samson Student Center. The winning submissions from the 2015 MIIS Photography Contest were framed and hung along with explanatory captions.


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