Irene Chan, Visual Arts and Asian Studies, in Women’s Studio Workshop Spotlight

Irene Chan, Visual Arts and Asian Studies, is featured in an interview published by Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW), an arts center she first visited back in 1996 as a studio intern. She speaks about the development of her artwork, her use of materials, and her projects about racial and cultural identity. Read the interview here on WSW’s website.

Maurice Berger, CADVC, Latest “Race Story” in The New York Times

In the latest essay for his Race Stories column in The New York Times, Maurice Berger, research professor at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, shares his take on the thousands of photographs flooding out of Ferguson, Missouri. “Historically, photography was integral to the fight against racism and segregation. Leaders from Sojourner Truth to Malcolm X embraced the photograph’s potential as evidence and its ability to combat stereotypes,” writes Berger. “But sometimes, as in Ferguson, the camera has served as a more spontaneous ‘weapon of choice,’ as the photographer Gordon Parks called it, wielded by the oppressed in moments of anger, fear or frustration.”

Read “In Ferguson, Photographs as Powerful Agents” and view the photographs at The New York Times Lens blog.

Berger’s Race Stories column, which appears monthly on The New York Times website, is “a continuing exploration of the relationship of race to photographic portrayals of race.”

Linda Dusman, Music, and Eric Smallwood, Visual Art, Awarded TEDCO MII Grant

Symphony Interactive Screen

Symphony Interactive Screen

Linda Dusman, Music, and Eric Smallwood, Visual Arts, in partnership with the School of Music at the University of Maryland, College Park, have received a $150,000 Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) grant for their work on the tablet app, Symphony Interactive. MII was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions (Johns Hopkins University; Morgan State University; UMCP; University of Maryland Baltimore; and UMBC), and is managed by TEDCO, created by the Maryland State Legislature in 1998 to facilitate the transfer and commercialization of technology from Maryland’s research universities and federal labs into the marketplace. The MII program promotes the commercialization of academic research conducted in the partnership universities. Symphony Interactive is only the second project within the humanities ever to receive an award from MII, and the first to be funded in the arts and humanities at UMBC.

SI_CommaderControlSymphony Interactive provides contemporary audiences a novel way to engage with live orchestral performances. Through both text and images presented through a unique interface at the exact moment the information is most pertinent to the music, SI enables an enriched experience for users by allowing them to learn about the music and its cultural history during its performance. Acting as an informed “friend,” the app subtly provides information to enhance engagement, keeping the experience of the live performance paramount. During the grant period, the SI team will create a library for thirty of the most performed orchestral works, producing unique textual and visual information for each piece. Over the next nine months, the grant funding also will enable developing a more fully featured proof of concept application, expanding the social media extensions of the app, and performing valuable market research to aid in the commercialization process.

The Symphony Interactive project has been in development since 2011, with support from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Development has progressed through collaboration with many faculty, staff and students from Music, Visual Arts, the Imaging Research Center, Human Centered Computing, and the Department of Information Technology. Symphony Interactive has been tested in performances by the UMBC Symphony, and most recently at the National Orchestra Institute at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Upcoming Public Art Installation (8/13)

Thomas Sayre RenderingStudents, faculty and staff are invited to visit the PAHB grounds, on the side facing Lot 8, on August 13 to witness the installation of eight large “earth cast” half-arches that will be set into the ground to create a public gathering space, provisionally entitled “Forum.” The half-arches are major pieces of this public art project, designed and produced by renowned artist Thomas Sayre. Final landscaping and a dedication of the artwork will take place in the fall.

“Rough, irregular, the color of the land we walk upon, the arches create a composition reminiscent of classic academic cloisters where light and shadow will dance across the highly animated, earthcast surfaces,” says the artist.

Please note that this installation will require the closure of Hilltop Road in this area of the campus all day on August 13 (and possibly on August 14), however, access to Lot 8 will not be impacted. Any deliveries to this part of campus during the installation should use the paved thoroughfare between ITE and Sherman Hall.

The Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI), was signed into law last year, and UMBC agreed to pursue a pilot public art project under this initiative on the PAHB. Thomas Sayre was selected following a national search conducted by UMBC in partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council. The selection committee voted Sayre’s concept as the most reflective of UMBC’s vision of a public art installation that invites community engagement, reflects the passage of time, and embraces the values and culture of UMBC.

Thomas Sayre has designed and built public art projects throughout the world and has participated in design teams for civic, educational and museum buildings. Along with architect Steve Schuster, Sayre is a founding principal in the multi-disciplinary design firm Clearscapes, based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sayre believes that art will only work when disparate opinions come together through collaboration to form a coherent vision.

The selection committee included Vice President for Administration and Finance Lynne Schaefer, University Architect Joseph Rexing, Sr. Project Manager Mickey Miller (University of Maryland, Baltimore), Alex Castro and Jan Goldstein (Maryland Commission on Public Art), Associate Professor Helen Burgess (English), Associate Professor Preminda Jacob (visual arts), Professor Timothy Nohe (visual arts, CIRCA director), Associate Professor Sandy Parker (geography and environmental systems), Professor Phyllis Robinson (biological sciences), Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Yvette Mozie-Ross, Associate Professor Liz Walton (dance) and architect Cliff Gayley (William Rawn Associates).

Niels Van Tomme, CADVC, Named Curator of the 7th Bucharest Biennale

nielsvt_web1Niels Van Tomme, Visiting Curator of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, has been named Curator of the 7th Bucharest Biennale (Bucharest International Biennial for Contemporary Art), to take place May 26 to July 17, 2016.

The Bucharest Biennale is interested in exploring links between creative practice and social progress, as well as correspondences between local and global contexts. Now in its tenth year, the Biennale continues to build a strong partnership between Bucharest—a geocultural space where the political is reflected in all aspects of life—and the rest of the world. In transcending specific geographical, historical, or political frameworks, it connects to a broader complexity, namely the one of “resistance” within the quotidian realm.

More information about the Biennale is available on its website.

Maurice Berger, CADVC, Latest “Race Story” in the New York Times

In the latest essay for his Race Stories column in The New York Times, Maurice Berger, research professor at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, examines Dawoud Bey’s intimate and powerful 2007 portrait of Barack Obama prior to becoming president. The essay is being co-published by the Hillman Photography Initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art. “The photograph depicts its famously private and introspective subject only months before he was to step into the abyss of presidential politics. And it defines him free of the stereotypes and myths that have come to characterize his presidency,” observers Berger.

Read “Meditation on President Obama’s Portrait” and view the photograph at the New York Times Lens blog.

Berger’s Race Stories column has featured several essays centered upon race and photography, including Malcolm X as image maker, Ken Gonzales-Day, images of emancipation, the photographs of Deborah Will, and the civil rights work of James Karales.

Performing Arts and Humanities Building Grand Opening Celebration (9/19)

Wednesday, September 19
2:00 – 9:00 p.m.

You are invited to join President Freeman Hrabowski, Governor Martin O’Malley and the UMBC community on Wednesday, September 19 as we celebrate the opening of the first phase of UMBC’s Performing Arts and Humanities Building.

2 p.m.
Phase One Ribbon Cutting and Phase Two Groundbreaking Ceremony with Governor Martin O’Malley
Performing Arts and Humanities Building Entrance

4–6:30 p.m.
Arts and Humanities Festival
Featuring food trucks, UMBC student groups and community performers, and a jazz concert with Lafayette Gilchrist ’92, Africana Studies.
Performing Arts and Humanities Building Grounds

3:30–5 p.m.
UMBC and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Present: New Space
Leaders breaking fresh ground in the region’s cultural land- scape reveal the physical, conceptual, and virtual spaces that motivate their work, answering the question: How do new spaces inspire us to think, create and engage in expected and unexpected ways?
Proscenium Theatre
A limited number of free tickets will be available at the door.

New Space Presenters:

  • Wendy Salkind, UMBC Theatre & Jessica Berman, UMBC English
  • Fred Lazarus, MICA & Tim Nohe, UMBC Visual Arts
  • Vincent Lancisi, Everyman Theatre & David Mitchell, Arena Players
  • Doreen Bolger, BMA & George Ciscle, founder, The Contemporary
  • Liz Lerman, Choreographer & Sharayna Christmas Rose, Muse 360
  • Kalima Young, The Baltimore Art + Justice Project & Nicole King, UMBC American Studies
  • Marvin Pinkert, Jewish Museum of Maryland & Kevin Griffin Moreno ‘95, Full Circle Storytelling

Moderator: Tom Hall, Baltimore Choral Arts Society & WYPR Radio Host

4:30–6:30 p.m.
Tours of the building

7–8:30 p.m.
Inaugural Lecture: The Humanities Forum Presents “The Humanities, Without Apology,” featuring Pauline Yu, President of the American Council of Learned Societies
Proscenium Theatre, followed by dessert reception in PAHB Lobby
Students, faculty, and staff can pick up free tickets at The Commons information desk until September 18. Tickets will also be available at the door.
(An additional calendar listing with more details will be posted.)