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.”

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.

Maurice Berger, CADVC, Receives Warhol Foundation Fellowship

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded Maurice Berger, CADVC, a $100,000 grant in support of his forthcoming curatorial project, Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television. Berger was awarded $50,000 by the Warhol Foundation to support the research of Revolution of the Eye in 2012.

This exhibition and publication project represents the first collaborative institutional effort between the CADVC and the Jewish Museum in New York, where Maurice holds the title of Consulting Curator. The grant will be administered by The Jewish Museum.

Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television is currently scheduled to be open at the Jewish Museum in New York in May 2015. The exhibition will have a major national tour, traveling to additional venues through 2017 including The Addison Gallery of America Art, Andover, MA; The Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; and Nova Southeastern University of Art, Ft. Lauderdale. The exhibition will be on display at the CADVC in the fall of 2016.

About Revolution of The Eye:

“From the early-1940s through the mid-1960s, a dynamic new visual medium emerged in the United States that, in its risk-taking and aesthetic experimentation, paralleled the cutting-edge nature of modern art: television. The revolutionary and uncharted medium attracted younger television executives, writers, producers, and directors. Scores of socially and culturally progressive and predominantly Jewish network executives, producers, directors, art directors, and writers—figures such as Paddy Chayefsky, William Golden, Leonard Goldenson, Robert Kintner, Ernie Kovacs, Dan Melnick, William S. Paley, David Sarnoff, Frank Stanton, David Susskind, and Rod Serling—mined the aesthetic, stylistic, and conceptual possibilities of a new and powerful technology. These innovators worked in a cultural milieu far less constricted by the competition for box office revenue and the censorious production codes then preoccupying the motion picture industry.

As the geographic focus of the networks shifted from the Hollywood movie studios to a television industry initially centered in New York, the proximity of these innovators to the city’s dynamic artistic and cultural community—particularly the avant-garde art and philosophies of the New York School, an artistic milieu also with a significant Jewish presence—would result in a powerful conceptual and stylistic synergy between modern art and early television.”

More information about the exhibition and the grant is available at the Warhol Foundation’s website.

Sandra Abbott, CADVC, Kata Frederick and Victor Torres ’15, IMDA MFA, in The Baltimore Guide

GoateeGuy-V“What is our current understanding of foreignness and otherness? What is the threshold at which something becomes ‘other’ or ‘foreign’?” These remarks by IMDA MFA candidate Victor Torres, recently appeared in a review of his project, “Highlandtown Pop-Up” by The Baltimore Guide. IMDA MFA candidate, Kata Frederick, also appeared in a performance at the event.

CharcoalGuy-V“Highlandtown Pop-Up” was made possible through a partnership between Highlandtown Main Street, a program of the Southeast Community Development Corp., the Highlandtown Arts District, and the Community Outreach Program of UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC).

As member of the Highlandtown Arts District, Sandra Abbott, curator of collections and outreach, CADVC, appreciates the chance to create community partnerships, in which UMBC graduate students have the opportunity to showcase their work in Baltimore City.

NEH Extends ‘For All The World to See’ through 2019

The traveling tour of For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, curated by Maurice Berger, CADVC, has been extended by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), due to it’s popularity and success as an “NEH on the Road” exhibition. 

With six venues for the larger version of the exhibition and additional venues for “NEH on the Road,” the exhibition tour will exceed 40 venues in well over 25 states. Symmes Gardner, executive director of the CADVC says, “With nearly 800,000 visitors for the big show, we now anticipate at least 1 million visitors by the time the smaller exhibition closes in 2019.”

For All the World to See was presented at UMBC in 2012.

MFA Thesis Exhibition Reviewed in Bmore Art Blog

IMG_96561The Imaging and Digital Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition, featuring work by Michael Farley, Charlotte Keniston, Lexie Mountain, Shana Palmer, Carrie Rennolds, and Dominique Zeltzman was reviewed in the contemporary art blog Bmore Art this week. Founding Editor Cara Ober described the exhibition as an “effortless, yet thoughtful, balance between formal and conceptual concerns and digital process, a sign that this group is well prepared for the larger art world.”

Read the review “Imaging A Thesis”