Surdna Foundation Awards Grant to Imaging Research Center for Liz Lerman Residency

lizlermantomwolffThe Surdna Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering sustainable communities in the United States, has awarded $95,882 to the Imaging Research Center, in partnership with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, to establish a Spring 2015 residency by renowned choreographer Liz Lerman.

The purpose of this residency is to develop an approach to building and sustaining an online interface for Liz Lerman’s “toolbox” of artistic practices in community-engaged projects, and to do so in a way that incorporates the needs and perspectives of a diverse community of users. Lerman will join researchers at the IRC at UMBC as a Research Professor, and from that “home base” will directly engage with the university and regional communities, and with the broader world via an interactive website. Her work at the IRC will begin with the specific focus of disseminating her lauded developmental work on important behavioral and creativity tools that are valuable not only to artists, but also across diverse communities where creativity in a social context is a key demand. IRC researchers will work with her and diverse groups to create online digital media to make accessible the processes Lerman conceived and developed during her career as a socially-engaged dancer and choreographer. The work will engage broad audiences and this particular project will leverage current research and resources that UMBC, CAHSS, and IRC are investing in the communities of Baltimore. The development of a user-focused website of Lerman’s work is a challenge that matches both the IRC’s mission and expertise in visual communication, collaboration, learning and online dissemination of important information to the general public. Of equal importance will be Lerman’s engagement as a visiting artist/scholar with UMBC’s faculty, staff, students and regional communities.

“I am convinced that creative research laboratories bring significant information to various fields. They provide new platforms for building relationships between artists and universities, and between organizations and their neighborhoods, and they provide convening spaces for the explosion of trans-domain activities that are naturally occurring in response to the complex questions of our time,” noted Lerman.

Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance, and the 2014 Dance/USA Honor Award. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, construction workers to ballerinas, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and cultivated the company’s unique multi-generational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance until 2011. She was an artist-in-residence and visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 2011, the same year that she instigated the National Civil War Project. Her investigation of the impact of war on medicine, Healing Wars, premiered at Arena Stage in 2014. Other projects include the genre-twisting work Blood Muscle Bone with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Urban Bush Women; teaching her Critical Response Process around the world from the UK (Puppet Animation, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the London Sinfonietta. The Federation of Scottish Theatres) to Australia; and an online project called “The Treadmill Tapes: Ideas on the Move.” In 2013 she curated Wesleyan University’s symposium “Innovations: Intersection of Art and Science,” bringing together teams of artists and scientists from North America to present their methods and findings. Her collection of essays, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press and was released in paperback in 2014.

Read more about the grant here on the IRC’s website.

CAHSS Centers Fellowship Proposal Workshop (12/5)

facstaff5HRPresented by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, CIRCA, IRC, and MIPAR on Friday, December 5, 2014, from 11 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. (ITE 456). Registration is required. Click here to register.

Registration is open for faculty who are interested in or planning to apply for a 2015 CAHSS Center Summer Faculty Research Fellowship (SFRF) and/or a Dresher Center Residential Faculty Research Fellowship. The Center directors will discuss these fellowships, the application process, their evaluation criteria, and expectations for fellowship recipients. Participants will learn what makes a proposal successful and tips for creating effective applications. Time will be allotted for Q&A and small-group discussion.

Call for proposals for CAHSS Center SFRF will be issued by CAHSS in mid-November; proposals will be due on February 15, 2015. The Dresher Center Residential Fellowship application will also be issued this fall, with a May 1, 2015 deadline.

Dan Bailey, Imaging Research Center, on WYPR, Discusses “BEARINGS of Baltimore Circa 1815″

Baltimore1815_0Dan Bailey, professor of Visual Arts and director of the Imaging Research Center, was interviewed by WYPR’s Sheilah Kast on Wednesday, September 3. Bailey, along with Kristin Schenning of the Maryland Historical Society, discussed the UMBC/MHS collaborative project entitled “BEARINGS of Baltimore Circa 1815.” The on air interview is available online here.

Combining historical research with cutting-edge effects technology, the Bird’s Eye Annotated Representational Image/Navigable Gigapixel Scene (BEARINGS) of Baltimore, Circa 1815 provides a detailed rendition of the burgeoning city and conveys Baltimore’s prominence as a seaport and a commercial hub for the young country. By 1815, Baltimore was the third largest city in the United States; the IRC’s work recreates a view of its streets and buildings in significant detail. The IRC’s project is on view in the exhibition Full Glory: Maryland during the War of 1812 at the Maryland Historical Society (201 W. Monument Street, Baltimore). General information about BEARINGS of Baltimore Circa 1815 can be found here.

Additionally, Tamara Peters, faculty research assistant in the IRC, who has been the research lead on the project for two years, will speak at a TEDxUMBC event on Saturday, September 13. More details are here.

BEARINGS of Baltimore Circa 1815 was funded in part by the Maryland Department of Tourism and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

Lee Boot, Visual Arts, IRC, to Speak at Annual Cultural Arts for Education Conference

bootLee Boot, Imaging Resource Center, will present as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Cultural Arts for Education (CAFE) Conference Thursday, May 29. The conference, presented by Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance, invites arts educators and advocates from around the state to share, learn and discuss themes of “education, creativity and innovation” in their fields. The title of this year’s CAFE Conference is “Fresh Food for Thought: Come Nurture Your Creativity.”

Learn more about the CAFE Conference at the AEMS website.

MAP Exhibition Features Nicole King, American Studies, and Stephen Bradley, Visual Arts

Beginning next month, the Maryland Art Place will host the exhibition Oasis Places, featuring the work of five artists, including collaborative work by Nicole King, American Studies, and Stephen Bradley, Visual Arts.

Bradley states that the collaborative, inter-media art piece consists of multiple parts including Place Immersion which, “reframes an industrialized community in Baltimore City called Greater Baybrook by homaging the lost neighborhood and it’s remnants of material culture, including photographic travel archives and field recordings of voices, stories and sounds of the existing place.” The writings of Nicole King are meant to “punctuate the transitional spirit of the [Baybrook] community so similar to other industrialized places in the world.” The result is a hybrid and comprehensive website, MappingBaybrook.org, that makes its debut on the evening of the opening.

Oasis Places opens Thursday, May 9 from 6-9 pm, with a panel discussion from 6-7 pm. The exhibition continues through Saturday, June 22

This work is the culmination of a project which began with the help of a 2010 summer fellowship granted by the Imaging Resource Center. Since then, King and Bradley have continued to work in Baltimore’s Brooklyn-Curtis Bay neighborhoods.

Can You Solve President Hrabowski’s Favorite Math Problem?

The Imaging Research Center (IRC) recently filmed several faculty as they attempted to solve President Hrabowski’s favorite math problem. As told to Nagaraj Neerchal and Manil Suri, mathematics and statistics, and Anne Spence, mechanical engineering, the problem is as follows:

29 children are in a class.

20 have dogs.

15 have cats.

How many have both a dog and a cat?

Watch the video below to see the various methods and strategies used by the professors to answer the problem.

UMBC Professors Solve F. Hrabowski’s Favorite Math Problem from ircumbc on Vimeo.

Kevin Kallaugher, Artist-in-Residence, in Financiarul

Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, UMBC artist-in-residence and cartoonist for The Economist and The Baltimore Sun, is exhibiting his work at the National Museum of Contemporary Arts in Bucharest, and was co-organized with the U.S. Embassy in Romania. The exhibit opened May 15.

The exhibit was covered by Financiarul on May 17, with the newspaper writing that it portrays “a wide range of themes, including American symbols, the fight against terror, the American economy and big corporations, the US in a world context as well as American political leaders.”

The English-language version of the article can be found here.