The campus community and the public are cordially invited to attend the grand opening of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building on Friday, October 17. At 3:00 p.m., an official ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in the Recital Hall, followed by a reception, building tours, performances and open rehearsals. We will also commemorate the installation of the new public artwork by Thomas Sayre. A detailed schedule will be published soon.
“The just-completed Performing Arts and Humanities Building atop the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County,” says fine arts critic Tim Smith of The Baltimore Sun, “makes quite a statement from almost every angle — the sun-reflecting, stainless-steel-wrapped Concert Hall; the glass-enclosed Dance Cube jutting from the structure; views of the downtown Baltimore skyline from upper floors.”
Smith’s feature, accompanied by photographs by Barbara Haddock Taylor, ran in The Sun on Sunday, August 31, and includes an interview with Scott Casper, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Forum, the public artwork by Thomas Sayre being constructed in front of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, has been covered by local papers in North Carolina, where the “earth cast” columns were fabricated:
August 13, North Raleigh New – North Raleigh seniors dig unearthed art.
Students, 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).
UMBC today joins the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) in announcing the names of three finalists selected to create a public art installation outside of the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building (PAHB). More than 140 artists submitted qualifications for the $397,000 commission.
The three finalists—Barbara Grygutis, Thomas Sayre and the collaborative Mags Harries and Lajos Héder—all have experience creating works of large-scale public art with an emphasis on contextual relevance. They were selected based on the merit of prior work and their vision for UMBC.
Timothy Nohe, director of the Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) and professor of visual arts, and Lynne Schaefer, vice president for administration and finance, led an extensive campus outreach effort over the fall semester as part of this process. Their efforts resulted in the vision of a public art installation that invites community gathering, reflects the passage of time, and embraces the values and culture of UMBC.
“The artists have had a month to create a site-specific design concept that supports a year-round destination where people can gather, sit, reflect and engage with each other in an outdoor setting,” says Lucas Cowan, public art program director at the MSAC.
Timothy Nohe adds, “UMBC imagines an environment in which ‘can’t’ is replaced by ‘how,’ and the chosen project will represent that spirit of collaborative innovation.”
On March 3, each of the finalists will present their concept to UMBC’s principal selection committee. The chosen artist will be notified shortly thereafter, with the project expected to be completed by August 2014.
UMBC partnered with the MSAC for guidance on commissioning the public art project. The Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI), signed into law last year, requires state-funded construction or major renovation projects to include a public art component. The university invited the MSAC to add its expertise to this important and highly visible public art project.
Barbara Grygutis has created more than 70 works of large-scale public art in locations across the United States and beyond. Her awards and accolades include the National Endowment for the Arts’ Individual Artist Fellowship and an Individual Project Design, and second place in the International Quadrennial Competition in Faenza, Italy. In addition to her permanent public art installations, Grygutis’ work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York; Bronx Museum in New York City; and Parker Collection for the vice president’s residence and the White House, both in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit her website.
Mags Harries and Lajos Héder formed Harries/Héder Collaborative in Cambridge, MA in 1990 and have worked together on more than 25 major public commissions since then. They bring to their collaboration the different worlds of art and architecture. Mags contributes her experience as a sculptor and a teacher, as well as her past work creating public art. Lajos, in addition to being an artist, was trained as an architect and has worked on community projects, urban design, site planning, architecture and construction. Their focus, however, is shared: to activate public space through art. On every project, Harries and Héder collaborate fully in the development of design and ideas, drawing from separate skills and areas of expertise. Their work has been recognized for many local and national awards, which the pair attributes to their partnerships with community members, engineers, landscape architects and other artists. Click here to visit their website.
Thomas Sayre has designed and built public art projects all over 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. Click here to visit his website.
Principal Selection Committee (from UMBC unless otherwise noted)
Vice President for Administration and Finance Lynne Schaefer, University Architect Joseph Rexing, Service Center 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, and architect Cliff Gayley (William Rawn Associates).
Fabulous Presto, an original production created and directed by Department of Theatre faculty member, Colette Searls, opens this Thursday, November 29 in the PAHB Black Box Theatre, and will continue on through Sunday, December 2.
Fabulous Presto is a quirky variety show of puppet acts for adults, mixing humans with objects and old-fashioned spectacle with high-tech tricks. Creatures emerge out of packing material in one act — a puppet undergoes cosmetic surgery in another. At turns humorous, uncanny and weird, this is a production where anything goes and every THING wants to come out to play.
Thursday, November 29, 4 p.m. (free performance for the UMBC campus community)
Friday, November 30, 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 1, 2 p.m.
Saturday, December 1, 8 p.m.
Sunday, December 2, 2 p.m.
This production is inappropriate for children under 12.
Philip Rous, Provost and Senior Vice President
On Wednesday, September 19, the campus will celebrate the grand opening of Phase I of the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building with a series of outdoor programs and festivities, including a ribbon cutting ceremony with Governor Martin O’Malley. This day marks an exceptional occasion for the university, and we hope that you will be able to join us for some or all of the events.
From 2:00 to 6:30 p.m. on the PAHB grounds (on the north side facing Parking Lot 8), a series of outdoor programs will use amplification. While we hope to minimize any disturbance to academic activity, it is possible that the sound of remarks or live musicians may be disruptive, especially to classrooms in the PAHB, Fine Arts and the side of Engineering facing the new building. If you have concerns that the events may create a particular hardship for your work or teaching, please contact Tony Moreira at firstname.lastname@example.org or x56576, or Sandy Campbell at email@example.com or ext. 5-6878.