Curatorial Practice

Press

Local Artists Come Together To Honor History Of Baltimore's Only Pool For African Americans
From CBS Baltimore
By Tracey Leong
May 7, 2017 | weblink

The goal of this exhibit is to highlight a painful piece of history and create a dialogue that engages all generations. During segregation, this swimming area was known as pool number two, the only pool for African Americans in Baltimore...

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Mural project aims to transform buildings, perception of East Baltimore

From The Baltimore Sun
By Brittany Britto
January 13, 2017 | weblink

East Baltimore's Oliver and Johnston Square neighborhoods have suffered high levels of violence, blight and drug trafficking.

But they're also home to historic landmarks such as the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and Green Mount Cemetery, resilient communities and efforts to redevelop.

Yvonne Hardy-Phillips — whose family has invested in East Baltimore since the early 1970s — is intent on telling the neighborhood's story, fostering pride and making sure that area is recognized as a vital part of Baltimore. 

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The Magic That Is Indigo
From BmoreArt
By Angela N. Carroll
June 15, 2016 | weblink

There's something magical about the color blue. Blue energy. The blues. The color's varied shades and moods have been the muse of countless poets, musicians, novelists, scholars, and visual artists. 

Betty Carter's Afro Blue, Miles' Kind of Blue, Ellington's Mood Indigo, Joni's Blue, Davis' Blue Women, Baraka's Transbluesency, Sanchez’s A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women, the ever present blue of Bearden’s collages, and countless other masterpieces have been inspired by this color.

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Keep It Moving May 2
From WEAA
By Marsha Jews
May 3, 2016 | weblink

Host Marsha Jews speaks with three guests who share common thread: three entrepreneurs who have forever done it their way. Jews opens with Wendy Paris, Author of Splitopia: Dispatches from Today's Good Divorce and How to Part Well - wish I knew her a long time ago. 

The next segment is hosted by Susan Smallwood, Entreprenuer who not only owns Grandiosity Events, a luxury event planning agency, but she puts on extraordinary events that benefit non-profit organizations - this time Grandiosity2 is benefiting young men and veterans, Susan will be joined by her sponsors and recipients on Saturday, May 21. 

Our third segment is about one of my special things - visual art - we will chat with Kibibi Ajanku, Guest Curator at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum with INDIGO MAGIC opening Thursday, May 5 at 6pm.

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The Broken Rainbow
From BmoreArt
By Angela N. Carroll
May 20, 2016 | weblink

Can you name the lone black character in the Charles Schultz cult classic serial franchise Peanuts? I polled a small collection of friends and family and none of us could remember his name. It’s Franklin. Franklin? Yep.

Franklin is one of the earliest token characters I can recall. Tokens are flatly raced characters, whose appearance in sitcoms passively fulfills the “we are the world” rainbow diversity initiatives of the late seventies and eighties. If you think back to the popular culture and sitcoms of that era, you will notice a trend of tokenized characters.

I refer to these types of shows as broken rainbows. Broken rainbows are surface representations of diversity. They feature no more than one Black, Asian, or Latino character, and each’s narrative and dialogic contributions are limited.

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Culture As Medium: Breaking Down the Walls Between Art and Science
From Mostly Microbes
By Ann M. Estes, PhD
March 28, 2016 | weblink

This spring – Baltimore will host all meanings of the word culture under one grand exhibition – Culture as Medium. Culture.

To some culture is art, music, the symphony, opera, classical literature. Culture is societal. It is something that emerges from our collective.

However, culture can also be much smaller, individualized, and active. Conducted by medical professionals and scientists clad in crisp, white lab coats.

A culture of bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other microscopic cells can be actively maintained – cultured – in the laboratory under certain conditions. 

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Outside the Art World's Regimes: The MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art
From Art & Education
By Owen Duffy
Spring 2016 | weblink

Within the context of any city, art embodies a Janus-faced means. It can uplift, engage, and provoke progressive discourse, while also being a convenient path to gentrification. MICA’s MFA in Curatorial Practice (CP)—the first curatorial MFA in the United States—rigorously prepares its students to accomplish the former while being all too mindful of the latter. 

The program’s current director, George Ciscle, started CP in 2011 after retiring from The Contemporary, a roving contemporary art museum he founded in Baltimore in 1989, and which he popularized after co-organizing Fred Wilson’s Mining the Museum project in 1992–1993. 

Through CP, Ciscle hoped to augment MICA’s efforts to have a “relationship outside of itself.” Ciscle blithely admits he is not training his students to become the next curator at MoMA (“not that they are not qualified to be,” he punctuated this statement). Rather, the idea of localized engagement takes precedence.

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Podcasts on Process: With Liz Lerman
From Life as a Modern Dancer
By Kirsten Marie Walsh
September 10, 2015 | weblink 

Liz Lerman and I met in 2013 while I was a graduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in the MFA in Curatorial Practice program. As the inaugural Graduate Fellow at The Contemporary, I was granted the incredible opportunity to shadow her and her team for two full years.

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MICA Exhibit Explores Significance of Historic Intersection
From WBALTV
By Megan Pringle
September 4, 2015 | weblink

An exhibit just opened at the Maryland Institute College of Art that connects the past and present in a single spot.

 It looks at one place over 100 years, telling the stories of people, places and events and shows how one intersection has helped shape the city.

It was at the intersection of North Avenue and Charles Street where the first traffic light in the city was located. 

This intersection is important to Baltimore past and it's the reason MICA students took this intersection and moved it into a gallery.

"We think that's a pretty exciting way to look at history," MICA student curator Margaret MacDonald said. "We kind of turn it into another kind of realm that we can experience."

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Directing Pain Through Art in the Wake of the #BaltimoreUprising
From City Paper
By Rebekah Kirkman
May 8th, 2015 | weblink

"Did you see that? That store got its window smashed," a white man lamented to me on the bus a couple of days after the events of last Monday. 

A lot of people have been saying these kinds of things, while remaining silent about the slew of violence and oppression committed against African-American people on a daily basis. 

This has been articulated thoughtfully by a number of writers and activists, and this sentiment implies that property is more valuable than black lives.

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"River of Recyclables" to Flow Across Johns Hopkins Campus on Earth Day
From The HUB
By Katie Pearce
April 21, 2015 | weblink

Christopher Beer is interested in trash. 

The collection the young curator pulled together for Synergy—the art exhibit now on display in Gallery Q at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library—creates new expressions for discarded junk. 

Fish sculptures are crafted from rusted old bike frames, shovel heads, and toaster parts. 

Retired garden hoses coil around one another in the shape of a large egg. In one photo, an octopus drapes over a dismantled camera.

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Baltimore Trash Talk: Where Litter and Art Meet
From Baltimore FishBowl
By Laurel Peltier
April 16, 2015 | weblink

This Earth Day, a new River of Recycling will be flowing on the Johns Hopkins University “Beach.”

Bridget Parlato was fed up with the trash littering her daily Patterson Park walks. So she rolled up her sleeves and founded Baltimore Trash Talk and launched the 5¢ bottle-and-can exchange River of Recycling.

With another River of Recycling and trash art exhibition planned for this Earth Day, and the Baltimore Office of Sustainability’s big push in finding solutions to our town’s litter, Charm City may actually get more charming. 

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Soldiers Find Healing Through Art
From What Weekly
By Emily Kohlenstein
Spring 2015 | weblink

From music therapy and acupuncture to therapy dogs and yoga, there are alternative ways to cope with trauma that are becoming more mainstream. 

Today, there are so many creative alternative therapies for our military members who suffer from injuries like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression, addiction, abuse, or physical injury. 

Innovative artists Ehren Tool and Drew Matott are using ceramics and papermaking as engaging, transformative, and empowering tools for healing. 

These artists talk about their experiences with the military and reveal how art has transformed each of their senses of self.

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Now See This
From City Paper
By Lindsay VanAsdalan 
February 15, 2015 | weblink

It's Sunday, and you have to do laundry before work Monday morning. Laundry's usually a drag, but this time you will hear celebratory Baltimore stories over the swish of your spin cycle. 

A welcome departure from the hum of a dozen machines--and you know, from those not-so-celebratory Baltimore stories we often get. 

At the Spin Cycle Coin Laundromat, a commonplace setting will be populated with art, featuring students from Excel Academy and performances by Ama Chandra and Jahiti. Ms. Penny, an East Baltimore native and the event's featured domestic artist, explores the art of everyday life by making laundry folding into a delicate art form. 

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American Culture: Love of Place
From WYPR
By Dan Rodricks
February 5, 2015 | weblink

Do you love where you live? Do young Americans now move for a job or a sense of place? How important is location to happiness? 

Our guests: Sheri Parks, Midday’s American culture commentator; Katherine Loflin, a consultant whose research focuses specifically on "place making” and what drives human attachment to cities; and Melani N. Douglass, founder of the The Family Arts Museum and creator of an upcoming "love of place" pop-up event at the Spin City Laundromat in Baltimore. 

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Locally Sourced
From City Paper
By Maura Callahan
September 5, 2014 | weblink

Now more than ever, Station North is in a state of transformation.

The neighborhood has seen a boom in gallery spaces, street art, and studios since it was appointed the Arts and Entertainment district by the state in 2002, particularly in the past few years.

While more white artists and students (myself included) become increasingly present in the neighborhood, the rest of the (predominantly black) community finds itself in a state of confusion, where the definition of “community” is less and less clear.

To address these issues, MICA’s MFA Curatorial Practice Class of 2015 has put together an exhibition, called "Locally Sourced," of local artists that highlights community engagement and visibility.

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Teaching and Learning Exhibition Design and Development 
From The Exhibitionist 
By Barbara Brennan
Fall 2014, Vol. 33, No. 2 | weblink

Exhibition design is fun. In fact, I can't imagine more rewarding or satisfying work. Yet, like many professionals in the field today, I stumbled into my career accidentally. 

When I joined the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) staff in 1980, the exhibition design department consisted of an illustrator, oil painter, architect, fashion designer, and graphic designer (me). 

Most museum exhibitions at that time were "designed" by curators or scientists, occasionally assisted by artists, who created dioramas or dramatic stage sets for the display of exotic curiosities. 

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Life on Mars Gets Artistic Look in New MICA, Johns Hopkins Space Exhibition
From Baltimore Post Examiner 
By Anthony C. Hayes
May 1, 2014 | weblink

Many of the earliest and most famous images of the windswept red planet Mars carried the gentle disclaimer “Artist’s Conception.” 

This reliance on art to stimulate scientific endeavors (or more precisely – investment dollars) has changed dramatically over the last five decades as programs such as the Viking Lander and Mars Rover have revealed a world more intoxicating than anyone could ever imagine.

But the question today seems to be: Does art still have a place in inspiring space exploration in an age of satellite-mounted telescopes and interstellar missions? 

A new exhibition currently on display at the Johns Hopkins University Milton S. Eisenhower library would seem to answer that query with a resounding “Yes”.

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Curating Community 
From BmoreArt
By Cara Ober
April 23, 2014 | weblink

Curating is a relatively new role, compared to the historical depth of visual art as a professional practice. Thus, the title of curator comes with constant evolution and responsibilities in a rapidly developing field. 

MICA’s MFA in Curatorial Practice Program 2014 (affectionately dubbed CP ’14), exemplifies this dynamic and diverse curatorial model, influenced by the vision of program director, George Ciscle.

Besides creating exhibits, MICA’s CP curators seek to connect with people; they emotionally invest in the communities they work with, and care about the outcomes and sustainability of their projects. 

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Explaining Baltimore's Complicated Relationship With Its Sister Cities
From City Lab
By Mark Byrnes
April 21, 2014 | weblink

Few people could name their city's "sister cities." Fewer could explain why the moniker even exists.The United States began forming sister city partnerships in 1956, in an effort to foster meaningful cultural exchanges. 

Baltimore's own connections began 40 years ago, when Mayor William Donald Schaefer reached out to other, mostly port cities. Gbarnga, Liberia, signed on first in 1973. Bremerhaven, Germany, is the most recent addition, joining in 2007.

But the aims of these partnerships are often fuzzy. And outcomes "vary considerably." Ashely Molese, a graduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, learned that firsthand while working on her senior thesis.

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Language+: Let's Art a Conversation!
From Socially Engaged Art Journal
By Ada Pinkston
April 17, 2014 | weblink 

Language+: Let’s art a conversation! provides an opportunity for students from The Park School of Baltimore and Baltimore Lab School to develop artistic forms of communication through workshops with professional artists and talks by guest lecturers. 

The workshops and talks incorporate the schools’ curricula and interests into multiple formats of art making that introduce students to auditory, visual, and kinesthetic modes of self-expression.

Both Park and Lab School embrace contemporary, progressive education, making them ideal partners for Language+. The schools share the belief, espoused by John Dewey in his book Education & Experience, that education should be based on an individual’s needs and experiences. 

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MICA Graduate Student Stretches Boundaries of Teaching Art
From Baltimore Fishbowl
By Elizabeth Heubeck
March 5, 2014 | weblink

There’s a lot of talk these days coming out of art institutions about making art more accessible to the broader community. 

Then there are graduate students like Qianfei Wang, who has taken this message to heart and developed an amazing project that’s allowed hundreds of Baltimore-area students to experience art in a whole new light.

Wang is a MICA graduate student studying Curatorial Practice, the first graduate-level program of its kind in the country. 

As part of her studies, Wang designed an independent project with two objectives: to focus on a new way of presenting an exhibit and to forge connections among art, artists, and the community. 

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Q&A: Fei Wang, MICA Graduate Student Curates Park Exhibition 'Language+'
From The Postscript Arts & Culture
By Peter Califano
February 11, 2014 | weblink

Language+: Let’s art a conversation! is a two-venue exhibition and a collaborative educational experience which includes a series of programs that explore the potential of art to be a fruitful method of expression and communication. 

Language+ is partnering with two private schools—Park and Baltimore Lab School, an exceptional arts-infused school for students with learning disabilities—the project aims to celebrate the process of artmaking.

Based on each school’s academic curricula, Language+ offers students from different grades opportunities to express themselves and exhibit new art.

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"Congregate"
From WYPR
By Tom Halls
September 9, 2013 | weblink

Artists and church congregations unite. Tom Hall talks to Katherine Kavanaugh and Ashley Molese about the "Congregate" exhibition which brings artists and Station North church congregations together.

Kavanaugh is a MICA faculty member and one of the "Congregate" participating artists. Molese is a M.F.A. Curatorial Practice Class of 2014 Curator for the exhibition.

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BmoreArt's Picks: Baltimore Art Openings and Events
From BmoreArt
By Cara Ober 
September 3, 2013 | weblink

This weekend is going to start out academically – perfect for the first week of September, really. On Thursday don’t miss Spectrum, the Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition at UMBC, Superstizione, a new exhibit at The School of Design Gallery at Stevenson University, and Despair, a new solo exhibition by Baltimore artist Max Guy at Hood College’s Hodson Gallery. 

Also on Thursday, September 5, check out the new Gallery 788, now in Hampden, and FABRICATIONS, their first ‘fashion art show.’ On Friday night, don’t miss three new exhibits at School 33: Lania D’Agostino: Transfigurations, Suspended Perceptions: Nathan Lewis and Lorelei McHale, and Nancy Daly: Subject to Terms & Conditions. 

On Saturday, Congregate, MICA’s Mega-Exhibit organized by the Curatorial Practice crew opens – so don’t miss a chance to celebrate “Art, Faith, and Community” at various locations.

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You can read other articles about the exhibition Congregate here.

Two Exhibits Examine Longevity and Decay with Photos, Film, and Models
From City Paper
By Michael Farley
July 31, 2013 | weblink

Above School 33's Studio Artist Biennial, Images and Ruins, a small group show, highlights the physicality (and mutability) of the printed photographic image. 

Far from the sleek postproduction we've become accustomed to thanks to Photoshop and digital manipulation, the work in Images and Ruins relishes in the visibility of the artist's hand in cutting, painting, shredding, sanding, stitching, and tearing tangible photographs.

The first piece I came across (arriving via the back staircase) was a chaotic wallpaper of digital prints in the small installation room. The photos depict a young man pointing a gun at the camera. It's confrontational but designed to be interactive; viewers are encouraged to tear the photos from the wall.

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Curator Hyenjung Jang, Creator of Exchange: A Home Based Residency By Jill Gordon
From BmoreArt
By Cara Ober
May 14, 2013 | weblink 

Personal ritual, family, food, place, safety, shelter, and a sense of belonging are both tangible and intangible universal elements of home. 

‘Exchange: A Home Based Residency,’ created by Hyejung Jang, on exhibit at School 33, was an experimental effort to bridge the gap between artists and the greater community. 

Providing two international emerging artists the opportunity to replant themselves with a family in Baltimore for two months, they were given the challenge to engage their hosts and the public in their practice.

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Art Pick! Reloading the Canon: African Traditions in Contemporary Art 
From Lil SoSo
By Michelle Joan Wilkinson, PhD
March 28, 2013 | weblink 

Reloading the Canon: African Traditions in Contemporary Art at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art is a not-to-be-missed exhibition curated by Allison Gulick, a Curatorial Practice MFA Candidate at the Maryland Institute College of Art. 

This is a strong exhibition by all accounts, but even more impressive given that it is the thesis project of a curator-in-training. 

For the project, Gulick applied for and received a National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge America Fast-Track grant, a feat that attests to her curatorial vision and the team of advisors and museum professionals she engaged to realize the exhibition.

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Two Student-Curated Exhibitions Open at Evergreen Museum
From The HUB
By Bret McCabe
March 11, 2013 | weblink

When Gabrielle Buzgo first entered the Evergreen Museum & Library she wondered why the front door was sealed shut. 

As a member of the inaugural graduate student class of the Maryland Institute College of Art's Curatorial Practice program, she and her classmates were touring Baltimore institutions, museums, and galleries looking for a potential partner for their thesis exhibitions. 

They had come to Evergreen from the George Peabody Library, a historic building with a breathtakingly grand entrance. Here, the grand entrance was closed off. 

As Evergreen director and curator James Archer Abbott led her group through the home, they came across the then-state-of-the-art elevator the Garrett's had installed. 

Buzgo was perplexed and had to ask: Why the elevator?

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Station North Celebrates Ten Years, and Mt. Vernon at No Loss for Words with Book Festival
From Baltimore Fishbowl
By MV Banks
September 27, 2012 | weblink

As September draws to a close, it is time for another Final Friday in Station North. This month, however, it is more than the usual gathering of great bands and great people; this month Station North is celebrating it’s Ten Year Anniversary at Final Friday. 

Come out to the rooftop of the Charles Street Parking Garage at 1714 N. Charles St to celebrate ten years of groundbreaking artistic endeavors and a wonderful, quirky community. 

 You’ll be in good company with Governor O’Malley and John Waters, with whom you can throw back a Flying Dog and split a Joe Squared pie. Station North has pulled out all the stops for their anniversary, so you can be sure the musical selection will be awesome. 

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