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Catalyst Programs

CIRCA Catalyst is an ongoing series promoting conversations around transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research that fuses the performing and visual arts with other fields of inquiry and scholarship. A catered lunch, with vegetarian options, will be provided by CIRCA.


Spring 2016 Catalyst EventsRhino Costume Rendering

CIRCA Catalyst: Nate Sinnott and Eric Abele
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 4:00-5:00 PM
Proscenium Theatre, PAHB, UMBC

CIRCA Catalyst Program:

Nate Sinnott and Eric Abele will discuss their design processes leading to the completed scenic and costume designs for the UMBC Theatre Department’s Spring 2016 production of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. The design process for theatrical production begins many months prior to the opening of the live performance. Designs are generated in a collaborative environment with the director and the design staff. Materials such as research, drafting, scale models, and sketches are generated by the designer and reviewed by the collaborative team with the goal of creating a unified vision that will guide the production through the live performance. Eric and Nate will discuss the design process, display their process materials, and provide the audience with an onstage tour to view final design products.


PresRhino-Ren-Act-II-10-18-Smallenter Bios:

Nate Sinnott is the Scenic Designer and the Faculty Properties and Paints Supervisor at UMBC. Prior to accepting the position at UMBC, he held teaching positions at California Lutheran University, University of Southern Indiana, and East Carolina University. As a designer, he has over seventy design credits. His designs have received critical praise in Washington, D.C., various regions in California, Pittsburgh, PA, and many other areas across the country. He is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. Nate has great interest in the role of computer technology in theatrical design. You can view his online design portfolio at


Eric Abele is a theatrical designer and construction artist, who specializes in costume and puppet design for Theatre for Young Audiences. Before joining the faculty at UMBC, he was the Director of Design and Production at Lexington Children’s Theater. Regionally Eric has designed for REP Stage, Imagination Stage, and the National Players. In addition to his design work, Eric is an experienced costume crafts artisan who has created puppets and/or specialty hats for a variety of theatres across the country, including the Off-Broadway production of In Transit. You can view his online design portfolio at Eric is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.



GlassKnife_LiveCulture_h_DSC5657CIRCA Catalyst: Stephen Bradley and Kathy Marmor, introduced by Dr. Thomas Roth, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological Sciences

Monday, May 2, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, UMBC

CIRCA Catalyst Program:

Artists Stephen Bradley and Kathy Marmor will speak on The Glass Knife, an exhibition that reflects on the work of Keith Porter, known as the “father of cell biology”. The title The Glass Knife refers to the sharp wedged-shaped glass tool used by Porter to prepare tissue samples. Dr. Thomas Roth will introduce the program, and situate Porter’s research in the life of the young university, and in the discipline. Media artists Bradley and Marmor have structured their installation to illuminate Keith Porter’s life-long relationship with the micro world of cells. The Glass Knife integrates select elements from Porter’s archive to build a unified series of sculptures that allude to Porter’s workstation that “sees” the cell and its organelles and the potential applications that Porter imagined. With The Glass Knife, Bradley and Marmor propose a model of imagination that embraces a vision mediated by technology that extends our seeing. The artists as curators offer metaphoric insight into Porter’s scientific inquiry made possible with his ground-breaking use of the electron microscope that changed the world of cellular science.


Presenter Bios:

Stephen Bradley engages with time-based media, sound performance/installation, and material culture in his art practice. He explores the boundaries of urban and suburban culture by collecting debris, sound, and images from the consumed and littered landscape. He has received solo commissions and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; Sonic Circuits VII: Walker Art Center; Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts (ISEA); Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki; Blauschimmel Atelier, Oldenberg, Germany; Wave Hill, Bronx; and Hull Time-Based Arts, UK. Professor Bradley holds degrees in drawing and painting from the University of South Florida (BFA), and in painting and electronic media from Florida State University (MFA).

Kathy Marmor’s performances and interactive multimedia installations are situated in the personal and function as feminist commentaries on modern culture. Her work focuses on the intersections of power, gender and technology to reveal the psychological and cultural constructions of self-identities. Kathy has exhibited widely in the United States. Her work has also shown at Ciber@rts-Bilbao, Spain and New Forms festival in Vancouver, Canada. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York and Light Work in Syracuse, New York. Kathy has an MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.




Fall 2015 Catalyst Events
Image Lynn Cazabon

Image Lynn Cazabon

CIRCA Catalyst: Lynn Cazabon
Monday, October 26, 2015,
Noon – 1:00 PM, PAHB 216

Catalyst Program:

Associate Professor Lynn Cazabon will discuss in-progress projects centered on the Baltic Sea, produced during her time as a Fulbright Scholar in Liepāja, Latvia earlier this year. Her work there focuses on the intimate and complex interconnection between the natural environment and the people who live within it and resulted in a series of portraits of Liepāja residents set against the Baltic Sea and displayed with a quote from each participant about the role the sea plays in their lives. A second series of works focuses on the Baltic Sea itself and the aftermath of military operations that have occurred there. Professor Cazabon will also speak generally about her experiences living and teaching in a foreign country in the New Media Program at Liepāja University.

Presenter Bio:

Lynn Cazabon is an artist who works in a number of different media and teaches courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the Department of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries for the past 20 years and has been featured in numerous books and exhibition catalogs. Over the past several years, her work has intersected with cross-disciplinary themes including a dynamic visualization of space debris tracking data, an extensive documentation of wild plants in urban environments, and a series of non-traditional portraits of inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women.


Program Overview
NejaTomšič, CEC Artslink Visiting Artist

NejaTomšič, CEC Artslink Visiting Artist

CIRCA Catalyst promotes engaging conversations around transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research. These informal one hour presentations feature work that fuses the performing and visual arts with other fields of investigation and scholarship. Catalyst events are geared toward sharing work, and building dynamic conversations that may seed ideas and future collaborations.

Exciting creative arts research is taking place at UMBC that sees our faculty working in Baltimore, the region that sustains us, and with national and global partners and venues.

Catalyst events are presented in the Dresher Center conference room PAHB 216, and on the campus of the University or Maryland Baltimore. All Catalyst events are open to the public – we benefit from engagement across the disciplines and with new audiences.



Past Catalyst Events 

Catalyst FlierImageCropped

UMB – UMBC CIRCA Catalyst: Dr. Bruce Jarrell and Lee Boot
Monday, May 18, 2015

UMB Health Sciences and Human Services Library, Gladhill Boardroom, 5th Floor, 601 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

This Catalyst event marked the debut of a cooperative series produced with the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture. UMB-UMBC Catalyst events will showcase the growing ideas and partnership sown between UMB and UMBC researchers.

Lee Boot, Associate Research Professor and Associate Director at the Imaging Research Center presented his commissioned Dome Explorer iPad app created for the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Bruce Jarrell the Chief Academic and Research Officer at UMB presented on his metalsmithing and impressive projects  that currently beautify UMB and its ceremonial events. In 2012, Jarrell teamed up with Ukrainian blacksmith Anatoliy Rudik to create a metalwork art piece that fills two second floor windows of the University’s Southern Management Corporation Campus Center. The treelike piece is based upon the Davidge Elm, a majestic tree that before its death a decade ago stood for nearly 200 years outside Davidge Hall.


FallonSmallCIRCA Catalyst: Michael Fallon and Jenny O’Grady
Wednesday, April 15, 2015    

UMBC Senior Lecturer and poet Michael Fallon set himself the task of writing a book of poems inspired by his own spontaneous photographs taken on walks with his wife. UMBC Director of Marketing Jenny O’Grady edits The Light Ekphrastic, a quarterly journal that pairs writers and artists from all over the world to create new works online and for public spaces. In March of 2015 O’Grady paired sixty-six Baltimore-area writers and artists for a special edition of The Light Ekphrastic published online and via the Baltimore LED Art Billboard. She discussed some of the many routes her participants took as they went from being strangers to collaborators.


CIRCA Catalyst: Stephen Bradley and Lisa CellaBradleyCella_LightInEachOne
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

UMBC Associate Professors Stephen Bradley, Visual Arts and Lisa Cella, Music presented on their recent collaborative “deep-listening – deep seeing” performance, combining video projection and flute performance. Steve Bradley’s time-lapse video work explored a meditative perspective that featured quotidian events. Bradley’s visual “curiosity of motion” was interwoven with contemporary solo flute works composed for, and performed by, Lisa Cella.


JaimesIcelandWWWCIRCA CatalystNeja Tomšič and Jaimes Mayhew
November 6, 2014, Noon-1:00 PM

Jaimes Mayhew presented his current body of work, The Autonomous Energy Research Lab, which started as a project for a Fulbright Grant in Iceland in 2011 connecting  the landscapes of Iceland and those of the southwestern US that awakened his interest in the relationships between queer bodies and landscapes, memory and rural culture. Neja Tomšič a Slovenian artist, and the first CEC ArtsLink artist-in-residence hosted by UMBC’s IMDA MFA Program, discussed the Museum of Transitory Art (MoTA), a multidisciplinary platform dedicated to the research, production and presentation of transitory, experimental and live art forms. 


Parks-WWW-ScaleCIRCA CatalystCathy Cook, Visual Arts and Lynne Parks, Independent Artist
Monday, October 20, 2014 Noon-1:00 PM

Cathy Cook presented The Cranes in Motion Project, a collection of several hybrid media projects created at the Imaging Research Center that document, explore and artistically interpret the fascinating dynamics of crane culture in an effort to understand this unique species and our shared ecosystems. Lynne Parks is a Baltimore-based artist, environmental activist, and volunteer for Lights Out Baltimore. Her award winning photographs of birds draw our attention to how current building design practices exact fatal consequences on these creatures.


Crab_Bluefloor_Tan_Water_ArmymanColette Searls, Department of Theatre and Lynn Tomlinson, Towson University
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 4:30 – 5:30 PM
The collaborative team presented virtual puppetry controlled by iPad for the stage and screen.





Jan Baum, 3D Maryland and Eric DyerDepartment of Visual Arts

Monday, May 5, 2014 Noon – 1:00 PM
Baum and Dyer surveyed the transformational work taking place with rapid prototyping and 3D printing, and shared dynamic new animations made with 3d output set into motion.





Steve Bradley, Visual Arts and Nicole King, American Studies
Monday, April 28, 2014

Bradley and King presented their collaborative Mapping Baybrook project, an interdisciplinary exploration of place that used digital mapping to illustrate research on the history and culture of an industrial community in Baltimore, Maryland referred to as Baybrook—a merging of the names of two neighborhoods, Brooklyn and Curtis Bay.



SI_InterFaceLinda Dusman, Department of Music  and Eric Smallwood, Department of Visual Arts
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Dusman and Smallwood spoke on “Symphony Interactive” a tablet-based guide to the symphony experience.




Lynn Cazabon


Chris Swan, Geography and Environmental Systems and Lynn Cazabon, Visual Arts
Monday, November 11, 2013

Dr. Chris Swan and Associate Professor Lynn Cazabon presented the first CIRCA Catalyst event discussing their ongoing work set in prison gardens in Maryland.