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Highlights of Arts Faculty, Student and Alumni Research


Nonument 01 named Best Public Art by Baltimore Magazine, Prof. Lisa Moren + IMDA MFA alumnus Jaimes Mayhew

Kudos to Visual Arts Department Professor Lisa Moren and IMDA MFA alumnus Jaimes Mayhew, and Slovenian partners Martin Bricelj Baraga and Neja Tomšič on winning the Best Public Art category for Baltimore Magazine’s August 2018 issue. Through the custom augmented reality app, viewers hold up a tablet or smart-phone to reveal a full-scale, 3D architecturally correct simulation of the now demolished McKeldin Fountain. NONUMENT is an international series of public art projects dedicated to preserving the memory of lost public spaces. The NONUMENT 01 app is the first entry in this series, and will preserve the lost McKeldin Fountain and its history through the power of augmented reality. Using a tablet or smart phone, the NONUMENT 01 app creates a three-dimensional projection of objects and waterfalls that are no longer there, superimposing the fountain on a live scene captured through the device’s camera.

More on the project, here.


Beyoncé and Jay-Z, ‘Apeshit’, 2018, film still. Courtesy: the artists

“Crazy in Louvre” – Visual Arts Department Chairperson James Smalls writes in Frieze

In an opinion piece in Frieze James Smalls analyzes how Beyoncé and Jay-Z exploit Western Art History to ask who controls Black bodies. He writes on the musicians takeover of the Paris museum and what its says about art, race and power, describing the potency of the Carters’s contemporary message.

Read the full op ed here.


Eric Dyer named inaugural Merriweather District Artist-in-Residence

The Howard Hughes Corporation, in collaboration with the Howard County Arts Council, has announced the selection of Visual Arts Professor Eric Dyer as one of three inaugural Merriweather District Artist-in-Residence artists for the program based in Downtown Columbia, MD. The artists will each receive a stipend of $10,000 and the use of studio space in the Merriweather District to spend up to two months, from June 11-August 31, creating work in a medium of their choosing. Studio space will be provided in Two Merriweather office building in Downtown Columbia’s Merriweather District. Residential accommodations will be provided within walking distance at The Metropolitan Downtown Columbia apartments.

During his residency in the Merriweather District Eric Dyer, who attended high school in Howard County, will create interactive animated artworks that explores the conflict between the usefulness of digital devices and the human need for physical, real-world experiences.


Dance and Linehan Artist Scholar alumna Maia Schechter ’18 debuts dance at Kennedy Center

On Saturday, June 9 Maia Schechter presented her choreographic work Now Elsewhere at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Schechter’s dance was selected for the finals of the American College Dance Festival (ACDF) through a nationally competitive process. Her dance, Now Elsewhere, previously has been performed at West Chester University in Pennsylvania and twice at UMBC.

Now Elsewhere is a dance that explores the emotions and events that happen after someone passes away,” explains Schechter. “Throughout the dance there is a range of movement that begins as very minimal and gestural and grows into an explosive full-body expression. The dancers experience their loss together and individually, which can be seen in solo and ensemble work, as their relationships are ever changing throughout the dance.” More on this story here.


IMDA MFA Alumna Dr. Mina Cheon to exhibit in the 2018 Busan Biennale

Mina Cheon will be featured in the 2018 Busan Biennale. As Artforum notes the biennale “will feature the work of sixty artists who were invited to respond to issues ranging from the global political climate to the international exchange and obstruction of information.” The exhibition will be on view from September 8 – November 11 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, South Korea. Follow this link for more information at Artforum. Mina Cheon is represented by Ethan Cohen Fine Arts.


Dr. Ellen Handler Spitz of the UMBC Honors College publishes in the New York Times

CIRCA is delighted to note that UMBC Honors College professor Dr. Ellen Handler Spitz has contributed to the New YorkTimes Summer Reading issue, dated June 1st. In it, she reviewed three new children’s books, including two graphic novels. In her review she notes that “these three books for young readers — all set after school’s out — contain education and entertainment, nuanced instruction and unalloyed amusement. Summer books for children can and should include both.” The review is linked here. 


UMBC Cinematic Arts Jules Rosskam and IMDA MFA alumna Agnès Moon ’99 win Rubys

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) announced that two UMBC affiliated artists were selected for 2018 Rubys Artist Project Grants in media arts and performing arts. Jules Rosskam, Assistant Professor of Cinematic Arts was supported for Dance, Dance, Evolution, a short documentary film that explores transgender people’s relationship to dance. Agnès Moon ’99 has won her second Rubys, this time to back Hapaxes, an experimental non-fiction video which uses reenactments and voice-over commentary to mine meaning from a previously-hidden trove of personal photos in an effort to understand a suppressed family history as well as the denotative limits of visual representation.


NONUMENT01:: McKeldin Fountain launched May 19th at McKeldin Square and at MAP
Credits: Professor Lisa Moren, IMDA alumnus Jaimes Mayhew ’10, Neja Tomšič and Martin Bricelj Baraga [Slovenia]

NONUMENT01:: McKeldin Fountain 
is the first augmented reality [AR] monument to be sited in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and free speech zone. The egalitarian “nonument” or “no monument” recreates the demolished Brutalist-style fountain with the latest AR technology in order to address the politics of public space including: how public behavior is controlled by a variety of mechanisms?, and, who has more exclusive access to what spaces? When viewers hold up a mobile device the participant will “put back the fountain” and see and hear documented interviews and “whisper chambers” of underrepresented voices in Baltimore City. More on the launch events.


IMDA MFA alumna Marian April Glebes leads an $100k effort to transform the transportation hub at Penn Station, Baltimore
The Baltimore Sun reports that Glebes is leading a group of artists to transform an area outside Baltimore’s Penn Station into a “stoop” as part of a project for people to congregate, and as traffic calmer near the busy Charles Street onramp to the Jones Falls Expressway. Yvonne Wenger reports “The project builds on other efforts to make the transportation hub come alive with the addition of seating and free Wi-Fi near the enormous aluminum statue of intersecting human figures as a redevelopment strategy for the century-old station moves forward with plans for shops, offices, a hotel and homes.”


UMBC Faculty at SPARK II at Light City

This year SPARK II marked a new collaboration between UMBC and Towson University faculty in a pop-up gallery that featured a variety of light-based work.

Sponsored by PNC Bank and organized by Ginevra Shay, SPARK II was on display from April 13-22 and was featured as a stop on the BGE Light Art Walk for the first time. Spark is a multi-media gallery highlighting the work of faculty artists from UMBC, Towson University and Baltimore County Community College.

SPARK II was on view inside the Pratt Street Pavilion at Harborplace. Note the work by Stephen Bradley (left), which examines the microscopic life that clings to floating trash pulled from the brackish shoreline of the Patapsco River’s Middle Branch at Masonville Cove.


Kelley Bell, Associate Professor, Visual Arts, debuted installation at Light City 

Kelley Bell’s installation, The Herd: An inflatable host seeking safe harbor, floated over 375 luminous solar powered inflatable swim rings in Baltimore Harbor for the Light City Festival.  To make sure that more plastic does not end up in our waterways, the inflatables used in The Herd were offered for sale during the Light City 2018 Festival.  All proceeds will be donated to three non-profit partners: Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative, the Baltimore-based performance group Fluid Movement, and the Living Classrooms Foundation.  For more information about The Herd: An inflatable host seeking safe harbor, please visit


Lynn Cazabon, Professor, Visual Arts

Professor Lynn Cazabon has been awarded a commission to produce a new community-based project Pierderea Iernii with the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, Romania. The project will be realized during a residency there in Summer 2018 and will culminate with an exhibition in the museum in September 2018.

Professor Lynn Cazabon received a South Bronx Resiliency Arts Fellowship to produce a new community-based project with the The Point CDC Spring 2018. Her project is focused on wild edible plants thriving in the Hunts Point Section of the Bronx and will include plant/photo workshops with teens and adults at the International Center of Photography at The Point. She will also create posters for display in bus shelters in the area.


Dr. Maurice Berger, CADVC Research Professor

Dr. Maurice Berger’s article on the Senegalese artist Omar Victor Diop will appear in National Geographic’s April issue devoted to exploring race, ”how race defines, separates, and unites us.” The magazine put together a team of photographers and race writers to explore one of the most complicated and vexing issues of our time.  Dr. Berger’s article will appear in both the web and print editions of the magazine.  Click here to read the article on the web.


Kelley Bell, Professor, Visual Arts
Kelley Bell will be included in Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach – the internationally renowned projection art festival located on Scenic Highway 30A in Northwest Florida’s South Walton County. “As a shared experience, Digital Graffiti is all about cultivating conversation. It is social cinema within expanded fields of light and sound, the virtual and the real. There is nothing quite like it,” says Brett Phares, Digital Graffiti Curator.  Click here for more info.


Timothy Nohe, Professor, Visual Arts

Timothy Nohe and Julie Wills’s collaborative installation with quadrophonic sound S GNAL ING   DI SIPAT ON exhibits at China Hutch Projects in Chestertown, MD, March 9-29, 2018.  Opening reception Friday, March 9 at 6 p.m.  Click here for more information.


Dr. Maurice Berger, CADVC Research Professor

Dr. Maurice Berger is receiving a 2018 Infinity Award from the International Center for Photography in the category of Critical Writing and Research.  The award honors his Race Stories column for the Lens section of the New York Times.  Details about the 2018 Infinity Awards here.


Jules Rosskam, Professor, Cinematic Arts

Jules Rosskam’s film Paternal Rites is screened at Doc Fortnight 2018: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media. Critic Joshua Brunsting writes the film “fully transcends the world of documentary filmmaking, feeling more akin to a recorded therapy session, itself playing into the film’s theme of forgiveness and healing. Gorgeously crafted and emotionally devastating, Paternal Rites is a breathtaking experience that finds a level of intimacy few films are ever willing to go, almost to a point that feels experimental.”  Read the full review here.


Eric Dyer, Professor, Visual Arts

Eric Dyer presents fourteen new works in Seeking Motion Hidden, at Ronald Feldman Galery, New York, February 24 – March 31, 2018. The new works are wall-hung and spun by the audience, bringing complex kinetic images to life. Reception: February 24, 6pm – 8pm

Lisa Moren, Professor, Visual Arts

NONUMENT 01::The McKeldin Fountain augmented reality app makes its American debut February 15 – 17, at The Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College in “Intersections: the 16th Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology.” The European launch occurs February 20-28 at the City Museum of Ljubljana. The NONUMENT Group documented citizens’ testimonies & created a virtual memorial to the demolished fountain in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  When viewers hold up a tablet or smartphone like a protest sign, they reveal a full-scale, 3D architecturally correct model of the controversial half-acre McKeldin Fountain. Tap on a protest sign at any time to bring back the brutalist-style monument that was demolished in January 2017. iTunes AppStore link.

Mina Cheon, IMDA MFA alumna

Mina Cheon is exhibiting some of her new work “Happy North Korean Children and Happy North Korean Girl (Kim Il Soon)” at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) in the Contemporary Wing.
Sam Winnie, Music ’15

Congratulations to Sam Winnie ’15 for being selected for the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society commissioning grants this season.

IMDA MFA Candidate Jeffrey Gangwisch & IMDA alumna Christine Ferrera
Congratulations to Jeffrey Gangwisch and Christine Ferrera for being named Baker Artist Award Finalists. Read more about the finalists here.
Susan McCully, Assistant Professor, Theatre

Susan McCully’s new work All She Must Possess, a play inspired by the life of Etta Cone will have its world premiere February 7 – 25, 2018 at Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College. Professor McCully has two upcoming staged readings of the play scheduled – at UC-Santa Cruz on November 6, 2017 and at Everyman Repertory Theatre in Rockport, ME on December 30, 2017.

Airi Yoshioka, Professor, Music

Professor of Music Airi Yoshioka recently released Sueños Místicos, a CD featuring her performance of works by Latin American composers whose contemporary music reflects their personal cultural experiences. Composers featured on the CD are Roberto Sierra, Pablo Ortiz, Gabriela Lena Frank, Errollyn Wallen, Tania León, and Paul Desenne.


Spring 2018 CIRCA Faculty Research Fellowships

Eric Dyer, Professor, Visual Arts

“Physical Presence in the Digital Landscape”

Lynn Watson, Professor, Theatre

“Fitzmaurice Voicework Pilot Study with fMRI”


2017 CIRCA Summer Faculty Fellowships

Stephen Bradley, Associate Professor, Visual Arts

Water’s Edge Biome Tells, collaboration with Dr. DeCarvalho of the Department of Biological Sciences

Corrie Francis Parks, Assistant Professor, Visual Arts

Black Butterfly