Launch Event for New Publications by Faculty Researchers Lisa Cella, Carla Viviana Coleman Cordova, and Airi Yoshioka 

Tuesday, November 7, 4 – 5:30pm, refreshments provided
216 Performing Arts and Humanities Building

The Center for Research, Innovation and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) presents Lisa Cella, Carla Viviana Coleman Cordova, and Airi Yoshioka. The event recognizes recent CD releases by professors Cella and Yoshioka, and a book publication by professor Coleman Cordova.

A champion of contemporary music, Lisa Cella, Associate Professor of Music, has performed throughout the United States and abroad. She is Artistic Director of San Diego New Music and a founding member of its resident ensemble NOISE. With NOISE she has performed the works of young composers all around the world. Lisa is co-artistic director of NOISE’s annual festival of modern music entitled soundON. Lisa co-founded the flute collective inHALE, a group dedicated to developing challenging and experimental repertoire for two and three flutes. inHALE was an invited ensemble at the National Flute Association Convention in San Diego in August of 2005. She, along with Franklin Cox, is a founding member of C2, a touring flute and cello duo. As a soloist, she has performed both nationally and internationally and is a faculty member of the Soundscape Festival of Contemporary Music in Maccagno, Italy and Nief Norf based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her undergraduate work was completed at Syracuse University and she received a Master of Music degree and a Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in contemporary flute performance at the University of California, San Diego.

Carla Viviana Coleman Cordova, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts, is an educator, researcher, graphic designer, and artist. Her work has been featured in the books Indie publishing (2008) and Graphic Design: The New Basics (2008), both published by Princeton Architectural Press. She owns, edits, and maintains the website http://www.webtypography.org. Her motion design work has been aired on Telemundo and BET television stations. She has done web design for the NIH and her print work has been published by Princeton Architectural Press, The Source Magazine, John Hopkins University, and others. Her work has been exhibited in The Siggraph Exhibition Conference and Ssamzie Space, Gallery 175 in Seoul, Korea. She served on the Board of Directors of AIGA Baltimore and she is still an active member of AIGA. Also, she is a member of CAA, IXDA, and IDA. Coleman-Cordova co-authored, along with Yeohyun Ahn, a book titled Type and Code: Processing for Designers (2009) published by MICA, Maryland Institute College of Art. Coleman-Cordova holds a BFA in graphic design with a concentration in Interactive Media and an MFA in Graphic Design from MICA.

Hailed by the Gramophone Magazine as “brilliant and intrepid”, violinist Airi Yoshioka, Professor of Music, has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician. Deeply committed to chamber music, she is the founding member of the Damocles Trio and Modigliani Quartet and has performed and recorded with the members of the Emerson, Brentano and Arditti Quartets. Damocles Trio’s debut disc of complete Piano Trios and Piano Quartet of Joquín Turina has won a four-star rating from the BBC Music Magazine, Le Monde de la Musique and Diapason. Her orchestral credits include performances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Sinfonietta and engagements as concertmaster and soloist with the Manhattan Virtuosi and concertmaster of one of the festival orchestras at the Aspen Music Festival. An enthusiastic performer of new music, she was one of the original members and concertmasters of the New Juilliard Ensemble and had performed annually in Juilliard’s FOCUS! Festival and is currently a member of Continuum, ModernWorks!, RUCKUS, Son Sonora, and Azure Ensemble. Her solo and chamber performances can be heard on Naxos, New World, Claves, Mode, Albany, Neuma, and Pony Canyon records labels.

Cara Ober

Wednesday October 25, 12 – 1pm, lunch provided
216 Performing Arts and Humanities Building

The Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) is pleased to present Baltimore-based cultural organizer and artist Cara Ober, who will speak about her experiences as founding editor of BMoreArt, Baltimore’s celebrated online art magazine and print journal.

Named “Best Art Scene Doyenne” by Baltimore Magazine in 2017, Cara Ober is an innovator, cultural organizer, artist, and producer of digital and print media. Ober’s writing in the form of critical reviews, essays, and opinion editorials have explored the political and economic impact of the arts in Baltimore and the way artists maintain a professional practice and thrive in a city full of rich and diverse cultural traditions as well as deep and troubling social issues. As the founding editor of BmoreArt, Baltimore’s online art magazine and print journal, Ober has spent a decade building a local, national, and international audience for arts and culture produced in Baltimore. She founded BmoreArt in 2007 to encourage accessible and rigorous dialogue about arts and culture in the Baltimore region. Named “Best of Baltimore” by Baltimore Magazine in 2017 and 2014, BmoreArt questions and analyzes issues of gender, race, social justice, and cultural institutions with emphasis on artist-centric issues of material and process and how they influence content and artistic output. In 2015, Ober launched BmoreArt: A Journal of Art + Ideas, a bi-annual, full color print journal that explores Baltimore’s cultural landscape thematically, offering a deep and diverse perspective on individuals and cultural institutions. Ober has also penned art reviews for Art Papers, ARTnews, Hyperallergic, and BurnAway and numerous other national publications.

Cara Ober earned an MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005 and a BA in fine arts in 1996 from the American University. She is a recipient of grant funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, as well as the winner of a Mellon Arts Innovation Grant from Johns Hopkins University in 2015, a Grit Fund Grant from The Contemporary via The Andy Warhol Foundation in 2015, and a Warhol Grant for Emerging Curators in 2006.

Susan McCully

Wednesday, September 13, 12 – 1pm, lunch provided
216 Performing Arts and Humanities Building

The Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) presents playwright Susan McCully, who will speak on her new work All She Must Possess, a play inspired by the life of Etta Cone. Along with her sister Claribel, Etta Cone was a Baltimore bon vivant who moved in avant garde circles in Europe during the first decades of the 20th Century. The sisters were friends of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and their social circle included Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. The Cone’s extensive modern art collection is on view at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Susan McCully, assistant professor in the Department of Theatre, is a scholar of feminist theatre and a dramaturg, as well as a playwright and performer. She is the artistic director of the Grrlparts festival at UMBC. She has performed her one-woman show Cyber Becomes Electra at colleges and universities across the country, University of Toronto, University of Exeter and the Kolibri Pince in Budapest. In 2004, she opened the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival with her show, Inexcusable Fantasies. which she has performed at a number of festivals including Prague Fringe Festival and the New York Fringe Festival in 2013. Her play Still the One was performed at Manhattan Theatre Source and has been published by Hawarth Press (2004). At UMBC, she teaches a range of courses in theatre history, dramatic literature and she works on the department productions in the role of dramaturg. She is a specialist in cross-gender casting and gender performance; she also teaches courses in queer performance and feminist representation for the Gender and Women’s Studies Program. She earned her B.A. in Theatre and Dance from DeSales University; her M.F.A. Playwriting from The Catholic University of America, and her Ph.D in Theatre History, Theory, & Criticism from the University of Wisconsin.

Donato Giancola Artist Talk

Co-presented with the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Thursday, May 4, 2017 5:00 PM
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Concurrent with the exhibition The Korshak Collection: Illustrations of Imaginative Literature running April 10 – May 16,
award-winning illustrator Donato Giancola, best known for his endlessly creative and exquisitely rendered science fiction and fantasy illustrations, will discuss his broad range of illustrative work.

Giancola’s diverse clients include: DC Comics; Sci Fi Channel; Wizards of the Coast (Magic: The Gathering); Tor Books; National Geographic, Milton Bradley; Microsoft; Penguin; Random House; Hasbro; Scholastic; Simon & Schuster; The Village Voice; CNN; United Nations; U.S. Postal Service.

Mark Alice Durant and Guenet Abraham

Monday, April 10, 2017, Noon – 1:00 PM
Dresher Center Conference Room, PAHB 216, UMBC

Visual Arts Department professors Mark Alice Durant and Guenet Abraham will discuss their collaboration on Durant’s 27 Contexts: An Anecdotal History in Photography published by Saint Lucy Books. The publications mark a new direction for Saint Lucy https://saint-lucy.com/ a website devoted to writing about photography and contemporary art. Founded in 2011, Saint Lucy features essays, portfolios and wide-ranging conversations with artists, writers, and curators.

27 Contexts: An Anecdotal History in Photography is a series of linked essays that weave memoir with photographic history and theory, to examine how photographs are inextricably bound in our personal and collective histories. Illustrated with a broad spectrum of images from family   snapshots, photojournalism and Hubble space imagery to the work of artists such as Josef   Koudelka, Julia Margaret Cameron, Larry Sultan, Maya Deren, Nan Goldin, David Wojnarowicz and Chris Marker, 27 Contexts describes a life immersed in the quotidian, the political, and the enigmatic powers of photography.

Presenter Bios:
Mark Alice Durant’s essays have appeared in numerous journals such as Art in America, Aperture, Dear Dave, and Afterimage, and many catalogs, monographs and anthologies, including Vik Muniz: Seeing is Believing, Jimmie Durham, Marco Breuer: Early Recordings, and The Passionate Camera: Photography and Bodies of Desire. He is author of 27 Contexts: An Anecdotal History in Photography, Robert Heinecken: A Material History and McDermott and McGough: A History of Photography. With Jane D. Marsching, he was co-curator and co-author of Blur of the Otherworldly: Contemporary Art, Technology and the Paranormal. He was co-curator and co-author of the traveling exhibition Some Assembly Required: Collage Culture in Post War America, and Notes on Monumentality at the Baltimore Museum of Art. He has served on the faculties of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, UCLA, and Syracuse University. He is a professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Maryland. In 2011 he started the website Saint-Lucy.com which is devoted to writing about photography and contemporary art. In 2016 Durant founded Saint Lucy Books.

Guenet Abraham started her career as a graphic designer at Random House in NYC. She was senior designer at W. W. Norton and Company. Her work as a book designer has been recognized by national design organizations including the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), American Association of Museums (AAM), and University College & Designers Association (UCDA).  Guenet continues her practice as a book designer. The list of her clients include, Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, St. Martin’s Press, Hyperion, Viking, and New Press, CADVC and most recently Saint Lucy Press.  Guenet is a professor in the Department of Visual Arts at UMBC teaching in the Graphic Design emphasis and continues to work as a book designer. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Visual Arts at UMBC. Professor Abraham received her M.F.A. in Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art.

Professional Development Retreat with Andrew Simonetandrew

Friday, February 24, 2017 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
PAHB 223
CIRCA will provide a catered lunch, with vegetarian options


  • What is at the heart of my practice and work?
  • How can I identify resources that fit my practice and build on my current partners?
  • And how do I pursue all of this in a non-exhausting way?

Based on ten years of work with performing and visual artists nationally, Andrew Simonet will share tools and approaches for positioning our work for resources. Yes, we will talk about grants; but we will begin with planning, grounding our ambitions in the specifics of our practice, work, and mission. We will consider the particular challenges and opportunities of artists working in universities. And we will look at ways to generate opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally across all disciplines: performing arts, visual art, social practice, film, and media.

Andrew Simonet is a choreographer and writer, and the founder of Artists U. He is the author of Making Your Life as an Artist and works with artists nationally to build sustainable lives. He was, from 1993 to 2013, a founding co-director and choreographer of Philadelphia’s Headlong Dance Theater, creating experimental dance theater in Philadelphia and touring nationally. Andrew’s projects include CELL, a performance journey for one audience member at a time guided by your cell phone, and This Town is a Mystery, performances by four Philadelphia households in their homes, followed by a potluck dinner. His work been supported by The Creative Capital Foundation, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, The Japan Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts. His work has been produced by The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), The Philadelphia Museum of Art, P.S. 122 (NYC), Central Park Summerstage, and The Kyoto Arts Center, among others. Currently, Andrew is the writer and producer for Barbacoa, a documentary film about documented and undocumented workers in Philadelphia’s restaurant industry.