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Past CIRCA Presents Events

Fall 2019:

Kristen Hileman, Curator

Monday, September 9th, Noon – 1:30 PM
Location: PAHB 216 Dresher Center
Free, catered event with good vegetarian options

“The Shimmering Museum”
Reflecting on two decades of curatorial experience presenting exhibitions and permanent collections in museums, Hileman will discuss the current state of the museum field, considering the influence of commercial interests and power structures on programming decisions alongside challenges in securing next generations of patrons. Her talk will also address ways forward for increasing the social, political, and affective resonance of museums, as well as non-museum paths for artists whose aim is to develop a dialogue between their work and the public.

Bio: Kristen Hileman is an Independent Curator based in Baltimore. She served as Head of The Baltimore Museum of Art’s Department of Contemporary Art from 2009 through 2019, where she oversaw the reinstallation of the museum’s renovated contemporary wing in 2012, initiated numerous acquisitions to diversify the collection, and presented exhibitions featuring an array of artists, among them the Guerrilla Girls, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Sarah Oppenheimer, Dario Robleto, Anri Sala, and Tomas Saraceno. Her most recent BMA projects included Meleko Mokgosi: Acts of Resistance, Lizzie Fitch / Ryan Trecartin, DIS: A Good Crisis and John Waters: Indecent Exposure, a large-scale retrospective of that influential cultural figure’s visual arts career. Throughout her time at the BMA, Hileman foreground artists with ties to Baltimore including Seth Adelsberger, Maren Hassinger, Sharon Hayes, Jimmy Joe Roche, Sterling Ruby, and Sara VanDerBeek. Jo Smail: Flying with Remnant Wing, her survey of the career of the distinguished painter and Maryland Institute College of Art professor, will open at the BMA in spring 2020.

From 2001 through 2009, Hileman worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., where she organized the first full career retrospective of Anne Truitt, bringing new attention to the important DC-based abstractionist. At the Hirshhorn, Hileman also co-curated the international film and video exhibition The Cinema Effect: Realisms and led projects featuring John Baldessari, Cai Guo-Qiang, Cyprien Gaillard, Mario Garcia Torres, Oliver Herring, Jim Hodges, and Wolfgang Tillmans. She has taught at Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and the Corcoran College of Art and Design and is a frequent visiting critic and lecturer at colleges and universities.

April Danielle Lewis, Artist

Monday, September 16th, Noon – 1:30 PM
Location: PAHB 216, Dresher Center Conference Room
Free, catered event with good vegetarian options

Presentation: April Danielle Lewis’ recent interventions, performances, installations and experiences have situated Baltimore at the center of dialogs around history, place, and identity sharpened with a social justice and community building lens.

Bio: April Danielle Lewis is an artist, visionary, and community cultivator. Derived from a printmaking background, her performances and interventions often involve working in multiples, repetitive actions and building a framework that allows for works and performances to naturally evolve. Her work collaborates and invites her audience to be participants in engaging and building community. Lewis earned a degree in art and design with a concentration in printmaking from Towson University and an Associate of Arts degree in visual art from Anne Arundel Community College. She serves as the Membership Manager at Open Works, a non-profit makerspace that makes tools, technology and the knowledge to use them accessible to all, volunteers as librarian at the Station North Tool Library and serves on the board of directors at Neighborhood Housing Services Baltimore. April lives and works in Baltimore.

A Dialog with Elissa Blount-Moorehead

Wednesday, October 30th, Noon – 1:00 PM
Location: Lion Brothers Building, 875 Hollins Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Free, catered event with good vegetarian options

Bio: Elissa Blount Moorhead is an artist and producer exploring the poetics of quotidian Black life, to emphasize gestural dialectics of quiet domesticity and community building. She dwells in both immutable Black culture and the impermanence of its physical manifestations.

Moorhead has created public art, exhibitions, and cultural programs for the last 25 years. She is currently a principal partner at TNEG film studios, with Arthur Jafa and Malik Sayeed. TNEG asserts that a cinema calibrated to the cultural, socioeconomic, and existential particulars of Black being is not only possible but inescapably the way forward toward a viable Black cinema. Moorhead co-founded Red Clay Arts in NYC. She has co-produced and curated over 20 exhibitions and multimedia projects including Random Occurrences; Cat Calls (Street Harassment project); Practicum; FunkGodJazzMedicine; and Art in Odd Places. She was awarded the USA Artist Fellowship in (2018), Saul Zaentz Innovation Fellowship (2017), Ford Foundation /Just Films/Rockwood Fellowship (2017) and Ruby Award (2016) Creative Capital (2019) Baker Award winner (2019). She is currently producing a documentary film on Gil Scott Heron and a AR/projection installation called As of A Now. She is the author of P is for Pussy, an illustrated “children’s” book and is featured in the new anthology How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance released in March 2019. Her upcoming film, Back and Song co-directed with Bradford Young will premiere at the Philadelphia Contemporary in October 2019.

J.M. Giordano, Photojournalist

Shuttered Images from the Fall of Bethlehem Steel
Wednesday, November 6, Noon – 1:00 PM
Location: PAHB 216, Dresher Center Conference Room
Free, catered event with good vegetarian options

Joe Giordano will present on SHUTTERED: Images from the Fall of Bethlehem Steel, currently on view at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. From 1887 to 2012, the Bethlehem Steel mill at Sparrows Point provided steady if dangerous work for tens of thousands of men and women. With the shuttering of the Point’s blast furnaces, the world inhabited by local steel workers took a number of hits, and the effects continue to reverberate today. The grandson of a steel worker, award-winning photojournalist J.M. Giordano has spent more than 15 years capturing the impact of the mill’s decline and closure on his hometown of Baltimore. What do you do, Giordano asks, when the only lifestyle you’ve ever known—an industrial lifestyle passed down by family, friends, and coworkers for generations—becomes obsolete?

Bonnie Jones, Sound Artist 

Location: PAHB 216, Dresher Center Conference Room
Free, catered event with good vegetarian options
Monday, November 11, Noon – 1:00 PM
Bonnie Jones describes her work as telling the stories that objects would tell if they could. The story of a silver bowl. The autobiography of a sound. The history of a word. She creates environments and imaginary places using sound, text, and performance where everything is an autonomous actor-from the smallest sounds to the fleeting memory to the personal identity. At times, these stories are a layered cacophony of voices, other times an object aria, clear and direct.

Spring 2019 Events: 

CIRCA Presents: Brooke Singer

April 1, 5:00 PM
Black Box Theater, Performing Arts and Humanities Building
A reception follows

Brooke Singer engages science, technology, politics and arts practices. Her work lives “on” and “off” line in the form of websites, photographs, hardware, visualizations, performances, installations and social spaces. She is interested in negotiating between worlds characterized as either natural or social because design in the age of the Anthropocene requires both scientific and cultural modes of inquiry. She is a serial collaborator and her partners include government, academic, cultural and business entities. She is interested in taking knowledge out of its “home” context to open up discourse, reframe ideas and allow for distinctly new possibilities.  She is Associate Professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase, a co-founder of the former collective Preemptive Media and co-founder of La Casita Verde in Brooklyn, NY. Her work is in the collections of of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Microsoft and Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy.

Professor Singer will discuss her newest collaboration, Carbon Sponge, a platform to explore carbon sequestration in urban soils as a means to tackle the urgent problems of food security and anthropogenic climate change. Carbon Sponge is the first carbon sequestration study initiated by non-scientists in an urban area with a focus on numerous, small plots of land distributed over large areas with dense populations. Partners include the New York Hall of Science, CUNY Graduate Center’s Advanced Scientific Research Center and NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation.

CIRCA Presents: Shelly Purdy and Bonnie Lander in Concert

April 19, Music Box
3:30-4:30, followed by reception

Shelly Purdy is a contemporary percussionist and educator committed to performing new and experimental music. She performs with various ensembles including the percussion quartet Umbilicus, the science/music ensemble The Inverse Square Trio, Sonic Meditations Baltimore, arts-in-education ensemble Envirodrum Maryland, and The Columbia Orchestra.In addition to ensemble pursuits Ms. Purdy regularly partners with local composers, musicians, dancers, sculptors, and various improvisers within the Baltimore community. Ms. Purdy’s passion for contemporary works has led to a vast array of opportunities including performances at Baltimore’s Artscape Festival, So Percussion’s Summer Institute, IFCP at Mannes, June in Buffalo, Make Music New York, The Livewire Festival, The High Zero Festival, The Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale, and has performed with ensembles such as the Talujon Percussion Quartet, the Wooden Cities Contemporary Ensemble, and the Baltimore trio Microkingdom.

Bonnie Lander (USA) is an avant-garde soprano, violinist, free improviser, and composer based in Baltimore. As a performer and composer Bonnie specializes in works that combine free improvisation with structured composition. In the past few years Bonnie has developed a series of theatrical series of works called “Inside Voices.” These works intend for the audience to experience the voices, noise, and emotional narratives in the performer’s mind through the operatic use of timbre, resonance, articulation, as well its embrace of visceral, gut wrenching emotion. Bonnie currently works at 2640 Space in Baltimore, and is a founding member of NYC based chamber ensemble Rhymes With Opera, which premiered her 2017 opera Coping Mechanisms.

CIRCA, Pi Mu Ep, and the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences present: Dr. Diane Hoffoss

April 29, 12-1pm
PUP 105, Reception follows in Atrium of PUP, 1:00 – 1:30

In August 2018, a two-ton interactive sculpture showcasing unsolved problems of mathematics and physics came to life in the Nevada desert. Rising 12 feet tall, the unfolding dodecahedron was externally skinned with black panels containing 2240 acrylic windows illuminated by more than 16,000 individually programmed LEDs, while the interior was lined with mirrors over each pentagonal face. The resulting artwork was displayed at Black Rock City, the desert location of Burning Man. This talk outlines our journey, two mathematicians embracing the role of amateur sculpture artists.


Wednesday, February 13, 12 – 1 p.m.
216 Performing Arts and Humanities Building (Dresher Center Conference Room)

The Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts presents Andrew Keiper and Kei Ito, a collaborative artist team whose large-scale visual and sound installations probe the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and their intertwined family histories. Ito’s grandfather witnessed the explosion of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima that killed his family, while Keiper’s grandfather was an engineer who contributed to the effort to develop the bomb. Their collaboration grapples with this history while asserting its pertinence to a contemporary audience living in an increasingly unstable political landscape. Ito and Keiper seek mutual understanding while contemplating the roots, sorrow, and scope of the bombing. The artists will discuss their project Afterimage Requiem, a pairing of Ito’s 108 photographic prints, and Keiper’s four-channel audio experience, as well as their forthcoming work, Archives Aflame.

In 2016, Ito and Keiper received the Rubys Artist Project Grant through the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance to create Afterimage Requiem. The Rubys was conceived and initiated with start-up funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and are a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. Further support for this project comes from Full Circle Fine Art Services.

Andrew Paul Keiper is a sound artist based in Baltimore, Maryland, where he is faculty in the Animation and Film programs at the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work addresses the legacy of nuclear weaponry, race and white supremacy in Baltimore, and the frontier between sound art and experimental music. Andrew’s art has spanned the gamut from painting and woodworking to video and performance, but currently, he primarily produces sound-based art, installation, sound design, and scores. His work very often portrays reverberant acoustic spaces and the ways sounds erode when transmitted or recorded. Andrew’s work asks the audience to listen deeply into and through imagined worlds that both resist and open up to our hearing. Andrew received his BFA in painting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2002 and his MFA from MICA’s Photographic and Electronic Media program in 2016. He has exhibited in Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Washington, DC. Andrew’s work has been covered by the Washington Post Magazine, the Washington Post, the BBC, the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Bmore Art and others.

Kei Ito is a conceptual photographer working primarily with camera-less image making and installation art. Ito earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016, following his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2014. Ito’s work addresses issues of deep loss and intergenerational connection as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography. His recent exhibitions include Afterimage Requiem at the Baltimore War Memorial funded by the Rubys Artist grant; an art billboard project in NYC funded by 14×, an art billboard organization; Only What We Can Carry, a solo show at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC; a solo exhibition hosted by Noorderlicht in the Netherlands; and he is one of the participants of 2018 FOTOFOCUS Biennial in Cincinnati. Ito’s works have been collected by major art institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL; the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL; the California Institute of Integral Studies/Chroma in San Francisco, CA; En Foco in the Bronx, NY; and the Nikon Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.


CIRCA Presents: Fall 2018 Events

CIRCA Presents Erick Benitez

Winner of the 2018 Sondheim Award
Dresher Conference Room, PAHB 216
December 5, Noon – 1:00
Event curated by IMDA MFA Candidate Nicole Ringel

Erick Antonio Benitez is a Salvadorian-American multidisciplinary artist, sound alchemist, organizer, and curator. Benitez’s work primarily consists of installation, video, performance, sound, and painting to explore concepts of identity, culture, mysticism, and the natural world. He uses multimedia methods as a means of investigating multi-nationality and identity, immigration, and the current state of global climate change. Erick will discuss his Sondheim award-winning project “Esta Tierra Es Tu Tierra,” “A City of Magic Carpets,” and recent video work. Erick received his BFA in painting and video from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and had been awarded a Ruby Artist Project Grant (2016), The Contemporary Grit Fund (2016),  was a Baker Artist Award Finalist earlier this year and received the Walter & Janet Sondheim Award last summer.


Oliver Wasow

CIRCA Presents: Mark Alice Durant and Gary Rozanc – New Publications

Wednesday, October 3, Noon – 1:00 PM
PAHB 216

Mark Alice Durant, a Professor of Visual Arts, will present on Saint Lucy Books, which extends the mission of the Saint Lucy website. This publishing venture that has published three titles: 27 Contexts: An Anecdotal History in Photography by Mark Alice DurantHidden Mother by Laura Larson, and Conversations with Saint Lucy, featuring conversations with five important contemporary photographers: Sarah Blesener, Elinor Carucci, Doug DuBois, Ron Jude, and Rania Matar. Durant will focus his presentation on Oliver Wasow’s Friends, Enemies, and Strangers, which was released in the Spring of 2018.

UMBC Visual Arts Assistant Professor Gary Rozanc, host of the notable podcast Design Edu Today, will discuss his forthcoming publication Browsers, Devices, and Fonts: A designer’s guide to fonts and how they function on the web. The book will be published through CRC Press and is forthcoming in December 2018.

CIRCA Presents Jules Rosskam, UMBC Visual Arts and Margaret Rorison, MICA

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 7:00 – 8:00pm
PAHB 132, lecture hall

Jules Rosskam is an award-winning filmmaker, educator and interdisciplinary artist interested in liminal spaces: the space between male and female, between documentary and fiction, between moving image and still. His interdisciplinary practice works to induce a perceptual shift in our understanding of how and what bodies mean in the context of documentary film, toward an apprehension of multiplicities. He is the director, producer, and editor of transparent (2005), against a trans narrative (2009), Thick Relations (2012), Something to Cry About (2018), and Paternal Rites (2018).

Recent screenings include the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Art Boston, the British Film Institute, Arsenal Berlin, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, and the QueensMuseum of Art. Recent residencies include Marble House Project, PLAYA, ACRE, Yaddo, and ISSUE Project Room. Rosskam holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Film, Video, New Media, 2008). He is currently Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Paternal Rites will be screening at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance on September 21.

Memory of August

Margaret Rorison will be presenting some select short 16mm films and discussing the relationship between travel, walking, poetry and projection. Her current work explores the visceral nature of memory, often collaborating and presenting with sound artists, exploring ways in which the image and machine can converse.

Margaret Rorison is filmmaker and curator from Baltimore, MD. Her works often develop from explorations through rural and urban landscapes, combining language, sound and imagery to create installations, films and live 16mm projections. Her recent films explore the visceral nature of memory and its dialogue between space and experience. She is interested in the potentials of storytelling through the use of 16mm projection and sound, often collaborating with sound artists, exploring ways in which the image and machine can converse. Rorison won a 2018 Baker Artist Award for Film, she is a recipient of a 2016 Rubys Artist Project Grants, a recipient of The Maryland State Arts Council 2016 Individual Artist Awards and 2015 Sondheim Semi-finalist. She was awarded a 2015 Grit Fund Grant in addition to a 2012 and 2014 Launch Artists in Baltimore Grant to start a new experimental film series, Sight Unseen which has been running since 2012/. Her work has been exhibited at Anthology Film Archives, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, Miami PULSE Art Fair, Mono No Aware VI & VII, Microscope Gallery, The Moscow Museum of Modern Art and The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

CIRCA Presents: 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.

Spring 2018 Events:

CIRCA Presents: Neil Feather 

Wednesday, February 28, 12 – 1pm,
PAHB 216 (lunch provided)

Neil Feather is internationally known as an inventor of experimental musical instruments. The instruments combine strings, springs, magnets, motors, flywheels, electromagnetic pickups, bicycles, bowling balls and other matter to explore the sounds of unlikely physical events. He has performed hundreds of concerts across the United States, Canada and New Zealand. He has created numerous site-specific sound installations. Neil Feather has been a key player in Baltimore’s vibrant music and art community since 1985. He was a founding member of the Red Room Collective and the High Zero Foundation. The collective presents 50 concerts a year. The High Zero Festival is in its 18th year of presenting world-class improvised and experimental music in an unusual and vital structure. Neil Feather won the Sondheim Art Prize and the Trawick Contemporary Art Prize. He was included in the Exhibit “Art or Sound” in Venice, Italy. His instruments are featured in the contemporary ballet “Sunset o6.39 Hours” produced by Ballet X in Philadelphia. He is a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. For this presentation, Mr. Feather will talk about the taxonomy of his unique instrument designs and how ideas about music and technology find context in art galleries, performance venues and media.

CIRCA Presents: Professor Eric Dyer, Visual Arts & Professor Lynn Watson, Theatre

Wed April 25, 12 – 1pm, PAHB 216 (lunch provided)

Professor Watson will present her work-in-progress supported by her CIRCA Fellowship, using Fitzmaurice Voicework (FV), a voice training methodology undertaken primarily by actors and professional voice users. A number of speech/language pathologists have also begun implementing aspects of it in clinical settings. Anecdotal reports have suggested that practicing FV (which involves a specially designed series exercises that are gently aerobic) results in effects similar to those of “mindfulness meditation” and “flow state”—reduced anxiety, increased confidence, and improved cognitive function. In January of 2017, Professor Watson partnered with two colleagues at Texas Tech University (from the departments of Theatre and Psychology) on a pilot study to test cognitive and other effects of FV through use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain. The CIRCA project involves writing an article on the results of the pilot study, investigating wider implications for performing artists, and planning for an additional study with a larger subject group.

Lynn Watson is a Professor of Theatre at UMBC where she teaches voice, speech, and acting (Shakespeare, contemporary, styles) and vocal directs for department productions. She has worked extensively as a voice, speech, and dialect specialist with many established and highly regarded actors at leading regional theatres across the country including Arena Stage, Center Stage, Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, and Signature Theatre in the DC/Baltimore area. On the West Coast she worked with the American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco), Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles), and South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA). Her articles, writing, and editing appear in various publications, most notably the Journal of Voice, “widely regarded as the world’s premiere journal for voice medicine and research,” and the Voice and Speech Review where she recently joined the Editorial Board. She directed the world premiere of Tina Howe’s short comedy, Milk and Water for the UMBC Theatre “IN 10” festival of short plays. She has acted in regional theatres and Off Broadway at the American Place Theatre in New York. She is a Master Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and Past President of the Voice and Speech Trainer’s Association (VASTA).

Eric Dyer is an artist and educator who brings animation into the physical world with his sequential images, sculptures, and installations. He spent years working at a computer to produce images for the screen. Longing to “get my hands back on the work,” Dyer returned to a tactile creative process. He began exploring the zoetrope, an early form of animation. The device, popular in the 19th century, consists of a slitted drum whose interior is lined with a sequence of images. When the object is spun, the viewer peers through the apertures in the drum and the forms appear to move. By replacing the drum with a fast-shutter digital video camera, Dyer invented the process of making films from spinning sculptures. Dyer continues to innovate with new tools and applications, moving his work off the screen and into real spaces.

His work has been widely exhibited at events and venues such as the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, Ars Electronica, international animation festivals in numerous countries, the screens of Times Square, and the Cairo and Venice Biennales. He has been honored as a Fulbright Fellow, Sundance New Frontier Artist, Creative Capital Artist, and Guggenheim Fellow. Dyer’s fervent exploration of expression through motion has placed his work in books such as Re-imagining Animation: the Changing Face of the Moving Image, Pervasive Animation, Animation: A World History, and A New History of Animation. He has been a visiting artist at institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, ECNU in Shanghai, and CalArts. Dyer is a Professor of visual arts and animation at UMBC and is represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. 

For his CIRCA Presents presentation, Professor Dyer will discuss recent motion artworks that mash together digital and very physical approaches.


Fall 2017 Events:

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 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.

Spring 2017 Events:

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.


Fall 2016 Events:

Visual Arts Corrie Parks: Fluid FramesCFP_SandStudio-2_web-632x427

Special Book Launch and Screening Event
Thursday, November 3, 2016 · 6:00 – 7:00 PM, Reception Follows
Performing Arts & Humanities Building : 132

CIRCA Presents Visual Arts professor Corrie Parks as she launches her new Focal Press book Fluid Frames at UMBC. Accompanying the book launch is a screening of experimental animation, which is a centerpiece to the publication.

Once the realm of a few stalwart artists, animating with sand, clay, and wet paint is now accessible for all filmmakers with an experimental frame of mind. Created directly under the camera with frame-by-frame stopmotion, this “fluid frame animation” provides a completely unique visual world for animators. While pioneering animators such as Caroline Leaf, Alexander Petrov, and Ishu Patel paved the way, the availability of frame capture programs, compositing software and digital workflow is opening up new avenues of exploration for artists of all experience levels. This book will walk you through setting up your studio, choosing and working with your materials, and combining the physical under-the-camera production with digital compositing and effects to enhance your animation.
– Fluid Frames, by Corrie Parks

Animator and author Corrie Francis Parks presents a collection of international short films from contemporary animators featured in the book Fluid Frames: Experimental Animation with Sand, Clay, Paint, and Pixels. Created with wet paint, sand, clay, and charcoal, these films dazzle the eye with light, color, and texture, connecting the physical materials to the narrative and visual trajectory of each film. These artists revel in the process of animation as much as the end goal of the audience’s journey, leaving a memorable impact on not only our perception, but our deeper sensibilities. Q&A with the author will follow the screening.


  • Norman – Robbe Vervaeke – (Belgium, 10:00) – paint on glass
  • Tunnel – Maryam Kashkoolinia – (Iran, 7:20) – sand
  • Night Weaver – Joan Gratz – (USA, 6:00) – clay painting
  • The Well – Philippe Vaucher – (Canada, 12:10) – salt
  • A Tangled Tale – Corrie Francis Parks – (USA, 5:30) – sand
  • Ballad of Holland Island House – Lynn Tomlinson (USA, 4:19) – clay painting
  • Spring – Xin Li (Australia, 3:40) – paint on glass
  • Signum  – Witold Giersz (Poland, 14:00) – progressive drawing

Presenter Bio:

Corrie Francis Parks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at UMBC and a freelance animator and photographer based in Baltimore. An alumna of Dartmouth College and University of Southern California, her award-winning films have been exhibited at over 100 national and international film festivals on every continent except Antarctica. She has been an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony and Fundación Valparaíso, a Fulbright Fellow to New Zealand, and a recipient of a Sierra Foundation Grant for her work in experimental photography. Corrie’s animation and photography emphasizes the integration of digital and traditional mediums and a dialogue between technique and mediums.

Following the screening, chat with the author and enjoy light reception fare.

Spring 2016 Events:

Naughty Dog Studios’ Marianne Hayden, UMBC ‘03 MH-MoCapSmall

In a special alumni focused CIRCA event
Monday, April 25, 2016 Noon – 1:00 PM
Performing Arts and Humanities Building room 102, Theater Rehearsal Studio

CIRCA Presents is a series championing important new work in the performing and visual arts. As UMBC celebrates its 50th anniversary CIRCA will highlight the accomplishments of exceptional Visual and Performing Arts alumni. A reception, with vegetarian options, will be provided by CIRCA. This event is co-presented with the Theater Department at UMBC.


Marianne Hayden, will discuss her work as a cinematics animator at Naughty Dog, one of the worlds leading video game companies, which is based in Santa Monica, California. She has worked on Uncharted 1,2,3,and 4, The Last of Us, The Last of Us: Left Behind, and many other titles. Hayden has contributed to the animation team, which has been awarded an Annie, BAFTAs, VGAs and numerous Game of the Year awards. She specializes in high quality, realistic, facial and animal animation.

Presenter Bio:

Marianne Hayden was an UMBC Linehan Artist scholar and graduated from UMBC in 2003 with a BA in visual arts and a BFA in theater. She continued her education at The California Institute of the Arts, earning her MFA in experimental animation in the Film/Video department. Marianne has worked at a range of studios, including Insomniac, Technicolor, Treyarch, Imagi, and Naughty Dog, Inc.

Along with being a professional animator Hayden uses her theater background to direct motion capture shoots as well as act on the motion capture stage. She earned her SAG card while on maternity leave, doing stunt work for Uncharted 3.

Marianne Hayden at IMDb.


Spring 2015 Events:

Two Video Works by John Sturgeon
Archivist (2010)

Archivist (2010)

Monday, May 4, 2015 | 6:00 – 7:00 PM 
PAHB 132

This event marked the inaugural CIRCA Presents event.

UMBC Professor John Sturgeon of Visual Arts debuted his video with which we sleep (2015), and presented ARCHIVIST: cleaving among the houses (2010), both produced and directed by the artist. John Sturgeon engaged the audience in conversation around these two works, which served as a capstone to his career at UMBC.

John Sturgeon is a digital media artist-poet, practicing in video, installation, performance and interactive forms, with interests in tele-performative and streaming media collaborations. For over four decades, Sturgeon has exhibited, screened and lectured about his work both nationally and internationally, including solo commissions at The Museum of Modern Art, NY and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His work is represented in the collections of major museums worldwide, with a history of awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim Fellowship, several NEA Individual and Media Arts awards and two Fulbright Scholar appointments – most recently serving as: US-UK Fulbright Scholar 2012-13, University of the Arts London.