Public Art

INFLIGHT (2019) by Volkan Alkanoglu

Commissioned for UMBC’s Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB), installed on three large interior panels and composed out of hundreds of unique and individual elements.

Volkan Alkanoglu is a designer based in Portland, Oregon, where he is the founding principal of the practice VA | DESIGN. His work is focused on the pursuit of novel form through spatial, material and technological explorations. Recent work has been permanently installed in several institutions within the Unites States, including Clemson University, Boston’s Clippership Wharf, Yeshiva Museum in New York, Fort Lauderdale International Airport, University of Oregon in Eugene, Salt Lake Community College, Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Washington Metropolitan Police Training Facility, Fort Lewis College in Durango and the University of Colorado in Denver. Volkan Alkanoglu was previously the director for graduate studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and was on the design faculty at SCI-Arc (the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles), and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. The creation of INFLIGHT was supported by funds from Maryland State Arts Council’s Public Art Initiative.




Forum (2014), by Thomas Sayre

UMBC, in partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council, is very pleased to announce the selection of renowned artist Thomas Sayre to create a public art installation at the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building (PAHB). From the more than 140 qualified proposals, three finalists were invited to campus to present their site-specific design concept to the Principal Selection Committee. After much reflection and discussion, the committee voted Sayre’s concept as the most reflective of UMBC’s vision of a public art installation that invites community engagement, reflects the passage of time, and embraces the values and culture of UMBC.

Reading The Odyssey, December 2014
Reading The Odyssey, December 2014

Thomas Sayre has designed and built public art projects all over the world and has participated in design teams for civic, educational and museum buildings. Along with architect Steve Schuster, Sayre is a founding principal in the multi-disciplinary design firm Clearscapes, based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sayre believes that art will only work when disparate opinions come together through collaboration to form a coherent vision.





Joseph Beuys Tree Partnership Project (2000 – 2001)
Image courtesy of the CADVC

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was a German performance artist who used his roles as a teacher, artist, and activist to push the boundaries of what is considered art. Rooted firmly in the notion that “everyone is an artist,” Beuys formulated the notion of social sculpture: that all of society is an ongoing total work of art.

Beuys’ sculpture project, 7000 Oaks, was initiated in Baltimore in 2000. Over 20 organizations partnered to plant over 350 trees and stones with the help of over 500 individuals. The sculpture can be found in Patterson Park, Carroll Park, Wyman Park Dell, and at the Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park at UMBC.

At the park, viewers are invited to write or sketch in an empty journal that remains on a large wooden bench. Each journal has been archived and recorded online, and may be accessed here.

A more comprehensive description of the project can be found at the Center for Art Design and Visual Culture website.