MICA’s M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice Students Examine Five Local Artists’ Experiences Through Commissioned Work
Posted 08.04.14 by MICA COMMUNICATIONS
Baltimore--This fall, MICA's M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice class of 2015 explores how exchanges between local artists and their neighbors help a community thrive. For LOCALLY SOURCED, five artists based in central Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District--faculty member Aaron Henkin, Jason Hoylman '07, Nether, Wendel Patrick and Paula Whaley--will showcase newly commissioned works in a variety of media. Through sculpture, sound, photography and painting, these artists will offer different perspectives on the vibrant and interconnected cultural landscape of Station North.
"LOCALLY SOURCED goes beyond looking at the artwork itself by examining artists' social roles and the contributions they provide to the neighborhoods they work within," said Kelly Johnson '15, co-curator and M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice candidate. "In the process of making their work, all of these artists grow networks of people around them which in turn contribute to the success of their art."
The curators assert: The selected artists are not all activists, nor do they all create specifically community-based projects. But their awareness of and engagement with their communities are essential to their working methods.
"The artists will highlight their exchanges with the neighborhood," said Melani Douglass '15, co-curator and M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice candidate. "These five artists have been introduced to each other for the first time through this project, and we [the curators] examine how the artists' networks overlap-informing, contributing to and impacting both arts and non-arts communities."
Featured artists include:
MICA faculty member and public radio host Aaron Henkin and musician Wendel Patrick collect and collage personal narratives through sound and image. Through Patrick's work at performing arts venue the Windup Space with the Baltimore Boom Bap Society, an experimental hip-hop collective, and Henkin's work at MICA and WYPR Radio, they have both embedded themselves in the creative community of Station North. For LOCALLY SOURCED, the duo will work in the neighborhoods of Station North to create a rendition of their previous collaboration Out of the Blocks, a series that combined experimental sounds, music and photographs with the oral histories of residents in Baltimore's Waverly neighborhood.
Jason Hoylman's '07 (general sculptural studies) practice relies on his astute observations of space and community in Station North. As he walks his daily routes, he records his observations and interactions with different populations, from long-time residents and families, to commuters, students and business owners. Hoylman has given Station North community members Walking Journals to record their paths through the neighborhood. For the exhibition, he will carve these paths into a large-scale plywood map, creating a visualization of a community's overlapping uses of space.
Nether is a street artist and muralist. His large-scale wheat paste portraits on abandoned buildings and neglected storefronts call attention to local activist voices and tackle social issues such as vacant housing. Nether sees his environment as a canvas, which visually realizes his street level connection with people, thus initiating discussion and action. The exhibition will feature a newly commissioned mural, highlighting the different types of wisdom that can be found within a community. The mural will be accompanied by painted portraits of Station North community members.
Paula Whaley is a figurative sculptor who uses paper, fabric and other organic materials to create stylized sculptural portraits. Active in the Station North community, Whaley operates a storefront gallery in her home, exhibiting local artists and providing an intimate learning space for workshops she holds for groups such as Baltimore's Youth Resiliency Institute. Her studio and the artworks within it can provide a spiritually uplifting environment for her community. For LOCALLY SOURCED, Whaley will create a large-scale sculptural installation.
Sculpture Workshop with Paula Whaley
Sunday, Aug. 17, 3-5 p.m., Free
The Living Well, 2443 N. Charles St.
With MICA's M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice, LOCALLY SOURCED exhibiting artist Paula Whaley will hold her first public intergenerational sculpture workshop, giving seniors and youths the opportunity to make art together. Participants can create clay figures, learn special techniques using organic materials and strengthen community relationships. Event sponsors: Village Learning Place and the Living Well. Space is limited. RSVP by Sunday, Aug. 10 to Melani Douglass '15 at firstname.lastname@example.org with PAULA WHALEY WORKSHOP in the subject line.
Saturday, Sept. 13, 1-3 p.m., Free
MICA's Fred Lazarus IV Center: Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries, 131 W North Ave.
The Collective Dance Company, accompanied by live music from electronic rock duo the Water, will perform site-specific dance responding to the themes presented in LOCALLY SOURCED. AKIMBO 2014 is the third annual festival of site-specific dance and movement art in Station North. Event sponsors: AKIMBO, Deep Vision Dance Company, the Collective and the Water.
MICA's M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice highlights the College's active role in the Baltimore community. Each year, students work with residents in Station North-one of the nation's first state-endorsed Arts & Entertainment Districts-to create collaborative exhibitions and programs. Previous Curatorial Practice projects include CONGREGATE Art + Faith + Community (2013), in which temporary artist residencies were established in five Station North houses of worship, and Invited (2012), for which site-specific artworks were created in 10 non-arts businesses in the district.
LOCALLY SOURCED is presented by MICA's M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice class of 2015, with faculty members Jeffry Cudlin and Gerald Ross. The program allows students to explore new methods of exhibition presentation, thinking outside of traditional models and training to create relevant, timely and accessible exhibitions for diverse audiences. The graduate program is the first M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice in the United States. Curatorial Practice is directed by George Ciscle, MICA's curator-in-residence and creator of MICA's innovative Exhibition Development Seminar.
LOCALLY SOURCED will be on view Tuesday, Sept. 2-Sunday, Sept. 21 in Fred Lazarus IV Center's Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries (131 W. North Ave.), with an opening reception on Friday, Sept. 5, 5-7 p.m. Hours for MICA's galleries, which are free and open to the public, are Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays, noon-5 p.m.
For the most up-to-date visitor information, visit the exhibition website here.
This exhibition is made possible in part by support from the Friends of Curatorial Practice and an Office of Community Engagement grant.
Image captions (top to bottom): Nether, Monroe Street, photo by artist; Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick, Out of the Blocks; Jason Hoylman created Walking Journals for LOCALLY SOURCED participants, photo by Yeim Bae; and work by Paula Whaley (detail), photo by Emily Russell.
Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.