Ashley Clemmer Hoffman '04 was in the first graduating class of MICA's Masters of Art in Community Art (MACA) Program in 2006. A native of Lexington, Va and graduate of Roanoke College's Visual Arts Program, Clemmer Hoffman joined MICA's pilot AmeriCorps program, Community Art Corps (CAC) in 2004, and served as the Arts Instructor at the Julie Center, a multi-purpose Community Center in Southeast Baltimore. During her second year in CAC and while enrolled in the MACA program, Clemmer Hoffman served as the Assistant Director of Education at the Creative Alliance, where she helped to develop, organize and instruct free 10 weeklong after-school literature-based art classes. For her Thesis project, Clemmer Hoffman conceptualized, produced and managed Tasting Traditions a multicultural tapas dinner, and oral history presentation at Creative Alliance, in collaboration with five Highlandtown businesses/restaurants and sponsored by Maryland Traditions.
After relocating to Houston, TX , Clemmer Hoffman joined the team at Project Row Houses (PRH), as the Public Art Director. During here five years there (2006 -2012), she worked with over 150 artists in the creation of original artist projects within the context of Houston's Historic Third Ward. She developed Summer Studios , a six-week-long residency for undergraduate art students attending the ten area Colleges/Universities in the Greater Houston area to create site-specific, community-engaged projects in PRH's Artist Project Houses; she curated, organized and managed the bi-annual Artist Rounds, working with emerging, mid-career and professional , national/ international artists; managed the annual yearlong PRH/ Core Residency; produced countless public programs in collaboration with various Houston's arts organizations and provided communication and marketing for PRH as a whole.
Among many projects, Clemmer Hoffman co-curated Round 34: Matter of Food, reviewed in Gastronomica, and featuring artists, chefs, historians, nutritionists, and gardeners who explored an array of food-related topics that included the labor conditions that bring us readily accessible food, the process of urban farming and sustainable practice, the role of food in our belief systems and daily rituals, the image of the African American cook, and the recipes that are passed down from generation to generation preserving cultural heritage and family legacy. Participating artists included Tarsha M. Gary, Michael Pribich, RootDown H-Town, Toni Tipton-Martin & Luanne Stovall, Jorge Rojas, Tattfoo Tan. See a full slide show on Project Row Houses website.
During her last year at PRH, Clemmer Hoffman worked closely with Los Angeles-based artist, Ashley Hunt, in the creation of Communograph, a multi-platform art project, organized in collaboration with residents of Houston’s Third Ward community, Project Row Houses, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, and students and faculty of the University of Houston’s School of Art. As part of the project, she co-curated a series of public programs Mapping Community Through Creative Action, featuring artists Mel Chin, Rick Lowe, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, along with local bus and walking tours .
While in Houston, Clemmer Hoffman has been involved on various artist panels, committees and collaborations. As a representative of PRH and one of the founding collaborative partners, she helped to develop and implement The Idea Fund, an artist granting program funded through the Warhol Initiative providing ten grants annually to Texas-based artists. She also served as the Regional Desk as one of the participating partners for the Visual Artist Network, a national network of visual artists, curators, and exhibitors providing opportunities and subsidy support for under-recognized visual artists. She was selected to participate in NAMAC's 2011 Leadership Institute and was featured in the July issue of Arts and Culture Magazine.
In February 2012 Clemmer Hoffman left her position at PRH to join the Rothko Chapel in a newly developed role, Community Engagement Director. In her short time there, she has launched the first ever Rothko Chapel Guild , a group of fifteen committed volunteers, ages 24-81 who play a regular role in the face of the organization. In this new role, Clemmer Hoffman is also tasked to think strategically about how the Chapel engages the public, from sacred services, to membership, to tours and public programs.