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Contemporary Museum, MICA Organize McCallum and Tarry Survey, May 8–July 31

Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, others cover exhibition; The Marc Steiner Show, WYPR Maryland Morning interview artists

Posted 03.26.10 by MICA Communications

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Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry, Reward for Victory

BALTIMORE--The Contemporary Museum and MICA's Exhibition Development Seminar present Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, a mid-career survey of work by artists Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry to be shown at the Contemporary Museum, 100 W. Centre St., and various host venues throughout Baltimore, Saturday, May 8-Saturday, July 31.

This exhibition will feature more than 10 years of work by McCallum and Tarry and will premiere their Projection Series--a new self-portrait video and painting series composed of film stills and stage photographs that investigates the intersection of race and popular culture--as well as feature selections from earlier site-specific projects, which is artwork created for a particular space.

A collaborative artist team since 1998, Brooklyn-based artists McCallum and Tarry have worked and exhibited globally, seeking to surface and discuss issues revolving around marginalized members of society. Their work, which takes many forms including large-scale public projects, performance, sculpture, painting, photography, video and self-portraiture, challenges audiences to face issues of race and social justice in family, community and history.

_____________________________________________________________
READ: The Washington Post review by chief art critic Blake Gopnik.
READ: The Baltimore Sun feature of the citywide exhibition.
LISTEN: The Marc Steiner Show interview with McCallum and Tarry.
LISTEN: The WYPR Maryland Morning With Sheilah Kast interview with the artists.
READ: The Patuxent Publishing review of Bearing Witness.
WATCH: McCallum and Tarry's Otis: some thoughts on being a separate human being, 2004, on view at the Contemporary Museum


"Jackie and I have chosen to create works that draw audiences in and challenge them to think about the civic issues of our time and the historic underpinnings that inform these issues," McCallum said.

"Our goal is to create artwork that has a visceral, physical and emotional presence," Tarry said. "We create installations that encourage viewers to navigate the personal memories and experiences of an individual story contained within a broader social and political context."

Bearing Witness connects McCallum and Tarry's community-based projects, which were initially displayed in public spaces, with their gallery-based video, painting and installation works. In presenting these projects together for the first time, this exhibition will reveal the layered conceptual, aesthetic and historic threads in their practice. It will simultaneously make connections between McCallum and Tarry's work and Baltimore's local issues, institutions, histories and communities.

The artists envision a journey between venues as a reflective framework for viewers to consider the individual artworks, their own personal connections to the city and the collective responsibility of all citizens in an imperfect society.

The Contemporary Museum will be the primary exhibition site for Bearing Witness. Additional sites will serve as temporary homes for works by McCallum and Tarry that relate directly to those institutions' collections and missions. They include MICA, the Carroll Mansion, Maryland Art Place, the Phoenix Shot Tower, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, and The Walters Art Museum.

"From its founding, the Contemporary Museum has been a flexible collaborator, often working with Baltimore's cultural institutions to realize ambitious projects that introduce challenging works and ideas to a larger public," said Irene Hofmann, executive director of the Contemporary Museum. "With Bearing Witness, the museum continues this tradition through its collaboration with MICA, as it presents work which speaks to some of the most challenging issues of our time."

McCallum and Tarry's recent exhibitions include Prospect 1, New Orleans, 2008; Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery, The New-York Historical Society, 2006; and Witness: Perspectives on Police Violence, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, N.Y., 2000. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Caren Golden Fine Art, New York; Kinkead Contemporary, Los Angeles; and Kiang Gallery, Atlanta. In addition, McCallum and Tarry have been commissioned to realize large-scale civic and public works; most recently, they were awarded a commission to create a Malcolm X memorial at the intersection of Central Park and Malcolm X Boulevard in New York City.

Led by MICA faculty member Jennie Hirsh, a historian of modern and contemporary art, the College's Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) 2009/2010 is partnering with the Contemporary Museum and featured artists McCallum and Tarry. Each seminar offers a unique opportunity for student curators, educators and designers to organize a professional exhibition. Students in the class are responsible for every aspect of the project, including curatorial and site research, design and production of print- and Web-based materials, and educational programming. The goal of EDS is to explore new ways to engage artists, students, museums, galleries and the Baltimore community.

"Working with the students of this year's Exhibition Development Seminar reaffirms the value of combining history, theory and practice when teaching contemporary art history," Hirsh said. "Bearing Witness represents not only a comprehensive mid-career survey of McCallum and Tarry's work but also the rich benefits of collaborative efforts between multiple institutions, museum professionals, educators, artists and students."

Bearing Witness is part of the Contemporary Museum's Project 20, a yearlong series of exhibitions, performances and site-specific projects celebrating the museum's 20th anniversary. Each of the artists participating in Project 20 was selected by one of 20 guest curators who each played a significant role in shaping the Contemporary Museum's history, including artists, directors and curators.

George Ciscle, MICA's curator-in-residence and founder of the Contemporary Museum, is one of Project 20's guest curators. With the selection of EDS as an artistic endeavor for Project 20, he brings together two unprecedented projects, pushing the boundaries of traditional curatorial paradigms.

"It gives me great satisfaction that this Exhibition Development Seminar has committed its efforts to the inspiring exhibition, Bearing Witness," Ciscle said. "The students understand both the museum's mission and the seminar's educational foundation, and they have thoroughly researched the history of both institutions to promote the relevant artistic and philosophical relationships between them. By their connecting Brad and Jackie's artistic practice to Baltimore, the students are using a curatorial approach that is at the core of my being invited to participate in Project 20."

Bearing Witness is made possible partially through generous support from the Friends of the Exhibition Development Seminar, the National Endowment for the Arts and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund.

The Contemporary Museum is located at 100 W. Centre Street, in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon Cultural District. Museum hours are noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For more visitor information about the Contemporary Museum and Project 20, visit www.contemporary.org or see the exhibition Web site at www.mica.edu/mccallumtarry.

For more information about the exhibition or the Exhibition Development Seminar, call Himmelrich PR at 410.528.5400 or MICA's Office of Communications at 410.225.2300.

Image caption: Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry, Reward for Victory (after Drum, 1976), Projection Series, oil on linen, toner on silk, 2009.

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 48 states and 61 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, 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.


Bearing Witness Images

    View more images by Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry

    ADDITIONAL PRESS MATERIALS:

    -Site-Specific Projects
    -Programming
    -Class Statement
    -Organizers' Bios
    -Fact Sheet

    -Image Sheet
    -Checklist

    EXHIBITION PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS:

    OPENING WEEKEND

    Reception: Friday, May 7, 6-8 p.m.
    Contemporary Museum
    100 W. Centre St.

    Price: Free

    Open House: Saturday, May 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

    All participating venues
    (except MICA, which opens its exhibition on Tuesday, May 25)
    Price: Free
    With student-led tours and a free shuttle service between venues, the Open House also includes an artist Q&A, moderated by Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, founding director of the new Center for Race and Culture at MICA and graduate dean emerita, at 3 p.m., Maryland Art Place, 8 Market Place, Suite 100.

    PROJECTIONS, PERFORMANCE AND POETRY: A NIGHT OF OPEN EXPRESSION

    Friday, May 21, 6-9 p.m.
    Reginald F. Lewis Museum
    830 E. Pratt St.

    Price: Free
    Projections, Performance and Poetry: A Night of Open Expression is an evening of artistic expression that seeks to explore the reality of life in Baltimore at a time when Pennsylvania Avenue was the entertainment district.  Projections, Performance and Poetry: A Night of Open Expression invites attendees to share their original poetry, music, performances, short films, stories and art while investigating the themes of Bearing Witness.

    PROJECTIONS, A FILM SERIES

    Wednesdays, June 16, July 14 and 28, 7 p.m.
    MICA, Brown Center: Falvey Hall
    1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.

    Price: Free
    Projections will feature a selection of films relevant to the themes of the exhibition Bearing Witness. A listing of films will be made available online at the exhibition Web site at www.mica.edu/mccallumtarry.

    CALL AND RESPONSE

    Saturday, May 8-Saturday, July 31
    Exhibition venues and various locations throughout Baltimore marked by signage
    Price: Free
    Call and Response is a self-guided cell phone tour of the galleries and installation spaces that also creates a network of connections between the sites of this multi-venue exhibition by allowing the opportunity for visitors to reflect on the artwork of McCallum and Tarry. The tour is also available on the exhibition Web site, www.mica.edu/mccallumtarry.

    For more programming details, read the program press release.