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MICA Hosts DJ Spooky

Transformations: New Directions in Black Art Wednesday, Nov. 12-Sunday, Nov. 16

Posted 10.16.08 by MICA Media Relations

DJ Spooky

Maryland Institute College of Art's(MICA) Center for Race and Culture (CRC) and W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University present Transformations: New Directions in Black Art Wednesday, Nov. 12-Sunday, Nov. 16. Conceptual artist, writer, and musician Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, will bring his unique perspective on the integration of music, art, and technology in his keynote performance for the third annual Conference for African-American Art.

Transformations features lively moderated presentations, exhibitions, screenings, book signings, and parties at MICA and collaborating Baltimore arts and cultural institutions. Panelists are drawn from a stellar, international group of distinguished black artists, including three MacArthur "genius grant" Fellows: Aminah Robinson, Kara Walker, and Dr. Deborah Willis H'06.

Conference panels will focus on such topics as technology and the arts, closing the gap between art and craft, the impact of receiving a MacArthur fellowship, intersection of fine arts and popular culture-hip hop, animation, comics, and fashion- artists' relationship to community, and how the increasingly international presence of black artists has transformed notions of ethnicity and nationalism. Transformations will investigate the impact of black art and artists in shaping contemporary arts and culture, and the diverse global influences that have affected contemporary black artists in a wide range of fields.

"The goal of the conference is to stimulate dialogue and examine the myriad range of black identities that have emerged as our world has been transformed through globalism and new developments in the environment, politics, economy, and technology," said Dr. Leslie King Hammond, director of the Center for Race and Culture and MICA's dean emeritus of graduate studies. "Conference panels will pay critical attention to the role of the art maker in society and institutions committed to the education, exhibition, research, and preservation of cultural heritage and aesthetic agency in the first decade of the 21st century." Transformations will foster relationships, partnerships, and collaborations for future initiatives in the arts across cultures-because artists and the arts are major players, not just as image- and object-makers, but as crucial problem-solvers addressing issues critical to the future of our world and communities.

The conference is supported by collaborating partnerships with Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, James E. Lewis Museum at Morgan State University, Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Joshua Johnson Council at Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum, Maryland Art Place, Creative Alliance at The Patterson, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Goya Contemporary, Contemporary Museum, Epsilon Omega Chapter of AKA, Tuttle Gallery/McDonogh School, and Galerie Myrtis.

Conference fees are $200 before Friday, Oct. 17 ($250 after) for general admission; $125 for one day; $120 for MICA faculty; and $60 for MICA students. Scholarships are available for artists and community members. Shuttles will be provided to off-campus exhibitions and parties.

Tickets for DJ Spooky's keynote performance (included in full conference fee) can be purchased separately for $20. MICA faculty, staff, and student can attend at no charge with a ticket (limited quantities available). Tickets can be purchased and picked up at the MICA Bookstore or at the Center for Race and Culture.

For more information, call 410-225-2255. For a full conference schedule and online registration, visit the Transformations Web site.

Conference participants:

Derrick Adams, MICA painting faculty and curatorial director of Rush Arts Gallery & Resource Center

Dr. Andrea Barnwell, director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

Willie Birch '73, painter, sculptor, and educator

Iona Rozeal Brown, painter whose works are inspired by ganguro fashion

Rashida Bumbray, assistant curator, The Kitchen

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, interdisciplinary artist

Brett Cook, public and collaborative artist

Renee Cox, photographer, mixed-media artist

Kim Curry-Evans, director of 40 Acres Art Gallery in Sacramento, Calif.

Sandra Jackson-Dumont, adjunct curator and deputy director of Education & Public Programs, Seattle Art Museum

Maren Hassinger, director of MICA's Rinehart School of Sculpture

David Huffman, artist, Afro-futurist

Philip Mallory Jones, multi-media artist

Stephen Marc, photographer

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, editor of Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture

Senga Nengudi, multidisciplinary artist

Senam Okudzeto, painter and 2002 Pollock-Krasner Award winner

Aminah Robinson, fiber artist and 2004 MacArthur Fellow

Deirdre Scott, director of technology, Studio Museum in Harlem

Danny Simmons, artist, novelist, poet, and creator of HBO's Def Poetry

Dr. Lowery Sims H'88, curator, Museum of Arts and Design

Franklin Sirmans, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Menil Collection in Houston

Shinique Smith '92, '03, multidisciplinary artist

Dr. David Terry, executive director of Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture

Dr. Krista Thompson, independent curator and assistant professor of art history at Northwestern University

Randall Vega, Director of Cultural Affairs for Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA)

Dr. Ben Vinson, director, Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University

Kara Walker, internationally renowned artist and 1997 MacArthur Fellow

Dr. Deborah Willis H'06, art photographer, historian of African American photography, and 2001 MacArthur Fellow

Saya Woolfalk, experimental multi-media artist

MICA's Center for Race and Culture: Transformations: New Directions in Black Art, the third annual Conference for African American Art, is the inaugural event of MICA's newest center focusing on research in visual art and design, the Center for Race and Culture (CRC), directed by Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, MICA's dean emeritus of graduate studies. The center invites scholars, doctoral candidates, artists, critics, musicians, actors, and historians to research or create events, exhibitions, projects, or performances that focus on the aesthetic dynamics of race and culture with the intent to break down racial barriers and build bridges of cultural understanding. It prepares students for leadership roles in the regional, national, and international art world.

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Exhibition: Oct. 13-Nov. 16

Curator Derrick Adams, a MICA painting faculty member and curatorial director of Rush Arts Gallery & Resource Center in New York City, brings together MICA alumni and current students working in a variety of media for Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. This monthlong survey of new work by black artists highlights MICA's presence and promise in the art world and complements the Transformations: New Directions in Black Art conference.

"Critical discussions on race, religion, sexuality, and ownership mutate from the previously established standard formulas of ‘representing' to the endless options for masquerade explored by today's contemporary artists of color," Adams says in his curator's statement. "Living with the many contradictions in the way we embrace and represent culture, these artists are free to interpret the past, giving us an ever changing and expanding perspective on our culture and ourselves."

The exhibition opens Monday, Oct. 13 and continues through Sunday, Nov. 16 in the galleries of The Gateway, MICA's brand new student life and residence center. A reception takes place Thursday, Nov. 13, 5-7 p.m.

Participating artists: Arvay Adams '95, Giselle Bailey '08, Miles Bumbray '08, Andrea Chung '08, William Downs '01, '03, Rashawn Griffin '02, Claes Gabriel '99, Kenyatta Hinkle '09, Michelle Jean '07, Jules Joseph '07, Lauren Kelley '97, Malcolm Lomax '09, Crystal Marshall '08, Wayde McIntosh '08, Alexis Peskine '04, '05, Andy Robert '08, Marc Andre Robinson '02, Jamilah Abdul-Sabur '09, Jacolby Satterwhite '08, Whitney Simpkins '08, Leslie Smith '07, Shinique Amie Smith '92, '03, Stanley Squirewell '07, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum '07, Didier William '07, Tedra Wilson '06, Cosmo Whyte '07, Tonya Ingersol '02, and Annette Lawrence '90.

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 52 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.