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Transformations: New Directions in Black Art Conference, October 22-25, 2009

Oct. 22-25 Conference Features Internationally Renowned Artists, Curators and Critics; DJ Spooky, Kara Walker, Deborah Willis among participants

Posted 07.27.09 by MICA Media Relations

Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid

BALTIMORE--MICA's 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 Thursday, Oct. 22-Sunday, Oct. 25. 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 with his keynote performance for the third Conference for African American Art.

Transformations, a call-and-response town hall meeting and the launch event of the Center for Race and Culture, 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 and scholars, 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, 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, Galerie Myrtis and WESTNORTH Studio Gallery.

Conference fees:

Conference fees are $150 before Thursday, Oct. 1 ($200 after) for general admission, $100 for single-day attendance; MICA alumni are $100 before Thursday, Oct. 1 ($150 after); non-MICA students are $50 with current photo ID; non-MICA faculty are $75 with current photo ID; MICA students, faculty and staff are free.

DJ Spooky's keynote performance, which is included in the conference fee, is free to MICA students and faculty, $10 for non-MICA students and $20 for the general public.

Scholarships are available for artists and community members. The application deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Shuttles will be provided to the Sunday Salon of off-campus exhibitions and parties for $10.

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 list of panelists, online registration and hotel information, visit the Transformations Web page.

Members of the media who wish to interview Dr. Leslie King-Hammond or individual conference panelists, should call 410-225-2300.

MICA's Center for Race and Culture:
Transformations: New Directions in Black Art, the third 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.

Image caption: Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid by Tamar Levine.

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.

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Register for the Transformations Conference

For more information about the conference go to www.mica.edu/transformations.

Transformers II: More Than Meets the Eye Exhibition

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 II: More Than Meets the Eye. This exhibition 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.

The exhibition opens Sunday, Oct. 18 and continues through Sunday, Oct. 25 in the Rosenberg Gallery of Brown Center, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave. A reception takes place Thursday, Oct. 22, 5-7 p.m.

Rims on My Slave Ship

The Black Student Union presents the exhibition Rims on My Slave Ship, Thursday, Oct. 22-Sunday, Nov. 8 in Main Gallery of Main Building, 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave. A reception takes place Thursday, Oct. 22, 4:30-6:30 p.m.