Tagged: College Park


“Sacred Reflections” Exhibition by PGAC and the David C Driskell Center Reception & Symposium #davidcdriskell

This exhibit TRANSFORMS. Created by the Prince George’s Arts Council and the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Art and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, Sacred Reflections: Creative Visions of Faith in Prince George’s County merges the personal with the collective and yet honors the difference between the one and the many.

I’ve been tweeting tonight at #davidcdriskell and am mesmerized by the people and the artwork here (When not drawn to write something down). There’s pride, joy, thankfulness, and yes…high expectations in this gallery: The people are used to the arts yet know how much we must cultivate them or they’ll disappear. The people here also live here in Prince George’s County: Lives, like the thread on a quilt, are part of the dialogues happening tonight. At some galleries, people have SUCH heads; here, people have SUCH hearts.

There’s a certain gold that can’t be expressed in quick writing–only in experience: So, I won’t try. I’ll just say, come to this exhibit!!! I’ve taken some photos and will post them below. I hope to come back after tonight so I can spend some time with some of my favorite works.

Please see the upcoming post I had made: “Sacred Reflections” at the David C. Driskell Center, July-August 2011 -Symposium/Reception 7/13 4-8pm (more…)

“Sacred Reflections” at the David C. Driskell Center, July-August 2011 – Symposium/Reception 7/13 4-8pm

I am excited to share news of a great exhibit opening tomorrow at the University of Maryland’s David C. Driskell Center called Sacred Reflections. I submitted my work to this exhibition and though I didn’t make it in, a few artists I know will be exhibiting their work (including Alonzo Davis, Cheryl Edwards, Monna Kaupinnen, and Alec Simpson, just to name a few…).

The exhibit symposium and reception will take place on Wednesday, July 13th from 4-8pm!The Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council presents an art exhibition and symposium inspired by religious and spiritual traditions of the African-American community in Prince George’s County and the African Diaspora.

Please let me know if you can come too! It’d be great to have some company with me! (more…)

“Modernity Stripped Bare” Exhibit at The Art Gallery at UMD

I just visited The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland’s Modernity Stripped Bare: Undressing the Nude in Contemporary Japanese Photography exhibit in the Art/Sociology Building for the second time…I’m still bothered by the truths of this exhibit. Perhaps they should have called it “I know who I am and how I am…do you?” The exhibit features bold photographs by five photographers depicting their individual views of nudity, a beautiful person, and situations in which we choose to recognize or ignore other human beings. At least that’s what I got from the exhibit. Here’s the official blurb from the website:

University of Maryland’s The Art Gallery is excited to present an exhibition of the work of five photographers currently living and working in Japan who have chosen to use the nude to examine how our bodies mediate interpersonal relationships.

The exhibition, titled Modernity Stripped Bare: Undressing the Nude in Contemporary Japanese Photography, will feature photographs by Ryoko Suzuki, Yurie Nagashima, Ryudai Takano, Riichi Yamaguchi, and Manabu Yamanaka. These works confront a wide range of issues including gender, sexuality, physical deformation, ageing, and isolation.

This exhibit reminded me of things I normally choose to ignore: Irregular body parts due to birth defects or caused later on, what age does to the elderly body, and that I normally chose to look at aesthetically-pleasing nudes because I don’t want to look at displeasing imagery. I suppose I’m fickle like that, but I’d like to believe I can bare my judgey nature for art’s sake and realize that at heart, I’m a human being with compassion.

I think I want to go to this exhibit again before it closes on April 23rd. I read through a huge chunk of their wonderfully written and designed catalog and still want to learn more. There’s a lot here I know I’m not allowing myself to recognize, that I’m afraid to be so honest and easy to receiving information. I don’t want to give into that, not fully at least. There’s a conference coming up

I took some photos of the exhibit below. Works from Yurie Nagashima and Ryudai Takano, as I was comfortable taking and posting’these photos as opposed to some of the more’pathos-powerful ones featured.”You can view other’photos of works from the gallery’s website here.


By revealing what is often left unseen, these photographers normalize the bodily experiences that are common to all of humanity and expose how isolation and prejudice are systems that operate by making certain populations invisible or visible only in socially prescribed ways,’ explains curator Elizabeth Johnson. ‘The photographers in this exhibition are united in their assertion that we can only come to understand one another if we are willing to see one another.

In conjunction with the exhibition, The Art Gallery will host Reading the Body in Contemporary Culture: A Multi-disciplinary Graduate Student Conference
The Art Gallery is very tech-savvy nowadays. Very proud, (I used to work there!), you can view more information about the exhibit by clicking the following links:

The Art Gallery is located at 2202 Art-Sociology Building on the University of Maryland College Park campus. Please visit www.artgallery.umd.edu or call 301-405-2763 for more information.

Post-Conceptualism Exhibit at UMD Stamp Gallery

Post-Conceptualism Exhibit at UMD Stamp Gallery

So about a week ago I went to the Post-Conceptualism Exhibit at UMD’s Stamp Gallery in College Park. It’s a great exhibit and features plenty of abstract themes. The reception was as crowded as could be, I really look forward to visiting the exhibit with less people so I can grasp the material a bit better. A plus with this exhibit is the information in their binder and on the signs beside each work containing an artist statement. I do wish there was more material to read, but maybe I’m just searching for more in what doesn’t need to be said. You should see for yourself! The exhibit is up until April 8th!

For lack of knowing what to talk about, I’ll just show some photos I took.

The exhibit featuresJohn James Anderson, Diane Blackwell, Mark Cameron Boyd, Reuben Breslar, Willliam Brovelli, Cat Manolis, Meg Mitchell, Ken Weathersby, and David WIlliams. Curated by Mark Cameron Boyd.

“The Stamp Gallery is located on the first floor of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union-Center for Campus Life, at the University of Maryland, College Park. The gallery is free and open to the public Mondays-Thursdays 10:00am – 8:00pm; Fridays 10:00am – 6:00am, and Saturdays 11:00am – 5:00pm.” -For more information visit the gallerys website thestamp.umd.edu/gallery/ or call (301) 314-8493.

Photos are below. View more photos online:

Excerpts from Let Me Down Easy: An Conversation with Anna Deavere Smith at CSPAC

Excerpts from Let Me Down Easy: An Conversation with Anna Deavere Smith at CSPAC

The other night, March 8th,I attended Anna Deavere Smith’s excerpts from her one-woman performance, Let Me Down Easy, at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland -College Park. I know of Smith from Twilight: Los Angeles and Fires from the Mirror as well as from my voice teacher, Leigh Smiley, incorporating techniques Smith employs in our curriculum of Linklater work back when I took her class. Smith’s works have stayed with me since I did a stage management project of Twilight back in high school, for years now. But only upon seeing her in person does the full effect of her presence(s) truly give the earnest of earnest impacts. Not just dead words on paper that come to life in the reader’s mind, but the experience of seeing and hearing and feeling a person consumed with his/her moment right before my very eyes.

Only a few monologues from Smith’s latest work were performed the other night, but the work still has an astounding impact on me. Aside from a theatrical standpoint, of Smith’s technique and her comfort in her work, the message of the work startles and scares me. After writing this blog post once and having WordPress (or myself by accident) delete it, I’m almost too questioning and afraid to write again. But perserve I must! Smith’s work shakes me mostly because her questions and journey resonates to me to the point that my bones shake. A number of months ago, my aunt died due to hospital negligence (aka manslaughter–an insulin overdose that they tried to hide), my mom had anon-invasivesurgery just the other day, my dad’s having hipsurgery ina few days, and I just went to the dentist yesterday. The concept of ‘Will my insurance cover it?’ and ‘Can I trust this doctor?’ ring too close to home. After all, we want our doctors to be safe and comforting–caring and compassionate, not mechnical scientists, theorists, or puzzle-solvers alone. Smith’s characters spoke from various viewpoints: male, female, young, old, American, non-American; and all along, while she doesn’t care to connect the similarities (well that’s my take), the truth is that the only solace available is death. Perhaps it’s too niave to rely on our healthcare system to truly be our backbone-our crutch-our safeguard that if we are sick, we can be saved. After all, with the latest healthcare act passed in 2010, universal healthcare that comes as a standardis still a myth. Even with caring for the homeless or lack thereof, people suffer and the system isn’t perfect so it in doing so screws people over. What can be done?

One of Smith’s characters touched me beyond all the rest: Trudy Howell,a white South African woman who cared for dying children and infants. She spoke so strongly, “Don’t leave them in the dark,” that we are the light in the tunnel, not at the end of the tunnel. She spoke to communicate the message that all we can do is care for another human being when that person’s end-of-time is at hand. The doctors just walk away, another of Smith’s characters said, their job trying to save the patient is over. And who cares for the patient when that happens? Hopefully, family. Howell knew her gift to these children, to herself, and to God, was to say, ‘You can always come back here and visit, there’s always a home for you here.’

Smith spoke of her characters not as her characters but as real people. As an audience member, it was made abundantly clear that all of the people she interviewed were real people and she was bringing a bit of them, if not all of them, to us so they could speak to us too. The magic of theatre, is it not?

Another of Smith’s characters, understood that magic wasn’t in stories but in the cold hard reality that with the snap of a finger things don’t suddenly solve themselves. Another woman,Kiersta Kurz-Burke, a nurse, a whitewoman, who worked at Charity Hospital after Katrina, was amazed and shocked to see that she was the only one who did not know she couldn’t rely on the system to save her and her patients. She felt naive to think better. Charity Hospital, a hospital for the poor, was the last of the last–the bottom of the bottom–to receive aid, it seems; and Kurz-Burke soon came to realize she was so used to respect and courtesy–that as she wanted her patients to feel respected and safe, her fellow nurses (of ethnic minority) were used to this treatment. They knew better, that you can’t rely on the government, and that the government’s too big and people too small to find any comfort there.

I’m afraid too, that as idealistic as I can be, this 2010 healthcare act won’t be as big a stretch amongst America’s history of trying to push civil rights and medical safety to what it truly should be: a given and a respected thing not taken for granted. At the end of her performance, Smith said she was more fascinated by the pecularities of all of the people she met than the similarities. It makes me think that what she is saying is that we’re of course similar, the true test and the true caliber of our getting together lies in our respecting and embracing our differences–pecularities, than just glossing it all over with similarity. World peace doesn’t come by happiness and holding hands, it comes by respecting boundaries, promoting tolerance and acceptance, and learning when to speak and when to be silent. There’s wisdom in thought before speech, and either truth or ignorance in speech before thought. Smith understands and promotes that making the world a better and safer place is not simply thinking about dialogue, but engaging in it. Better care when people are sick and in need depends not just on government, but on individuals. No one enjoys feeling sick–how can it become something of the past?

In an article from The Diamondback, Smith says, “What I think will happen if I’m working well … is you’re all bringing something about this dilemma, the vulnerability of your body, the resilience of spirit, the price of care,” Smith said. “If I’m working well, what will happen is an adjustment about what you brought.” But how does inspiration truly bring about social action? When I saw Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter only weeks ago at Clarice Smith, it looked as if I was the only one who had signed up for the charity’s listserv outside! Now, I’m sure many audience members were veterans there, and the play came home for their families and themselves, but for those unrelated directly, how can a traumatic issue drive someone to selfless action? Perhaps I care too much, or want our country to push people into public service? For a new call to action to fill young peoples’ hearts with honor and humility and tolerance and respect! …Perhaps that’s too idealistic for realistic implementation.

When Smith said at the end of her talk back, “One of the biggest compliments I ever got about Let Me Down Easy … [was that], in the course of the time I was performing, I created a community out of those strangers in the audience,” I heard a flurry of murmurs in the audience. And this was all just the May 8th performance. “That’s what I want to do.” How can we spark social action? It’s still something she’s exploring. Is it something that sparks you too?

Anna Deavere Smith performed May 8th and May 9th at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. For more information, visitclaricesmithcenter.umd.edu/2010/c/performances/performance?rowid=11264. For more Anna Deavere Smith insiders from Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, visitclaricesmithcenter.umd.edu/2010/c/engage09/more-than-great-performance/anna-deavere-smith – Great videos!

Poetic. Aesthetic. : An Exploration of Creativity in Poetry and Visual Art at The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland

Poetic. Aesthetic. : An Exploration of Creativity in Poetry and Visual Art at The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland

Had a fantastic time at the “Poetic. Aesthetic.” exhibit at The Art Gallery at UMD!

Please view more photos from this exhibit on flickr.com!
Poetic Aesthetic at The Art Gallery at UMD, College Park, MD 2011 01

Find out more at www.artgallery.umd.edu/exhibitions/2010-2011/poetic-aesthetic/index.html!

The Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland Presents: “CLARINA BEZZOLA: STRUCTURE”

The Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland Presents: “CLARINA BEZZOLA: STRUCTURE”

Reception held in the Stamp Gallery, September 2, 5-6:30 & LIVE ARTIST PERFORMANCE at 6:30pm in the Art-Sociology Building’s Atrium.

“Clothing is one way to wear a mask. We dress to hide our vulnerable bodies and souls, to fit into a social system and hide our insecurities. Through my wearable sculptures I question and redefine the role of the garment. Wrapping the body to reveal instead of conceal. The wearer’s emotional landscape gets exposed and invites to an honest and open dialogue between the wearer and the viewer.”

More information:  www.thestamp.umd.edu/gallery OR 301-314-8493

This blog is also online at Soulstrong Arts Blog