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UMBC SPARK, a pop-up gallery of engaging, projection-based artworks, will be open at Calvert and Water streets from 5 – 10 p.m. during Baltimore’s Light City Festival, March 31 through April 8. Made possible through the vision and generosity of PNC, the gallery is produced by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and features the work of UMBC faculty and graduate students. UMBC SPARK also features a schedule of performances, events, and interactive activities. The gallery is curated by Joe Reinsel, a Baltimore based artist who uses new media, video, and sound to explore ideas about architectural space, time, and touch. In keeping with the city-wide spirit of Light City, UMBC SPARK is planned as part of a larger initiative by Downtown Partnership and PNC Bank to expand activity during Light City into additional areas of Baltimore, bringing pedestrian and economic attention to businesses outside the Festival’s footprint, including cafes, hotels, the QG Department Store, Hotel RL, and Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.

UMBC SPARK will feature works by:
Kelley Bell, associate professor of visual arts
Cathy Cook, associate professor of visual arts
Symmes Gardner, executive director, Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture
Lisa Moren, professor of visual arts
Jules Rosskam, assistant professor of visual arts
Sarah G. Sharp, assistant professor of visual arts
Tom Boram (’16 IMDA MFA)
Mollye Bendell (’18, IMDA MFA)
Aimi Bouillon (’19, IMDA MFA)

Melissa Cormier (’17, IMDA MFA)
Dilay Koçogullari (’19, IMDA MFA)

Leah Michaels (’19, IMDA MFA)
Mandy Morrison (’19, IMDA MFA)
MJ Neuberger (’18, IMDA MFA)
Bryan O’Neill (’19, IMDA MFA)
Ezra Pailer (’19, BFA)
Nicole Ringel (’19, IMDA MFA)

“Since the discovery of fire, we have found ways to control and interact with light,” states curator Joe Reinsel. “At this moment of awareness, fire sparked changes to our world, culture and arts through exploration, creativity, and experimentation. These gestures created new sparks and pathways of learning, perception and ways to live in our world. UMBC Spark is an art exhibition of diverse work using light in video projections and sculptural installation. Each of these artists look at light through multiple facets and how these facets spark fires to create change.”

Special Events

Saturday, April 1, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.  — Baltimore Dance Project presents a site-specific dance event under the direction of Carol Hess amidst the artwork in the gallery, an opportunity to see dance up close. Viewers are welcome to follow the dancers on their journey through the space.

Sunday, April 2, 7:30 p.m. — The UMBC Percussion Ensemble performs under the direction of Professor Tom Goldstein.

Tuesday, April 4, 6 – 7 p.m.Of Gas Lights, Weather Bulbs, and Infernos: A Walking Tour of the Light City Festival sponsored by Baltimore Heritage. (More information here.)

Wednesday, April 5, 6 to 10 p.m. — UMBC assistant professor of Visual Arts Corrie Parks presents an animation workshop, Animation Station: Light City Silhouettes. Participate in a collaborative animation film using cut paper silhouettes and colorful lighted backgrounds. The UMBC Visual Arts Club will guide you through the steps of making an underwater environment come to life with the magic of animation.

Thursday, April 6, 6 to 7 p.m. — Visual Arts alumni are invited to gather at the UMBC SPARK gallery for food and drink!

Thursday, April 6, 7 to 8 p.m. — Stan VanDerBeek film showing (free and open to the public). From 1975 to 1984, UMBC’s Department of Visual Arts was chaired by luminary Stan VanDerBeek, a pioneer of video art. A student of Buckminster Fuller and John Cage, VanDerBeek created the first computer-generated animations, Poemfield, with Ken Knowlton at Bell Labs from 1966 to 1969, using Knowlton’s programming language BEFLIX, and VanDerBeek continued this vision of pushing the conventions of the fine arts while at UMBC. The evening’s screening will consist of six short films: Moirage (1970), Fluids (1964), Curious Phenomenon No. 1 (1964), Poemfield #1 (1968), Poemfield #5 (1968), and Oh (1968). Professor Vin Grabill will provide introductory remarks. (Special thanks to the Estate of Stan VanDerBeek.)

Friday, April 7, 7:30 p.m. — Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Invitational 2016. Curated by Phil Davis (Towson University) and Max Porter (Maryland Institute College of Art), including narrative, experimental, and music video work made with a variety of techniques ranging from stop motion, hand drawn, to CGI. Come out for a night of weird and wonderful animation!

Saturday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. — Visiting Artist talk by Elizabeth Daggar, who studied design and illustration at the Pratt Institute, and has since worked in the fields of graphic design for print, interactive, television and film, and, more recently, event projection and touchscreen media. She began working independently under the brand Electrofork after building a broad base of experience from a series of illuminating full-time positions as a designer. Before launching Electrofork, she worked for a marketing firm, the on-air graphics department for cable television channel, a small design firm, and a post production house.