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SPARK 6: Refractions
October 26 - November 26
Location: The Peale
Spark 6: Refractions features the work of UMBC and Towson University faculty, recent graduates, and current students in the historic galleries of The Peale in Baltimore City. The exhibition, sponsored by PNC Bank, opens on October 26 and continues through November 26.
Featured artists include Ada Pinkston, Ahlam Khamis, Amanda Burnham, Andrew Awanda, Anna Kroll and Chloë Engel, Cathy C. Cook and Stefanie Koseff, Corrie Francis Parks and Maksym Prykhodko, Fahmida Hossain, Jenee Mateer, Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormack, Jinyoung Koh, Jules Rosskam, Lauren Castellana, Nahid Tootoonchi, Phil Davis, Sarah G. Sharp, Stephen Bradley, and Treyvon Nolen.
SPARK’s theme this year, “Refractions,” references a term from physics that describes the change in direction of a wave as it passes from one transparent substance into another. Refraction is a phenomenon commonly observed when a light wave bends or changes appearance as it passes through a lens or a prism. Each of the artists in this exhibition serves as an apparatus of refraction: focusing, magnifying, or redirecting attention and perspective.
The work of the 21 artists in the exhibition is arranged across the second and third floors of The Peale to be “in conversation” with one another as much as possible. Themes that emerge concern the environment, the re-examination of historic narratives and cultures and culture moments from across the globe, and the navigation of identity and relationships.
Note: There are several works in the exhibition that some viewers may find disturbing. The presenting partners support artistic freedom and encourage thoughtful dialogue.
An Exhibition Reception, free and open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, November 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with remarks at 6 p.m. Please visit here for additional information and to RSVP.
On Thursday, November 2 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Anna Kroll and Chloë Engel present Inside the Room. “The Space is a Body and You Are In It” is a collaborative world-building (and world-falling apart) game. Developed during the early days of the pandemic when dancing together only became possible through speech, the game engages bodily awareness, the (im)possibility of a shared imagination, and coping with inevitable disaster. In this intimate performance, audience members are invited to watch Kroll and Engel play the game, building an imaginary space and watching it fall apart.
On Sunday, November 5 from 12 to 2 p.m., join artist Stephen Bradley for Imaging the Peale’s Biomes, exploring the environment through BioBuggy, a mobile art and science laboratory on wheels designed and envisioned by media artist Stephen Bradley and scientist Eric Schott. In this presentation, Bradley and collaborators will present an art and science workshop exploring BioBuggy tools that will observe, collect, and identify, various critters and organisms that live inside The Peale, outside in the garden, and around the building. Some questions the workshop will address include: What is biodiversity? Does species diversity follow any patterns? Can learning about the critters that live in our midst strengthen our relationship with our environment?
From November 7 through 12, 3 to 7 p.m., a special addition to SPARK — Wavefront — features the work of Towson University and UMBC students and alumni Allanis Silva, Audrey Le Ballentine, Audrey Mba, Ayanna Phillips, Gabrielle Moore, Kellan Marriot, Kristen Landsman, Michael Elias Rubinstein, Susie Park, and more artists to be announced. This work will be on display in the Moses Williams Center (on the first floor of The Peale) during the November 7 reception, and during regular gallery hours from November 9 through 12.
On November 10 and 17 from 7 to 9 p.m., artist Phil Davis curates Projections at The Peale, an illumination of The Peale’s second-floor galleries with video projections viewed from outside. In 1816, artist and innovator Rembrandt Peale created a breathtaking sight in his museum building in Baltimore: Using gas and a “Magic Ring of Fire,” Peale created a glow inside the building that was strikingly visible from the street outside. It has been said that people would stand on Holliday Street in front of the Peale Museum just to marvel at the brightness of the light coming from its windows — an unprecedented sight in a world of candles and oil lamps.
Once again video and animation works by UMBC and Towson University artists will light up The Peale! Gallery hours will be extended on these evenings to 9 p.m. (with the exception of the front gallery on the second floor which will be closed for the projections), and light refreshments served. The video program will include short video and animation works on a loop. Program details and featured artists to be announced.
The first SPARK exhibition coincided with the LightCity festival in 2017 and featured the work of UMBC faculty and MFA students. In 2018, UMBC and Towson University began our ongoing collaboration to present the exhibition in various venues. Since its inception, SPARK has been possible through the support of PNC.
Admission is free.
The Peale, located at 225 Holliday Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, is open Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For directions, parking and accessibility information, please visit The Peale.