UMBC glows at Light City Baltimore 2018

Published: Apr 12, 2018

By: Tom Moore

UMBC will help illuminate the third annual Light City Baltimore festival with art, ideas, and entertainment. Running April 14 – 21 in and around the Inner Harbor, the evening celebration of light and the Labs@LightCity companion series of daytime innovation conferences prominently feature UMBC faculty, staff, students, and alumni as artists and thought leaders.

Launched by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts in 2016, Light City Baltimore is the first large-scale international light festival in the United States, and it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Members of the UMBC community (alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends) are invited to an Alumni Social on Saturday, April 21, 7 – 10 p.m. at the Baltimore Visitor Center on Light Street. The space, right on the path of the BGE Light Art Walk, offers a stunning view of Light City. Attendees to this free event will enjoy complimentary food and drink, and can pick up glow-in-the-dark swag (first come, first served).

Featured Artist
UMBC artist Kelley Bell, associate professor and associate chair of visual arts, will present her installation The Herd on the BGE Light Art Walk, open nightly from 7 to 11 p.m., with extended hours until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Sponsored by UMBC, The Herd will be visible between Piers 5 and 6.

The Herd is a tribute to all the citizens of Baltimore City who continue to hope for a healthy city and healthy waterways,” says Bell. “It is a cluster of 400 luminous inflatable swim rings, similar in appearance to the floats used by swimmers at the seaside. The rings are laced together in a net to form a glowing multitude of creatures calmly bobbing in the shimmering ripples of the nighttime harbor. The empty ghostly rings of The Herd are a hope and a promise that someday they will be filled by happy bathers enjoying the Inner Harbor in a new, refreshing way.”

The Labs@LightCity
The daytime Labs@Light City, a series of innovation conferences dedicated to sparking social change, are organized in seven half day, topical labs: EduLab, SocialLab, GreenLab, HealthLab, ArtLab, MakerLab and FoodLab. The Labs will be held at the University System of Maryland (USM) Columbus Center on Pratt Street starting on Wednesday April 18. UMBC will be the supporting sponsor of MakerLab on Friday, April 20.

On Wednesday, April 18 at EduLab, Christine Mallinson, professor of language, literacy, and culture, and affiliate professor of gender and women studies, will take on code-switching in her talk, “Baltimore: An Incubator of Language Diversity.”

Christine Mallinson
Christine Mallinson. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

On Friday, April 20, at MakerLab, Foad Hamidi, a post-doctoral researcher and designer in Human Computer Interaction, will share his work in the talk “Transcending Invisible Lines.” Also at MakerLab, President Freeman Hrabowski will join Kathy O’Dell, associate professor of visual arts, special assistant to the dean for education and arts partnerships, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Richard Chisolm, ’82 interdisciplinary studies; and artist David Hess in the discussion “The Making of Gun Show.” Their conversation will reflect on the 2017 exhibition Gun Show at UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture. The show was created to foster dialogue about gun ownership and gun violence.

Members of the UMBC community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) are encouraged to register for the Labs@LightCity at no cost here.

Spark II
Spark II, a pop-up gallery of engaging, projection-based artworks, will be open in the Harborplace’s Pratt Street Pavilion during Baltimore’s Light City Festival, April 14 – 21. Made possible through the support of PNC and curated by Ginevra Shay, the gallery features the work of UMBC faculty and graduate students, as well as artists from Towson University. Spark II also features a schedule of performances, events, and interactive activities.

Spark II will feature works by:

  • Stephen Bradley, associate professor of visual arts, and Tagide deCarvalho, research assistant professor of biological sciences
  • Lynn Cazabon, associate professor of visual arts
  • Cathy C. Cook, associate professor of visual arts
  • Eric Dyer, associate professor of visual arts
  • Lisa Moren, professor of visual arts; Jaimes Mayhew ’10, IMDA MFA; Neja Tomšič, former UMBC artist in residence; and Martin Bricelj Baraga
  • Timothy Nohe, professor of visual arts and director of the Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts
  • Corrie Francis Parks, assistant professor of visual arts
  • Sarah G. Sharp, assistant professor of visual arts
Artwork in the Spark gallery at Light City 2017. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

Special events at the Spark II gallery will include a Visual Arts Alumni Reception on Wednesday, April 18, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to which all visual arts alumni are cordially invited. Additional events featuring UMBC faculty, students, and alumni include:

Sunday, April 15, 4:15 p.m. — Krisztina Dér ’12, music, presents Light/Flute, focused on the integration of flute music and lighting art

Monday, April 16, 8 p.m. — Lisa Cella, associate professor of music, and Stephen Bradley present SHINE. Lisa Cella performs the flute works of four contemporary composers — Christopher Adler, Adam Greene, Christopher Burns, and retired UMBC professor of music Stuart Saunders Smith — and provides a sonic framework for Stephen Bradley’s time-lapse video work that explores a meditative perspective of quotidian events.

Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m. — Shelly Purdy ’10, music, and Jason Charney ’20 IMDA MFA, perform improvised music for electronics and percussion, in an event featuring selections from Timothy Nohe‘s When People Become Verbs composed for a dance by Renée Brozic, ’99 dance.

Friday, April 20, 6:30 p.m. — The Umbilicus Percussion Ensemble will perform. Umbilicus was founded in 2012 in reaction to the generic contemporary percussion quartet, with the intention of promoting and performing a more experimental repertoire, much if it composed by its members. Umbilicus (containing the letters UMBC) consists of UMBC associate professor of music Tom Goldstein and three UMBC alumni: Paul Neidhardt, Michelle Purdy and Will Redman. Their performance will feature works by composers Will Redman, John Cage, Joseph Cello, and Brian Johnson.

Saturday, April 21, time to be announced — Puppet event by Colette Searls, associate professor and chair of theatre

On Demand
Videos by UMBC artists are featured in On Demand, a Light City curated program of time-based digital content displayed on a 12 by 20 foot LED screen. Featured are works by Vin Grabill, associate professor of visual arts; Timothy Nohe, also participating in Spark II; Jeffrey L. Gangwisch ’18, IMDA MFA; and Justyna Kurbiel ’18, visual arts.

Image from a video by Timothy Nohe that will be featured in On Demand, courtesy of the artist.

For complete information on UMBC’s presence at the 2018 Light City Baltimore festival, visit UMBC’s Light City webpage. More information about the entire festival is available through Light City.

Header image: Visualization of Kelley Bell’s “The Herd,” courtesy of the artist.

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