Mission and History
The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture began in 1989 as the Fine Arts Gallery of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The establishment of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture—founded in 2003—represented the culmination of a twelve-year effort to expand upon the gallery’s original mission of presenting exhibitions and public programs. The Center has broadened the mandate of the Fine Arts Gallery to bring it into line with the wide-ranging, humanities-based mission of UMBC as a Research Institution and Honors University. Historically, the Fine Arts Gallery has served as the university’s principal exhibition space—a forum for students, professors, and staff, as well as the general public to experience contemporary visual culture and to dialogue about important cultural and aesthetic issues.
The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to organizing comprehensive exhibitions, the publication of catalogs, CDs, DVDs, and books on the arts, and educational and community outreach projects. The Center’s programs serve as a forum for exploring the social and aesthetic issues of the day. The Center is committed to rethinking the relationship between art institutions and the public, placing special emphasis on
- Well-written, viewer-friendly catalog and wall texts
- Rigorously documented and researched catalogs
- Lucid application of cultural and social theory to build connections between visual culture and the society at large
- Creative exhibition and publication design
The Center has enlarged upon and enhanced this mission by offering extensive educational outreach initiatives and publication programs, often in partnership with a variety of educational and cultural institutions. Disciplines represented through its exhibitions, public programming, and/or publications include painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, graphic design, imaging and digital art, video, film, installation, and performance art, as well as advertising, television, industrial design, architecture, critical theory, art education theory, and the study of art history and criticism.
Recent programming initiatives at CADVC include:
CADVC maintains a 4,200 square-foot museum space dedicated to the exhibition of art and design, moving images, and material culture.
Explore our Current and Upcoming Exhibitions
Traveling Exhibition Program
This program brings CADVC exhibitions to national and international venues. Many prominent museums have hosted CADVC exhibitions, including the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Santa Monica Museum of Art, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, International Center of Photography (New York), Kemper Center of the Kansas City Art Institute (Missouri), Barbican Centre (London), Studio Museum in Harlem (New York), Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati Center for Contemporary Art, The Blaffer Art Gallery (University of Houston), and The Addison Museum of Art (Massachusetts). CADVC has recently entered into a partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.
Explore our traveling Exhibitions
This program publishes books and catalogues within the areas of visual arts, material culture, art history, criticism, theory, and graphic design. CADVC publications have received the highest awards and honors in the museum field, including multiple first-place prizes from the American Association of Museums and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. CADVC books are distributed internationally through D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers), New York. The Publications Office also produces a biannual book series, Issues in Cultural Theory, edited by Maurice Berger, Senior Research Scholar, CADVC, and distributed worldwide by D.A.P. Selected recent titles include, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher: Portraits (2008), Blur of the Otherworldly: Contemporary Art, Technology and the Paranormal (2005), White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary Art (2004), Paul Rand: Modernist Design (2004), Fred Wilson: Objects and Installations, 1979-2000 (2003), Adrian Piper: A Retrospective (2001), Bruno Monguzzi: A Designer’s Perspective (1998), Minimal Politics (1997), Kate Millett, Sculptor: The First 38 Years (1996), and Notes in Time: Nancy Spero and Leon Golub (1995).
Explore our publications
Book Publishing Partnerships
Current partnerships between the CADVC and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. support the publication, in book form, of a series of online conferences hosted on the websites of the George O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, the National Academy of Sciences, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Online conferences have been organized by Maurice Berger, Senior Research Scholar of CADVC, and J. D. Talasek, Director of Exhibitions at the National Academy of Sciences. These partnerships have produced four books, co-published by either the O’Keeffe Center or the National Academy of Sciences and CADVC. All publications are distributed by D.A.P.: Postmodernism: A Virtual Discussion (2003), Museums of Tomorrow: A Virtual Discussion (2005), The 1980s: A Virtual Discussion (2007), and Bio Science and Visual Culture (2008).
K-12 Educational Outreach Program
This program organizes partnerships with local K-12 schools, including schools in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, as well as with museums and art institutions in Baltimore City, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, the Contemporary Museum, and the Maryland Historical Society. The commitment that CADVC has made to K-12 education, with special emphasis on pre-high school students, is atypical of university-related museums. Over the past years, CADVC has worked with more than 30 K-12 schools, and actively works with instructors to educate them in visual literacy.
Explore our Education programs
Campus Education Initiative
This program organizes on-campus symposia, lecture series, conferences, film series, visiting speakers, performances, and artist’s residencies. This initiative builds public and student-oriented educational programming for all exhibitions organized by CADVC, as well as for traveling exhibitions hosted by the Center.
Explore our list of past events
UMBC Sculpture Park and Outreach Program
This program features the development of permanent and temporary sculpture sites on UMBC’s campus and in Baltimore City, such as the Joseph Beuys Tree Partnership. Designed to serve as a multi-level educational experience, this program is directed toward having artists, teachers, students, and the general public work with inner city youth and the communities they live in.
Explore the joseph beuys sculpture park at UMBC
Top Photo: Fred Wilson: Objects and Installations 1979–2000