In July 2009, Professor David Yager, the founding Executive Director of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, will be leaving the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to assume the position of Dean of Arts, University of California, Santa Cruz. As those of us in the UMBC community have long known, David is an innovative and formidable thinker and artist. He is also a visionary leader and generous colleague. At CADVC, David has been a powerful catalyst, helping to transform a small university art gallery into a major national venue. We are delighted that he has agreed to serve as an advisor to The Center over the next two years, despite the considerable demands of his new position.
Center of Gravity celebrates David's twenty-year tenure as Executive Director of CADVC. We have gathered words and images by artists, writers, scholars, and critics who have worked with the institution since its founding in 1989. As the project's title suggests, these works—exemplifying the mission and mandate of CADVC as well as the intellectual vision of its Executive Director—confront and explore significant life and death social issues, from the moral implications of the genetic revolution to the politics of American race relations. Not just aesthetic statements, they take on issues of social gravity, underscoring the powerful role that visual culture can play in shaping our perceptions about and understanding of the world.
Maurice Berger, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scholar
Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture
University of Maryland, Baltimore County