UMBC's faculty, staff, students and alumni in the Arts & Humanities think, create and engage! Read more about their work, and also stay tuned for progress on UMBC's new Performing Arts & Humanities Building and other news.
Gary Kachadourian, IMDA Graduate Student, Receives Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (1/9/12)
Gary Kachadourian, an MFA student in Imaging and Digital Arts, received a $25,000 grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Painters and Sculptors Grant Program. The Painters & Sculptors Grant Program was established in 1993 to assist individual artists. The grants are given to acknowledge painters and sculptors creating work of exceptional quality.
Mr. Kachadourian will have work on display at UMBC from January 26 through February 18 at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture’s MFA Imaging and Digital Arts Thesis Exhibition.
Lafayette Gilchrist ’92 in Urbanite and on “The Signal”
Lafayette Gilchrist ’92, Africana studies, may be best known in Baltimore as the pianist and composer at the helm of the New Volcanoes, ever-evolving, avant-garde big band. But before he became a big name in the jazz scene, he could be found practicing his skills in UMBC’s practice rooms.
“Gilchrist… describes himself as a ‘ghost’ in the music department. ‘My Grand-mommy said, ‘You’re going away to a fancy college; make sure you meet the people who scrub the toilets.’ I did. And they had keys to everything,’ Gilchrist recalls. He began to spend nights in the practice rooms, waving goodbye to the janitors as he left early each morning,” writes Baynard Woods in the Urbanite.
Today, Gilchrist finds that Baltimore’s eclectic music scene provides the perfect home genre-bending sound. The story, “Explosive,” appeared on the Urbanite’s website on September 28.
Gilchrist was also the subject of a segment on WAMU’s “The Signal.” Before becoming a jazz pianist, he used to lace up the boxing gloves. “The Signal” talks with Gilchrist about his years as a fighter and the musical inspiration he took from the sweet science.
The piece aired on Saturday, October 8, and was repeated on Sunday, October 9. It can be heard here.
Christopher Corbett, English, in the Baltimore Sun
Christopher Corbett, professor of the practice of English, may be from Maine, but the author enjoys traveling through America’s West and is currently teaching a course entitled “America’s Road Trip.”
The Baltimore Sun recently interviewed Corbett for a story entitled “UMBC Professor, Author Heeds Call of the West” in which he describes the experience of traveling through these deserted parts of the country.
“You can see enormous distances—the road in some spots is so straight that your eye almost can’t comprehend the distance you are taking in. It just melts into the horizon. You’re so far out in the middle of nowhere, you can’t get anything on the radio; the dial just keeps spinning around,” Corbett says.
The story appeared in the Sun on September 23.
Michael Fallon, English, in Baltimore Magazine
Baltimore magazine recently reviewed “Since You Have No Body,” the latest book of poetry from Michael Fallon, senior lecturer of English.
“These interrelated, elegiac poems dance around the mysteries of death, as they celebrate friendship and ponder the notion that life’s grand waltz eventually slows to a roaring silence that can make even the most avowed atheists and religious devotees flinch,” says John Lewis in a review for the magazine.
The review appeared in the October 2011 issue of the magazine.
Rebecca Boehling, history, and Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, biology, on Patch.com
If you missed the Humanities Forum lecture with history professor Rebecca Boehling, you can read about it on Catonsville’s Patch.com site.
“UMBC Professor Brings Holocaust Story to Life,” which appeared on the site on September 15, recaps the event and the coincidence that brought Boehling and Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor of biology, together.
Ostrand-Rosenberg had recently discovered boxes of holocaust-era letters in her aging mother’s closet. “One day I went into the department office, and I was in the Xerox room chatting with a colleague, and she said, ‘You should talk with Rebecca Boehling,” Ostrand-Rosenberg said.
Boehling and her co-author, Uta Larkey of Goucher College, eventually began sorting out a unique and complex correspondence that crossed continents and generations. The result is Boehling and Larkey’s new book, “Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust.”
Rebecca Adelman, Media and Communication Studies, on Patch.com
Among those that remembered their reaction to the day was Rebecca Adelman, assistant professor of media and communication studies. She remembers how she was struck by how everyone was processing what they were seeing, and that interest eventually led her to study the imagery of the War on Terror.
Performing Arts & Humanities Building - August photos (posted 8/29)
The windows are going up on the new Performing Arts & Humanities Building! See some new photos on the PAHB Facebook page.
Alumnus Jaimes Mayhew Awarded a Fulbright Grant (posted 8/29)
UMBC Visual Arts alumnus Jaimes Mayhew ('10, MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts) has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Iceland, where he will spend the next nine months working on a social practice art project, Autonomous Energy Research Lab. Mayhew states, "Autonomous Energy Research Lab is an art research project that will investigate the idea of autonomy through conversations, art events, visits from other Baltimore-based artists, and any other methods of research that may come about. All of these events will take place involving my Research Lab, which is a modified bike cart that includes a table, chairs, protection from the rain, and is capable of producing and storing energy in a mobile battery. I will be using this lab to research ideas of autonomy, with special interest in Iceland's use of geothermal power, of preservation of the Icelandic language and culture, and, of course, in talking to people about Iceland's economic collapse and strategies to recovery."
MFA Student Gary Kachadoruian Prepares for exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art (posted 8/29)
In April 2011, Imaging and Digital Arts graduate student Gary Kachadourian was named a winner of the Mary Sawyer Baker Artist Award. Now he's preparing for his work to be exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art beginning September 7.
Alumnus Will Redman Featured in The Baltimore Sun and NewMusicBox (posted 8/29)
UMBC Music alumnus Will Redman ('98) has been featured twice recently in the media. The Baltimore Sun's music critic, Tim Smith, wrote on Redman's graphic scores -- and NewMusicBox, a publication of the American Music Center, produced a video interview, "Will Redman: Graphic Ideas in Sound."
Christopher Corbett, English, in Style Magazine
In his monthly column in Style magazine, Christopher Corbett, professor of the practice of English, provides his unique take on life in Baltimore. In the September-October issue of the magazine, his column “Appetite for the Past” concerns Baltimore’s history with food as discovered through a forgotten book.
“‘The Amiable Baltimoreans’ was published in 1951—just 60 years ago—and yet the city contained within it is as remote from our time as Carthage, and as alluring as the Seven Cities of Cibola,” he writes. “This little book does not merely make me wonder where the amiable Baltimoreans have gone and if there are any about now. It makes me long for the tables they set, and lament that it is no longer possible to savor such cuisine.”
Cristina Dalton ’12 in Baltimore Sun
Cristina Dalton ’12, modern languages, linguistics and intercultural communication-Spanish, spent the summer at Greenbriar State park, where she translated common park announcements to Spanish and helped the multicultural patrons understand park rules.
"I love that moment when I explain something to both people in a situation and see their faces light up when they get it," she says.
Her job was part of a growing effort within Maryland's state parks, which are learning to adapt to a rapidly growing and enthusiastic clientele: Hispanic families. The Baltimore Sun reported on this trend in an August 20 story entitled “Demographic shift causes state parks to adapt.”
Esther Read, Ancient Studies, In the News
Archaeologists, led by led by Esther Doyle Read, a lecturer in ancient studies, peeled back layers of history beneath the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue in East Baltimore to uncover what is believed to be the oldest Jewish ritual bath complex in the United States.
Hints of the presence of the 1845 bath, or “mikveh,” were first detected during excavations in 2001, led by Read, and her students. But further digging revealed about a quarter of a five-foot-deep wooden tub, and linked it to a related cistern found in 2008 and to remains of a brick hearth once used to warm the bath’s water.
The excavations are funded by the Jewish Museum of Maryland, the Maryland Historical Trust and UMBC.