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Mission Statement

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.