Art Research Residency

CADVC Exploratory Research Residency Program, 2024

Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at UMBC (CADVC) hosts an exploratory research residency that allows artists and interdisciplinary collaborators to take advantage of scholarly resources and to build partnerships at UMBC and in the Baltimore region. Artists In Residence (AIRs) are invited to pursue open-ended outcomes, and their engagements may develop into workshops, artworks, or other future projects.

This season, CADVC welcomes three low-residency AIRs who are developing research and creative projects in UMBC and Baltimore. The visiting artists will offer programs open to the general public in the UMBC Lion Brothers building in downtown Baltimore.

Levester Williams

Levester Williams is a multimedia artist whose artistic production is rooted in explorations of the relationships between the material and social worlds. His sculptural work and multichannel video projects have been exhibited in museums and art spaces nationally and internationally. In the 2023-2024 academic year, Williams is making a series of visits to UMBC and Baltimore to complete a new filmic work under the project titledreaming of a beyond: Baltimore.” Williams is researching the histories of Cockeysville (Maryland) marble, a material used in many salient objects in the local built environment, including the Washington Monument and iconic exterior steps of Baltimore rowhomes. The movement art documented in Williams’s film is an embodied consideration of the labor histories, and mythologies, surrounding this complex material. In Williams’s words, the project underscores the “intertwined history of African-Americans’ plight to self-determined agency and full citizenship, and a rather benign stone.”

Paul Rucker

Paul Rucker is a multimedia visual artist, composer, and musician. His practice often integrates live performance, original musical compositions, and visual art installation. For over two decades, Rucker has used his own brand of art making as a social practice, which illuminates the legacy of enslavement and its relationship to the US prison industrial complex. An avid collector of artifacts and archives, Rucker holds more than 15,000 pieces about the history of the United States. Items that address false narratives of US history and the strategic withholding of historical events are used as a tool of  “demonization for colonization.” His research visit to Baltimore will focus on Baltimore County and the history of “coordinated exclusion.”

Tomashi Jackson

Tomashi Jackson is an expanded field painter whose multimedia work investigates the links between history, materiality, and current events. In her residency at CADVC, which began in 2022, she has been developing a body of research focused on the history of and advocacy for alternative art spaces. This work builds on Jackson’s existing research that she calls the “Pedagogy Study Hall” project. The project is ongoing.

Art Research Residency-Related Past Events

February 29, 2024, at 6pm: Presentation of artist Levester Williams’s experimental public projection work, “Dreaming of a beyond: Baltimore” (2021–24) at CADVC gallery at UMBC, followed by a conversation between Williams and independent curator Lisa Freiman. Free and open to the public. Please see this webpage for more details.

March 5, 2024, at 6pm: Levester Williams was in conversation with collaborators Sheila Gaskins and Savannah Knoop on his current work in progress, “Dreaming of a beyond: Baltimore” (2021-2024).

This series of conversations was hosted within the context of a course in the UMBC American Studies department AMST 430/680 “Seminar in American Signs: Place-Based Artistic Research” This public humanities seminar explored the work of of contemporary artists and other cultural practitioners whose work responds to place-based contexts. From landscapes to environmental art to discourses of “placemaking,” this research-based production course considered a variety of artistic media, asking the question: how are places understood through the interconnected imperatives of publics, aesthetics, cultural institutions, and the historical imaginary? Students analyzed a range of material representations of American places through the arts, and learned about how these creative works are both representative and constitutive of the historical and social contexts in which they are produced and consumed.

February 13, 2024, at 5:30pm: Paul Rucker and artist Kim Rice participated in a public discussion about their research into the history of urban redlining. Rucker and Rice discussed a project-in-process focused on discriminatory real estate practices and the power of art to change spatial injustice.

February 20, 2024, at 5:30pm: Tomashi Jackson held a discussion about her present research. Jackson was in conversation with Dr. Nicole King, Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture at UMBC.

February 9, 2023, at 6pm: Tomashi Jackson, CADVC exploratory artist in residence, discussed her research activities on the topic of arts pedagogy, and reflected on her recent Neuberger Prize exhibition SLOW JAMZ in conversation with CADVC Director Rebecca Uchill, who interviewed Jackson for the Neuberger Museum catalogue. This conversation about public presentation of research and video artwork coincides with CADVC’s own exploratory research into presenting public art, including video, in the UMBC Fine Arts building amphitheater.

Portions of this residency program have been supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Culture and the Citizens of Baltimore County, and the CAHSS Dean’s Office Big Ideas initiative.