MAP exhibits are a platform for `emerging curators'

`Incubator' program nurtures art professionals

Arts

September 01, 2005|By Glenn McNatt | Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC

The idea of an emerging artist is a familiar but still rather amorphous concept.

It can mean young artists fresh out of bachelor's or master's degree programs who are embarking on professional careers.

Or it can refer to artists who are well-experienced but whose works have only recently crossed some major threshold of visibility in the art world - a major museum exhibition, for example, or the proverbial solo show in a prestigious New York gallery.

And it can mean everything in between as well.

Likewise, the "Curator's Incubator" program at Maryland Art Place (MAP), which seeks to nurture the development of fledgling exhibition professionals, is aimed at what you might call emerging curators - people starting out in the business of jurying shows, looking at slides, writing catalog essays and trying to keep up with art world trends.

There is something almost visionary about the idea of a "curator's incubator."

After all, it is obvious you cannot have a vibrant local art community without the people who seek out the hot new talents, put shows together, find venues in which to present them and create a context for viewers to begin to make sense out of an almost chaotically pluralistic contemporary art scene.

The exhibitions that opened at MAP this week were organized by fledgling curators Liz Flyntz and Timothy Nohe.

Flyntz' show, Craft Pathos, focuses on low-tech, personal forms of expression and presents pieces by Dan Breen, Julia Dzwonkoski, Fawn Krieger and Michael Paul Omar-Reagan.

Some of these pieces remind you of junior high school arts-and-crafts projects, complete with paper cut-outs of cars and other consumer goods along with those shiny, foil stars in different sizes and colors that teachers used to paste on students' efforts as a way of saying "Good job!"

By contrast, Nohe's artists - Christa Erickson, Christina Hung and Paul Vanouse - are high-tech virtuosos, whose glowing video screens and sophisticated, interactive projected images are all about the political and social implications of the cybernetic takeover of contemporary life by increasingly all-knowing, all-seeing computerized databases. It would be scary if it were not all so much fun to look at and play with.

Both shows run through Oct. 15. A gallery talk and reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 9. The gallery is at 8 Market Place, Suite 100. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Call 410-962-8565.

For more art events, see Page 31.

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