BALTIMORE, MD.- The Contemporary
, formerly the Contemporary Museum, will relaunch its website and announce initial programming on December 3, 2013 at 8am EST. The Contemporary has spent the past eighteen months deconstructing and re-envisioning the museums operating infrastructure and programming methodologies.
For the launch, The Contemporary will make public its mission, history, staff, board, and relationship to other local institutions. Additionally it will announce future project and public programming initiatives, its Curatorial Advisory Council, and first four public events.
The Contemporary is a nomadic, non-collecting art museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Our mission expands the idea of a museum as an incubator that commissions site-specific and subject-oriented projects. We engage diverse audiences and advance contemporary art through projects and educational programming. Our work is inspired by three guiding principles: artists matter, collaboration is key, and audience is everywhere.
In 1989, Baltimore curator George Ciscle founded the Contemporary in order to foster meaningful exchanges between artists, institutions, and diverse audiences. This nomadic institution quickly developed a reputation for delivering unexpected, challenging, and inspiring encounters with contemporary art by notable artists such as Willie Cole, Alison Saar, and Fred Wilson.
During its first decade, the Contemporary was dedicated to redefining the concept of the museum. It moved around the city of Baltimore, sponsoring exhibitions and projects in a variety of borrowed venues such as warehouses, car dealerships, and bus stations, as well as collaborating with partnering institutions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland Historical Society, Peabody Conservatory, and Walters Art Museum.
Because of the variety and ambition of its projects, programs, and operations, the Contemporarys mission was continuously reviewed, adapted, and reinvented under various directors: Gary Sangster, Thom Collins, Irene Hofmann, and Sue Spaid. Thus the organizations profile has continuously evolved in its 24-year history.
In 1999, The Contemporary rebranded as the Contemporary Museum and moved to 100 W. Centre Street, one block from the Walters Art Museum in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of downtown Baltimore. It organized exhibitions and related programming in that location for nearly ten years and worked with artists such as Dawoud Bey, Chris Burden, Dara Birnbaum, Louise Bourgeois, Futurefarmers, Ellen Gallagher, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Isaac Julien, Christian Marclay, and Soledad Salamé. In 2011, the museum moved out of the W. Centre Street space and returned to the process of facilitating projects in neighboring institutions and buildings.
At a critical juncture, and consistent with the belief that the mission should be subject to review, the Board of Trustees suspended operations in May of 2012. An intensive reassessment process followed, ultimately leading to the reinstatement of the institutions original vision of redefining the museum and the creation of a bold new organizational model.
Today, The Contemporary is a museum that willfully operates without a permanent collection or a building. Instead, we work with curators, both in Baltimore and beyond, to commission site- and situation-specific art projects that engage, challenge, and awe the people of Baltimore. We collaborate with different institutions, organizations, and individuals to offer dynamic programming that is tailored to both artists and the general public.
LOCATION & COLLECTION
The Contemporary does not have a permanent home or collection. The Contemporary is a nomadic and non-collecting museum so that our resources can stay dedicated to our dynamic programming and project commissions, which are constantly evolving and focused on bringing to fruition the most innovative and exciting art of our time.
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
The Contemporary is eager to form strong partnerships with existing, arts and non-arts institutions to support our collaborative methodology and enhance institutional support in Baltimore.
STAFF & BOARD
The Contemporary currently has one full-time staff person, Director Deana Haggag, with plans of expanding to a modest staff in the future. Deana Haggag has been with The Contemporary since the spring of 2013. Prior to her work with The Contemporary, she was the Curator-in-Residence at Gallery CA, which is also located in Baltimore, MD in the City Arts building home to over 90 artists. Deana received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA from Rutgers University in Art History and Philosophy. In addition to her work at The Contemporary, Deana curates independent exhibitions, consults on various public art initiatives, and contributes to cultural publications. She is on the board of Whoop Dee Doo, Station North Tool Library, and is the Dean of the Baltimore Chapter of the Awesome Foundation. Deana was named 10 People to Watch Under 30 by the Baltimore Sun in 2013.
The Contemporary currently has 19 Board Trustees. They are: Terry Squyres (President; Principal Architect, GWWO), Ray Allen (Vice President; Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, MICA), Doug Bothner (Vice President; Senior Associate, Ziger/Snead Architects), Karen Stults (Vice President; Director of Community Engagement, MICA), Deana Haggag (Secretary; Director, The Contemporary), Jessica Lanzillotti (Treasurer; General Manager, Everyman Theatre), Tamar Cloyd (Fundraising & Communications Consultant, The Cloyd Group), Jeffry Cudlin (Artist / Faculty, MICA (Curatorial Studies & Practice), Sarva Girdhar (Physician, Carroll Surgical Specialists), Joanna Golden (Owner, Pie in the Sky Aspen), William Goldiner (Physician for Orioles, Art Collector), Lionel Foster (Communications Manager, Urban Institute DC), Stanton Johnson (Associate Attorney, Venable LLP), Joyce Yu-Jean Lee (Artist / Part-time Faculty, MICA & Corcoran), Bodil Ottesen (Art Historian / Faculty, MICA & UMBC), Debra Rubino (Director of Strategic Communications, Open Society Foundations), Lynn Warfield (Co-owner, Citybizlist), Portia Wood (Assistant States Attorney, Baltimore City), Robin Zimelman (Art Collector, Retired Tax Attorney for Venable LLP).