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MAP: The Projects Are Unveiled

by Stephen Becker 26 Jun 2013 11:59 AM

This fall, a mix of local, national and international artists will collaborate with each other and with local arts institutions for a series of community-based art projects. And now we know what those projects will look like.


Back in March, Jerome reported on Making Art with Purpose (MAP), a, “festival and exhibition of projects that restore and preserve the environment, promote social justice and advance human knowledge and well-being.”

The idea is that a mix of local, national and international artists will collaborate with each other and with local arts institutions this fall for a series of community-based art projects. The projects have a social practice element to them, which was the driving force for the event’s organizer, Janeil Engelstad.

“Some of these artists haven’t participated in a social practice before, and I thought this might provide an avenue,” she said last night at a MAP kickoff event at Craft and Growler in Fair Park.

Many of the participating artists were at the event, where they formally learned what their peers’ projects will look like.

We’ll be checking in on the projects throughout the fall. But here’s a rundown of the 30 or so events that are already planned:

Projects and Discussions at Museums

Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), Center for Creative Connections – In collaboration with the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections, MAP and Janeil Engelstad are producing a summer program that includes workshops with participants from AVANCE to develop a bi-lingual (Spanish / English) visitor’s guide, audio tour and/or other material that illuminates the collection from the point of view of the community. The work produced through this project will be launched and celebrated at a public event at the DMA in November 2013.

The Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth Helen and Newton Harrison will lecture about their 60+-year career creating environmental projects that have had a measurable, positive impact on ecology throughout the world on Tuesday, November 12. The Harrisons will also produce a piece for MAP’s catalog.

Nasher Sculpture Center – hosting a MAP 2013 panel discussion, on Saturday, November

9, that explores ethical and practical questions arising from artists working in the community. The panel will include MAP 2013 artists Frances Whitehead and Matej Vakula and Nasher XChange artist Vicki Meek. Moderated by Janeil Engelstad

Perot Museum of Nature and Science – co-producing projects that investigate Art and Science: Mick Larusso’s, Biodiamond Energy  project converts organic waste into electricity, presented on Saturday, November 9; and University of North Texas professors Lesli Robertson and Ruth West working with UNT engineer Dr. Nandika Anne D’Souza will demonstrate how to harness the chemical properties of plants, bacteria and other bio agents to achieve green materials that outperform their non-renewable counterparts on Thursday, November 7.

Projects at Cultural, Civic, Community and Nature Centers  

Dallas Public Library David Herman, Jr. will work with Dallas at-risk youth in a summer educational, media literacy / photography program. The youth will produce a collaborative project that explores self-image, culture and social responsibility. The produced work will include themes connected to their aspirations. The material produced will be exhibited at the Dallas Public Library, Oct. – Nov. and in the winter in San Francisco at First Exposures.

Latino Cultural CenterSusan Plum’s performance piece, Luz y Solidaridad honoring the women who have disappeared and been killed in Jaurez, Mexico. The piece involves the ancient shamanic ritual of sweeping with brooms and the tapping/playing of bullroarers, or topi topis (from the native peoples of Mexico and Central and South America) that she makes.

Taking place on Oct 26 during the Day of the Dead festival, with an artist’s talk on Oct 25.

The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC)  – Theo Rigby’s short film, Sin País will be screened at The MAC on Oct 23, 7:00 PM followed by a panel discussion that addresses immigration and human rights. Panelists include Bill Holston, Executive Director of Human Rights Initiative of North Texas. On Oct 26, 6:00 PM, Rigby’s collaborative project,

IMMIGRANT NATION opens at The MAC. The audience will be invited to share their immigration stories for an on the spot mural that illustrates the stories in the MAC lobby. The stories also become of a part of the larger, national IMMIGRATION NATION project.

Oak Cliff Cultural Center Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman’s, Living Condition, an animated documentary that tells the stories of three families living with a relative condemned to execution. Each family describes the impact of capital punishment on whole communities. Exhibition opens October 10 and includes a panel discussion produced in collaboration with the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU, Embrey Family Foundation and UCSC.

South Dallas Cultural Center – teens from SDCC’s Children’s Soul Theater working with director Tara Youngblood will produce a video about community concerns connected to the gentrification of South Dallas. The screening will include a community discussion about the different ways that gentrification impacts communities.

Trinity River Audubon Center – a permanent, public, teaching garden designed and constructed by Barbara Benish as a part of her on-going project about the connectedness of inland lived and communities to the world’s oceans. The garden will open to the public during MAP 2013 and include multi-generational community, educational events.

Projects and Discussions at Galleries

RE gallery + studio – An exhibition and public programs that documents and explores adaptive reuse and urban revitalization in Texas cities including the work of Team Better Block, Cunningham Architects, Wanda Dye, and Modern Construction.

The Reading Room – Hosting reading(s) / discussion(s) connected to MAP themes.

RO2 Art – Co-producing Robin Kahn’s The Art of Sahrawi Hospitality and Oto Hudec’s Instrument for Listening.

Projects at Universities, Colleges and Schools

CentralTrak, University of Texas at Dallas – Oto Hudec will be in residence at CentralTrak in June and July to work on his MAP 2013 project, Instrument for Listening.

College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas (UNT) Greenmeme will design and produce a canopy from repurposed, woven boat previously used in a temporary public sculpture in Long Beach, CA. Produced in collaboration with UNT students the project will be used as the starting point for a campus wide conversation about environmental concerns specific to North Texas. October 1 – 10.

Eastfield College  James Reed’s Agents of Change (AOC), a project that considers a thoughtful response to the impact of climate change. In addition to the exhibition, Reed will work with Eastfield students on a readymade exchange platform that engages the public on issues of climate change. Eastfield is also exhibiting Matej Vakula’s Manuals for Public Space and Carolyn Sorter’s OccuLibrary.

Other Public and Community Projects

An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story –In 1986 Michael Morton’s wife Christine was brutally murdered in front of their only child, and Michael was convicted of the crime and in prison for a quarter century. Though he is virtually invisible to society, a team of dedicated attorneys spends years fighting for the right to test DNA evidence found at the murder scene. Their discoveries ultimately reveal the price of a wrongful conviction goes well beyond one man’s loss of freedom. Screening on Saturday Oct. 11 at 3:00 PM in collaboration with the Dallas Video Festival. Directed by Al Reinert. Produced by Al Reinert, Marcy Garriott and John Dean.

Morehshin Allahyari (Dallas) and Sohrab Kashani (Tehran) – (Un)official meetings.

Over three Thursday nights during MAP 2013, families in Dallas and families in Tehran will connect and meet through Skype. The meetings will take place in private homes over tea, talking over the theme “I Want to See How You See” scheduled for Oct 17, 24 and 31.

Brennen BechtolMAP 2013 Bike Program. Bechtol is refurbishing 10 vintage bikes, painted in the colors of MAP’s logo, the bikes will be used as transport for themed MAP 2013 tours, including “Urban Revitalization” and “Art and Science.” The MAP Program includes free bike restoration workshops for youth in South and West Dallas.

Rebecca Carter – SIGNAGE WORKS. Working with students in Fort Worth, Dallas and Mesquite, Rebecca Carter is designing signs that express messages connected to social and/or environmental themes that are relevant to the project participants. The signs will be put up and pop-up throughout the greater Dallas – Fort Worth area during MAP 2013. Collaborators include Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Eastfield College.

E.G. Chricton’s – Migrating Archives, a collection of archives of gay and lesbians from around the world. For MAP 2013, Chricton will construct an archive of Dallas GLBT community members who have had impacted civil rights in Dallas. Produced in partnership with UTD CentralTrak and UCSC.

Jin-Ya HuangWORDS – SWORD, the visual telling of Global Human Rights Stories through recent immigrants to the DFW who seek legal assistance for political asylum. Produced in partnership with Human Rights Initiative.

Oto HudecInstrument for Listening. Hudec is recording the stories of Latino community members to be broadcast through a giant, over-sized megaphone, built by Hudec and decorated by Hudec and Latino youth. Will be installed in public sites in Oak Cliff and Downtown Dallas. Partners include Big Thought, Oil and Cotton, UTD, RO2 Art and Downtown Dallas Inc.

Robin KahnThe Art of Sahrawi Hospitality at Main Street Garden Park in Dallas, Oct. 16 – 20.

In collaboration with Sahrawi women from the Tindouf Camp Cooperative Union, Kahn will install the Sahrawi tent from dOCUMENTA (13) and produce a series of events about how women use hospitality as a means for communicating cultural and human rights concerns. The project is premised on the idea that in Hassanya, (the Arabic dialect of the Sahrawi people) the word “jaima” means both “family” and “tent”. Produced in collaboration with R02 Art and Downtown Dallas Inc.

Socialized Contemporary Artists Bureau (S.C.A.B.) – Dallas based artist collective S.C.A.B. will produce a progressive dinner, on Saturday, October 5 that hi-lights notions of sharing and hospitality while spreading awareness about the importance of DIY programming in the arts.

Carolyn Sortor – a new incarnation of OccuLibrary at Eastfield College.  Additionally: a free reading course will be offered (Location to be determined) “Art as Social Wormhole” exploring texts on aesthetic issues, particularly as they relate to art’s potential directly or indirectly to speak to or possibly influence political realities; and Yankee Doodles a civic and arts educational event for kids, co -organized by Danette Dufilho, Anne Lawrence, and others, location to be determined.

Trinity River Audubon Center – a permanent, public, teaching garden designed and constructed by Barbara Benish as a part of her on-going project about the connectedness of inland lived and communities to the world’s oceans. The garden will open to the public during MAP 2013 and include multi-generational community, educational events.

Julie Troost – H U G, an outdoor installation that spreads a message of compassion and human connection with performers embracing in public spaces. This piece was originally developed and produced in New York in response to 9-11. Will be performed on Saturday, Oct 19 at the Lamar Street Festival in partnership with Matthews Southwest.

Matej Vakula – Manuals for Public Space (MfPS), a grassroots platform where people exchange ideas about how to improve public space. The ideas are used to create manuals for making public space more respondent to community needs. To produce MfPS, Vakula sets up a workshop public spaces. The participants produce material for manuals that are printed and also added to the MfPS website. MAP 2013 locations include: Eastfield College, UNT, Oil and Cotton.

MAP 2013 WORKBOOK – a workbook for how people can engage in and create positive change in their communities. Will include essays by Lelia Grothe, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, a conversation between Todd Lester and Kathleen Bitetti, MAP 2013 project documentation, a map of the exhibition sites and projects created especially for the catalog.