The Empathy Project
A Paul Rucker Project
February 21 – March 16, 2014

Paul Rucker, the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Research Fellow and Artist in Residence, invites MICA students, faculty, staff, and neighbors to participate in The Empathy Project, an interactive exhibition, and a series of conversations and performances from February 21 – March 16, 2014, in the Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries in MICA’s Graduate Studio Center (131 W. North Ave.). We intend for these events to continue intercultural conversations in the community about diversity, difference, and global perspectives.


Paul Rucker explains some of his thinking related to this project: “It’s vital for artists to step outside their comfort zones. Not just with new mediums, but also with new approaches and ways of thinking. One of the many challenges in life is to try and make sense or understand the ‘why?’ of everyday observations. We no doubt spend most of our time looking at things from our own perspective—things not only in the news, but also in the classroom, as well as walking home… Even when we see that someone else has a problem, we think about how we would solve the problem, often without taking into account possible disparities in resources or options. This project is not about solving another’s problem, or feeling sorry for someone. It’s about understanding, walking in their shoes, without judgment, or the expectation of a clean resolution.”

Paul invites you to contribute your writing or artwork to The Empathy Project. You can submit anonymously. Stories and artwork will be shared. Full schedule of programming including moderated and community discussions—coming soon.

Special instructions:

Everyone: Write 500 words or less about your earliest experiences with empathy.

Artists: Write 500 words or less about your earliest experiences with empathy and create something using only discarded or failed art pieces that have been set aside. No one is allowed to buy any new art material, but they can and are encouraged to exchange failed or incomplete art pieces with classmates or neighbors. Any medium, any format—including digital, photos, movies, drawings, sculpture, etc. See MICA’s policy on performance, installation, and sound art in public spaces.

This exhibition will evolve over time. You can submit text and artwork in advance or bring work to the exhibition during the exhibition. Everyone who contributes artwork should also write about their earliest experiences with empathy and include this writing with their submission.

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What is empathy?

Watch “The Power of Empathy”


Read The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of empathy for English Language Learners

Please send text and images to Or, submit artwork in person to Marcus Civin in Curatorial Practice, Room 110, Graduate Studio Center. Artwork will be available for pick-up at the end of the exhibition.

If you are interested leading your own conversation about empathy during the exhibition, please contact

Read more on Paul Rucker:

The Empathy Project is supported by Center for Race and Culture, the site of the residency, MFA in Curatorial Practice, MFA in Community Arts, offices of Diversity, Graduate Studies, and International Affairs.


Creative Capital is now accepting online Letters of Inquiry for awards in Moving Image (formerly Film/Video) and Visual Arts. The submission deadline is Friday, February 28 at 4:00pm EST.

Visit to learn more about the application process, read the award guidelines and access the online Inquiry Form. You can also watch a video with application tips from Ruby Lerner and Lisa Dent on the Creative Capital blog,The Lab.

Join the Arts Leadership Digital Classroom!

Registration is now open for the first Arts Leadership Digital Classroom: Arts Leaders as Community Leaders. This four-part digital classroom series will cover in-depth the steps required to successfully lead your community. We will discuss analyzing the environment, building relationships and partnerships, community planning, developing mutually beneficial objectives, and leading communities and plans. You will build skills in community analysis, networking, case-making, project planning and management, and leadership and come away with the skills and knowledge you need to be a strong community leader. Registration closes on March 3.

For 2014, 38 individual artists and one artist duo have been selected as semifinalists. Congratulations, and good luck with the next round!

Lauren Adams, Baltimore, MD
Kyle Bauer, Baltimore, MD
Stephanie Benassi, Baltimore, MD
Tommy Bobo, Baltimore, MD
Aharon Bumi, Baltimore, MD
Amanda Burnham, Baltimore, MD
Dustin Carlson, Baltimore, MD
Shannon Collis, Baltimore, MD
Jim Condron, Owings Mills, MD
Leah Cooper, Baltimore, MD
Elizabeth Crisman, Baltimore, MD
Marley Dawson, Washington, DC
Adam Farcus, Baltimore, MD
Neil Feather, Baltimore, MD
Terence Hanum, Parkville, MD
Joshua Haycraft, Washington, DC
Nora Howell, Baltimore, MD
Elena Johnston, Baltimore, MD
Benjamin Kelley, Baltimore, MD
Dean Kessmann, Washington, DC
Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter (Tiny Inventions), Baltimore, MD
Christopher LaVoie, Baltimore, MD
Jon Malis, Washington, DC
Sebastian Martorana, Baltimore, MD
Cara Ober, Baltimore, MD
Ding Ren, Columbia, MD
Fred Scharmen, Baltimore, MD
Paul Shortt, Baltimore, MD
Ally Silberkleit, Baltimore, MD
Nora Sturges, Baltimore, MD
Diane Szczepaniak, Potomac, MD
Kyle Tata, Baltimore, MD
Chad Tyler, Baltimore, MD
Elena Volkova, Baltimore, MD
Stewart Watson, Baltimore, MD
Martine Workman, Washington, DC
Trevor Young, Takoma Park, MD
Lu Zhang, Baltimore, MD
John Zimmerman, Baltimore, MD


Claire Gilman is currently the curator at The Drawing Center in New York where she has organized several exhibitions, including: Drawing Time, Reading Time (2013), Dickinson/Walser: Pencil Sketches (2013), Giosetta Fioroni: L’Argento (2013), Alexandre Singh: The Pledge (2013), Ishmael Randall Weeks: Cuts, Burns, Punctures (2013), José Antonio Suarez Londoño: The Yearbooks (2012) and Drawn from Photography (2011). Years prior to her tenure at The Drawing Center, Gilman was the Janice H. Levin Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where she worked on exhibitions such as Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul and Greater New York 2005. Gilman has taught art history and critical theory at Columbia University; The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; The Corcoran College for Art and Design and the Museum of Modern Art. She has written for Art Journal, CAA Reviews, Documents, Frieze and October and has authored numerous essays for art books and museum exhibitions. She received her PhD in Art History from Columbia University in 2006.

Sarah Oppenheimer is a New York based artist whose art installations commonly pierce the architecture of the institutions hosting her work, creating experimental places that challenge a viewer’s perception of the exhibition space. Her first permanent commission, W-120301, was included in the 2012 renovation of the Contemporary Wing at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Oppenheimer has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at The Drawing Center, New York (2002); Youkobo Art Space, Toyko, Japan (2004); the Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri (2008); Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2009); Annely Juda Fine Arts, London, England (2009) and an upcoming exhibition, among several, at Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA (2017). She has been featured in many group exhibitions as well, including Odd Lots, White Columns and the Queens Museum of Art, New York (2005); Inner and Outer Space, The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA (2008); Automatic Cites, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2009); Factory Direct, The Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2012) and the forthcoming Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM (2015). Her work has been reviewed dozens of times, including several articles in The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America and the Wall Street Journal. She was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptuors Grant in 2011, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2009 and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2007. She received her MFA from Yale University in 1999, where she is now a visiting critic.

Olivia Shao is an artist and independent curator based in New York. Her artwork has been featured in exhibitions at Real Fine Arts, New York (2010); White Columns, New York (2008); Feigen Contemporary, New York (2005); Clementine Gallery, New York (2005); and 96 Gillespie, London, England (2004). Her curatorial work includes La Poussière de Soleils (The Dust of Suns) at Real Fine Arts, New York (2013); Exquisite Corpse Pose at Elisabeth Ivers Gallery, New York (2011); The Evryali Score at David Zwirner, New York (2010); The Baghdad batteries at MoMA P.S.1, New York (2010) and Doyers Plant Shop at Doyer Space, New York (2009). Shao is a 1998 graduate of the Parsons The New School for Design in New York.

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize
The Artscape prize is named in honor of Janet and Walter Sondheim who have been instrumental in creating the Baltimore City that exists today. Walter Sondheim, Jr. had been one of Baltimore’s most important civic leaders for over 50 years. His accomplishments included oversight of the desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools in 1954 when he was president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City. Later, he was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor. He continued to be active in civic and educational activities in the city and state and served as the senior advisor to the Greater Baltimore Committee until his death in February 2007.

Bolton Street Synagogue Joins Forces with The Stoop Storytelling Series For a One-of-a-Kind Evening of Jewish-themed Stories

Who: Bolton Street Synagogue and The Stoop Storytelling Series, with seven storytellers including: WBAL anchor Debra Weiner; author and UB Professor Marion Winik; president of Abel Communications Greg Abel; Nationally recognized litigation lawyer Steven Snyder; senior rabbi of Temple Oheb Shalom Rabbi Steven Fink; freelance sports writer Ira Gewanter; philanthropist and former therapist Lois Feinblatt.

What: Bolton Street Synagogue joins forces with The Stoop Storytelling Series to present “It’s Complicated: Stories about the Joys and Oys of Contemporary Jewish Life.” Seven speakers will tell five-minute stories everything from a Jewish exorcism to a blind date with one of the most infamous figures of the 20th century. The proceeds from the event, which also features a silent auction, Ravens’ ticket raffle, food, drink, and live music, will benefit Bolton Street Synagogue’s educational programs.

When: Saturday, April 5, 2014
7:00 pm Cocktail and hors d’oeuvres
8:30 pm “It’s Complicated” Storytelling Show
9:30 pm Dessert

Where: Bolton Street Synagogue
212 W. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21210

For online tickets, click HERE

For more information, contact:
Brigid Truitt
(443) 869-2197 x146

BOPA is organizing a series of artist-designed games called FIELD DAY for Artscape 2014, to be played on Charles Street this summer, July 18-20. There is a budget of $500 to $1500 for each accepted project, to be juried by Michael Benevento, Jason Corace and Andrew Liang. The full call for entry is available HERE.

For some ideas and inspiration, there are a number outdoor game-themed festivals in the United States and Europe with many examples of how your participatory games, activities, performances and competitions could take shape and actually function at Artscape.

Come Out and Play (New York and San Francisco):

City of Play Festival (Pittsburgh, PA):

Igfest (Bristol, England):

Plaython (Athens, Greece):

Playpublik (Berlin, Germany):



Consider some of these examples as possible directions for a project at Artscape- there are some elements to consider for a successful FIELD DAY project:  can your project work on Charles Street (and not on a grass field); is there a strong visual element or presence to the physical object(s) as part of the project; if you require space, is there an element that can keep the general public out of the way; can everything be loaded in an out easily; and, if you will need help staffing your project, have you factored that into your budget and proposal? These are issues we can help sort out with you, but for now, check these out!

P.O.S.E. : Can you out-P.O.S.E. your friend? A simple, competitive game for two players to see whose body, face, and form can be twisted into the most outrageous expressions of humanity.


Flagstaff:  A soccer-style football game with a massive flagpole for a goal. Flagstaff Football is a sport with a single, central flagpole for a goal. Teams can kick and catch the ball in order to line up the perfect shot. Flagstaff plays a bit like Australian Rules Football, with a similar system of “Marking the ball.” The team that last caught a kicked ball is on offense, and the other team is on defense. Each time offense and defense switch, the game ticks closer to the end!

Roaming Gnomes Welcome to the intersection of Gmane Street and Gninth Avenue, the most trafficked area of Gnometopolis… during the lunchtime rush… on the busiest Gnome holiday of the year, Gnu Years Eve. Your team’s job is to get the Gnomes and their things to exactly where they need to be as quickly as possible – unfortunately, everything is written in Gnomish. Can your team make all the right moves before time runs out?

Cover_ for one and one for all-01

All for One and One for All: A physical game of collaboration and dexterity. Three Knights, One Castle, Lots of Fun! The three Acritic Guards join forces to protect the acritic villages from attacks by the bandit hordes. United, they can lift the battering ram to siege the bandit camps and keep the villages safe. This game is an accessible game and encourages everyone from 5 to 99 years old to participate. Fast-paced 3D-guidance game, nurturing co-operation and trust. Played by teams of three players in open spaces.

Steal And Build: Can you build castles in the city? Put your team together, pick a role, build your fortress and wipe out your opponents. Make them run for their lives. In “Steal and Build”, defenders and thieves compete in building and protecting their colorful fort. Bur beware! Under the bricks there are hidden kleptomaniac knights, lustful princesses and mischievous dragons whose only wish is to make your life hard. Fear not: ignore city planning and build your fortresses in the center of Athens!
Hide and Seek: Hundreds of real-world games in a single app… There are hundreds of Tiny Games to discover – for family picnics, Tiny Games for long walks through the city, games for the pub – and we will be adding new games and features all the time. We’re working really hard to make sure that the games are straightforward and easy to understand – the maximum amount of fun for the minimum amount of rule-reading.The app builds on our five years’ experience making games for people to play together, and from the Tiny Games we’ve designed and installed in London over the last two years.
Kung-Fu FlamingosBring Honor to Your Flock. The premise of Kung Fu Flamingoes is simple: hop ’til you drop. Players enter the arena, stand on one foot, and wait for the music to begin. Once the game starts, it is your imperative to be the last ‘flamingo’ standing… By. Any. Means. Necessary. Well, that is, as long as you hold onto your leg with both hands, stay inside the arena, and don’t bite anyone — you know, because flamingoes don’t have teeth.