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The Symposium on Socially Engaged Art

at Bowie State University

Inspired by the work of social activists, critical theorists, creative and cultural producers, and performance and visual arts practitioners who develop strategies for social reconstruction this symposium was created to explore relevant strategies and inspire action for social change. Current practices suggest that all forms of art can support the development of oppositional knowledge by inciting imaginative re-envisioning of the past, present and future. The creative work of doing and making in communities can turn art practice into public praxis, suggesting transformative ways of being together in the world.

The innaugural occurrence of this symposium featured a keynote address by 

Theatre Alliance's Artistic Director Raymond Caldwell, along with multidisciplinary

workshops and panel discussions from creative resistance educators, artists

and designers!




The Connection Between BSU@BSU and The Virtual Aesthetics of Liberation

The Visual Aesthetics of Liberation is a virtual exhibition in response to a call for proposals for the Philosophies of Liberation Encounter II, at Bowie State University on September 11th and 12th, 2020.  This exhibition is created in the spirit of the Build.Serve.Unite, BSU@BSU:  The Symposium on Socially Engaged Art that was launched by the Bowie State University Department of Fine and Performing Arts on September 14, 2019.  The symposium featured artists from the disciplines of studio art, graphic design, dance, music, and theatre who came together to present papers, and conduct workshops to inform the community on ways in which we can employ our creative work in the service of our social and civic interests.  It included an exhibition of the works of three artists, Jennifer White-Johnson, Adriana Monsalve, and Omalara Williams McAllister, who are actively engaged in socially engaged design and visual arts, as well as one collaborative class project that resulted in a mural, the BSU/UMD Unity Mural, created by classes from Bowie State University and The University of Maryland College Park. The medium for The Visual Aesthetics of Liberation is a website which includes a curatorial essay that highlights the ways in which visual and participatory arts function rhetorically; images, videos and artist statements from the artists included in the exhibition; interviews and other videos that demonstrate the impact of these artists’ work and practices with a focus on featured projects.

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