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Circulation Desk, a four-part workshop series and exhibition with artists Pablo Helguera, Ada Pinkston, Brown Art Ink, and Ruby Waldo.
12 backers pledged $537 to help bring this project to life.
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Hi friends! 

My name is Maria Emilia Duno. I am an MFA candidate at the Maryland Institute College of Art studying Curatorial Practice and I am raising money for my thesis exhibition: Circulation Desk

Circulation Desk is a four-part workshop series and exhibition with artists Pablo Helguera, Ada Pinkston, Ruby Waldo, Brown Art Ink and Jenny Ferretti. From April 12th – May 5th, facilitating artists will hold weekly programs in The Menial Collection transforming the library into a site for curation, play, and communal knowledge production.

The research and development of this exhibition has taken place alongside my work co-founding an arts library and exhibition space in Baltimore called The Menial Collection. I am so proud of the work we have been able to do this past year at The Menial Collection but we absolutely could not do this all without the support of our community! 

I am hoping to raise $500 to help support payments to all of the amazing participating artists and production costs. Below I have included more information about each workshop and artist that is participating. I hope to see you all there!! Thank you all for your love and support <3


 Pablo Helguera - Combinatory Lectures 

Friday, April 12th, 12 – 3pm

Pablo Helguera’s “Combinatory Lectures” investigate the role of collaboration in knowledge production. Participants will experiment with collective writing and presentation of a co-authored lecture. No previous experience of any kind is needed.

Pablo Helguera is a New York based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, socially engaged art and performance. Helguera’s work incorporates pedagogy, sociology and theater and literary strategies. His project, “The School of Panamerican Unrest”, a nomadic think-tank that physically crossed the continent by car from Anchorage, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, making 40 stops in between and covering almost 20,000 miles, it is considered one of the most extensive public art projects on record as well as a pioneering work of socially engaged art. Helguera has exhibited or performed at venues such as the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; 8th Havana Biennale, PERFORMA 05, Brooklyn Museum; amongst many others. In 2012 he presented a solo exhibition at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and currently is receiving a mid-career retrospective at La Colección Jumex, titled Dramatis Personae. He is represented by Kent Fine Art in New York and Enrique Guerrero Gallery in Mexico City.

 Jenny Ferretti & Brown Art Ink - The Art of Information  

Saturday, April 20th, 2 – 6pm

Ravon Ruffin and Amanda Figueroa of Brown Art Ink will be joined by Jenni Ferretti for a panel discussion on radical approaches to digital librarianship, standards of citation and memory. A selection of curated texts, and digital pathways to Brown Art Ink projects that examine and rearrange how art, activism, and information is constructed, historicized, and archived. 

Ravon Ruffin is the community manager and co-founder of Brown Art Ink, a community incubator. She uses digital media as a placeholder for communities of color, to make art + culture accessible IRL. She believes in museums as spaces for the future of community advocacy, education, and urban sustainability. Ravon works at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture as a Social Engagement Producer.

Amanda Figueroa is the managing editor and co-founder of Brown Art Ink, a community incubator. She works with artists to bring the messages of their work to local Latinx communities, and communities of color. Her work develops the practices of democracy and civic participation, through relationships between community members and public art. Amanda is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Harvard University.

Jennifer Ferretti is the Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Maryland Institute College of Art on Piscataway Land. She is a first-generation American Latina/Mestiza whose librarianship is guided by critical perspectives, not neutrality. With a firm belief that art is information, she is interested in the research methodologies of artists, particularly those highlighting social justice issues. Recognizing the impact of the overwhelming whiteness of the library and information science profession, in 2016 she started the online space We Here specifically for people of color working in libraries and archives. Jennifer is a Library Journal 2018 Mover & Shaker. 

 Ada Pinkston - Mining Our Libraries 

Saturday, April 27th, 1 – 5pm

In Ada Pinkston’s, “Mining Our Libraries”, participants will excavate the contents of the Enoch Pratt Digital Collection to collaboratively produce a new archive pairing the visual history of the city of Baltimore with personal materials and histories.

Ada Pinkston is a multimedia artist, educator, and cultural organizer living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. Her art explores the intersection of imagined histories and sociopolitical realities on our bodies using monoprint, performance, experimental video, and collage techniques. Inter-subjective exchanges are the primary substrate of her work. Over the years, her work has been featured at a variety of spaces including The Baltimore Museum of Art, P.S.1, and Light City Baltimore. She is a Baker Artist award semifinalist (2016), a recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant in Visual Arts. Her most recent collaborative project includes founding the LabBodies Performance Art Laboratory in Baltimore, Maryland.

 Ruby Waldo & Maria Emilia Duno - Insight as Insert 

Sunday, May 5th, 2 – 6pm

Drawing from from past workshops held with Baltimore City youth at Enoch Pratt library, Ruby Waldo and Maria Emilia Duno’s “Insert as Insight” questions how the book insert can act as a radical imposition of that which has not been written. 

Ruby Waldo is from Baltimore, MD. She's interested architecture and empathy; supportive structures that are both gentle and didactic. Her sculptural practice consists of gathering people and materials together through making prints, casting concrete, and hosting workshops. Ruby works as an educator at The Walters Art Museum and as a France-Merrick Fellow at Whitelock Community Farm.


About the Menial Collection: 

The Menial Collection is a non-circulating arts library and community research center located in Baltimore, Maryland. The Collection aims to reimagine the library as a site for curation and experimentation in the collective production of knowledge through reading, research, and collaborative practice. The library holds a collection of books and documents with a special focus on art, poetry, theory, and philosophy. We use a democratic cataloging system, which means that our organizational structure is constantly evolving. We invite every one of our visitors to create the groupings that they find the library to be lacking in as well as to remove or reorganize the existing categories. This system is in place to encourage critical thinking about the designations that are given to us as well as our power to subvert them.

Risks and challenges

Exhibition planning always carries with it the risk of low attendance and lack of community engagement. This exhibition has worked hard to plan with various community partners, including the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Walter's Museum of Art, to ensure that our events are well attended and appreciated. The Menial Collection is ultimately a space for communal learning and knowledge production and we always look forward to feedback from our visitors.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    All of our love!!

    Donate $10 and you get all of our love and appreciation <3 Along with all of the hugs The Menial Collection can offer your name will be also credited in the exhibition's program and on the webpage.

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    Circulation Desk Canvas Tote!

    Donate $25 and you get a lovely screenprinted Circulation Desk tote bag <3
    Additionally your name will be credited in the exhibition's program and on the webpage.

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    As Not For: Indexed and Activated Zine

    Donate $50 and you can get a copy of our BRAND NEWEST publication made during our collaborative zine making workshop inspired by the work in our last exhibition, As Not For: Indexed! Along with this zine you will also receive the gifts from the last two levels!

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    Counterweight Catalogue

    Donate $100+ and we will mail you a copy of our Counterweight exhibition catalogue along with all the gifts from the previous levels!

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Funding period

- (30 days)