University of Central Arkansas

Mike Durkin visits UCA as artist-in-residence

Conway Institute of Music

CONWAY— Multidisciplinary social practice performance artist Mike Durkin will be an artist-in-residence from Wednesday, Oct. 12 to Sunday, Nov. 13, at the University of Central Arkansas.

Durkin’s residency includes an art pop-up exhibit, recipe slam, community meal, public workshop and story-sharing circle. All events are free and open to the public.

“Mike starts by gathering local community groups in story-sharing circles where he records the intimate and personal connections to specific recipes, the cooking experience and food,” said Leslie Macklin,  assistant professor of art and design at UCA. “This process culminates in the construction of a recipe book, an exhibition of creative work made in response to the recipes and a participatory community meal.”

Mike Durkin
Mike Durkin

Durkin’s visit begins with a public workshop and story-sharing circle on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 1:40-2:30 p.m. at UCA’s Amphitheater. In the event of inclement weather, the workshop will be in McAlister Hall’s Mirror Room.

Drawing inspiration from the workshop, Durkin will host a community meal at the Metro Square building located at 1023 Main St. in downtown Conway on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 6-8 p.m.

Attendees can sample food, hear the stories that inspired the recipes and view visual installations made by Durkin, including a 90-person tablescape made collaboratively between Durkin and students in the UCA art and design program.

The event is an iteration of Durkin’s ongoing project “and you will know it’s done when the oil stops bubbling,” which examines the roles food plays in different regions of the U.S.  The project has had exhibitions and performances in Asheville, North Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and New York City.

Additionally, an exhibition of Durkin’s work titled “The Art of Food” will be on view during building hours in the McCastlain Hallway Gallery from Monday, Nov. 14 to Friday, Dec. 9.

Guided by the intersection of art and every day, Durkin and his performance group, The Renegade Company, have created site-responsive, social practice productions exploring topics such as substance abuse, addiction, homelessness, food access, place and gentrification.

The artist-in-residence programs are funded by the UCA arts fee. Additional support for Durkin’s residency is generously provided by Engage Management. All events are located on the UCA campus unless otherwise specified. All events are free to UCA students and open to the public. Tickets are not required unless specified. For more information, contact Gayle Seymour, associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at 501-450-3293 or or visit CAHSS artists-in-residence.

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