Circulation Desk

04/14/2019 — 7/30/2019

Circulation Desk transforms the library into a site of curation, collaboration, and play. On four dates, artists Pablo Helguera, Brown Art Ink, Ada Pinkston and Ruby Waldo’s workshops consider how the tools of artistic practice may contribute to the library as public space. Celebrating libraries as community resources, overturning traditional academic mechanisms which limit access and exclude, these workshops strive to reinsert the notion of care into the curatorial and collectivity into cultural production.

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, 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.

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 and 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.

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 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.

Circulation Desk is curated by Maria Emilia Duno, a graduate of the MFA in Curatorial Practice program at Maryland Institute College of Art. The exhibition has been generously supported by MICA’s MFA in Curatorial Practice, The Walter’s Art Museum and The Enoch Pratt Free Library. For more information and press inquiries, please contact Maria Emilia Duno at

Programming for Circulation Desk:

Insert as Insight
Ruby Waldo, ME Duno

Mining our Libraries
Ada Pinkston

The Art of Information
Brwn Art Ink

Combinatory Lectures
Pablo Helguera


Combinatory Lectures
Pablo Helguera