Appointments highly encouraged Book Here

Reception 20 Apr, 2:00–5:00 PM

Artist Talk with Mollye Bendell 20 Apr, 3:00 PM

Program GreenFest all-ages activities and workshops, 27 Apr, 11:00 AM–4:00 PM

For her new exhibition, how to breathe underwater, Baltimore-based interdisciplinary artist Mollye Bendell offers an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience documenting her encounters with the ghost fleet of the Potomac—a collection of roughly 200 sunken wooden steamships in Mallows Bay, Maryland. Curated by Vincent Ruffini, and on view at BlackRock Center for the Arts April 20–May 19, 2024, the show uses VR, video, and a series of still images to capture the experience of venturing below the waves. how to breathe underwater opens with a public reception on Saturday, April 20, from 2:00–5:00PM, with an artist’s talk at 3:00PM.

“Mollye collected underwater videos through multiple trips to Mallows Bay,” Ruffini explains, “then combined and processed them using 3-D modeling and editing software.” Currently a Curatorial Practice MFA (CP) candidate at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Ruffini was initially drawn to Bendell’s work via his interest in coastal studies: “The project is exciting because it is both a marine ecology project and also an expansion of access: It brings the experience of a secluded location to a broader audience in a gallery space.”

Related Programming

Artist Talk: Saturday, April 20th (3:00PM)
GreenFest: Saturday, April 27th (12:00PM–5:00PM), all-ages activities and workshops

About the Artist

Mollye Bendell is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus in electronic and digital media. She has created radio sculptures as a resident of Wave Farm, and developed augmented and virtual reality projects as a resident of Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center and the Tides Institute and Museum of Art. She is also a founding member of media arts collective strikeWare, which creates experiences grounded in our collective history, often using new technologies to emphasize the nowness of that history. Mollye’s solo work has been exhibited in venues such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, the New York Electronic Arts Festival, and Maryland Art Place. She recently completed her first augmented reality public art commissions from Ladew Topiary Gardens and the City of Redmond, Washington. In 2022, she exhibited at the Currents New Media Festival and completed a solo exhibition at the Johns Hopkins University Digital Media Center. Mollye holds a BA in Sculpture from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA in Intermedia and Digital Arts from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is an Assistant Professor of Art in the Immersive Media Design program at University of Maryland, College Park. She lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

About the Curator

Baltimore-based emerging curator Vincent Ruffini blends art and technology to create immersive exhibitions. As an MFA candidate in the Curatorial Practice (CP) program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Vincent received the Bunting Award for Graduate Excellence for his continued research into preserving new media artwork. His most recent curatorial project, Just a Drop—featuring local and national interdisciplinary artists creating work around water, conservation, and spirituality—was exhibited at the Meyerhoff Gallery in Baltimore in 2023.


Located in Germantown, Maryland, BlackRock Center for the Arts brings inspiring performing and visual arts experiences to diverse audiences in a welcoming and intimate setting, providing opportunities to explore, celebrate, and engage in the arts.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls over 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research,

and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty, and other established artists.

MICA’s MFA in Curatorial Practice offers a hands-on curriculum that balances collaboration and socially engaged practices with academic research in history and theory. By creating real-world collaborative and individual exhibitions, CP students raise awareness, bridge societal gaps, and catalyze exchanges across various disciplines, both inside and outside the art world.

how to breathe underwater is made possible in part by support from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) and Friends of Curatorial Practice.

Learn more
Add to Calendar 20240420 America/New_York 12901 Town Commons Drive Germantown Maryland 20874 how to breathe underwater