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Work Samples

The Institute of Visionary History

The Institute of Visionary History
The Institute of Visionary History and the Archives of the Deep Now, 2018 (photo by Glenn Ricci)

Minor Depression (puppet)

Minor Depression, marionette from "BATS!" 2018, (photo by Glenn Ricci)

Hanging Letters

The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe
Hanging Letters, "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe," 2015

nine days

nine days
"nine days," kiln formed and cold worked glass, 2012 (photo by Greg Staley)

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About Ursula

Baltimore City - Highlandtown A&E District

Ursula Marcum is Co-Artistic Director of Baltimore-based Submersive Productions, a collaborative artworks company created to produce experiences devised from a combination of artistic disciplines that have a profound and lasting impact on audience members. Originally trained as a designer for both theater and museum exhibitions, Marcum has long been fascinated with the human desire to collect, classify and tell stories with objects. As a visual artist, she works in mediums that play with light and form... more

"The Institute of Visionary History and the Archives of the Deep Now"

Designed with small audiences in mind, The Institute of Visionary History and the Archives of the Deep Now was produced by Submersive Productions and took place in a one-room installation that was introduced as a "thin place," a place where one can more easily transcend our present reality and contact other planes, places, and times. Audience members were inducted as researchers, then led to the room to conduct an experiment where they inhabited the world with the performers. In addition to the performance, the room was activated using light, projections, sound and object theater. Six original "Episodes" were devised with eight different performers for this run throughout the fall of 2018 in The Peale Center in downtown Baltimore. Each Episode took place in the same installation, which was modified for each show. In collaboration with Josh Aterovis, Glenn Ricci and Susan Stroupe, I designed the room and served as Prop Master for each of the Episodes.

"BATS!"

Written and performed by artist Michele Minnick, "BATS!" was a mixed media, interactive contemplation on the nature of fear and madness. With a high level of audience engagement and participation, the story unfolded with the use of text, live accordion music, projections, soundscapes, and puppetry in the Marquee Lounge at The Creative Alliance in Baltimore in 2018. As a part of the Production Team, I served as Puppet Fabricator and Puppeteer, as well as Props Manager and Set Dresser. The show was produced by Submersive Productions, where I serve as Co-Artistic Director along with my husband, Glenn Ricci.

  • Minor Depression (puppet)

    Minor Depression puppet
    Minor Depression, marionette in "BATS!" (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Genny (puppet)

    Genny puppet
    Genny, rod puppet in "BATS!" (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Genny and the Audience

    Genny in performance
    Genny, pictured with performer Michele Minnick and puppeteer Caitlin Bouxsein."BATS!"(photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Audience at "BATS!"

    BATS! performance
    Performer Michele Minnick engages with the audience. "BATS!" (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Audience at "BATS!"

    BATS! performance
    Audience participates in one of the final moments of the show. "BATS!" (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • The Bar

    scenic detail
    Scenic Detail. "BATS!" (photo by Glenn Ricci)

"H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum"

"H. T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum: The Treasures of New Galapagos, Astonishing Acquisitions from the Perisphere" was a four story immersive adventure that activated The Peale Center in downtown Baltimore - the first purpose built museum in the United States - consisting of two full award-winning runs, one in the spring and one in the fall of 2017. The "Musaeum" was filled with a number of "specimens" from a distant planet, brought back by intrepid explorer H.T. Darling.

During the performance, multiple narratives were happening in the building simultaneously, and the audience was invited to inhabit the world with the performers and choose their own path. Over twenty performers and artists devised and collaborated to create this project. I fabricated several of the puppet specimens and was part of the team of puppeteers during both runs. I also served as the Props Master, Set Dresser and Co-Producer for the show. The show was produced by Submersive Productions, where I serve as Co-Artistic Director along with my husband, Glenn Ricci.

  • Bearsnake (puppet)

    The Bearsnake, a hand puppet shown with performer Trustina Fafa Sabah. H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Bearsnake (puppet)

    The Bearsnake "living specimen" interacts with performer Trustina Fafa Sabah and audience members. H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Cave Urchin (puppet)

    The Cave Urchin hand puppet H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Toothy Creature (puppet)

    The Toothy Creature hand puppet H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Fuzzy Slug (puppet)

    The Fuzzy Slug rod puppet H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • Moss Hedgehog (puppet)

    The Moss Hedgehog hand puppet, shown with puppeteer Jessica Rassp and performer Alex Vernon. Made in collaboration with artist and performer Lisi Stoessel. H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum (photo by Glenn Ricci)
  • The Grand Hall

    Found on the second floor of H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum, the Grand Hall featured many "living specimens" and objects from the planet New Galapagos.
  • The Net Room

    The Net Room belonged to the character of Maxilla (played by Trustina Fafa Sabah, pictured here with audience).

"The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"

Co-produced with my husband, Glenn Ricci, "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe" was an immersive theater experience based on the life and characters of Poe, staged in the Enoch Pratt House in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. A collaborative, multi-disciplinary work that incorporated performance, soundscapes and art installation, thirty artists devised and created "a world both bizarre and beautiful" for two separate runs in the Spring and Fall of 2015. As Prop Designer/Fabricator and Set Dresser I created objects and installations to be encountered and discovered by audience members during their visit.

  • Hanging Letters

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • Sarah Contemplates

    Performers Shannon Graham and David Brasington inhabit the world of "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • Violin

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • Ring for Service

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • Stereoscopic Evidence

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • This It Is

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • Eyes

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • Decanter/Glasses Bound

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • Brambles

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"
  • Bird Cages

    Installation/Set Dressing element from "The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe"

"Unfriendly Skies: Birds, Buildings, and Collisions"

"Unfriendly Skies: Birds, Buildings and Collisions" was a group exhibition curated by Baltimore artist Lynne Parks. It was first mounted at the Silber Art Gallery at Goucher College in the spring of 2015, then expanded and remounted at the School of Art at George Mason University in the fall of 2015. These three pieces grapple with the horrible loss of birds to building strikes, light pollution and other man-made issues.

"breath" series

The human acts of collecting, capturing and cataloging the material of the world are central themes in my work. But what about the things that we gather that have no physical manifestation? Inspired by the act of meditation, the "breath" series seeks to illustrate the elusive quality of every in-and-out breath, and the difficulty that lies in harnessing our attention back to that simple act.

  • growth, 2013

    growth artwork
    kilnformed and coldworked glass with precious metal inclusions 4.75" x 8" x .5" (photo by Greg Staley)
  • detail, growth, 2013

    (photo by Greg Staley)
  • woven, 2013

    woven artwork
    kilnformed and coldworked glass with precious metal inclusions 4.25" x 8.5" x .5" (photo by Greg Staley)
  • one, 2013

    one artwork
    kilnformed and coldworked glass, precious metal inclusions 3.5" x 5" x .5" (photo by Greg Staley)
  • detail, one, 2013

    one artwork
    (photo by Greg Staley)
  • jagged, 2014

    jagged artwork
    kilnformed and coldworked glass, precious metal inclusions 4" x 13" x .5" assembled (photo by Greg Staley)

the "Caithness" series

The pieces in this series are inspired by my residency in Scotland in July of 2012. The landscape there retains evidence of the hands that have shaped it for centuries, and there is a continuing dialogue between the natural materials native to the place and the humans that have gathered those materials and put them to use.

"bird:wing" series, part two

Birds have appeared in mythology and literature as messengers, omens, wise beings and fragile connections to the heavens. Scientists collect the physical manifestations of birds, but others collect the sightings of these creatures. This series is inspired by birds both real and imagined, and the human pursuit of both.

"bird:wing" series

Birds have appeared in mythology and literature as messengers, omens, wise beings and fragile connections to the heavens. Scientists collect the physical manifestations of birds, but others collect the sightings of these creatures. This on-going series is inspired by birds both real and imagined, and the human pursuit of both.

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Ursula's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.