Stephen Bradley

Director, Linehan Artist Scholars Program
Associate Professor of Visual Arts
B.F.A. Drawing, Mixed Media, University of South Florida
M.F.A. Painting, Electronic Media, Florida State University

Contact: sbradley@umbc.edu or 410-455-2603 or 455-8087

The arts provide an accessible stage for groups to express and communicate ideas and provide potential solutions to community challenges. The UMBC community is a testament to how the arts continue to have a positive impact on students, faculty, and staff, and on our local neighbors, most in particular, during the past 17+ months of the COVID pandemic. The arts often translate personal experiences across a diverse social and cultural landscape inspiring new ideas and creating opportunities for conversations and awareness.

Earl and Darielle Linehan, through the creation of UMBC’s Linehan Artist Scholars Program, support exceptional artist-scholars who seek to pursue the arts for their full four years of education. I am honored to contribute to the history of this prestigious and important program at UMBC and to share my educational and cultural experience with colleagues and students alike.

Currently, I am the most recent recipient of the CIRCA/IMET Artist-in-Residence (AiR) at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, Inner Harbor, Baltimore City.   The residency supports my interest in bioacoustics and acoustic ecology for the creation of artworks informed by the impact of noise and solid waste on disparate habitats. Following is an excerpt of an article from UMBC magazine highlighting this work:

Stephen Bradley, associate professor in the Department of Visual Arts, hauls in a braided cord connected to a white lifesaving ring that bobs on the water of the Jones Falls in Baltimore. A Doritos package, two latex gloves, a slick of oil, and some liquor bottles float nearby. And that’s just what’s visible. Other ingredients in the toxic stew flowing toward the Inner Harbor are heavy metals, fertilizer, microbes, pesticides, and sewage, as well as industrial sound pollution.
Bradley, an artist who adds video and audio sensory layers to his sculptures, pulls out his dripping hydrophones and fiddles with their connections. Then he lowers the receivers back in, to record the underwater sounds of mussels, gizzard shad, and blue crabs, along with the urban noise of HVAC systems and traffic.
Chatting away, Bradley pulls out his sketch pad to show some drawings, then licks his thumb to turn the page. He stops to grimace at his thumb, which was just mucking about in the murky water.
“Guess I shouldn’t have done that,” he says.
Making a difference in the world isn’t always a neat endeavor. Hard to keep your hands clean when you’re raising cattle humanely and safely, pulling communities together to pick up trash and make art, or hauling tons of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean. These three Retrievers all find immense joy in work that is sometimes smelly, usually dirty, and always requires an intrepid spirit.

Since 2010, I have been a nomadic artist-in-residence serving Brooklyn-Curtis Bay and North Anne Arundel County communities.  I engage with communities to invest in interdisciplinary and collaborative civic science and entrepreneurial art-making projects.

Connect to Professor Bradley’s website: urbantells.net