Cynthia Mulcahy is a Dallas-based conceptual artist and independent curator. After working as a gallerist for over ten years, in 2007, she decided to leave the gallery to focus on her independent curatorial and artistic practice. Mulcahy’s research-based works range from large-scale participatory actions to delicate watercolors. Recently, for her War Garden body of work, she researched and documented the use of biological terminology in US military operations. The resulting delicate watercolors and installations presented alternative ways of understanding language, nature, and its role in US history. Meanwhile, with participatory public artworks taking forms as diverse as a community square dance, musical performances, or farming as street theater, Mulcahy explores the history of place and activates public space. In doing so, she questions the divisions between various forms of art-related practice and promotes the concept and practice of art as activism. Her work is often collaborative – made with other arts professionals but also with the communities to which her projects pertain.
Mulcahy’s work has received broad critical acclaim, appearing in The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and New York Magazine. Her recent projects include War Garden, United States 1917 – 2017 (2017); A Field Guide to Flora and Fauna of Southern Dallas (2017); Performance as Gesture: Songs for a City Park (Japanese Garden, Kidd Springs Park, Dallas, 2015); Engines of War, an exhibition that examined the United States wars in Iraq and Afghanistan co-curated with Charles Dee Mitchell (NYC, 2013); Seventeen Hundred Seeds, a site-specific collaboration with Robert Hamilton in a vacant city block (Dallas, 2012); and Square Dance: A Community Project, co-organized with Leila Grothe at the Trinity River Audubon Center (Dallas, 2011). Mulcahy’s project, Square Dance, was the recipient of an Idea Fund Grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.