Rudy Shepherd – Rudy Shepherd’s latest work explores the nature of evil through the mediums of painting and sculpture. This exploration involves investigations into the lives of criminals and victims of crime. He explores the complexity of these stories and the grey areas between innocence and guilt in a series of paintings and drawings of both the criminals and the victims, making no visual distinctions between the two. By presenting the people first and the stories second a space is created for humanity to be reinstilled into the lives of people who have been reduced to mere headlines by the popular press.
Valeska Populoh – Valeska Maria Populoh is a performer, artist and teacher living in Baltimore, MD, where she teaches in the Fibers Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Valeska collaborates with a variety of community arts organizations and other artists, including Black Cherry Puppet Theater, Fluid Movement and Nanaprojects, on public performance projects and founded her own troupe, the Cause Company, in 2004.
Valeska’s performance and installation projects utilize costuming, props and puppetry to address environmental and social justice themes of a particular locale. Her most recent work, Baltimore Rescue Society, considers the need for relief services in her current hometown, and acknowledges the informal and sometimes invisible network of ‘Rescue Workers’, from teachers to community organizers, who provide life-saving relief, sustenance and healing to a city in need.