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Game Changers: Bmoreart’s Top 10 Art Exhibits of 2013

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Ten Best Reasons to be an Artist in Baltimore in 2013

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It’s hard to believe that 2013 is over! Things are happening in Baltimore, lots of good things, but there’s always room for improvement. If you were reading Bmoreart regularly this year, this list will not be a huge surprise to you. However, if you missed any of these exhibits, here’s your chance to experience them again in all their online glory.

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10. Open Space’s Prints and Multiples Fair. This event was held at the D Center this year and provided an amazing browsing and shopping experience, as well as an opportunity for Baltimore creators of multiples to hobnob with a larger, national community. Read Bmoreart’s review of PMF by Sean Ostrowski: http://bmoreart.com/2013/03/the-fourth-annual-prints-and-multiples-fair-by-sean-ostrowski.html.

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9. The Print/Collect Folio and exhibit at Current. This project was ambitious, professionally executed, and has the potential to elevate the careers of Baltimore artists. Read Bmoreart’s Interview with Jen Coster by Ian MacLean Davis here: http://bmoreart.com/2013/08/portfolio-management-ian-maclean-davis-interviews-jennifer-coster-about-printcollect.html  and check out our images from the show here: http://bmoreart.com/2013/07/we-saw-this-so-should-you-printcollect-and-ryan-serell-at-current-by-ian-maclean-davis.html.

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8. Although this show was uneven, with Jimmy Joe Roche’s psychedelic symmetries realized elegantly in metal and Nathaniel Mellors’s acclaimed films projected on lumpy, turd-like structures, this exhibit in the BMA’s Front Room Gallery was important and mostly beautiful. Check out images and commentary here: http://bmoreart.com/2013/07/we-saw-this-so-should-you-jimmy-joe-roche-and-nathaniel-mellors-in-the-bma-front-room-gallery.html.

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7. Sketchbooks are great but are a real challenge to exhibit in a gallery. René Treviño’s curatorial vision made this show a winner, with giant salon-style prints of sketchbook scans activating the gallery.  Read the review  by Allison Gulick  here: http://bmoreart.com/2013/12/sketchbook-at-school-33-reviewed-by-allison-gulick.html.

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6. The best art raises questions that it can’t answer. Caitling Cunningham’s ‘Tan Penis Island’ at sophiajacob pushed a lot of buttons, created a ton of discussion, and raised significant awareness of feminist issues within the art world. Read the review by Mac Falby  here: http://bmoreart.com/2013/05/pale-artist-island-caitlin-cunningham-at-sophiajacob-reviewed-by-mac-falby.html.

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5. Sure, this exhibit was in DC, but Zoe Charlton has based her art practice in Baltimore for over a decade. ‘festoon’ at Connersmith addressed seriously uncomfortable taboos, but managed to be hilarious and ironic as well. Read the review by Joan Cox:  http://bmoreart.com/tag/zoe-charlton-festoon.

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4. This exhibit practically glowed off the walls of Springsteen Gallery. Seth Adelsberger’s new paintings and their accompanying scientific practice are tactile, sexy, and unexpectedly weird. Read the interview with the artist by Cara Ober here: http://bmoreart.com/2013/12/surface-treatment-an-interview-with-seth-adelsberger-by-cara-ober.html.

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3. Anne Hamilton is an international superstar and she’s not a Baltimore artist. However, Baltimore’s Goya Contemporary Gallery presented an intimate slice of the artist’s work, and created an important opportunity to experience it here in person. Read the review by Kerr Houston:  http://bmoreart.com/2013/09/far-from-near-ann-hamilton-at-goya-contemporary-reviewed-by-kerr-houston.html.

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2. Lisa Dillin rocked it this year. Her multi-media, participatory, performative, and interactive sculptural installations broke boundaries and presented the best of what can be accomplished by an artist in Baltimore. Read the review by Cara Ober here:  http://bmoreart.com/2013/04/primal-tan-redux-lisa-dillin-will-make-you-bronze-and-happy-by-cara-ober.html.

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1. This exhibit was completely bizarre, totally confusing, creepy, and possibly made you feel like bugs were crawling all over your skin. If you visited ‘Organized by Elspeth Walker’ at sophiajacob, you were transported to a different galaxy and simultaneously found yourself at home in your own little bed. Read the review by Bret McCabe: http://bmoreart.com/2013/10/inside-man-organized-by-elspeth-walker-at-sophiajacob-by-bret-mccabe.html.

Don’t panic – Bmoreart is not finished with Top Ten End of 2013 Excitement! Stay tuned for our “Ten Best Reasons for Artists to Live in Baltimore in 2014” list coming soon!

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