2015 Baker Artist Awards Granted to Paul Rucker, Wendel Patrick, and Eric Dyer

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The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) is pleased to announce the six artists selected for the 2015 Baker Artist Awards. Two categories of awards are offered each year: $25,000 Mary Sawyers Baker prizes and $5,000 b-grant prizes.

2015 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize Winners:


Paul Rucker is a self-taught visual artist, composer, and musician who combines media, integrating visual art with sound, original compositions, and live performance. His work is the product of a rich interactive process through which he investigates human rights issues, historical events, community impacts, and basic human emotions surrounding his subject matter. Much of his current work focuses on the prison industrial complex and the many issues that accompany
incarceration. As a musician and musical director, Rucker performs as a solo cellist, leads his LARGE Ensemble of 22 musicians and works with others on collaborative compositions. Rucker has received numerous grants, awards, and residencies for his work in visual art and music. In 2013, he was named the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Artist in Residence and Research Fellow at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and is currently a resident at Creative Alliance. (See Rucker’s winning nomination here.)


Wendel Patrick is a composer and music producer who fuses together elements of jazz, electronica, and Hip Hop to create lush musical collages that are entirely and undoubtedly his own. His two albums, Sound: and Forthcoming, were produced without the use of samples, with Patrick playing every note of every instrument electronically. He also composes as alter ego Kevin Gift, a classical and jazz pianist. In addition to his music, Patrick is an avid photographer and videographer. His photography has been featured on NPR, and he shot all of the accompanying documentary photography and videography for Out of The Blocks. He has filmed and directed
numerous music videos for other artists. (See Patrick’s winning nomination here:


Eric Dyer is an artist, filmmaker, experimental animator, and educator, whose latest work is aimed at methods of re-inventing the zoetrope, a pre-cinema optical toy. His award- winning films have screened internationally at numerous festivals, including the Chicago International Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, South by Southwest, and the Ottawa, Annecy, Melbourne, and London International Animation Festivals. As a member of the Visual Arts faculty at UMBC, he teaches animation and brings students and symphony orchestras together to create music visualizations and animation performances. Dyer has received Animasivo, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Ammerman Center for Art and Technology commissions and has recently been honored as a Creative Capital Artist and Guggenheim Fellow. (See Dyer’s winning nomination here:

Watch the MPT Announcement Video here:

2015 b-grant Winners:


Renée Rendine is an installation artist whose work is constructed through a laborious process of weaving, braiding, or sewing of various materials. They are then activated in performance through a similar process of methodical alteration. Utilizing temporal materials such as gelatins, fluids, or water-soluble plastics, she speaks to the notion of time and change. These are repetitive actions that build and transform a work, like a spider, strand by strand, spinning a web. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1996 and went on to complete a MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999. She was the recipient of a Virginia Museum of
Fine Arts Fellowship in 2000, and was also awarded a fellowship to study in Italy by the Atlantic Center for the Arts that same year. She currently teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). (See Rendine’s winning nomination here:

Dominique Zeltzman is a performer and video installation artist. Her interest in mapping everyday moments through video and installation, evolved from mapping everyday movements through choreography and video. She researches concepts of objectification and power through the metaphor of the container as a social construct.

Her work has to do with the stretchy exaggeration of time and sequence, duration, endurance, a daily litany of warnings and instructions, and the mundane practices that catalogue cycles in our lives. She is interested in monotony, danger, hysteria, ghosts, tight spaces, dirty dishes, a ladder, grime, a toilet, a sink, a stove, heels, ass, a woman, a building, a bathroom, a skirt, a dress, stockings, a street, crawling, creeping, squatting, the shell, balance, and her kitchen. 
In her installation project Radical Home, she seeks to create a phenomenological experience with video as an architectural intervention. In 2014 she received her MFA from UMBC in Intermedia and Digital Art. (See Zeltzman’s winning nomination here:

Timmy Reed is writer, teacher, editor, freelance marketer and ad writer, tour guide, designer, and visual artist native to Baltimore. He is a graduate of College of Charleston, and University of Baltimore’s MFA program in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts. He has a short novel, The Ghosts That Surrounded Them, forthcoming from Dig That Book, Co. in 2015. He has a longer, hagiographic novel, Miraculous Fauna, forthcoming from Underground Voices in March 2016. He recently published a limited-edition chapbook, Zeb and Bunny Build Russian Dolls, and has published a collection of stories called Tell God I Don’t Exist. Timmy is currently an Adjunct Professor in the
English Department at Community College of Baltimore County’s Catonsville campus. (See Timmy’s winning nomination here:

About the Baker Artist Awards

The Baker Artist Awards were created to support artists and promote Greater Baltimore as a strong creative community. Through a sophisticated online portfolio and significant monetary prizes for the winners, the Baker Artist Awards serves artists of all disciplines who live and work in Baltimore City and its five surrounding counties. The website and awards were established by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund and are a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. The online self-nomination process exposes area artists’ work to regional, national and international audiences. The site has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of art lovers, critics, gallery owners, academics, and leaders in creative business in nearly every country around the globe. Each year, awards are made in two categories: the Mary Sawyers Baker Prizes and the b- grants.

Up to three Mary Sawyers Baker Prizes are awarded annually for up to $25,000 each. These awards recognize established artists who demonstrate a dedication to their art, a mastery of craft, and a commitment to excellence. Mary Sawyers Baker, one of Baltimore’s early philanthropists, studied voice as a young girl in Paris and embraced the arts throughout her life. She established the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund in 1964 to honor her husband, a well-known Baltimore civic leader. The b-grants were established in 2010 to promote the quality, diversity, and depth of the region’s arts scene. These prizes recognize both emerging artists and established artists exploring new directions.

The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund commits its resources to enhance the region’s economy and quality of life by making investments in arts and culture. Its grants support artistic and cultural organizations and their partners through initiatives that enhance an individual’s sense of self and pleasure and make Baltimore a more attractive place to live and work.

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) nurtures and promotes a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable arts and cultural community essential to the region’s quality of life. GBCA aims to promote the region’s creative sector and significantly increase artists’ and organizations’ capacity to do great work.

Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance
1800 N. Charles Street, Suite 810 Baltimore, MD 21201
Tel. 410-230-0200

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