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Material: First and Foremost

BmoreArt’s Picks presents the best weekly art openings, events, and performances happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas. For a more comprehensive perspective, check the BmoreArt Calendar page, which includes ongoing exhibits and performances, and is updated on a daily basis.

To submit your calendar event, email us at!



We’ll send you our top stories of the week, selected event listings, and our favorite calls for entry — right to your inbox every Tuesday.


Type Family: 4 Design Authors at MICA
Tuesday, Feb 13: 7-8:30 PM

Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 W Mount Royal Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21217

Ellen Lupton will be joined by Doug Thomas, Sandie Maxa, and Mark Sanders to share the best ideas and weirdest insights from their latest books. Discover how storytelling makes the stuff around us more engaging. Geek out about the world’s most influential typeface — and it’s not Helvetica! Sample the secret sauce of communication for page and screen.

<><><><><><><><>Germinal: Lauren Frances Adams | Reception 
Thursday, February 15th : 5-7pm

 MICA | Pinkard Gallery, Bunting Center
1401 West Mount Royal Avenue :: 21201

The Maryland College Institute of Art (MICA) presents “Germinal,” a solo exhibition consisting of a site-specific installation by B.F.A. Painting faculty Lauren Frances Adams. The exhibition explores themes converging around feminist activists from American history, domestic ornament in service of political messages, such as Quaker abolitionist quilts and pro-Confederacy secessionist cockades, and the recent removal of Baltimore’s Confederate monuments.

“Germinal” opens Saturday, Jan. 20, and runs through Tuesday, March 13, at MICA’s Pinkard Gallery, Bunting Center, 1401 W Mt. Royal Ave. A reception will take place Thursday, Feb. 15, 5 – 7 p.m.

Reflecting on contemporary and historical political movements for the advancement of civil rights in America, Adams’ installation and research-based paintings examine the ways in which white women both helped and hindered progress, as well as the pioneering black feminists who fought for racial justice.

Specifically, Adams, whose work often focuses on the history of labor and class, looks at the ways in which feminist activists in American history, particularly women of color from the 18th century through the present day, have been overlooked in favor of white causes. Adams also questions the legacy of white feminists and suffragettes who advanced white feminist issues over black interests, and grounds the idea of white culpability in racial injustice to the present day.

“Germinal” also showcases the recent public battle over removing Confederate monuments, including the Confederate Women’s Monument, which was located adjacent to MICA’s campus on Mt. Royal Ave. and dismantled by Mayor Pugh in August.

“Given the recent movement to remove Confederate monuments across the country and in Baltimore, I wanted to create work that responds to the dichotomy between these efforts and the palpable civil and political unrest that has taken hold of the national body politic,” said Adams.

The installation of “Germinal” will transform the gallery space by applying custom wallpaper designs and patterns to the normally white wall space, and will feature collections of painted found objects, such as stacks of locally reclaimed brick from Baltimore featuring patterns and designs reflecting resistance to white supremacy, and oyster shells sourced from Maryland’s Choptank River—where Harriet Tubman lived—with portraits of activists painted on the inside of the shells.

The objects will be incrementally added to the installation throughout the exhibition, accumulating (or “germinating”) over time as though growing out of the initial object. The title is also a play on the word “seminal,” acting as the feminine counter to the male-dominated concept of historicity and plays up the role of women in enacting—or hindering—social change.

“The works on display encourage a consideration of the ways in which public visual culture has contributed to the reinforcement of Confederate spaces and values, while also highlighting the long history of women who resisted (racialized and gendered) oppression and the continuation of these struggles today,” Adams said.

“Germinal” is supported through a Marcella Brenner Grant for Faculty Development and Research, which annually funds projects that contribute to MICA faculty members’ professional, artistic or scholarly research and development. “Germinal” will be accompanied by an exhibition catalog featuring an essay by MICA Humanistic Studies faculty Christine Manganaro.

Lauren Frances Adams’ work engages political and social histories through iconic images and domestic ornament. At the core of her work are critical explorations of labor and class in visual culture. She draws heavily upon the historical decorative arts, such as wallpaper patterns, quilts and paintings, to find contradictions within the contexts they originated. Alongside painting and mixed-media installations, domestic materials take shape in her research on the construction of political identity.

Image: “Germinal: Bricks and Oysters Series,” Choptank River oysters, mixed media paint, 2017.


Counternarratives: Performance and Actions in Public Space | Reception
Thursday, Feb. 15, 5 – 7 p.m.

Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 Mt. Royal Avenue

“Counternarratives” highlights landmark artistic and political actions from 1955 to the present that challenge the social, political and cultural status quo.

The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) presents “Counternarratives: Performance and Actions in Public Space,” an exhibition curated by students in MICA’s Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) that highlights significant performative actions, both artistic and political, from 1955 to the present through a global timeline installation and commissions of new performances in local public spaces.

“Counternarratives” is on view Friday, Feb. 2, through Sunday, March 11, at MICA’s Decker Gallery, Fox Building, 1303 W. Mt. Royal Ave. A reception will be held Thursday, Feb. 15, 5 – 7 p.m.

Using Rosa Parks’ historic act of civil disobedience on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 as the starting point and conceptual framework of a sculptural timeline, “Counternarratives” charts 55 case studies of performative protest through the present day that honor Parks’ protest against racial injustice. The final two years of the timeline are dedicated to performances and actions in Baltimore since the 2015 uprising, and will incorporate newly commissioned performances at various locations in Baltimore.

The exhibition features a selection of performances and actions that challenge social, cultural and political conditions, as well as those that reclaim and question normative uses of public space in urban environments. The timeline invites viewers to contemplate how the human body functions as a catalyst for positive social and political change.

Established in 1997 by then Curator-in-Residence George Ciscle, the Exhibition Development Seminar is a yearlong course designed to examine the curatorial process and explore new ways for students to engage with local artists, cultural organizers, activists, curators and museum and gallery professionals.

Led by Art History, Theory & Criticism faculty Monica Amor, the 2017-2018 Exhibition Development Seminar is supported by class mentors Gerard Leavell, Graham Coreil-Allen, Nick Petr and Bashi Rose, as well as advisors Alex Oehmke and Jeff McGrath.

Image: Anna Halperin, Blank Placard Dance, 1970. When asked “What are you protesting?” the performers responded “What do you want to protest?” and collected the aswers.


Artist Talk: Shirin Neshat with Christopher Bedford
Thursday February 15: 7 PM – 8:30 PM

Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 W Mount Royal Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21217

The multidisciplinary Iranian artist Shirin Neshat discusses her work, whose themes include gender, identity, politics and contrasting life between the West and Muslim countries, with Baltimore Museum of Art Director Christopher Bedford. Presented as part of MICA’s Mixed Media Series. Event is free and open to the public.

Artist talk takes place at Falvey Hall: Brown Center, located at 1301 W Mt Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217.


Love Potions: Thirsty Thursdays at the Opera
Thursday, February 15th : 8pm

The Engineers Club
11 West Mount Vernon Place :: 21201

Baltimore Concert Opera continues its popular performance series this season, ‘Thirsty Thursdays at the Opera.’ Top-flight professional opera singers perform operatic highlights paired with signature cocktails created by B&O Brasseire mixologist (and opera singer himself) Brendan Dorr.  These events are fabulous, relaxed evenings in the beautiful Grand Ballroom of the Engineers Club in the heart of Mount Vernon. Ticket price includes music AND cocktail tastings!

“Love Potions” will feature singers Ron Loyd, Jeni Houser, Ian McEuen, and Kate Jackman with Aurelien Eulert at the piano.

These events always sell out, so be sure to get your tickets early!


Lauren Kalman | Icons of the Flesh
Opening reception Friday, February 16, 6 – 9 pm

Baltimore Jewelry Center
10 E. North Ave. Set.130

Exhibition dates: February 16 – March 31, 2018
Artist talk March 16, 6 – 8 pm

Lauren Kalman’s Icons of the Flesh is comprised of two series of work, Embodiers and Avatars, that visualize the body in ways that promote positive identification with anatomy and sexuality. Works in the Embodiers series are described as badges, collars, and buttons, rather than necklaces or brooches, allusions to wearable communication devices as seen in military use or in political movements. The Avatars series is comprised of miniature mask-like forms that reference larger wearable masks, pop-culture cartoons, and magic objects like voodoo dolls or icons. These are talismanic forms conjuring power through the abstracted representation of the human face. The symbols in Icons of the Flesh are signs or abstractions that point toward the body and prompt the viewer to question the complicated process of identity building.

Lauren Kalman is a visual artist based in Detroit, whose practice is invested in contemporary craft, video, photography and performance. Through her work she investigates beauty, adornment, body image, and the built environment. Raised in the Midwest, Kalman completed her MFA in Art and Technology from the Ohio State University and earned a BFA with a focus in Metals from Massachusetts College of Art.

Open Hours: Carpet Company
Saturday, February 17th : 2-4pm

Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive :: 21218

Osama and Ayman Abdeldayem, brothers, designers, and co-founders of Carpet Company, fuse Egyptian and Muslim imagery with contemporary skate culture in their designs. Hear how they bridge worlds through their artistic choices while designing, producing, packaging, and printing customized skateboards.

Learn more about Carpet Company and their creative process here.

For more information about this program, please email Dave Eassa at

Open Hours are generously sponsored by PNC Bank.

<><><><><><><><>Annual Resident Artist Open House & 10 Minutes Tops Artist Talks
Saturday, February 17th : 6pm

Creative Alliance
3134 Eastern Avenue :: 21224

Featuring: Adam Rosenblatt, Alice Gadzinski, Jerry Allen Gilmore, Samantha Sethi, Alfonso Fernandez, Paul Rucker, Christopher Batten, & Adam Davies

Artist Talks: 6-8pm
Open Studios: 8-10pm

Our resident artist have 10 minutes TOPS to present their work, perform, or invite special guests on stage. Afterward explore the studios.

<><><><><><><><>Everyman Theatre’s Salon Series | Cry It Out 
Monday, February 19th : 6pm

Everyman Theatre
315 West Fayette Street :: 21201

Everyman Theatre’s enormously popular Salon Series, celebrating the work of women playwrights, returns for its third edition with five powerful new plays, curated and directed by the women of Everyman Theatre’s Resident Acting Company (Dawn Ursula, Beth Hylton, Deborah Hazlett and Megan Anderson), and hosted in the social setting of Everyman’s second-floor rehearsal hall on select Mondayevenings: February 5, February 19, March 5, March 19 and April 2, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

“The demand for stories by women, about women and celebrating women is joyfully evident in the success of Everyman Theatre’s Salon Series going three seasons strong,” said Salon Producer Johanna Gruenhut. “Featuring new work by playwrights both new and familiar to our audiences, this season’s lineup promise not only entertaining and social evenings of theatre, but also a remarkable, necessary spectrum of character experiences and points of view—stories about motherhood and relationships, aging and employment, community and family, and much more.”

Signature to the spirit of the Salon Series are pre- and post-show cocktail hours, where audience members and performers are encouraged to toast, mingle and chat about the work in the rehearsal hall’s relaxed atmosphere—with cash bar hosted by Everyman Theatre and pre-show bites provided by Nando’s and other neighborhood partners. Cocktail hour starts at 6:00 PM. Readings begin promptly at 7:00 PM.

Cry It Out: Two next-door neighbors forge a bond during coinciding naptimes and the shared experience of becoming new moms. But someone nearby watches on as their newfound friendship takes flight… A runaway hit at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Cry It Out takes a darkly funny—yet honest—look at some of the absurdities of motherhood.

<><><><><><><><>Chisholm ’72 – Unbought and Unbossed
Monday, February 19th : 7:30pm

Parkway Theatre
3 West North Avenue:: 21201

The Parkway is proud to partner with Black Girls Vote, Baltimore Ceasefire 365, and Film Fatales’ Baltimore chapter for a special President’s Day screening of Shola Lynch’s inspirational documentary about the pioneering 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress!

Following the film, we’ll have a conversation about this documentary and the lasting legacy of Shirley Chisholm featuring
Nykidra Robinson of Black Girls Vote (BGV) and Letrice Gant and Erricka Bridgeford of Baltimore Ceasefire 365!

(2004, 77 minutes, directed by Shola Lynch)
Recalling a watershed event in US politics, this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek nomination for the highest office in the land. Following Chisholm from her own announcement of her candidacy through her historic speech in Miami at the Democratic National Convention, the story is a fight for inclusion. Shunned by the political establishment and the media, this longtime champion of marginalized Americans asked for support from people of color, women, gays, and young people newly empowered to vote at the age of 18. Chisholm’s bid for an equal place on the presidential dais generated strong, even racist opposition. Yet her challenge to the status quo and her message about exercising the right to vote struck many as progressive and positive. Period footage and music, interviews with supporters, opponents, observers, and Chisholm’s own commentary all illuminate her groundbreaking initiative, as well as political and social currents still very much alive today.

Film Fatales is a diverse community of women filmmakers who meet regularly to mentor each other, share resources, collaborate on projects and build a supportive environment in which to make their films.

Nykidra Robinson is the CEO & Founder of Black Girls Vote (BGV), a Baltimore-based non-partisan organization that represents the concerns, interests and empowerment of Black women while taking action for policy at the voting polls.

Erricka Bridgeford is one of the organizers of Baltimore Ceasefire 365, a grassroots campaign against gun violence with the slogan “Nobody kill anybody.” In 2017 Bridgeford was the Baltimore Sun’s Marylander of The Year for her efforts to curb violence in Baltimore.

Letrice Gant is Director at The Evolution of Perspective and a co-founder of Baltimore Cease Fire 365.

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Baltimore news updates from independent & regional media

This week's news includes:  The Walters acquires Kehinde Wiley and Herbert Massie, mulitple public art works go missing, Jill Orlov wins the MASB Artist Travel Prize, fiber artist Melissa Webb, Little Donna's named one of 50 best restaurants, looking back on Artscape, and more!

The best weekly art openings, events, and calls for entry happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas.

This Week: Fitsum Shebeshe, Jessica Bell Brown, and Rhea Beckett in conversation at UMBC, Baltimore Clayworks virtual artist talk with Clarissa Pezone, Charm City Burlesque and Variety Festival, Charm City Fringe, BROS' The Gold Night, and more!

Highlights: Florida Man, Kirk Franklin, Deion Sanders, Jann Wenner, Russell Brand, Clarence Thomas, James Ho, Jens Haaning, Diddy, and F-35s. 

I could not keep up with the internet this week!