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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.

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To submit your calendar event, email us at [email protected]!


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.

UPCOMING @BmoreArt: Connect + Collect
Thursday, January 24, 6:30 – 9

Connect + Collect is a new initiative brought to you by BmoreArt’s Cara Ober and Jeffrey Kent, an artist and curator based in Baltimore, designed to create awareness and momentum among new and experienced collectors, and to promote a culture of collecting in Baltimore.

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Our first panel is with Art Collector, Consultant, and DC-based Lawyer Schwanda Rountree and Baltimore-based artist Mequitta Ahuja, a Guggenheim recipient whose work is in Rountree’s collection. Topics to be discussed include how and why to start collecting art, how to conduct a studio visit, and best practices for building ethical, respectful, productive relationships between artists and patrons.

Thursday, January 10th : 7:30 PM

Creative Alliance
3134 Eastern Avenue : 21224

Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story is a documentary portrait of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band from Raleigh, North Carolina, and their mentor, fiddler Joe Thompson (1919—2012). The film captures how three musicians from the hip-hop generation embraced a 19th Century genre and took it to new heights, winning a Grammy in 2010. The story of the band’s meteoric rise, from busking on the street to playing major festivals, is punctuated and informed by the history of the banjo’s origins in Africa and the untold story of how blacks and whites collaborated to create the earliest forms of American popular music. Filmmaker John Whitehead followed the band from their coming together through their breakup, making for an emotionally satisfying journey as well as a spectacular musical one.

Stick around after the film for a discussion with director John Whitehead and journalist Jordannah Elizabeth.

John Whitehead earns his living making documentaries for public television and videos for non-profit organizations. He is also a serious amateur musician with a long time interest in American roots music. His 2004 film, Make ‘Em Dance: The Hackberry Ramblers’ Story, traced the history of a legendary Cajun/country band from Lake Charles, Louisiana. Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind is his second foray into the roots music genre. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife, Suzanne Garfield. When not making movies he plays music with friends and with his band, Blue Yodel N0. 9.

Jordannah Elizabeth is a widely published music journalist, critic, essayist, and author.  Jordannah’s writing, lectures and commentary has been featured in Hearst Magazines, on BBC 2 television, CBC syndicated radio WYPR, Ms. Magazine, NPR, MTV World, Harvard University, Pratt Institute, Maryland Institute College of Art, DownBeat Magazine and more. She is the founder of the literary organization, Publik / Private and has been a regular entertainment journalist for New York Amsterdam News since 2013..

Friday, January 11th : 6:30PM

Gallery CA
440 East Oliver Street : 21201

Join us at Gallery CA for a special artist talk from Labor & Deliverance artist April Danielle Lewis. Friday, January 11th at 6:30pm. Refreshments will be on hand, as well as the art.

Regular Gallery hours:
Mon-Friday noon-4pm. Appointments can be made at [email protected].

Friday, January 11th : 7-9PM

Cody Gallery
Marymount University : Arlington VA

Talk with curators John Anderson and Meaghan Kent, 8:30pm

Cody Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by Hilda Shapiro Thorpe (b. Baltimore, MD 1919; d. Alexandria, VA 2000). Delving deep into the artists prolific career, the exhibition will highlight the artists viscerally affective work that at once reveals itself as dedicated and meaningful in context to its process and practice. Thorpe’s work, often investigating color, scale, physicality and fragility, speaks with great relevance to the contemporary work developed today.

Thorpe’s work emerged as Washington Art was transitioning away from Abstraction Expression, toward the earliest establishment of the Washington Color School. As a student of American University, the influences of William Calfee, Robert Gates, and Jack Tworkov left an indelible impression on her work. However, her emergence at the Jefferson Place occurred during a time when fellow gallery artists, Kenneth Noland and Gene Davis, were introducing the gallery to their formal (and now better known) circle and stripe paintings: the beginnings of the Washington Color School.  While exposure to these new approaches to painting would certainly inform her work, so too did her explorations in sculpture—with drift wood, balsa, pipe, and off-the-shelf ducts, rolls of aluminum flashing, and painted canvas strips. Over the course of the next 40 years, her exploration between painting and sculpture would attempt to liberate an expressive gesture of color from a rectangular stretcher, and position it as an element in space.

The two bodies of work within this exhibition, paintings, and paper sculptures, reflect the most immediate through-line in Thorpe’s career. Her paintings varied in both mark and structure, reflecting old guard influences from American University—abstracting from nature and through expression—as well as hints of the Washington Color School. They were modes of expression she revisited throughout her career. It would be two decades before her exploration with various media in sculpture would bring her to handmade paper, and the opportunity to bring to the sculpted form the kind of gestural expression and color she placed on the canvas. Thorpe was, as she put it, “a painter who sculpts, a sculptor who paints.” And since Thorpe’s sculpture was also inspired by her surroundings along the Potomac River in Hollin Hills, she ensured that her work was site specific when installed:

“The charge was to change the gallery space of four conventional rectilinear walls to an art space, a personal statement. To lose it and to find it again. In a new way, perhaps shrouded by mystery, and redefined. Looking at the space, viewing it with my own oeuvre in mind, I decided to fill it with forms that give light and translucency and lines. To reinterpret the nature that I am constantly experiencing and to present it in such a way that you, too, can bring your own experiencing to it.”

Image: Hilda Shapiro Thorpe, Light Poem, 1986, Acrylic on canvas. Photo: Isaac Wasuck. Copyright and courtesy of the Estate of Hilda Shapiro Thorpe.

Saturday, January 12th : 1PM

Reginald F. Lewis Museum
830 East Pratt Street : 21202

Examine how an American artist agitated for change through the power of his art and writing. Join Diedra Harris-Kelley, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation, for a discussion on Romare Bearden’s role as an art activist. This talk will explore Bearden’s evolution into a true master artist whose work changed our way of seeing the world.

In conjunction with Romare Bearden: Visionary Artist

Included with Museum Admission


Saturday, January 12th : 12-6PM

Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Boulevard : Arlington VA

Please join us on Saturday, January 12 from 6 to 9pm to celebrate the opening of our winter exhibitions, Over, Under, Forward, Back and Convergence: Works by AAC’s Resident Artists. Engage with artists from both exhibitions and visit our residents during their open studio hours.

Whether working with yarn, thread, found fabric, recycled clothing, fishing line, or plastic netting, contemporary artists working in fibers, textiles, and related traditions utilize materials that are also ubiquitous in daily life. From the circulation of commercial textile and fabric goods, such as clothing, to diverse traditions of hand-making, often coded as women’s work, fibers-based media and the techniques for manipulating them are tied to history, to economics, to community, and to family tradition. These connections have inspired and attracted the artists of Over, Under, Forward, Back, who embrace the techniques of the past, experiment with new means of production, utilize non-traditional materials, and mine their own personal and family histories for connections to their work.

Participating artists: April Camlin, Steven Frost, Rania Hassan, Sarah J. Hull, Robin Kang, Julia Kwon, Olivia Tripp Morrow, Natalia Nakazawa, Danni O’Brien, and Sarah Stefana Smith.

Featuring a diverse selection of works by AAC’s twelve resident artists, Convergence examines the current trajectories of these artists, while surveying the collective output of AAC’s creative community. Reflecting the creative dialogue that characterizes AAC’s residency program, this exhibition presents work in a broad array of media, from sculptural assemblage to photographs to paintings. Despite the multiplicity of approaches, the works are connected by a shared interest in time and memory, personal and cultural history, and material transformation. From sculptural works based on memories of the urban landscape, to photographs exploring absence and presence, to paintings addressing cultural appropriation, this exhibit offers an overview of the processes and themes embraced by AAC’s talented artistic community.

Featured artists include AAC’s ten long-term and two short-term resident artists: Negar Ahkami, Michèle Colburn, Roxana Alger Geffen, Sarah Hardesty, Stephanie Lane, Marissa Long, Ryan McCoy, Olivia Tripp Morrow, Jen Noone, Jung Min Park, Austin Shull, and Dawn Whitmore.

Artwork: Julia Kwon, Like Any Other No. 37 (detail), 2016

Sunday, January 13th : 1:30PM

Arena Players Gallery & Exhibition Space
801 McCulloh Street : 21201

The Arena Players Gallery & Exhibition Space, 801 McCulloh Street, is now showing its latest exhibition, Storypiece: Documentary Story Quilts of Dr. Joan M. E. Gaither. This collection spans from her personal mentors to Baltimore history and icons from the wider African American community. Artist/teacher/activist/art advocate for children, Baltimorean Dr. Joan M. E. Gaither has designed, pieced, and created documentary story quilts since 2000 with the stitching of her first 10’x9’ monumental size I Am: My Family History Quilt. Her “quilting from the soul” challenges the comfort, protection, and warmth of traditional quilts with “the use of anything and everything necessary to carry the meaning of a story that needs telling, one that only the teller can convey.”

As a retired educator with 44 years of teaching experience, from Maryland Public Schools and Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Dr. Gaither continues to hold quilting workshops with increasing collaborative involvement from multiple communities as the stories unfold. Gaither’s sense of urgency and passion encourages community members to capture oralhistories and memories from the aging storytellers in the community and preserve them in quilt formats to live on as human American stories for generations to come. In conjunction with the Storypiece exhibition, the Arena Players Gallery will host a reception and artist talk with Dr. Gaither at 1:30 PM January 13th, 2019 and a Documentary Quilt Workshop to be announced.Gaither’s quilts have recently been shown at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum and the Bates Legacy Center in Annapolis. Her works speak to a place in many communities—telling one’s own story, telling the stories of others, and finally, helping others to find and tell their ownstories within the context of one shared collective history. Storypiece: Documentary Story Quilts of Joan Gaither is open to the public December 15th, 2018 through February 28th, 2019. Call 410-728-6500 for gallery hours.

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