BmoreArt’s Picks: February 18-24

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This Week:  Bishme Cromartie at Maryland Historical Society, Submersive Productions See Also at the Peabody Library, Merkin Dream opens at MAP, Beyond the Flash: A Conversation with Lola Flash at MICA, and more!

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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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The Spotlight on Maryland Design Installation
@ Maryland Historical Society

The Spotlight on Maryland Design will feature a new installation each month now through October, highlighting contemporary Maryland designers. The first garments on display beginning February 14 highlight the creativity and magnificence of Baltimore-based and self-taught fashion designer, Bishme Cromartie.

Bishme considers his designs to reflect the art that inspires him in his everyday life: boundary-breaking, fun, romantic and socially conscious. Since Project Runway, Bishme has dressed some recognizable celebrity clients such as Andra Day, Dascha Polanco, Karrueche Tran, and Niecy Nash.

As a farewell to Bishme before he leaves the city of Baltimore to continue his journey in Los Angeles, MdHS will display Bishme’s elegant, pink gown, similar to the “Rose that Grew from Concrete” dress he made on Project Runway as an ode to Baltimore, during the opening of Spotlight on Maryland Design. Created out of metallic material, this dress came to life with a bountiful flower on the bodice and an open back. As one of his first designs after being eliminated from the show, the dress has a meaningful history to the designer.

“I designed the back of the gown open to resemble me ‘carrying my problems on my back,’” Bishme explains. “While creating this garment, I felt a sense of disappointment in not making it all the way to the end of the competition. It took a while for me to appreciate the beauty of this gown. I think it helped me get over the pain of so much I was holding on to.”

Those who visit the first month of the installation will also have a chance to see Bishme’s dress worn by MdHS’s former Vice President of Collections, Alexandra Deutsch, at last year’s Spectrum of Fashion Opening Gala. Both dresses will be showcased as MdHS’s appreciation for Bishme and the positivity he brings to the community of Baltimore.

Those who’ve been to The Maryland Historical Society within the past year may be familiar with Bishme Cromartie and his work, as he is featured in MdHS’s Spectrum of Fashion Exhibition, which opened to the public in October 2019. Now, visitors can enjoy even more of Bishme’s work and see first-hand why his bold designs have made headways in the fashion industry and made a lasting impact on the city of Baltimore.

For more information about Spotlight on Maryland Design, visit The Maryland Historical Society is located at 201 West Monument Street in Baltimore, Maryland. The museum’s operating hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 12 – 5 p.m. Sunday.



In the Stacks: Part 10 | Submersive Productions See Also
Tuesday, February 18 – Thursday, February 20
@ George Peabody Library

Submersive Productions is proud to premiere See Also, a site-specific, immersive theater experience exploring Baltimore’s historic George Peabody Library and other Johns Hopkins collections. The production is inspired by “see also” references, a traditional library cataloging practice that linked different terms on catalog cards. The simple phrase “see also” suggests many ideas: from a need to classify the world around us and an inclination to abandon one topic of research for another, to an evolving, feminist understanding of truth that makes space for many voices simultaneously. Like a card catalog, See Also will prompt a variety of complex and thought-provoking journeys.

Following threads (both figurative and literal) around the George Peabody Library in a choose-your-own-adventure style, participants will encounter visual art, soundscapes, and performers portraying character composites based on historical women and non-binary individuals from the collections of the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries and University Museums. The performance will culminate in the world premiere of a work by contemporary female composer Briay Conditt.

Performances will occur at 6pm, 7pm, and 8pm each evening and will last approximately 45 minutes. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the performance you’d like to attend.

Entry is free and open to the public with a $20 suggested donation, and will be limited to 100 audience members each.

Come enjoy an evening of immersive theater and music in one of the most beautiful libraries in the world!

Presented in partnership with In the Stacks and the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries.

For more information about the In the Stacks series:



Merkin Dream | Opening Reception
Thursday, February 20 • 6-9pm

@ Maryland Art Place

This February Maryland Art Place (MAP) will be presenting Merkin Dream, a group exhibition and invitational ushering individuals to consider the merkin, its uses, its need, and in some cases, the inevitable comedy of the merkin as an object. Merkin Dream opens Thursday, February 20 with a reception beginning at 6 pm (free) and closes Saturday, March 28 with a ticketed Fashion Show, doors at 7pm. A portion of proceeds from merkin sales will benefit Planned Parenthood and FORCE.

Merkin Wall Artists:

Rahne AlexanderLaura AmussenJackie AndrewsCarly BalesDelaney CateKaren CostonTheresa ColumbusMelissa CormierJoan CoxBonnie CrawfordJacob Whayne DillowLaure DrogoulCaitlin GillAli MirskyMary OpasikMarla ParkerFanni SomogyiErin StellmonDan Van AllenVivienne Varay, Bunny Vicious, and Melissa Webb

Bella La Blanc will host a table featuring 3-D printed pasties at the opening reception on Thursday, February 20.

Main Exhibiting Artists:

Laura AmussenMollye BendellSera BoenoJoan CoxLiz DowningFORCEAmy HelminiakJulia Kim SmithShoog McDanielLiz MillerJennie Thwing, and  Stephanie Williams

Overall Merkin Dream aims to explore intimacy as an umbrella for both serious and light-hearted uses.

Topics of consideration include:

  • Sex work is Work: consumption & the commodification of women (elective sex work versus forced)
  • Body Image: disembodiment, body positivity, shame & identity
  • Digital Euphoria: technology’s role & our immediate gratification culture (what is real?)
  • Performance: fun, absurdity, merkin as an object, materials use



Questions for Curators with Kristen Hileman and Liz Park, moderated by José Ruiz
Thursday, February 20 • 6-8pm
@ MICA Lazarus Center


Driven by questions from the community of emerging curators at MICA, this evening’s conversation brings together the perspectives of curators Kristen Hileman and Liz Park. As organizers of 2020 Grad Show 3, Hileman and Park invited MICA’s Curatorial Fellows and Curatorial Practice students to articulate the issues and topics that they are grappling with in their own developing practice. Drawing from their respective experience in museums and other contemporary art contexts, Hileman and Park will share thoughts, approaches, concrete examples of exhibition-making, and anecdotes from working with artists.

Liz Park is Curator of Exhibitions at University at Buffalo Art Galleries. She was most recently the associate curator of the 2018 Carnegie International at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. She has curated exhibitions at a wide range of institutions including the Western Front in Vancouver, the Kitchen in New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and Seoul Art Space Geumcheon. Her writing has been published by Afterall Online, Afterimage, ArtAsiaPacific, Performa Magazine, Fillip, Yishu: A Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Pluto Press, and Ryerson University Press, among others. Her topics of investigation have included representation of violence, invisibility, migration and moving images, burial and buried histories. She was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2011-2012 and Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow at ICA Philadelphia in 2013-2015.

Kristen Hileman is an Independent Curator based in Baltimore and currently in residency at The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington. She served as Head of The Baltimore Museum of Art’s Department of Contemporary Art from 2009 through 2019, where she oversaw the reinstallation of the museum’s renovated contemporary wing in 2012, initiated numerous acquisitions to diversify the collection, and presented exhibitions featuring an array of artists, among them the Guerrilla Girls, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Sarah Oppenheimer, Dario Robleto, Anri Sala, and Tomas Saraceno. Her most recent BMA projects included Meleko Mokgosi: Acts of Resistance, Lizzie Fitch / Ryan Trecartin, DIS: A Good Crisis and John Waters: Indecent Exposure, a large-scale retrospective of that influential cultural figure’s visual arts career. Throughout her time at the BMA, Hileman foreground artists with ties to Baltimore including Seth Adelsberger, Maren Hassinger, Sharon Hayes, Jimmy Joe Roche, Sterling Ruby, and Sara VanDerBeek. Jo Smail: Flying with Remnant Wing, her survey of the career of the distinguished painter and Maryland Institute College of Art professor, will open at the BMA in spring 2020.

From 2001 through 2009, Hileman worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., where she organized the first full career retrospective of Anne Truitt, bringing new attention to the important DC-based abstractionist. At the Hirshhorn, Hileman also co-curated the international film and video exhibition The Cinema Effect: Realisms and led projects featuring John Baldessari, Cai Guo-Qiang, Cyprien Gaillard, Mario Garcia Torres, Oliver Herring, Jim Hodges, and Wolfgang Tillmans. She has taught at Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and the Corcoran College of Art and Design and is a frequent visiting critic and lecturer at colleges and universities.


American Craft Show

Friday, February 21 – Sunday, February 23

@ Baltimore Convention Center


The American Craft Show returns to the Baltimore Convention Center on February 21 – 23, 2020. The American Craft Show, in its 46th year, is a three-day celebration of all things craft. Attendees can shop crafts like you’ve never seen before from over 550 of the country’s leading artists specializing in contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor.  

The American Craft Show offers a once-a-year opportunity for collectors, supporters, and enthusiasts of design, craft, and art to discover and shop the best quality crafts in the country. Each year, more than 45,000 people flock to cities like Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Paul, and San Francisco to attend the American Craft Shows.  

Artists of note at this year’s Baltimore show include designer and artist Angela Flaviani, jewelry maker Russell Jones and ceramist Matthew Yanchuk.

Two specialty programs – Let’s Make and Hip Pop – offer attendees even more opportunities to interact with local artists, experience demos and learn about art and craft hands-on.  

Let’s Make, an interactive program, invites attendees to connect the process of craft-making to the work on display at the show. Attendees will have the opportunity to indulge in the best of handcrafted beauty products, sample food and beverages from local artisans in the business, and more.  

Hip Pop, the ACC’s emerging artist program, introduces emerging artists to shoppers at the show and offers a chance for show-goers to engage with, explore, and support new makers creating fresh and exciting work in a variety of aesthetics, from elegant to edgy.  

Tickets for the show are available online for $14 and on-site as a $16 one-day pass. Tickets are free for American Craft Council members, and children ages 12 and under. To reach the American Craft Council directly, call (612) 206-3100.  


Advance Tickets 

$14 for a one-day pass 

$34 for a three-day pass  

Entry for children 12 and under and American Craft Council members are FREE. 


 Special Friday Evening Admission 

$5 after 5 p.m. for on-site purchases only. No other discounts apply. 

MICA Grad Show I | Opening Reception
Friday, February 21 • 5-7pm
@ MICA Riggs & Leidy Galleries + Lazarus Center

MICA’s Office of Graduate Studies is delighted to announce GRAD SHOW I, featuring students from the Teaching MAT program. MICA GRAD SHOW I will be on view February 21 – March 11 in Riggs and Leidy Gallery, Lazarus Center.

Abiebatu (Abie) Ceesay
Alyssa Tauber
Annie Owlett
April Steele
Autumn Shackleford
Gabriela Lestino
Joshua Wolf
Julia John
Kevin Franco
Kristina Gray
Madison McIntyre
Michael Woodhouse
Molly Kaye
Nicole Petrilena
RJ Sterling
Veronica Cheung
Vivian M. Wingard

Visit for a complete schedule of exhibitions, film screenings, public programs, and student-curated installations throughout Baltimore city.



Beyond The Flash: A Conversation with Lola Flash
Friday, February 21 • 7:30-10pm
@ MICA Lazarus Center

On Friday, February 21st, MICA Alumna Lola Flash will sit with Dr. Leslie King-Hammond to discuss the changes in how media and visual culture shifted the culture and conversation of visibility and representation for people of color. In queer spaces, people of color are often subject to erasure, yet Lola Flash has built upon a rich legacy, and in their 40 year career, post- MICA, she has turned their lense to the people most often rendered invisible. So, please join us in celebrating the continued works of both Lola Flash and Dr. King Hammond at 7:30 PM in Falvey Hall.


Lola Flash Now: 40 Years After MICA | Closing Reception
Saturday, February 22 • 4-7pm
@ Gallery Blue Door



Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits | Artist Gallery Talk
Saturday, February 21 • 12pm + 2pm
@ National Museum of Women in the Arts

Delita Martin (b. 1972, Conroe, Texas) creates large-scale prints onto which she draws, sews, collages, and paints. Martin claims space for her subjects, particularly black women, creating a powerful presence that simultaneously highlights the historical absence of black bodies in Western art.

Through her work, Martin aims to create a new iconography for African Americans based on African tradition, personal recollections, and physical materials. A recurring theme throughout Martin’s work is exploring interconnections between past and present generations. She conveys these connections through symbols such as circles, a shape representative of the moon and symbolic of the female, and birds, which represent the human spirit. Masks, inspired by the Sowei and Ife masks of West Africa, appear in many of Martin’s works, signifying transition between this world and the spirit world. Her use of color is also symbolic, particularly the color blue, which she associates with spirituality.

Additionally, Martin incorporates materials and imagery linked to her personal memory, and likens this process to quilting, a skill she learned from her grandmother. Expertly layering all of these elements, Martin visualizes the liminal space between the physical and spiritual worlds.

Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits showcases seven monumental works combining tradition with innovation. Through her rigorous and meticulously layered process, Martin creates striking images that bridge time and space between generations.



TEN | Free Reception + Birthday Party
Saturday, February 22 • 2-7pm
@ Make Studio

After easing Make Studio’s pivotal organizational anniversary last year, we’re beginning 2020 with a bang – our 10th birthday is really here! We are pleased to present a month-long celebration of our artists centered on our in-house exhibition TEN, which opens February 22nd, 2020. Make Studio artists are also exhibiting in three shows in Station North, Mount Vernon, and Catonsville through February.

TEN will feature a selection of works from our almost 40 program artists, selected to reflect the diversity of their visions and their accumulated artistic achievements from their years working in the studio. Accompanying the opening of TEN will be the artists’ first-ever show of wearable art, appropriately titled “Making it Work”, preceded by an interactive screening of “Ten Talks”, an informative, uplifting (and, at times, hilarious) video presentation prepared by ten of the artists. And as we like to say, our “birthday show”, as always, will have something for everyone to enjoy and to purchase; after a decade in action, Make Studio is particularly expert in curating a selection of the most unique, very affordably priced art to fit any home or palate in Baltimore and beyond!

TEN opens to the public on Saturday, February 22nd in our Showroom Gallery in the Schwing Art Center, 3326 Keswick Rd., Baltimore. The free reception/birthday party, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm, with “Making it Work” hitting the runway at 5:00 pm. The event is appropriate for all ages, and all are welcome! TENis on view through March 20th, and is open to visitors during Make Studio’s usual weekday hours or by appointment.

Concurrently, art enthusiasts can check out work by our artists in Cocreate at Hotel Indigo in Mount Vernon, on view through February 13th, with a champagne reception on February 6th from 5:30-7:30 pm, and in Ten Going on Timeless, open through February 29th at Impact Hub, just down the block from our original home at Load of Fun (now Motor House) in Station North. Lastly, our friends at Atwater’s in Catonsville are coincidentally celebrating their own 10th birthday in 2020, and our artists will be showing their work there from January 24 – February 29!



Open Hours: True Laurels—A Gallop Through Time
Saturday, February 22 • 2-4pm
@ Baltimore Museum of Art

Join Lawrence Burney—founder of True Laurels—for a screening of We Are Arabbers followed by a discussion with former local arabbers on what drew them to the trade, what life was like when they could sustain themselves from arabbing, and what they’d like to see done in order to preserve it.

The 2004 documentary We Are Arrabers by Scott Kecken and Joy Lusco Kecken follows a group of Baltimore-based arabbers to talk about the centuries-old tradition of selling goods by way of horse cart, as well as the regional culture that has been formed around it.

This event is the first extension of True Laurels’ Laurels History project which compiles and adds context to images and film related to Baltimore’s black population.

The screening is open to the public and will be held in the BMA Commons.



header image: via © 2020, Bishme Cromartie

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