Our team envisioned a “More is More” theme for Issue 12 last May and we wanted to capture a sense of expansion and freedom, the escalating enthusiasm that we were feeling in the spring of 2021. We had just hosted our first magazine release event since the pandemic began, at Good Neighbor in Hampden, and though it was very small compared to past parties, it felt like a homecoming. Situated outside in a beautiful urban garden with a small guest list, it was wonderful to meet the subjects of our stories, our contributors, and our supporters in person. Finally vaccinated, we could begin to think about a future that beckoned with the promise of participation and collaboration.
It was this excitement for an expanding world that we selected the theme for our twelfth issue, encapsulated by the idea of “More is More,” where maximalism, inclusivity, exuberance, and accumulation become the modus operandi for a post-pandemic world.
As you know, this was not to be. The Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus dashed our hopes for a world safe enough to engage with reckless abandon and sans mask. This fall, many of us are back to work and school in person, but with an abundance of caution, and nowhere near the freedom we hoped for last spring. And yet, after spending a summer researching and writing about Baltimore-based artists, collections, collaborative projects, and cultural leaders, we are invigorated by the accomplishments of these visionary maximalist-leaning creatives. Our More is More issue is more aspirational than we originally intended, but perhaps this is for the best. Instead of celebrating a return to the “roaring twenties,” we are painting a picture of the world we desire, and the stories presented here provide a road map for the future.
Issue 12 features the incredible career trajectory of Asma Naeem, a lawyer turned BMA chief curator, and the tireless enthusiasm of Carla Du Pree, a champion for Baltimore’s literary community. This issue highlights individuals such as the MacArthur-winning conductor Marin Alsop, the subject of a documentary by Johns Hopkins University film professor Bernadette Wegenstein, and artist Mina Cheon’s practice of creating bold spaces for democratic interaction. We look to individuals and organizations literally cultivating the green spaces that sustain us, with a profile on Strength to Love II Farm, as well as a deep dive into Baltimore’s community of rare plant cultivators.
We examine over-the-top and immersive art projects like Eduardo Corral’s massive, multi-sensory exhibition at the ICA Baltimore, Piotr Szyhalski’s Labor Camp poster series (now installed en masse outside of Good Neighbor), as well as Baltimore’s beloved Creative Alliance at age 26, chronicling its slow and purposeful transformation from a small cafe gallery to the herculean hub for culture it is today. And of course, this issue features a number of artists and individuals whose “more is more” attitude enlivens, encourages, and challenges the status quo, demanding that we envision a bold future.
Thank you to all of our subscribers! In just over a year, there are now over a thousand of you, and the list grows every day. It is only with your ongoing support, as well as the endorsement of our advertising partners and philanthropic donors, that we are able to continue to celebrate, document, and analyze Baltimore’s robust cultural scene.
We do not take your support for granted even for a second and look forward to continuing this work together in furthering the interests of artists, cultural institutions, and diverse audiences for arts and culture in the region.