Baltimore News: 2023 Sondheim SemiFinalists, Jewish Museum of Maryland, and CityLit Returns

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This week’s news includes:  BOPA announces the 2023 Sondheim Semifinalists, Tom Hall interviews Your Brain on Art authors Ivy Ross and Susan Magsamen, changes at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, three new exhibitions at the BMA, eight new restaurants in Hampden, and more reporting from Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Beat, Baltimore Banner, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Matsumi Kanemitsu. Abstract Composition with Brushstroke Squares of Color and Black Symbol Lines. 1950. from Matsumi Kanemitsu: Figure and Fantasy opening May 14 at the BMA.


BOPA Announces the 2023 Sondheim Art Prize Semifinalists
Press Release: March 16

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) proudly announces the semifinalists for the 18th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize. This year’s panel of accomplished jurors — Kelly Baum, Devin Morris, and Ingrid Schaffner — have selected 14 visual artists and visual artist collaborators for the semifinal round. The 2023 Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize semifinalists are:


Abigail Lucien is a Haitian American interdisciplinary artist. Working in sculpture, literature, and time- based media, Lucien’s practice addresses themes of (be)longing, futurity, myth, and place by considering our relationship to inherited colonial structures and systems of belief/care.

Aliana Grace Bailey is an interdisciplinary fiber artist, designer, and socially engaged art practitioner. Born and raised in Washington D.C., Bailey is a passionate advocate for radical self-love, wellness, and healing. Her work embraces artmaking as a vehicle for growth, building intimacy, honoring loved ones, and creating inner peace through weaving vibrant colors, narratives, and environments.

Amanda Burnham makes drawings of all kinds: artist books, comics, intimate observational drawings, dimensional collages, and large, site-specific installations which feel somewhere between a comic book and a stage set. Since graduating from the Yale School of Art with an MFA in 2007, Burnham has been a professor of art at Towson University.

Andersen Woof is a Chinese American painter who currently lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. Originally trained in landscape architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, Andersen constantly looks for ambiguous narratives that reflect the complexities of humanity through the lens of his own queer and immigrant life.

David Page is an artist who tries to explain intersecting notions around threat, risk, power imbalances, punishment, and everyday brutality. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Page earned a National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Cape Tecnikon in 1986 and an MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, jewelry designer Lauren Schott, and Hank the dog.

Hope & Faith (Eleisha Faith and Tonisha Hope McCorkle) hold BFAs from New York University in Studio Art, with minors in Social & Cultural Analysis and Psychology, respectively. These twin sisters — known collectively as Hope and Faith — utilize storytelling and collage to conflate the ideas of reconstruction and resilience within the Black experience. They actively channel collective consciousness within their practice to birth a new understanding of experience, one that is affirming, uplifting, and powerful.

Elliot Doughtie works in drawing, sculpture, and installation, with a desire to form intimate relationships between common objects and the awkwardness of having a body. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Doughtie has a BA from Tulane University and an MFA from Mount Royal School of Art at MICA.

Giulia Livi is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting and installation. Her immersive rooms employ hyper-cohesive color and abstract forms to work out ideas of multi-functional art objects and curated domesticity. Livi is currently the Associate Director of C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore’s longest continuously operating contemporary art space.

Jenny Reed is an assemblage sculptor whose work is predominantly composed of ceramics, fibers, and other craft-based materials. Through her abstract representational works, Reed aims to inspire viewers to envision new ways of perceiving and making sense of past events and everyday relations.

Katherine Mann creates large scale paintings and paper installations that examine mythology, identity, and landscape. The daughter of an American man and a Taiwanese woman, Mann’s work reflects the collision of Eastern and Western influences in her life. Having double majored in both Art and Human Development, Mann is continually inspired by the vast, complex recesses of our bodies.

Kelli Williams is an animator and visual artist who uses stop-motion animation, photography, augmented reality, installation, and humor to create work that comments on society through the lens of social media and technology. An alumna of Morgan State University where she majored in Fine Art, Williams also has an MFA in Design from Columbus College of Art.

Kyrae Dawaun maintains a practice centering on the human dependence on inorganic matter and nonhuman existence and explores these geological transactions as they implicate human relationships. His approach to his work is influenced by his avid studies, speculation, and experience around architecture, hospitality, and the fluid and fickle nature of language.

Nekisha Durrett is a mixed-media artist who is invested in foregrounding issues of Black life while creating a space where fantasy, imagination, and history converge. Durrett creates both large-scale and intimate installations that aim to make the ordinary enchanting, while summoning subject matter that is often underrepresented or overlooked in our day-to-day lives.

Rae Red encourages laughter in the face of darkness by translating everyday realities into playful performances. Their work exposes the magic and wonder within daily functions, exploring subjects that are universal — like blood pumping through veins — while illuminating the small deaths that reoccur continually around us. Red is also an art educator, tarot reader, and yoga teacher.



Published by Penguin Random House.

“Your Brain on Art”: Exploring the bold new world of neuroaesthetics
by Tom Hall, Teria Rogers, Rob Sivak, and Malarie Pinkard-Pierre
Aired March 22 on WYPR’s Midday

Excerpt: Today on Midday, a conversation about the arts: Not just about how they provide beauty, or an escape, or a thought-provoking experience that makes you think differently about the world, but how the arts, in a very real way, can make you healthier.
The arts are now used as treatment for any number of conditions. When you strum your guitar, or read a poem, or color inside or outside the lines, you are reducing your stress level, lowering your anxiety, and strengthening your cognition.

The research in this area comes from a relatively new scientific discipline called neuroaesthetics, which is the subject of a new book by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross called Your Brain on Art:  How the Arts Transform Us.

Susan Magsamen is the founder and director of the International Arts and Mind Lab Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics in the Pederson Brain Science Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She’s also the co-director of the NeuroArts Blueprint….

Ivy Ross is vice-president of Design for the Hardware Product area at Google. She is also a jewelry designer whose work is exhibited in the permanent collections of 12 international museums…

Ivy Ross and Susan Magsamen join Tom in Studio A.



The Jewish Museum of Maryland. (Paul Newson/The Baltimore Banner)

A new team at the Jewish Museum of Maryland looks beyond history for inspiration
by Imani Spence
Published March 17 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Sol Davis wants to get rid of the gift shop. The store used to sell everything from magnets to menorahs, but the executive director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland is looking to install an audio and video studio instead.

“I want to use this place, this platform, as a space for imagining the Jewish future,” Davis said.

Up till now, the museum has largely focused on history but is looking to move toward more contemporary models, especially in the art sphere. “Being a history museum is more of a choice, not really a necessity,” Davis said.



Images: Matsumi Kanemitsu. Self-Portrait. 1949. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of J. Blankfard Martenet 2012.711.32 Raoul Dufy. Fishing. c. 1910. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased in Memory of John Dorsey with funds contributed by his Friends BMA 2008.74 Unidentified Mbuti Artist. Painted Barkcloth (Pongo or Murumba). Mid-20th century. Democratic Republic of Congo. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Amy Gould/Matthew Polk Fund, BMA 2021.212

BMA Opens Three Exhibitions of Rarely Shown Works in May Featuring Matsumi Kanemitsu, Fauve Woodcuts, and Bark Cloth from Africa and Oceania
Press Release: March 17

Matsumi Kanemitsu: Figure and Fantasy
May 14 – October 8, 2023
Kanemitsu is a second-generation Abstract Expressionist who became one of the most talented draftsmen of the 20th century. He lived in Baltimore at the beginning of his artistic career and the BMA hosted his first museum exhibition in 1954. Figure and Fantasy presents 60 rarely seen works that capture the artist’s distinct synthesis of eastern and western aesthetics and poignant expressions of his lived experiences—his boyhood in Japan, his fascination with the humble aspects of daily life, his dual experience as both an enlisted U.S. soldier and a prisoner of the U.S. military, and portraits of those who formed his community in Baltimore.  >read entire press release

Wild Forms: Fauve Woodcuts
May 14 – October 15, 2023

This focus exhibition presents 14 woodcut prints produced early in the careers of French artists Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck, André Derain, Raoul Dufy , Othon Friesz, and Louis Valtat—all members of or associated with the influential group of artists known as the Fauves (Wild Beasts). Wild Forms: Fauve Woodcuts shows their variations in design, color, line, and form with both figures and landscapes through works mostly acquired during the last two decades.  >read entire press release

The Matter of Bark Cloth
May 7 – October 1, 2023
Nineteen artworks from the BMAs renowned African and Oceanic collections capture the intricacies of bark cloth and challenge its underrepresentation in Western dialogues about the development and nature of art. The exhibition explores the materiality of bark cloth—which is at once a painted canvas, work on paper, and textile—as well as the diverse ways in which artists, artisans, and makers have embraced and utilized the medium in the 18th and 20th centuries.



What to do at this year’s CityLit Festival
by Teri Henderson
Published March 21 in Baltimore Beat

Excerpt: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the CityLit Festival, a free literary festival for readers and writers. Curated and championed by CityLit Project Executive Director Carla DuPree, this year’s festival, in partnership with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, is back in person. This year’s theme, “Lifting As We Climb,” illustrates the nonprofit’s mission of “working to serve while we build.” It features a robust lineup of literary talent from Baltimore and beyond.

If you’re curious about what’s happening at this year’s festival, Baltimore Beat has a guide for you.



The Five and Dime Ale House in Hampden closed Sunday. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

The Dish: 8 new restaurants are opening in Hampden. Yes, you read that right.
by Christina Tkacik
Published March 22 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: The Five and Dime Ale House closed permanently this week in Hampden, but I predict the two-story building on the Avenue won’t stay vacant for long.

In most parts of Baltimore, restaurants are shutting down faster than they are opening. But not here. Even as some eateries are closing down, by my count, there are eight new ones in the works in this North Baltimore neighborhood.

For owners like Shawn Chopra, of the popular coffee shop Good Neighbor, “Hampden is an exciting place to try something.” And it offers opportunities for growth; Chopra’s business is adding a guesthouse above the shop this summer.



—Courtesy of Evan Woodard, pictured back row: third from right.

Magnet Fishing Meetups Catch On in Fells Point
by Grace Hebron
Published March 22 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: As the excavator, photographer, and historian behind Salvage Arc, Evan Woodard is used to unearthing relics by land. And recently, he’s taken his expertise to the Inner Harbor.

In January, the Patterson Park resident founded the Maryland Magnet Fishing Club—which meets at Bond Street Pier in Fells Point on Thursday nights from 6-8 p.m. to hunt for forgotten metal objects in the water using ropes and special neodymium magnets.

Magnet fishing is said to have taken off in Europe in the late ’70s, when boaters were determined to pull fallen keys from the bottom of ponds. It saw a resurgence throughout the U.S. during the pandemic, and more recently became a social media phenomenon.



The Baltimore Farmers' Market and accompanying B-Side music performances will return April 2. Photo by Edwin Remsberg.

Baltimore Farmers’ Market to reopen April 2
by Aliza Worthington
Published March 22 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Baltimore’s famous farmers’ market is back, with the 2023 season set to open on Sunday, April 2.

Early birds can get first dibs on the delicious baked goods, coffee, produce and other shopping when it opens at 7 a.m. Set under the Jones Falls Expressway (JFX) at Holliday and Saratoga Streets, vendors are there from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., rain or shine.

If you’re not the earliest of risers, fear not. You can enjoy lunch from one of the many hot food vendors, while engaging in retail therapy, courtesy of Baltimore’s best artisans.



History of Prints Jacques Callot, Part 1 (Audio)
by Ann Shafer and Tru Ludwig
Aired March 21 on Platemark Podcast

Excerpt: In s2e25, hosts Ann Shafer and Tru Ludwig take an in-depth look at Jacques Callot, who is the first printmaker in Western art to record the atrocities of war. He heads up any list of artists using prints to spread news far and wide about societal ills through visual means. He created some 1,400 prints in his career (no paintings !) and made some of the most remarkable and smallest prints ever. This is a first half of a longer conversation. Stay tuned for part two.



Corinna Delgado (Audio)
by Aaron Dante
Aired March 15 on No Pix After Dark Podcast

Excerpt: Celebrating Women’s History Month I interviewed Corinna Delgado a poet, emcee, red carpet reporter, tv reporter at DCW 50 and radio broadcaster at Mix 106.5 Baltimore 94.7 the drive in Washington D.C and remotely at hot 95.9 Austin Texas. We discussed her journey into Broadcasting on the radio and becoming a highly sought after person in the industry. How being in the military helped her with the work ethic she has now.

Corinna Delgado has been a voice in broadcasting for over 20 years on more than 12 stations across the country. ​ Delgado has been a Reporter & Anchor for ABC and FOX affiliates in Anchorage, AK. ​ As a Journalist, she has written for The Anchorage Daily News, The Anchorage Press and The Northern Light. Delgado has also published 4 books, including 3 poetry compilations and 1 therapeutic creative writing workbook. ​ In addition to opening for countless acclaimed artists, Def Poetry Jam, Grammy winning artists The Roots, World Poetry Champion Buddy Wakefield, and many more, Delgado has won 2 State-Wide poetry Championships, ranked Nationally within the top ten performance poets with PSI (Poetry Slam Incorporated), and has been to Folsom Prison twice to perform for inmates with the Arts in Correction Program. Delgado also took the stage at TEDx Anchorage, performing a multi-media poetic monologue entitled “The Divine Connection of the Human Condition”.

Corinna is a dedicated humanitarian. She is a former commissioner on the Municipal Arts Advisory Commission for Anchorage Alaska. Delgado taught a 3 part therapeutic Writing Course “Writing as Therapy” in schools districts and correctional facilities across the states for over a decade. Delgado was the Development Director for AWAIC (The Abused Women’s Aid In Crisis Shelter) and most recently performed for numerous community focused events during the pandemic. She continues to use her broadcast connections and art to serve as a platform for human rights issues. Delgado credits the 6 years served as a Combat Medic in the military as her foundation of service to others. A sought after public speaker, Corinna has been an emcee and key note speaker for such groups as The United Way, The NAACP, The National Endowment for The Arts, and The YWCA, to name a few. ​

Delgado can be heard waking up our Nation’s Capitol on 94.7 The Drive, as well as Mid-Days on Baltimore’s MIX 106.5, remotely on HOT 95.9 in Austin, TX and Planet 102.3 in Corpus Christi, TX. From her website



Header Image: Header Image: Matsumi Kanemitsu. Abstract Composition with Brushstroke Squares of Color and Black Symbol Lines. 1950.

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