Baltimore News: Layoffs at MICA, Elizabeth Talford Scott at Goya, Jonathon Hayward and the BSO

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This week’s news includes: MICA announces more layoffs, Casey McKeel’s exhibit of art by incarcerated women at Notre Dame of Maryland, BSA alum Rachel Hilson’s global career, Amit Peled’s Mt. Vernon Virtuosi, AVAM voted second best museum in the nation, and more reporting from Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Beat, Baltimore Banner, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Infected Eye (1979-80), Elizabeth Talford Scott from Both Sides Now: The Spirituality, Resilience, and Innovation of Elizabeth Talford Scott at Goya Contemporary



MICA’s Fred Lazarus IV Center at 131 W. North Ave., Baltimore. (Paul Newson/Baltimore Banner)

More layoffs expected at MICA as financial pressure builds
by Penelope Blackwell and Hallie Miller
Published March 1 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: More job layoffs are expected at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where administrators say plunging undergraduate enrollment over the last few years has effectively made the historic city arts institution a smaller college.

At a Wednesday “State of MICA” event, college President Samuel Hoi told faculty and staff that the institution continues to reel from the blows of the coronavirus pandemic, which sent students packing in March 2020 and kept international students from the campus the following fall. The college has seen lower-than-average residential undergraduate enrollment ever since: Hoi said the five-year average before the pandemic stood at about 1,700 students and has now leveled to 1,200 to 1,400 over the last three years.



Infected Eye (1979-80), Elizabeth Talford Scott from Both Sides Now: The Spirituality, Resilience, and Innovation of Elizabeth Talford Scott at Goya Contemporary

Quilted exhibition of works by Elizabeth Talford Scott on display at Goya Contemporary Gallery
by Marcus Dieterle
Published February 27 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Elizabeth Talford Scott was no stranger to unconventional materials in her quilted sculptural artworks.

From buttons and bones to shells and stones, no item went wasted by the late artist.

“Both Sides Now: The Spirituality, Resilience, and Innovation of Elizabeth Talford Scott” is on display now through April 21 at the Goya Contemporary Gallery in Hampden. There will also be a reception March 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Born Elizabeth Talford, she was raised with her thirteen siblings by parents who worked as sharecroppers at the Blackstock Plantation near Chester, South Carolina. It was on that same land where her grandparents were once enslaved.

Family members trained the young Elizabeth to turn scrap materials into usable resources. She practiced quilting throughout her youth and went on to create sculptural wall hangings.



Jonathon Heyward, incoming Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, discusses his plans and goals for the orchestra’s upcoming 2023-24 season ahead of the official Season Announcement Celebration Event. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

BSO’s Jonathon Heyward will focus on ‘programming that is relevant to the community’ in coming season
by Lawrence Burney
Published February 27 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: For Jonathon Heyward, the new music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the key word for success is community.

At a news conference last week at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Heyward addressed a small group of news media about what can be expected of his first season in the driver’s seat. A priority of that, he said, will be a focus on “programming that is relevant to the community,” both in “having familiar faces in the community on our stages” as well as “pre- and post-concert experiences that relate to the community. These are things we’re thinking about.”

Heyward was named in July as the successor to Marin Alsop, who had a 14-year tenure as the BSO’s music director and founder of BSO OrchKids. His appointment was historic, making him the orchestra’s first non-white lead in its 106-year history. Considering that Baltimore City is more than 60% Black, Heyward’s ability to engage with the broader population outside of the orchestra will be crucial.



Kori Jones, director of the Harriet Tubman Cultural Center, and Bessie Bordenave, a 1962 graduate of Harriet Tubman High School who now leads a foundation to preserve its history, pose for a portrait at the center on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

Breathing new life into Maryland’s former all-Black schools
by John-John Williams IV and Kristen Griffith
Published March 1 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Bessie Bordenave said she cried in September when her beloved Harriet Tubman High School was reopened as a cultural center.

“I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I can’t believe this is happening.’ Just thinking about it makes me emotional. I think about how great it turned out to be,” she said. “The children from the various schools come and get a taste of what it was like going to the school back then. … I think the children do need to know.”

Bordenave, 79, has been leading the fight for decades to make sure the memory of Howard County’s last all-Black high school was properly honored.



—Photography by Mike Morgan for Baltimore Magazine

The Mount Vernon Virtuosi is Much More Than a Chamber Orchestra
by Max Weiss
Published February 27 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: Amit Peled, a cello professor at the Peabody Institute, believes two things: That concerts should be free. And that musicians should be well paid for their work.

“Those don’t always go together,” he admits with a wry laugh.

Indeed, the lack of funds to pay musicians locally is one of the reasons why Baltimore often can’t retain its talented Peabody players. “We get them to a certain level in college, and they’re really outstanding,” says Peled. “And then they leave.”

So in 2018, he created the Mount Vernon Virtuosi chamber orchestra with the hope of keeping Peabody students in town after graduation. Through donations, he was able to pay young graduates to perform around town and also offer the community free concerts in nontraditional spaces, like churches, hospitals, and the Enoch Pratt Free Library, with the playing being of the highest caliber—both small ensembles and a larger chamber orchestra—and Peled, pictured above alongside three Virtuosi musicians, serving as conductor, mentor, and performer.



Rachel Hilson. —Courtesy of Baltimore School for the Arts

How Actress Rachel Hilson’s Baltimore Roots Influence Her Work Today
by Grace Hebron
Published February 27 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: Perhaps you’ve seen her star as Mia in the Hulu series Love Victor, or maybe you remember her as younger Beth Pearson in NBC’s groundbreaking series This is Us. Now, Baltimore-born actress Rachel Hilson has another captivating project in the works. Granted, it’s not as far-reaching as a recurring role on a major television show, but it’s certainly a gig that will bring Hilson full-circle with her Baltimore roots.

This week, the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA) alumna is heading to her alma mater to serve as the honorary chair of the Mount Vernon high school’s annual Expressions gala. The fundraiser, which highlights the accomplishments of students with a series of elaborate performances in different disciplines, returns to the Schaefer Ballroom March 2, 4, and 5. On certain dates, the showcase also includes a cocktail party with drinks and light bites, as well as interactive experiences with students and staff after the show. This year’s theme “Infinite Journeys,” celebrates the endless possibilities within the art world, and within oneself.

Ahead of the festivities, we caught up with Hilson—Zooming from her new home of Los Angeles—to discuss her time in Baltimore, memories of BSA, and wisdom she’s gained from experiences on the big screen.



The American Visionary Art Museum. Photo by Jack Hoffberger.

Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum named second best art museum in the nation by USA TODAY
by Marcus Dieterle
Published February 24 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore came in second place in USA TODAY’s contest for the “Best Art Museum” in the country, with the top honor going to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

A panel of experts nominated museums for the contest, which were narrowed down to 10 by the USA TODAY 10Best editors and voted upon by readers. Readers were able cast one vote per category each day.

“Located next to downtown Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is America’s official national museum and education center for self-taught and intuitive artistry. Created with materials from roots to toothpicks, farmers, homemakers, people without housing, and others have donated their art to this museum, transforming dreams and loss into works of art,” the 10Best editors wrote.



Hilma af Klint Tree of Knowledge (detail), 1913-1915 watercolor, gouache, graphite, and ink on paper Photo: Courtesy David Zwirner

Glenstone to Present Highlights of the Collection
Press Release: February 23

Glenstone Museum today announced that it will present an expansive presentation of masterworks from its permanent collection of postwar and contemporary art. Opening in November 2023, the exhibition will include works by more than 50 artists who have made some of the most radical contributions to art of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Included in the selection will be important examples by artists who form the foundation of Glenstone’s collection, such as Alexander Calder, Lee Krasner, Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollock, Martin Puryear, Betye Saar, Bill Traylor, and Cy Twombly.

“I am pleased to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Glenstone’s expansion by affirming our mission of charting significant shifts in the perception and understanding of the art of our time,” said Emily Wei Rales, director and co-founder of Glenstone. “Every time we delve into the collection, we find new resonances and opportunities to illustrate the multiplicity of post-war art, the result of which is this dynamic exhibition. While the collection continues to grow and evolve, what hasn’t changed is our belief in the power of art to forge meaningful connections.”




Casey McKeel curated the Notre Dame of Maryland University’s “Life on Hold” exhibit, which features the artwork of incarcerated women. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

Women inmates use art to share their ‘life on hold’ at Notre Dame exhibit
by Imani Spence
Published February 24 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: In prison, there are rules for everything. Rules for what kinds of shoes you can wear, what sorts of letters you can receive and, perhaps especially, what kinds of art you can create.

Casey McKeel, curator in residence at the Notre Dame of Maryland University, witnessed the latter firsthand. The college’s new exhibit, “Life on Hold,” features work created by incarcerated women. Each piece is anonymous to protect the artist and nothing is for sale. The collages tell stories of loss, pain and triumph; the paintings illustrate vivid memories of what it’s like being a woman in prison.

“We had to document [all the materials] we brought in” to the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women,McKeel said. “I remember carrying wet collages to my car hoping that they wouldn’t get messed up on the drive.”



Artist Amy Sherald featured in the new season of ‘Art in the Twenty-First Century.‘ Image Courtesy of Art21 and PBS.

Hank Willis Thomas, Amy Sherald, and More Star in the New Season of Art21’s Flagship Video Series, Dropping in April
by Caroline Goldstein
Published February 22 in artnet news

Excerpt: Want to know what it’s like inside the studio of Hank Willis Thomas’s studio? What about Amy Sherald, or Christine Sun Kim?

This April, viewers can get a glimpse inside the creative processes and studios of some of the world’s most prominent artists when the 11th season of Art21’s flagship series, Art in the Twenty-First Century, premieres on PBS. One-hour episodes will be released over the course of 2023 organized by the themes “Everyday Icons,” “Bodies of Knowledge,” and “Friends & Strangers.”

The full roster of creatives participating in the new season include an impressive list of news-making artists: Tauba Auerbach, Linda Goode Bryant, Alex Da Corte, Guerrilla Girls, Miranda July, Christine Sun Kim, Daniel Lind-Ramos, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Amy Sherald, Rose B. Simpson, Hank Willis Thomas, and Anicka Yi.



Header Image: Infected Eye (1979-80), Elizabeth Talford Scott from Both Sides Now: The Spirituality, Resilience, and Innovation of Elizabeth Talford Scott

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