Baltimore News: BMA Lexington Market, Bria Sterling-Wilson, Woodberry Kitchen

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This week’s news includes:  BMA redesign for Lexington Market, a review of the renovated and updated Woodberry Kitchen, still life at Harborplace, Record Store Day, and more reporting from Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Beat, Baltimore Banner, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: The Savory Pie. [Woodberry Tavern] —Photography by Scott Suchman of Baltimore Magazine



A rendering of BMA Lexington Market by architect Jerryn J. McCray.

BMA Lexington Market to Reopen in June 2023 with Larger Space in New Market Building
Press Release :: April 21

Excerpt: The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) today announced the opening of a larger branch location within the new Lexington Market building will take place in June 2023. Designed by Baltimore-based architect Jerryn J. McCray, the new BMA Lexington Market builds on the success of the previous space in the East Market by providing free art experiences and opportunities for connection through regular open hours, programs, and the presentation of time-based media from the museum’s collection—a first for this branch location.

Within the 350-square-foot space, visitors are welcome to make art, participate in public programming, read from the non-circulating library, find community with others, or simply just be. Additionally, one class of students in Baltimore City Public Schools will visit each month guided by a local artist in conjunction with the Baltimore City Fine Arts Office.

“We are immensely excited to welcome everyone to the new BMA Lexington Market. Our goal is to leverage art and culture to create an atmosphere of radical hospitality to accept anyone as they are,” said Director of Public Engagement Dave Eassa. “Art has always been a powerful way for people to connect, to learn, and to grow individually and collectively. BMA Lexington Market is built on the ethos that we all need and benefit from art in our lives, and this can be effectively shared by creating experiences directly where people are moving about their daily lives.”



Bria Sterling Wilson, Collage Artist and Photographer, poses for a portrait inside of her studio in Baltimore, Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

How a Baltimore-born collagist grew from local exhibitions to an Ebony magazine cover
by Taji Burris
Published 25 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: For Women’s History Month, Ebony magazine decided to make their a digital cover experience that celebrated women and nonbinary people of color who have broken barriers across the world. Singer and actress Janelle Monáe was the star of choice, but her image was not just a simple portrait. Dressed in a black, off-the shoulder top, magenta leggings and ice-blue heels, Monáe is depicted sitting on a chair with swatches of mismatched fabrics in front of a similarly nonmatching wall, all apart of a colorful collage that has a retro feel.

The artist responsible for the collage is Baltimore’s own Bria Sterling-Wilson. Prior to being hired to work on the digital cover for March, the 29-year-old regularly used vintage clippings from Ebony magazines in her own pieces. “That’s a big deal to have Ebony contact me when I was influenced by their publication. It’s definitely an honor,” Bria said.




The homey dining room.

Review: Woodberry Kitchen Returns as a Tiny Tavern That Still Celebrates Maryland Growers
by Jane Marion | Photography by Scott Suchman
Published April 20 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: When Woodberry Kitchen served its last meal on March 15, 2020, after a nearly 12-year run, owner-chef Spike Gjerde was forced to accept that the hallowed farm-to-table restaurant would never be the same again.

With its army of staff (nine cooks and chefs on the line), wildly innovative use of ingredients, and daily menu, the lightening-in-a-bottle Clipper Mill restaurant, which sourced every ingredient within the confines of the Chesapeake Bay region, was simply not sustainable anymore in the post-COVID era. In the ensuing two-and-a-half years, Gjerde used the space to run a vast virtual marketplace and CSA. The restaurant remained open for outdoor seating only, but the dining room never reopened, except for a brief period as a limited-service pub.

Last December, when the restaurant opened again as Woodberry Tavern, local foodies rejoiced. After all, this had been the place to take out-of-town friends if you wanted to show off Charm City’s culinary scene. In many ways, the restaurant was synonymous with the city. But things have changed.



Everyman Announces 2023/2024 Season
Press Release :: April 26

Excerpt: Everyman is thrilled to announce its 2023/2024 season. This season, you can anticipate a wide-ranging and exciting lineup of plays including two fresh takes on classics, two comedies, an East Coast premiere, three Baltimore premieres, and an iconic murder mystery for the holidays! These plays offer new perspectives that celebrate the past, present, and future. Everyman’s Resident Company of Artists will bring their artistry to every performance, creating unforgettable moments on stage.

“Next Season is classic Everyman,” says Founder, Artistic Director Vincent M. Lancisi, “All six plays are great stories told over centuries from many perspectives. There are landmark plays, dramas, two comedies, and a new play to thrill audiences. This is what regional theatre is all about. We combine plays that have withstood the test of time and alongside them offer new works by important voices in the American Theatre.”



Andrea Duran, 33, and Ryan Hayes, 29, shop for records at The Sound Garden on April 19 while visiting from New Mexico. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

As vinyl sales grow, Record Store Day continues to take on a life of its own: ‘It’s a big party’
by Taji Burris and Kaitlin Newman
Published April 22 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: They say there is nothing new under the sun, and the popularity of vinyl records proves it.

In 2022, vinyl outsold CDs for the first time in 35 years, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. That interest is part of the reason there’s such excitement around Record Store Day, which takes place Saturday.

Record Store Day was created in 2007 during a meeting of independent record store owners in Baltimore and has since been recognized as an official holiday throughout the United States. It’s a celebration of the culture of record stores and the impact they have on music, while also financially supporting them. Customers are often treated to special activities, such as meet and greets with artists, performances and parades, but one of the main reasons people participate is to purchase special vinyl, CDs and other products made solely for the day.



DMV Literary Festival Announces Headliners, Chasten Buttigieg & Nikki Giovanni
Press Release :: April 25

Excerpt: The Downtown Columbia Partnership (DTC Partnership) and The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC) today announced that Chasten Buttigieg, teacher, LGBTQIA+ advocate and bestselling author, together with legendary African American poet, activist, and author Nikki Giovanni, will headline the seventh annual Books in Bloom Festival. Books in Bloom, taking place on May 13 at Color Burst Park in Downtown Columbia, is a celebration of literature and the written word. This year’s theme is BUILDING COMMUNITY – Through Empathy and Understanding Each Other.

The festival is designed to foster a more connected community through an exploration of literature and open dialogue. The festival aims to foster a more empathetic and connected community through an exploration of literature, open dialogue, freedom of speech, and banned books, with a focus on themes of race, gender, diversity, community connection, and freedom of expression.

“I am excited to welcome Chasten Buttigieg and Nikki Giovanni as headliners for this year’s Books in Bloom festival, providing a platform for important conversations, with Chasten and Nikki set to inspire us all with a shared dedication to education and equality,” said Phillip Dodge, Executive Director of the Downtown Columbia Partnership. “Through the power of books, we can explore diverse perspectives and engage in meaningful dialogue that enriches our lives and expands our horizons. As the largest progressive book festival in the region, Books in Bloom provides a space for these conversations, encouraging us to learn, grow, and connect with one another.”



Photography by Tyrone Syranno Wilkens

Baltimore Photo Space Makes Room for Art Photography in Remington
by Suzy Kopf
Published April 25 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: Descending the stairs to the subterrain-level Baltimore Photo Space in Remington, you’ll be struck by the surprisingly high ceilings and hip layout of this Baltimore basement, more akin to larger cities like Los Angeles or New York. But the wares sold in this one-room shop—books of and about photography, featuring images of everything from changing seasons to small towns to people’s portraits—can transport customers to other worlds.

“It’s the little details that I really love,” says owner Kyle Myles, holding up a rare-edition, pocket-sized red-linen copy of 22 Days In Between by photographer Salih Basheer, which honors the artist’s memories of his late parents. “These books can be powerful and dark, but also personal and beautiful.”



How to Build an Art Collection, According to Local Experts
by Christianna McCausland | Photographs by Tracey Brown, Papercamera
Published April 26 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: In a penthouse with a breathtaking view across the city, with the waterline of the harbor shimmering in the distance, Rachel Rabinowitz sits beneath a neon sculpture that spells out “America” in black typewriter font. A 2002 work by artist Glenn Ligon, “America” glows with a white background in the evening, a statement on race in its eponymous country.

“It was a prescient piece as it came out at the dawn of the Obama era,” says Rabinowitz, a broker with her own firm, Guerilla Construction, which connects creative professionals with unconventional spaces. She shares the apartment with her husband (and fellow art enthusiast), Joseph, and their daughter.

Rabinowitz and her husband began their collection in 2005, long before their penthouse years, when they purchased an architectural abstraction painting by Sarah Morris, striking for its bright colors and geometry.



The empty interior of the Light Street Pavilion at Harborplace, which opened to acclaim on July 2, 1980. (Fern Shen)

Harborplace now: Empty shops, locked doors and a fabulous view
by Fern Shen
Published April 20 in Baltimore Brew

Excerpt: At Baltimore’s Inner Harbor this week, the air was warm, the sky was blue and the water shimmered. But the foot traffic was sparse, and it was easy to see why.

With the two Harborplace buildings at the heart of the tourist waterfront more than 90% vacant, there was little for visitors to do but enjoy the view and keep on walking.

Alan Patel thought he could at least go inside the Light Street Pavilion on Tuesday and look around, but found its doors were locked.

“I knew this place had gone down. But I didn’t know it was this bad!” exclaimed Patel, a California software engineer who recalled eating at a restaurant there about 10 years ago. “I remember it being pretty nice back then.”



‘The Dark Tower’ will be running April 21 & 22 at The Voxel in Baltimore. (Courtesy photo Jonathan Gilmore)

Funktopia’s newest production ‘The Dark Tower’ honors Harlem Renaissance pioneer A’Lelia Walker
by Aria Brent
Published April 17 in The AFRO

Excerpt: Three words to describe Baltimore theater group “Funktopia” are intentional, unapologetic and charismatic! With a heavy focus on honoring those who have come before them, Funktopia is continuing to uphold this tradition with their latest production “The Dark Tower.”

Based on A’Lelia Walker and the salons she held at her Harlem mansion during the early 20th century, the production is recognizing her influence on modern Black artistry and culture. Walker was a pioneer in the development of the Harlem Renaissance and was known to offer her home being a safe space for Black intellects, artists and queer people.

“I think this was a great way of honoring her work. We’re not recreating the Dark Tower and everything that she did, but we are going to honor it because Funktopia is a place where we invite people of all kinds of thought processes to come in and create,” stated Jonathan Gilmore, creator and director of Funktopia.



Header Image: The Savory Pie. [Woodberry Tavern] —Photography by Scott Suchman of Baltimore Magazine

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