Baltimore Art News: Artscape, Historic Women Artists, John Waters’ Reckless Eyeballs

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This week’s news includes: Funding for Artscape + lineup changes, Church Bar closes (again), John Waters’ unreleased film “Reckless Eyeballs,” BMA opens Making Her Mark exhibition, Larry “Poncho” Brown, Fall arts events, MICA’s Art & Design College Accelerator Program (ADCAP), Amtrak art, hip-hop panelists speak out at Red Emma’s, and more reporting from Baltimore Beat, Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Banner, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Judith Leyster, Self-Portrait, c. 1630, at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Making Her Mark



Attendees of Artscape 2019 watch a musical performance. Photo by Tedd Henn.

With two weeks until Artscape, funds restored to BOPA’s budget
by Ed Gunts
Published September 6 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts has more money in its budget, after Baltimore’s spending board restored funds that were withheld in June by the City Council.

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates voted on Wednesday to add $581,334 to BOPA’s budget for fiscal 2024, effective immediately. The funds are coming just over two weeks before the agency puts on one of its biggest events of the year, the three-day Artscape festival, on Sept. 22 to 24.

BOPA is an independent agency that has a contract to serve as the city’s events producer, film office and arts council through June 30, 2024. It originally requested $2,625,754 from the city to help fund its operations for the year that began July 1. After budget deliberations last June, the City Council voted to temporarily withhold $581,334.



The bar in Old Goucher shut its doors in mid-August, according to an owner. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Church bar closes after difficult start under new ownership
by Christina Tkacik
Published September 3 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Church, an establishment that became a lightning rod in Baltimore even as it ascended a list of Esquire’s best bars in America, has closed.

The bar in Old Goucher shut its doors in mid-August, said Kristin Potler, who along with her husband took over the business three months earlier from founder Chelsea Gregoire.

When they took over, Potler and her husband said they were blindsided by the bar’s dire financial straits and the alienation of several previous employees. Several former workers told The Baltimore Banner that under Gregoire’s leadership Church had become a dysfunctional workplace and that staff and vendors were frequently paid late. Investors said they were misled about the bar’s finances and operation, while many objected to Gregoire’s decision to sell the bar, initially conceived as a queer haven, to the Potlers, a straight white couple.



Actress Aubrey Plaza and Baltimore filmmaker John Waters onstage at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Writer and director John Waters opens up about his never-shown-in-public prison film, “Reckless Eyeballs”
by Ed Gunts
Published August 31 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Next month the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles will open “John Waters: Pope of Trash,” the first comprehensive exhibition about the artist’s contributions to cinema.

The retrospective explores Waters’ process, themes and moviemaking style, and his impact over more than five decades as a writer, director and producer of films such as “Pink Flamingos,” “Hairspray,” and “Serial Mom.”

But there’s one film that won’t be part of the exhibit or the book that accompanies it.



Anne Gueret. Portrait of a Female Artist with a Portfolio (Self-Portrait?). 1793. Katrin Bellinger Collection

BMA Opens Making Her Mark on October 1
Press Release :: August 31

On October 1, 2023, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will open a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the wide-ranging achievements of women artists and artisans working in Europe between the 15th and 18th centuries. Co-organized with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800 is the most comprehensive exhibition of women makers from this period, dispelling the myths that women artists were rare or less talented than their male counterparts. More than 200 objects include examples by acclaimed practitioners such as Rosalba Carriera, Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun, Judith Leyster, Luisa Roldán, and Rachel Ruysch, as well as those by lesser-known professional and amateur artists and often unnamed makers in collectives, workshops, and manufactories. Collectively, these works demonstrate the many ways women played an integral role in the development of art, culture, and commerce across more than 400 years.

While scholarship about historic women artists has seen an increase in recent years, these investigations remain largely focused on an elite group of artists working in large-scale painting and sculpture. Making Her Mark explores the breadth of women’s artistic endeavors with works that range from royal portraits and devotional sculpture to tapestries, printed books, drawings, clothing and lace, metalwork, ceramics, furniture, and other decorative objects—arguing for a reassessment of European art history to incorporate the true depth and variety of their contributions.

Making Her Mark is co-curated by Andaleeb Badiee Banta, Senior Curator and Department Head of Prints, Drawings & Photographs at the BMA, and Alexa Greist, Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings at the AGO. It is a special ticketed exhibition with audio guide presented in Baltimore from October 1, 2023, to January 7, 2024, and in Toronto from March 27 to July 1, 2024. The exhibition features several new BMA acquisitions on view for the first time, as well as loans from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, the National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many other significant public and private collections in North America and Europe.



Artscape 2023: DJ Pee.Wee Joins Lineup Friday Night
Press Release :: September 1

Today, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) and Mayor Brandon M. Scott, announced Grammy Award-winning DJ Pee.Wee (the musical persona of Anderson .Paak) will be stepping up to the page1image149327936main stage on Friday evening to deliver an unforgettable musical experience. Due to production issues, Kelly Rowland, who was formerly slated to headline, unfortunately is no longer be able to perform.

DJ Pee.Wee, also known as Anderson .Paak, is a multifaceted American singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, and drummer. He has earned recognition for his solo work and collaborations, amassing accolades including Grammy Awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Performance. DJ Pee.Wee’s dynamic performances, unique style, and genre-defying music make him a perfect addition to the Artscape 2023 lineup.

Todd Yuhanick, interim executive director of BOPA, expressed his sentiments regarding the lineup change: “Our celebration of the hundreds of local, regional, and national artists is not slowing down. The addition of DJ Pee.Wee (Anderson .Paak) is poised to make Artscape’s return a festival like none other. He is sure to bring his incredible energy and talent to the lineup, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Artscape stage.”

Artscape 2023 remains committed to providing a diverse and engaging experience for attendees, showcasing the best of Baltimore’s artistic community and beyond. The festival, scheduled from September 22 to September 24, promises to be a celebration of art, culture, and community that will leave a lasting impression.

Artscape is one of AMERICA’S LARGEST FREE arts festivals, rocking the cultural heart of Baltimore since 1982. It was designed as an Arts Fair and marketed Baltimore as a cultural hub. The newly developed Meyerhoff Symphony Hall was underway, and to draw community support and stimulate economic development and investment in the area, Artscape was born.

See also:

Artscape adds Anderson .Paak DJ set after Kelly Rowland cancels over dispute
by Emily Sullivan and Hallie Miller
Published August 31 in The Baltimore Banner



Of Queens (2020) mixed media on paper. Larry “Poncho” Brown. Photo by Aisha Butler. Courtesy of Davenport Imports & Arts.

Larry “Poncho” Brown’s Small Originals
by Teri Henderson
Published September 5 in Baltimore Beat

Excerpt: “Being an artist means you are a sponge to your environment,” mixed-media artist Larry “Poncho” Brown says in the 2021 short film “Artimore.”

“When I create pieces, it is my goal to create images that are positive representations of who we are,” Brown says.

Those positive representations exist in Small Originals, Brown’s solo exhibition, currently on display at Davenport Art and Imports in Hampden. His show celebrates Blackness with 25 small artworks created between 2014 and 2021.



Kotic Couture performs at the Love Groove Festival. —Courtesy of Love Groove Festival

Fall Arts Events You Can’t Miss in Baltimore This Season
by Grace Hebron with Amy Scattergood
Published August 29 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: “What is art?” It’s the question posed by Broadway star (and Baltimore native) André De Shields in the captivating trailer for this year’s Artscape, which is back after a three-year hiatus. Art is music, the trailer tells us. Art is dance. It’s murals and graffiti. It’s fashion. It’s personal expression.

In some ways, that same question is being asked—and answered—all around town, even at some of our most august institutions. At the Baltimore Museum of Art, immersive new exhibits like “The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century” have us rethinking what a museum can be. At the Meyerhoff, recently appointed Baltimore Symphony Orchestra maestro Jonathon Heyward is bringing in younger audiences and assuring them that the Meyerhoff is their house. At the Maryland Center for History and Culture, the current Jim Henson exhibition comes complete with its own DIY puppet show.

The message is clear: Art is anything we want it to be—and there’s lots of it to savor this season.



Empowering Baltimore’s Future: MICA’s Art & Design College Accelerator Program Receives Generous Foundation Support
Press Release :: September 5

The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), renowned for its commitment to art, design, and education, reaffirms its dedication to Baltimore’s thriving artistic community with the announcement of a major donation to support the Art & Design College Accelerator Program (ADCAP).

This transformative initiative aims to provide equitable access to high-quality art and design education for Baltimore City students facing financial challenges in underserved communities. The program not only embodies MICA’s mission to “thrive with Baltimore” but also aligns with their belief in the power of artists, designers, and educators as cultural innovators and agents of creative and progressive social change.

About the foundations

The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation have committed $1,000,000 to endow the ADCAP program at MICA, and The Thalheimer Foundation fully funded the request of $500,000 which will be broken into $125,000 for the annual program support for ADCAP this year and $375,000 for the endowment.

The foundations’ generous contribution marks a pivotal moment in the history of MICA’s commitment to empowering the local community through the arts. With this invaluable support, the Art & Design College Accelerator Program will offer a pathway to success for talented and promising students from Baltimore City who might not have otherwise had access to such opportunities.

“We believe that promising young artists in Baltimore deserve the chance to pursue their dreams,” said Rebecca Sirody, Executive Director of the Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation. “By partnering with MICA’s Art & Design College Accelerator Program, we hope to bridge the gap and empower these students to contribute to the artistic vibrancy and growth of our city.”

ADCAP structure

The program’s unique structure ensures that participating students receive not only the world-class educational material and curriculum that MICA is renowned for but also the advantages of a dedicated support network and individual mentorship. Each year, 15 coveted spaces are available for this unparalleled opportunity, making it highly competitive. Students who are accepted into the program will receive full scholarships for their participation which covers transportation, meals, and art supplies throughout their journey.

MICA’s mission is deeply rooted in enriching the lives of Baltimoreans, and through this program, we are opening doors for young artists to realize their potential and make a lasting impact on our city’s creative landscape,” said David Gracyalny, Vice Provost of Open Studies

Deadline to Apply to the Next Cohort

To be considered for this life-changing opportunity, current Baltimore City high school sophomores are encouraged to apply before the deadline of September 14, 2023. Prospective students must demonstrate exceptional promise in the arts and a genuine passion for pursuing a degree in art and design. Applications can be submitted through MICA’s ADCAP official program page:

MICA’s dedication to uplifting Baltimore City students and fostering their creative potential is a testament to the profound impact the arts can have on society. As the program’s next cohort launch draws near, MICA invites local Baltimoreans, art and design foundations, donors, and current and prospective students to unite in supporting this transformative initiative that will shape the future of Baltimore’s creative landscape.

For more information on the Art & Design College Accelerator Program and how you can support this endeavor, please visit



Tim Dowd. Photo credit: Jefry Andres Wright

Art at Amtrak Program to Debut at Washington Union Station in September
by Editorial Team
Published August 29 in East City Art

Excerpt: Amtrak is expanding its celebrated year-round, public-art program to Washington Union Station with work from multidisciplinary visual artist, Tim Doud. Art at Amtrak will offer a variety of visual works through rotating exhibitions at the transportation hub.

Doud, a District resident and professor at American University, will create the first site-specific installation titled A Great Public Walk, to transform the wall along the station’s customer waiting areas between Gates A and L, and on the 30 windows in the hallway leading to the lower-level platforms.

“Bringing contemporary art to Union Station will brighten the atmosphere and continues our ongoing commitment to enhance the customer experience in our stations,” said Jina Sanone, Amtrak Vice President, Northeast Corridor Service Line. “Art at Amtrak is a great opportunity to provide artists a significant platform and showcase the region’s vibrancy.”



Panelists on hip-hop drug glamorization urge Baltimore adults to change the context
by Bri Hatch
Published September 1 in WYPR

Excerpt: On International Overdose Awareness Day, around 75 community members and stakeholders packed into Red Emma’s coffee shop in Baltimore to honor loved ones who lost their lives to overdose — and advocate for steps forward.

Mayor Brandon Scott said that nearly two thousand people have died by overdose in Baltimore City in the past two years.

“That, as you know, trumps gun violence. But very rarely do you hear anyone talking about the neighbors that we lose to overdose,” Scott said. “We all know why that is. We have to continue to call out those who continue to think of folks with addiction issues as less than them, because they are our neighbors.”



Header Image: Header Image: Judith Leyster, Self-Portrait, c. 1630, at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Making Her Mark

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