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Hand to Eye: Artists Show Up and Show Out in Support of NoMüNoMü

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BmoreArt’s Picks: September 19-25

When I first visited NoMüNoMü in 2021, the 3,400-square-foot space was at its barest with debris scattered around the floor and exposed wood beams on the ceiling. Yet Joseph Orzal, the Executive and Creative Director, enthusiastically described what the space was set to become: “An intersectional arts collaborative where we curate radical exhibitions; provide space and resources for local artists to create; and work with activists and cultural grassroots movements to organize through the use of screen printing, resource sharing, and art production.” Ducking our heads, watching our steps, it was Joseph’s commitment, transparency, and overall spunk that made this place come to life even at its dustiest. 

Almost two years later, now standing in the screen-printing studio that lives at the back of the gallery, surrounded by artists layering colorful ink onto their papers, and watching Joseph running around trying to take a glimpse of everybody’s process, this still rings true. While most of us in the room have just recently met each other, we share Joseph’s commitment and have a lot of gratitude for this space. That is why, amidst another relentless heatwave, we have gathered at NoMüNoMü as volunteers, screen-printing art to support the gallery’s future. 

Left to right: Joseph Orzal, Savannah Imani Wade, and Dan T.L. Flounders preparing prints for for NoMüNoMü's exhibition and fundraiser: Hand to Eye
Artist, Dany Green helping in preparation for NoMüNoMü's exhibition and fundraiser: Hand to Eye

On September 23rd, during Hand to Eye: A Print Fundraiser for NoMüNoMü! these prints will be released for sale in exclusive, limited-edition portfolios. Each will compile 14 works by local artists including: Christopher Kardambikis, Erin Fostel, Emon Surakitkoson, Estéban Whiteside, Allie Linn, Jackie Milad, PLAKOOKEE, Mojdeh Rezaeipour, Savannah Imani Wade, Dan Talib Latif Flounders, Priyanka Kumar, Edgar Reyes, and The Menial Collection. 

The Baltimore art community has taught me that asking for help is a fundamental skill to develop. It is necessary to build and sustain our communities in this city, because what lies on the other side of our challenges is an astonishing amount of generosity and solidarity. Baltimore’s art community largely shows up for one another, and uplifts each other in ways I haven’t witnessed anywhere else. 

Still the weight of sustaining our unique and admirable art scene is palpable. Artists and organizers often find themselves in a repetitive battle against time to find the necessary funding. Crucial creative spaces are closing, and arts organizations are working tirelessly to bridge the disconnect that has widened since 2020.

While NoMüNoMü stands at a financial crossroads, prompting us into urgent action, Hand to Eye: A Print Fundraiser for NoMüNoMü! presents an opportunity to celebrate the collective achievements of the past two years, and invites more people into the imaginative possibilities that are imperative for our broader community. 

We are working towards a community arts space where our success is tied into our audience’s participation. Funding is a part of that.
Joseph Orzal

BmoreArt had a conversation with Joseph Orzal about NoMüNoMü and why this fundraiser is not to be missed.

Could you share some things that have happened at NoMüNoMü since opening its doors?

Despite our setbacks it has been a lot! We have had about eight exhibitions, four of which were longer-running. We have worked with or hosted an incredible variety of mediums. We’ve hosted live music jam sessions by John Tyler, had DJ events by Tromac and Koleco. Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition transformed the space into a three-day mock overdose prevention site for teach-ins. We host movie nights in collaboration with the Malaya Movement regularly in the gallery. We’ve hosted An Open Classroom Community Series with New Generation Scholars. 

Last month, we held Black August Summer School Sessions with Black Alliance for Peace (BAP). We’ve had Plant Care Workshops with Stem & Vine. This past week we hosted a Cyanotype workshop organized by Black Artist Research Space. In the upcoming months, we will have a Community Clay workshop with Victoria Walton, in addition to an Affordable Filmmaking Class with Steven Decastro.

We host Free Baltimore Yoga every Sunday and Plum Village meditation sessions every Friday! We are a space that hosts a myriad of art builds for local and regional protests. The list goes on and on.

What have been the challenges that prompted the decision to organize this fundraiser?

We’re organizing this fundraiser because we need money! We initially had several setbacks with permitting, and recently while trying to get our 501c3 status, that has hindered our momentum with grants funding and any type of funding in general. Because of this, we have been working so hard on the back end of things. We have only really been playing catch up the past year and really haven’t been able to make a real push for fundraising.  

Can you share the goals and objectives you hope to achieve through this event?

I think this is a great opportunity for us to give everyone the complete picture of what we are trying to accomplish, but also what we have done in the past two years. People may have certain assumptions about how an art gallery should run that we hope to dispel. We are working towards a community arts space where our success is tied into our audience’s participation. Funding is a part of that. Our vision is compromised if we’re only reliant on the bureaucracy of giant grants or tied up in the strings attached from the donor class. We want to be like PBS! Made possible by viewers like you! 

Dan T.L. Flounders screenprinting for NoMüNoMü's fundraiser: Hand to Eye
Artist Priyanka Kumar preparing for NoMüNoMü's fundraiser and exhibition, Hand to Eye.
Top: Dany Green, Joseph Orzal, Mahari Chabwera, Priyanka Kumar Bottom: Inés Sanchez de Lozada, Savannah Imani Wade, and Dan T.L. Flounders
The print portfolio is a beautiful assortment of artists we've worked with past and present, or not at all. I think it speaks to the range of artists we are in community with.
Joseph Orzal

How will the funds raised benefit NoMüNoMü’s mission?

Our hope is that this big fundraising push can get us ahead of next year so we can finally have a full year planned out. Much of the past two years have just been winging it and I have not been able to be as intentional as I’d like while planning our exhibition calendar.

I’d like to work with an integrated pedagogy that revolves around the themes of each show. If we can meet our fundraising goals, we will be able to fund not only exhibitions but lectures, free classes, art builds, teach-ins, movie nights, and more!

Are there any unique or compelling stories behind the fundraiser that you’d like to share with the potential supporters?

NoMüNoMü has transformed into a truly collaborative and community-based effort. I believe the success of our turn-outs, the range of arts and activist collectives we have worked with, exemplifies our value to the community.

One compelling event that stands out to me the most was the Plum Village Monastics of Thich Nhat Hanh concert that we hosted earlier this year. The event was our first attempt at fundraising for the gallery. The experience was deeply revealing to the ways in which NoMüNoMü can be utilized as a healing and connecting space.

The concert attracted audience members from Maryland, DC, New York, and France. And created some wonderful new relationships, with some people in attendance now regularly attending mindfulness meetings in the space. 

 So far, in just organizing this official fundraiser, so many wonderful people have shown up in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. They have volunteered their time and labor to make this event happen.

It is always amazing to experience people working together outside of the typical transactional ways we do. It genuinely feels like we are working together tied to a vision of something that we know can exist but needs to be built. There is a married couple volunteering their time, Dan and Safiyah, who I didn’t realize met because of an exhibition at our space. And now they’re on our advisory committee helping us with printing and outreach. It’s beautiful!

What can you tell us about the limited-edition portfolio you will be releasing on September 23rd? Can you speak some more about what makes this collection of prints unique and worth collecting? 

The print portfolio is a beautiful assortment of artists we’ve worked with past and present, or not at all. I think it speaks to the range of artists we are in community with. Some of them are highly established and collected by museums and galleries, whereas others are completely unestablished!

It is important for our organization to distinguish itself in this waywe are not interested in reproducing hierarchies. We are interested in the process of collaboration and the conversations that different contexts can create, new contexts for artists that do not maintain the same pressures of careerism or market values.

The portfolio has been an incredibly fun process for everyone! At the price it will be selling for, the portfolio is an amazing deal for collectors of any range. Especially those who want to begin. We are also emphasizing accessibility, an important principle in our gallery. The range of aesthetics is all over the place, and it is hard to find this type of diversity anywhere else all in one portfolio!

 

Tickets and more info: Saturday, September 23, Hand to Eye: A Print Fundraiser for NoMüNoMü, A print fundraiser and exhibition to benefit NoMüNoMü’s mission and ensure a thriving future for the arts community in Baltimore!!

Get ready for an exciting night of art, drinks and fun at NoMüNoMü’s first-ever fundraiser, Hand To Eye: A Print Fundraiser for NoMüNoMü! For the past two years, NoMuNoMu has been supporting the arts and activist communities by hosting events and opening our space as a gallery and community meeting place. Now, we’re organizing a fundraising event to continue this vital work and ensure a thriving future for our community in Baltimore! This event isn’t just about art; it’s about continuing the mission of NoMüNoMü in bridging the gap between art, activism and community. Your support at this event will not only keep our gallery going but also contribute to a brighter future for the arts community in Baltimore.

🌟VIP RECEPTION: 6-8PM

🎉 GENERAL ADMISSION: 8-11PM

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS:
🎨 Exclusive Print Portfolio: Take home an exclusive print portfolio featuring limited-edition works by local artists, including Christopher Kardambikis, Erin Fostel, Emon Surakitkoson, Esteban Whiteside, Allie Linn, Jackie Milad, PLAKOOKEE, Mojdeh Rezaeipour, Savannah Imani Wade, Dan Talib Latif Flounders, Priyanka Kumar, Edgar Reyes and The Menial Collection.

🖼️ Original Artwork: Explore original artworks by local and national contemporary artists on view.

🎉 Music and Entertainment: Enjoy DJ sets by Tromac and DJ Sun

🌈 Build Community: Connect with artists and change-makers while celebrating art and activism!

🏛️ OUR URGENT GOAL: RAISING $100,000!
Our immediate goal for this fundraiser is to secure $100,000! These funds are not just numbers; they are a lifeline for NoMüNoMü and our community. We’re determined to keep our momentum going and we need your support!

BUY A TICKET, PURCHASE ARTWORK, OR MAKE A DONATION TODAY TO SUPPORT OUR GOAL!

🎟️ SECURE YOUR TICKETS NOW
🌟 VIP Ticket: Private Reception & Party- $250
Champagne reception (6-8pm)
5 drink tickets for general admission bar
Early access to buy artwork and support the organization
Exclusive opportunity to meet artists and hear them talk about their work
Remarks by the organizers
An opportunity to show substantial support of NoMüNoMü!
🎉 Party Ticket – $30
General admission to the event and exhibition (8-11pm)
One drink ticket
The chance to make a difference in NoMüNoMü’s future!
🎟️ PLEASE NOTE THAT TICKET PRICES WILL INCREASE AT THE DOOR AND 1 HOUR PRIOR TO THE EVENT – BUY NOW TO LOCK IN ON THESE PRICES!

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