Baltimore Art News: Jonathon Heyward, Native Artists at the BMA, JHU’s new Bloomberg Center

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This week’s news includes:  Talib Jasir creates a Black podcaster festival, BMA announces new exhibitions centering Native artists, Art Angle Podcast sits down with NMWA director Susan Fisher Sterling, Jonathon Heyward at the BSO, the new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Center, The Peale wins award from Preservation Maryland, 11 art shows to see in DC, the new Lexington Market, Patrice Hutton, and more reporting from Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Banner, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Marie Watt(Seneca Nation of Indians and German-Scot ancestry). Blanket Stories: Beacon, Marker, Ohi-yo. 2015. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from the PearlstoneFamily Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., BMA 2021.227. © Marie Watt



Talib Jasir is the CEO and founder of the Afros & Audio Podcast Festival, which serves Black podcasters. Jasir's festival will take place in Baltimore Oct. 21 and 22 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. (Courtesy of Talib Jasir/Handout)

Seeking community, Talib Jasir created a festival for Black podcasters
by Zuri Berry
Published October 20 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Talib Jasir caught the podcasting bug in 2017.

He had just launched an audio drama, “The Fussings: Until One of Us is Dead,” a limited-run series that helped juice his creativity for storytelling.

At the time, he was working in big pharma on the creative services side. It was cubicle life, but it paid the bills.

“I’ve always hated being in an office space where I knew that my abilities and my talents would best be served for myself,” Jasir said.



T.C. Cannon (Kiowa/Caddo). Self Portrait in the Studio. 1975. © The Estate of T.C. Cannon; Tia Collection, Santa Fe, NM. James Hart Photography

BMA to Launch Expansive Initiative Centering the Voices and Work of Native Artists and Leaders in April 2024
Press Release :: October 19

In April 2024, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will launch Preoccupied: Indigenizing the Museum, a series of exhibitions and projects that centers the work, experiences, and voices of Native artists. Preoccupied explores the vital cultural contributions of Native people through the presentation of historical objects as well as works created by a breadth of contemporary makers, including Julie Buffalohead (Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma), T.C. Cannon (Kiowa/Caddo), Dana Claxton (Hunkpapa Lakota), Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit and Unangaxˆ), Duane Linklater (Omaskêko Ininiwak from Moose Cree First Nation), Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache), Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe/French), Wendy Red Star (Apsáaalooke (Crow)), Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation), Marie Watt (Seneca Nation of Indians and German-Scot ancestry), and Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota), among others. Unfolding over the course of ten months, the initiative features focus solo presentations, thematic explorations, and a film series curated by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation and a descendant of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians). Preoccupied will also include interventions in the display and labeling of certain objects across the museum that depict Native subjects and espouse colonialist perspectives. Together, these projects and forthcoming public programs will significantly increase the presence of Native artists in the BMA’s galleries and actively subvert the colonialist tendencies and hierarchies upon which museums have been built. The initiative will continue through January 2025.

Preoccupied is being developed with guidance from the Native community and cultural leaders in and around Baltimore. The initiative began with critical listening sessions and dialogues with Baltimore-area Native individuals. A broader retreat in February 2023 further shaped the fundamental purposes and experimental approaches that underpin the initiative. At the BMA, the work is being led by Darienne (Dare) Turner (Yurok Tribe), Curator of Indigenous Art at the Brooklyn Museum and former BMA Assistant Curator of Indigenous Art of the Americas; Leila Grothe, BMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art; and Elise Boulanger (Citizen of the Osage Nation), BMA Curatorial Research Assistant, with guest curation from Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation and a descendant of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño) and in consultation with an 11-member Native Community Advisory Panel that includes artists, scholars, designers, and community representatives. In addition to their significant efforts in the development of Preoccupied, many of the individuals involved in this community-oriented and iterative process will lend their voices to the audio guides, wall labels, and other didactic materials.

“From its inception, Preoccupied: Indigenizing the Museum has aimed to center Native voices and make visible an often overlooked community within encyclopedic museums,” said project co-curator Dare Turner. “This project challenges museums like the BMA to fight against shared colonialist tendencies and make space for new ways of thinking, learning, and being. It insists that Native lifeways have existed as long as memory, and they continue today through the practices, awareness, and art of contemporary Native people. Preoccupied celebrates Native art and artists in all their vitality and establishes a framework for ongoing engagement and presentation within the museum.” […]



How the World’s First Museum Dedicated to Women’s Art Is Charting a Path Forward (Audio)
by Sarah Cascone
Aired October 19 on The Art Angle Podcast

Excerpt: In December 2020, Congress approved funding for a new Smithsonian Museum dedicated to women’s history to be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. But our nation’s capital has actually been home to a dedicated women’s museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, since 1987.

The institution, founded by Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and her husband Wallace, was the first of its kind in the world. Its mission was simple: to educate viewers about women’s long overlooked contributions to art history.

In its 36 years of existence, the museum has amassed an impressive collection of over 6,000 works by more than 1,500 international artists including Frida Kahlo, Berthe Morisot, and Louise Bourgeois, as well as contemporary figures such as Judy Chicago, Nan Goldin, and Amy Sherald.

Less than six months after Wilhelmina’s death in March 2021, the museum closed for its first major renovation, a planned $67.5 million project slated to take two years. The work has included a revamp of the performance hall, adding a new learning commons with a research library and education studios where there were once offices, as well as 15 percent more exhibition galleries—plus, behind the scenes space for collection storage and conservation.

On the eve of its reopening, Artnet News spoke with NMWA director Susan Fisher Sterling about the institution’s past, present, and future, and the work that still needs to be done to ensure proper recognition for women artists.



Photo from Jonathon Heyward's Instagram page, @ConverseConductor

Big Fish: Jonathon Heyward, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
by Aliza Worthington
Published October 24 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Jonathon Heyward is blazing musical trails across Europe and the United States, and fortunately for our city, has chosen Baltimore as his primary musical home as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra starting with their 2023-24 season.

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, the 31-year-old started playing cello at the age of 10 and began conducting soon after. He attended the Boston Conservatory of Music, became assistant conductor of the school’s opera department and of the Boston Opera Collaborative. Heyward was mentored by none other than Sir Mark Elder and named a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music — an honor reserved only for Academy alumni.

He holds three prestigious positions, not as a struggling musician trying to make ends meet, but as a heavily in-demand rising star in the classical music world. Heyward is Chief Conductor of Germany’s Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Music Director of Lincoln Center’s Summer Orchestra (which is transitioning from the Mostly Mozart series into a new format and focus), and now music director of the BSO.



Johns Hopkins University on Thursday dedicated the new Bloomberg Center at the former Newseum building in Washington, D.C., where the university's School of Government and Policy will be based. Photo credit: Jennifer Hughes.

Johns Hopkins University dedicates its new home in the nation’s capital, the Hopkins Bloomberg Center at the former Newseum
by Ed Gunts
Published October 20 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: After more than four years of planning and construction, Johns Hopkins University on Thursday dedicated its new home in Washington D. C., an academic facility designed to extend its visibility and reach in the nation’s capital and maximize the impact of its research and scholarship.

The Hopkins Bloomberg Center is the new name of the 10-story former Newseum building that Hopkins purchased and repurposed with the goal of bringing the university’s Washington-based graduate programs under one roof.

In the process, Hopkins wound up creating an interdisciplinary facility that will provide opportunities for students from every academic division of the university to conduct research, take classes and attend concerts and lectures in Washington, supplementing the offerings available on Hopkins’ flagship Homewood and East Baltimore campuses.

See also:

Johns Hopkins opens a gleaming new center in DC’s former Newseum
by Hugo Kugiya
Published October 19 in The Baltimore Banner



The Phoenix Award: The Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture
Preservation Maryland Announcement :: October 12

Presented to individuals or organizations to recognize projects demonstrating excellence in the revitalization of threatened or abandoned historic resources.

Located in the heart of downtown Baltimore, just a few blocks from the city’s inner harbor and other tourist attractions, the Peale Museum building serves today as Baltimore’s community museum: both a platform and a showcase for the city’s storytellers that reflects the historical importance of Baltimore’s contemporary arts and intangible cultural heritage. Baltimore’s “stories” in all media – from physical exhibitions and performances to digital recordings and events – and are presented in-person and online with The Peale by local creators: griots, performers, artists, architects, historians, students, educators, and other culture-keepers. The Peale has recorded, shared, and archived thousands of digital stories and hundreds of live performances and events since relaunching in 2017. The Peale supports artists and storytellers with microgrants and new income opportunities from their creative work, as well as access to technical resources and expertise.

The Peale operates as a teaching museum and laboratory for cultural practice. Now in its third year, the Accomplished Arts Apprentices (AAA) program, led by the Peale’s Chief Curator, Jeffrey Kent, enables young people from Baltimore’s marginalized communities and returning citizens to earn a living wage while learning career skills in art handling, exhibition installation, gallery preparation, and historic preservation. The Peale also hosts artist and student fellows to provide paid educational and professional development opportunities that also help diversify the workforce in the cultural sector.



Angel Rodríguez-Díaz, “The Protagonist of an Endless Story” (1993), oil on canvas (photo Murat Cem Mengüç/Hyperallergic)

11 Art Shows to See in Washington, DC, This Fall
by Murat Cem Mengüç
Published October 10 in Hyperallergic

Excerpt: Congress might be dysfunctional after the historic outsing of its speaker, but museums and art galleries in Washington, DC, are working just fine. Here are some highlights to look forward to this fall season, including Simone Leigh, Maremi Andreozzi, photos from the Library of Congress archive, a large Native art show curated by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and more.



The Dish: What’s working ― and what isn’t ― at the new Lexington Market
by Christin Tkacik
Published October 18 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Since moving into the redeveloped Lexington Market building nearly a year ago, vendor Arra Cho said she’s begun to see new faces among customers. The old market put off some visitors with its failing facilities — the air conditioning system dated back to the 1950s and was known to break down in the middle of the summer — and the presence of drug trafficking.

In contrast, Cho said the neighboring structure is “fresh, it’s clean, it’s new.” Professionals who work at the University of Maryland’s campuses nearby are no longer afraid to enter the market, a $45 million, two-story building, which features large murals celebrating Baltimore’s culinary history.

Yet despite an overall increase in revenue, Cho, who co-owns Krause’s Lite Fare and Cho’s Sea Garden, said the two concepts are struggling to keep up with heightened costs of food and materials as well as the steeper rent of the new space, which is owned by the city and managed by a nonprofit. In fact, she hasn’t paid rent in months.



Photography by Travis Marshall

Patrice Hutton Helps Baltimore Students Express Themselves Through Creative Writing
by Max Weiss
Published October 18 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: When Patrice Hutton, 37, was a student in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, part of the program included teaching creative writing at various middle and elementary schools near the Homewood campus. As she traveled between schools, she noticed a real disparity between what was being taught at the more privileged Roland Park Elementary/Middle School and the under-financed Barclay School just a few blocks away.

She also noticed that schools in general were moving away from creative writing as they were forced to keep up with the No Child Left Behind Act, which emphasizes core curriculum subjects like math and science over the arts. Given that writing had provided such a strong outlet in her own life, she decided to take matters into her own hands.



A pumpkin head at the Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival at Patterson Park. (Kylie Cooper/The Baltimore Banner)

Photos: Baltimoreans enjoy colorful lanterns, dance and drum performances at Great Halloween Lantern Parade
Images by Kylie Cooper
Published October 23 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Baltimoreans came together on Saturday for the Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival in Patterson Park.

The day began with a festival that included arts and crafts, a costume contest, lantern-making and street performances, as families also enjoyed food and treats from local food trucks.

At sundown, creatures and spirits of all types gathered for a parade through Patterson Park surrounded by bright and beautiful magical dragons.



Header Image: Marie Watt (Seneca Nation of Indians and German-Scot ancestry) Blanket Stories: Beacon, Marker, Ohh - yo. 2015.

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