Baltimore Art News: Roller Wave, Jenenne Whitfield, Kerr Houston, Glenstone Museum

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This week’s news includes: Jenenne Whitfield’s departure from AVAM, Kerr Houston wins Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing, the future of the Glenstone Museum, new fellows at Hamiltonian Artists, El Camino Del Pan Y Mole at Creative Alliance, The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and Valerie J. Maynard Foundation (VJMF) announce a new internship program,  Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown’s installation at Peabody Library, Baltimore Choral Society’s “Human Requiem” performance, Ernest Shaw Jr. exhibition at Banneker-Douglass Museum, celebrating 20 years of the African American Department at Pratt Library, nominations for Mac MacLure Spirit of Leadership Award, a pop-up roller rink, Smithsonian acquires Sir Isaac Julien’s “Lessons of the Hour,” Arts in Action Arts Education Grant and the Youth Arts Advocacy Enrichment Grant award winners, ‘Chamber of Wonders’ at the Peale, and more reporting from The AFRO, Baltimore Baltimore Banner, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: The Roller Wave, pop-up roller rink at Baltimore Peninsula. Image Courtesy of Baltimore Peninsula via Baltimore Magazine



Jenenne Whitfield. Image credit: Larry Canner Photography

Jenenne Whitfield speaks on departure from American Visionary Art Museum
by Helen Bezuneh
Published November 5 in The AFRO

Excerpt: It’s been almost two months and Jenenne Whitfield is still not sure what motivated her former employer, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) to remove her as its director. A press release from the museum’s Board of Directors did not specify why they decided to part ways with the former director–– and Whitfield is not any more privy to their motivations, she told the AFRO.

“The bottom line is that they let me go,” Whitfield said. “I was told what you were told – that we were ‘going in different directions.’ I truly don’t know anything more. That happened on Sept. 19. Obviously it was a shock to me.”



Photo by Lisa Folda

Announcing the 2023 recipients of the Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing!
Press Release :: November 3

The Lois Moran Award for Craft Writing is given for a thoughtfully written and dynamic individual article or essay on some aspect of American craft. Lois Moran, the longest-serving editor of American Craft magazine and a monumental figure in the history of the American Craft Council, was a tireless proponent of the American craft field. She had a mission to elevate the importance of craft for a broad audience.

We’re proud to announce Kerr Houston, Marie Lo, and Samantha De Tillio as the recipients of the Lois Moran Award for 2023. Each winner has been awarded $1,000 for their previously published work that moves the craft conversation forward. Learn more about these writers, find links to their articles, and additional thoughts from the jurors below.

Kerr Houston: “Close Looking: Edward Duffield’s BMA Clock, in Context” published by

“Close Looking” peers at a somewhat unlikely object, an 18th-century clock, and refracts its timekeeping through a kaleidoscope of temporalities. Kerr Houston positions the clock at the start line of the emerging global capitalist economy, pulling contrasting time frames from its torch-shaped finials, the slow penmanship of Duffield’s carved signature, and this clock’s proximity to public clocks that emerged in Philadelphia in the same period. Taking the clock down to its cogs and out into the world, Houston deftly shifts time registers between a flickering flame, the US’s long nostalgia for “great civilizations,” and the capitalist form of waged labor-time.



An untitled Ellsworth Kelly sculpture (far left) and Richard Serra’s Sylvester (2001) outside Glenstone’s Gallery. PHOTO SCOTT FRANCES

Top 200 Collector Emily Wei Rales Charts the Future of Glenstone, the Idyllically Set Maryland Museum She Cofounded
by Emily Wei Rales
Published November 6 in ArtNews

Excerpt: When Mitch and I set out to create a museum more than 15 years ago, three tenets guided our thinking: First, we were committed to building a collection of post–World War II art that represents the most significant artistic innovations of our time. Second, we wanted to locate the museum not in an urban area but in Potomac, Maryland, within a setting that holistically integrates art, architecture, and nature. Finally, we embraced the counterintuitive notion of “less is more” in our approach to the visitor experience, which we designed to be slow, uncrowded, and meditative. We opened Glenstone Museum to the public in the fall of 2006 with the completion of our first building, the Gallery, which was designed by Charles Gwathmey. From the very beginning we asked visitors to schedule a visit ahead of time to preserve a quiet, unhurried atmosphere. Admission is—and always will be—free.



Hamiltonian Artists Announces New Fellows
Newsletter :: November 2

Hamiltonian Artists is excited to announce the new cohort of Hamiltonian Fellows for 2023–2025: Ali Kaeini, Neha Misra, Hien Kat Nguyen, and Kat Thompson. Each artist will receive a $2,000 annual honorarium, access to studio space, individualized mentorship, connection to an expansive network of alumni and professional contacts, group exhibition participation, and a final solo exhibition at Hamiltonian Artists in 2025. The first exhibition of new fellows’ work will be in, on view at Hamiltonian Artists February 10–March 16, 2024.

The cohort was selected for their commitment to artistic excellence, growth potential, and alignment with Hamiltonian Artists’ value of community, by a panel of independent jurors: Amir Byron Browder, curator and founder of HOMME, Washington D.C.; Michele Carlson, artist, writer, and professor at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design; Safiyah Cheatam, artist and cultural worker; Cynthia Hodge-Thorne, art historian and recent Curatorial Fellow at Baltimore Museum of Art; and Helina Metaferia, interdisciplinary artist, Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Brown University’s Department of Visual Art and Hamiltonian Artists fellowship alumna. For full juror bios, please visit

The returning 2022–2024 fellows are Misha Ilin, Madyha J. Leghari, Edgar Reyes, Abed Elmajid Shalabi, and Isabella Whitfield.

Hamiltonian Artists Fellows work to develop a single major project over the two-year program with guidance provided by mentors, Hamiltonian staff, peers, and other professional guests. Hamiltonian Artists provides expertise and resources to frame development from project idea to exhibition. Together, we help define the future of the field while providing the skills, knowledge, and resources to ensure the sustainability of independent artists as art professionals in their communities.

Ali Kaeini (he/him) is an Iranian artist and earned his Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, New York, NY, in 2019. whose paintings reflect a religious society in turmoil, and the ancient civilization that has shaped his upbringing. Rooted in Persian epics and childhood stories, Kaeini blends ancient Iranian tales with religious motifs. His work fuses contemporary experimentation with forms reminiscent of Persian and Islamic architecture. By blending homemade natural dyes, fabric collages, sewing, and printmaking, he reconstructs decorative elements, delving into his identity and cultural displacement. The visual tension and displacement of ancient relics and designs within his art convey his own immigration story—a fusion of belonging and non-belonging. His art has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the US, Europe, and the Middle East, including being a finalist for the Trawick Contemporary Art Award in Bethesda in 2022 and at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA.

Neha Misra नेहा मिश्रा (she/her) is a contemporary eco-folk artist, poet, and an award winning climate justice advocate. Misra’s feminist-Earth-wisdom-centered interdisciplinary studio embodies the transformative power of art to build bridges between private, collective, planetary healing and liberation. Misra’s creative practice centers her Global Majority lineage as a first-generation, multi-lingual immigrant woman from New Delhi, India, who calls a solar-powered community in the Washington metro region her adopted home. She has been honored as a Presidential Leadership Scholar, and as a Regenerative Artivist by the Design Science Studio—a partnership of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and habRitual for leading planet conscious artists. Misra is a 2022 fellow of the Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis, an initiative of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, the OpEd Project, and Ann MacDougal, to change who writes history. She serves as the inaugural Global Ambassador for the nonprofit Remote Energy, which is dedicated to making the solar photovoltaic field more inclusive for BIPOC communities, especially women of color.

Hien Kat Nguyen (they/them) was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, and is currently living in Richmond, Virginia. They earned their Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2022. Nguyen communicates their experience as a queer 1.5-generation Vietnamese immigrant through sculpture. Using Vietnamese folklore and their multicultural history, they nurture the concepts that have anchored them. Through woodworking and 3D fabrication techniques, Nguyen creates installations and game-like sculptures that facilitate interaction and use humor to approach taboo subjects surrounding assimilation experiences. They earned over seven VCUarts scholarships and grants between 2020 and 2022. They have attended residencies at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO; Peters Valley School of Craft, Sandyston, NJ; and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Richmond, VA. They were the recipient of the Windgate–Lamar Fellowship from the Center for Craft, Asheville, NC, and the Undergraduate Fellowship in Sculpture from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA. Nguyen has shown work at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond and the Anderson; Richmond, VA.

Kat Thompson (she/her) is a multidisciplinary Afro-Jamaican American artist based in Virginia, who works in photography, textile, sculptural collage, and installation. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from George Mason University and her Master of Fine Arts in Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work combines these mediums to explore notions of Black selfhood within the African Diaspora. Being of Jamaican heritage, Thompson confronts her dual identity through recent projects that depict traces of her family’s journey through personal and found materials. Her focus is to uncover stories that mirror parts of ourselves back to us, including our histories, current realities, and future possibilities. Her work has been exhibited at the Fenwick Gallery and the Gillespie Gallery of Art at George Mason University, and the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art, Reston, VA. She was the 2021–2022 recipient of the Young Alumni Commissioning Award from George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.



Jose Vargas, of Vargas Bakery and Taqueria Vargas in Highlandtown, is the subject of one of the shorts. —Courtesy of Nutria Productions

New Film Project Follows Mexican Chefs in Baltimore and New Orleans
by Grace Hebron
Published November 8 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: How do immigrants use food to shape their urban communities? This is the question at the heart of El Camino Del Pan Y Mole, a set of two documentary shorts exploring parallels between the lives of two Mexican chefs—one from Baltimore, and one from New Orleans.

The local subject, Jose Vargas, is the chef/owner of Highlandtown establishments Vargas Bakery and Taqueria Vargas. The Big Easy’s Ivan Cortez Castillo is the brains behind food stall Antojitos Garibaldi, located in the city’s Westbank Pulga flea market, and Garibaldi’s, located in Kenner, LA.

Produced by local artist and filmmaker Andy Dahl, UMBC’s Public Humanities program director Dr. Sarah Fouts, and New Orleans-based documentarian Fernando López, the project is part of this year’s Homegrown Foodways Film Series from the American Folklife Center—an arm of the Library of Congress that documents living cultural traditions.



Valerie Maynard with her sculpture Rufus (1961) at the BMA in 2020. Photo provided courtesy of The Valerie J. Maynard Foundation. Image by Dena Fisher.

BMA and Valerie J. Maynard Foundation Launch New Collaborative Internship Program
Press Release :: November 8

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and Valerie J. Maynard Foundation (VJMF) announced today the creation of a shared internship program in honor of artist Valerie J. Maynard (1937–2022). Maynard was a pioneering member of the Black Arts Movement and beloved icon of the Baltimore arts community, whose multi-decade practice engaged with the complexity of Black identity and experience. The idea for a collaborative internship with the BMA was first conceived with Maynard as a natural extension of her lifelong impact as an educator and mentor. The Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship honors that legacy by supporting young professionals seeking to enter the museum field. The paid internship, which formally launched this fall, invites students to gain experience at both organizations, offering opportunities to learn practical skills in research and preservation, exhibition development, and the work of artist estates. The program also supports Baltimore’s artistic vitality—a critical goal for the BMA, Foundation, and Maynard during her lifetime.

The Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship celebrates the artist’s profound impact on the development of contemporary art and continues her deep commitment to education and instruction in the arts. The inaugural cohort includes two interns selected by the Valerie J. Maynard Foundation (VJMF) from a class already engaged with the Foundation. Future interns will be selected by the BMA and VJMF through an open call and interview process. Interns will be paid a stipend for a semester of work, ensuring financial support for participating students as they gain essential professional knowledge.

“The Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship is a beautiful testament to Valerie’s unwavering audacity to dream on a grand scale. It paints a vision of a world where each person, armed with the right tools and ample support, can heal themselves and uplift the entire world,” said Antonio David Lyons, Valerie J. Maynard Foundation Board President. “The Foundation stands with immense pride as stewards of this legacy, providing a platform for young scholar-artists to immerse themselves in the life and artistry of Valerie Maynard.” […]



Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and Central Baltimore Partnership Now Accepting Applications for the 2024 Spirit of Leadership Award

The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation (RWDF) and Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) are now accepting applications for the second annual Mac MacLure Spirit of Leadership Award to recognize and celebrate exemplary community leadership.

The Mac MacLure Award will give one $25,000 grant to a community leader whose work in Central Baltimore represents the values and spirit Mr. MacLure exemplified in his community engagement and leadership on behalf of the Foundation. Nominations in the form of an essay/letter should be submitted to Ellen Janes, Executive Director, CBP, [email protected] now through December 4. Honorees will be selected by a small panel assembled by CBP and RWDF. The awardee will be announced in early 2024.

“This award was created in honor of Laurens “Mac” MacLure, a director and long-time senior member of the Deutsch Foundation staff, as well as a highly respected and much-loved member of the Central Baltimore community,” said Robert W. Deutsch Foundation President, Jane Brown.

The award seeks to honor those who have served their community in ways that are innovative and inclusive, and who have made a long-lasting contribution toward creating a more equitable, thriving community.

Awardees will have demonstrated the traits and skills that characterize Mr. MacLure, including:

  • Quiet, effective, collaborative leadership;
  • Integrity and generosity of spirit;
  • Empathetic advocacy for individuals, the community, and the city, especially for those who are often marginalized;
  • A thoughtful, knowledgeable, and thorough commitment to excellence; and
  • Fair-minded problem solving when facing urgent challenges.

The $25,000 award may be used by the honoree at their discretion and may include furthering personal or professional goals; supporting an individual or organizational vision or mission; or investing in an emerging individual or organization.

“This prize money is unrestricted, meaning the recipient can do whatever they wish with it. Professional training or education? Debt paydown? Down payment on a home or other property? Vacation or sabbatical? Contribution to a favorite organization? It’s totally up to the recipient,” said Ellen Janes, Executive Director, Central Baltimore Partnership. “Last year, when CJay Philip was notified that she had won, she didn’t blink before letting us know she would invest the $25,000 prize to further her Dance&Bmore programs within the community. This was a beautiful reflection of her generous spirit and integrity, and an act so true to her character—and true to the spirit of Mac. We are looking forward to seeing the applications this year.”



Be(longing): Unveiling the Imprint of Black Women Hidden in Plain Sight
Newsletter :: November 3

The Tabb Center is proud to announce the launch of an arts & humanities installation by our inaugural public humanities fellow: the award-winning interdisciplinary artist Nicoletta Darita de la Brown.

Be(longing): Unveiling the Imprint of Black Women Hidden in Plain Sight is inspired by de la Brown’s explorations with archival materials related to Ethel Ennis, Billie Holiday, African American real photo postcards, and other special collections at the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries. Through video, photographic self-portraits, and site-specific performance, de la Brown responds to the archive with culturally significant and deeply introspective questions: How many Black women are living in the archives? What happens to us when we are invisible? How can I feel seen, and safe, as a Black woman?

The installation can be viewed at the George Peabody Library from Nov 14 to Dec 1. The artist will periodically activate the installation through performance.

More information about the artist, the installation, and viewing hours can be found at



From left, Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo; Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; Samaira Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice; Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown Jr; Esaw Garner, the widow of Eric Garner; and Rev. Al Sharpton address the crowd at a "Justice For All" march and rally in Washington, D.C., in December 2014. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

‘I can’t breathe’: Melding the last words of Black men with Brahms
by Leslie Gray Streeter
Published November 2 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: It’s brutally ironic that these three desperate words were among the last utterances of at least three Black men — that we know of — who died after encounters with police: Eric Garner in 2014, George Floyd in 2020 and Freddie Gray here in Baltimore in 2015.

Only Garner is featured in Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson’s 2015 moving work, “Seven Last Words Of The Unarmed,” but the fact that Gray, Floyd and so many others have died similarly since then is not lost on Baltimore Choral Arts Society music director Anthony Blake Clark. Each final utterance — such as “Why do you have your guns out?,” “What are you following me for?” and “Mom, I’m going to college” — is sung mournfully and repetitively by a choir, elevating them to a place of artistic and cultural importance.

They are important.



Banneker-Douglass Museum Debuts Art & Literacy Exhibition with Maryland Artist Ernest Shaw and Baltimore Read Aloud Bookstore
Press Release :: November 6

The Banneker-Douglass Museum presents A Story to Tell, an arts and literacy exhibition celebrating the beauty and importance of Black history, art, and literature. The exhibit features portraits of young men and literary heroes by Maryland artist Ernest Shaw Jr. and children and young adult books presented by Baltimore Read Aloud. The Banneker-Douglass Museum invites families, art lovers, and readers to explore the exhibited art and literature to build incredible connections, appreciation, and understanding of Black history and heritage. Save the date for the Opening Reception and Kwanzaa Celebration on Saturday, December 9th!

A Story to Tell Exhibit
November 8, 2023 – January 5, 2024
Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD 21401

Kwanzaa Celebration & A Story to Tell Exhibit Opening Reception
Saturday, December 9th, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD 21401

The Artist: Ernest Shaw presents large portraits of Black American boys (elementary and teenage youth) and literary heroes, Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. Shaw’s portraits often depict African masks that reconnect these individuals to their African roots and traditions. Shaw creates large, vibrant portraits to amplify their experiences, history, vulnerability, and strength.

The Books: Baltimore Read Aloud presents socially conscious books by Black male, male identifying, and non-binary authors. The founder of Baltimore Read Aloud, Nicole Johnson, states, “I discovered that books with Black characters were hard to find at your local Barnes and Noble or independent bookstore. Not only were the experiences of Black people underrepresented on retail shelves, but anyone who was not white, cis-gender, heterosexual, able-bodied, or from a Christian-based religion would have a hard time finding themselves in children’s literature…Literacy is liberation, and I hope Baltimore Read Aloud can shine a light on books that have the power to liberate through representation.”

Special Thanks: Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, Banneker-Douglass Museum Foundation, Inc., Friends of the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, Ernest Shaw, and Baltimore Read Aloud.



African American Department marks 20 years of preserving Black history, culture
by John-John Williams IV
Published November 2 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: When Vivian Fisher was tapped 20 years ago as the first manager of the African American Department at Enoch Pratt Free Library, there was no physical space for the department.

“There was not a building,” recalled Fisher, who now works as deputy chief of Central Library. “There was only the parking lot in the back of the building.”

Fast forward to 2023, and the Eddie and Sylvia Brown African American Department, including the Juanita C. Burns Memorial Reading Room, has grown into a premier resource of fiction and nonfiction titles, among other works, focused on African history and culture.

At a time when some conservatives are waging an attack on the teaching of Black history in America, Fisher and the library on Friday will celebrate “20 Years of Excellence: The Pratt African American Department.” The day will include a conversation between Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, who oversaw the completion of the project, and Pratt CEO Heidi Daniel.



—Courtesy of Baltimore Peninsula

Baltimore Is Getting a Pop-Up Disco Roller Rink This Holiday Season
by Grace Hebron
Published November 6 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: For years, city dwellers have had opportunities to ice skate their way through the holiday season at places like annual Inner Harbor Ice Rink, the Mt Pleasant Ice Arena in Northeast Baltimore, the Mimi DiPietro Family Skating Center in Patterson Park, and the Four Seasons Baltimore’s rooftop rink in Harbor East.

Now, the Baltimore Peninsula is introducing a new wintertime tradition in the form of an indoor pop-up rollerskating rink.

“Usually, during the holiday season, everyone goes ice skating,” says Chenire Carter, Director of Community and Experiences at MAG Partners, the real estate firm behind the Baltimore Peninsula development team. “With 63 percent of Baltimoreans being Black, really, what they grew up on was roller skating.”



Credit: Installation view, Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, September 24– December 15, 2019. Copyright Isaac Julien, Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro. Image Courtesy of SCAD

Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Acquire Visionary Film Installation “Lessons of the Hour” by Isaac Julien
Press Release :: November 2

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum have jointly purchased the tour de force “Lessons of the Hour” (2019) by artist and filmmaker Sir Isaac Julien. The moving image installation interweaves period reenactments across five screens to create a vivid picture of 19th-century activist, writer, orator and philosopher Frederick Douglass (1818–1895). Through critical research, fictional reconstruction and a marriage of poetic image and sound, Julien asserts Douglass’ enduring lessons of justice, abolition and freedom that remain just as relevant today.

This is the first joint acquisition by the two Smithsonian museums, which share a historic building in downtown Washington, D.C., and is the first work by Julien to enter each of the museums’ collections. “Lessons of the Hour” is an important addition to the museums’ growing time-based media collections, joining a range of innovative works at the Smithsonian American Art Museum with holdings representing eight decades of media art, and examples of an expanded definition of portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery by leading artists such as Ja’Tovia Gary, Shigeko Kubota and Cecilia Vicuña.

“Isaac Julien’s important meditation on the legacy of Frederick Douglass resonates powerfully within the context of SAAM’s collection representing more than three centuries of artists engaging with the complexities of race and identity in America,” said Stephanie Stebich, the Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “‘Lessons of the Hour’ enhances SAAM’s growing time-based media collection, which also includes works by artists such as Arthur Jafa, Christine Sun Kim and Simone Leigh that advance the current civic discourse in their exploration of issues relating to civil rights, the ongoing struggle for equality and the legacies of slavery in the United States.”

“The immersive quality of the multi-channel installation allows visitors to be transported back in time to experience the intensity of an era when the nation was at odds with its founding ideals and on the precipice of a new way forward,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery. “The artwork beautifully communicates the weight of Douglass’ words as one of the nation’s greatest activists, but also illustrates Douglass’ belief in the power of portraiture as an effective medium for social change which had a tremendous impact on visual culture and representation in the 19th century and artists, including Julien.”

Douglass, a leading abolitionist, delivered thousands of lectures calling for an end to slavery and wrote extensively about portrait photography as a tool in the fight for freedom. He understood its power to capture the essential humanity of each subject and to be an engine of social change. “Lessons of the Hour” features passages from Douglass’ key speeches, including the titular “Lessons of the Hour,” “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” and “Lecture on Pictures.” Julien weaves together reenacted scenes from Douglass’ life and lectures, filming at his historic home in Washington, D.C., and a restaged studio of famed Black photographer J.P. Ball (1825–1904) as he makes a portrait of Douglass. Images of contemporary Baltimore—the city where Douglass was enslaved and escaped from bondage in 1838—including footage of fireworks and protests in 2015 following the death of Freddie Gray Jr. while in police custody,are interspersed as the struggle to make good on America’s promise of equality continues.

“Lessons of the Hour” was purchased by the National Portrait Gallery in part through the generosity of the Smithsonian Secretary and the Smithsonian National Board and Agnes Gund, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment.

The 28-minute work debuts for Washington audiences Friday, Dec. 8, and remains on public view through the United States Semiquincentennial in 2026. This one-room presentation, titled “Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass,” is organized by Saisha Grayson, curator of time-based media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Charlotte Ickes, curator of time-based media art and special projects at the National Portrait Gallery. It coincides with the National Portrait Gallery’s “One Life: Frederick Douglass” exhibition, on view through April 21, 2024, and “J.P. Ball and Robert S. Duncanson: An African American Artistic Collaboration” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum through March 24, 2024.

About the Artist

Born in London in 1960, Julien is a British filmmaker and installation artist whose work breaks down barriers between film, dance, photography, music, theater, painting and sculpture. Known as an innovator of moving-image installations, Julien often centers iconic African Americans—from Matthew Henson to Langston Hughes to Alain Locke—in his powerful cinematic narratives. His work is in the public collections of major institutions internationally, including the Tate (London), the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and Centre Pompidou (Paris), and it was recently the subject of a survey exhibition at Tate Britain. He is the Distinguished Professor of the Arts at the University of California Santa Cruz and is the recipient of prestigious honors including a knighthood. Julien lives and works between Santa Cruz and London.



BOPA announces awardees of 2 youth-focused arts grants
Press Release :: November 5

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) proudly announces the recipients of two youth-focused arts grants. The Arts in Action Arts Education Grant and the Youth Arts Advocacy Enrichment Grant are awarded by the Baltimore City Arts Council to individual artists and arts organizations in support of arts programs designed for Baltimore City youth.

“The benefits of arts programming for young people cannot be overstated,” says BOPA Interim CEO Todd Yuhanick. “I am thankful to each of the awarded artists and organizations for their support of young creatives, and I am deeply proud of BOPA for continuing to find new ways to elevate and amplify arts programming for Baltimore youth.”

The panelists who evaluated this year’s Arts in Action and Youth Arts Advocacy grant applications include writer and poet Alexander Spivery, freelance independent visual artist and arts educator Zoe Howell- Brown, and writer and Maryland Institute College of Art professor Unique Robinson. Both grants are made possible through the generous support of the Maryland State Arts Council.

“We are proud to award returning and new applicants this fiscal year, “says BOPA’s Arts Education Specialist Twi McCallum. “Overall, our grantees reflect a variety of disciplines from dance, instrumental music, creative drama, photography, writing, and more. Our pool also reflects a dynamic range of background audiences, from youth to re-entry populations, differently abled people, families, and the elderly. This funding reflects both the need and the power of arts education in Baltimore City.”

The Arts In Action Arts Education Grant supports arts education projects, classes, and/or workshops that take place in school, after school, or in local community settings for the 2023-2024 academic school year. Grants range from $1,000—5,000. This year, BOPA awarded 12 individual artists and arts organizations a total of $30,000 in educational grant funding. Those grantees are:

Arts Every Day
Baltimore Children’s Choir
Boys & Girls Club of Metro Baltimore
Capoeira Project
Creative Alliance
Fells Point Corner Theatre
Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center
Make Studio
Muse 360
Pierre Bonnet
Stop Our Mothers From Crying
Wide Angle Youth Media

The Youth Arts Advocacy Enrichment Grant provides funding opportunities for organizations with existing programs or those that would like to create youth programming focused on arts advocacy with Baltimore City youth. Six organizations are being awarded a total of $25,000 to fund resources and opportunities that will help our young people advance in the field of art and culture beyond performance or workshop experiences. Those organizations are:

Arts Every Day
Baltimore Family Alliance
Baltimore Youth Arts
Media Rhythm Institute
Sankofa Children’s Museum
The Girls Innovation Club

Funded programs include a workforce development program for teen girls, a program to engage young people inside local juvenile institutions, and the opportunity for youth to plan and lead a town hall for teens interested in emerging into creative industries., among others.

“Arts Every Day is thrilled to receive the support of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts to enhance two of our student programs,” says Julia Di Bussolo, Executive Director for Arts Every Day. “The Youth Arts Advocacy Enrichment Grant will support the BMore Youth Arts Advocacy Council, a program for high school students to develop leadership skills, engage local and state leaders, and advocate for the arts at the school, city, and state levels. And the Arts in Action Education Grant will provide stipends for our high school curatorial team as they develop the 8th annual 10×10 exhibit that will feature the artwork of over 300 Baltimore City Public School students.”

Visit BOPA’s website ( to learn more about both grants as well as the arts education and youth arts advocacy programs they are funding.



Photo courtesy of Peale Museum.

Art and science team up at Peale Museum’s ‘Chamber of Wonders’ exhibit
by Aliza Worthington
Published November 7 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Who among us hasn’t longed to have a conversation with a microbe?

Starting Dec. 15 at The Peale Museum, we’ll have our chance!

The Peale will present “Chamber of Wonders,” a multi-media exhibition created by an artist and marine biologist, who collaborated to create galleries displaying a series of hands-on installations telling the invisible stories of living microbes under the surface of the Chesapeake Bay.

“The artworks explore the social and poetic relationship between humans and non-humans, especially invisible critters affecting our everyday lives,” read the press release announcing the exhibit. “Photography, drawings, and objects with hand-made assemblages are integrated in experimental multi-media forms of live microbes, augmented reality [AR] and animation that’s informed live conditions streaming in from the nearby Chesapeake Bay water.”



Header Image: The Roller Wave, pop-up roller rink at Baltimore Peninsula. Image Courtesy of Baltimore Peninsula via Baltimore Magazine

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