BmoreArt News: City of Artists, New BMA Exhibitions, Landis Expandis

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This week’s news includes:  BmoreArt’s City of Artists book project, BMA’s new exhibitions and installations, Beyond Video brings back movie rentals, The Kreeger Museum announces Kendall Buster exhibition, BMA to reopen Joseph Education Center with gamelike installations,  Landis Expandis is back to his art, DC’s Freight Gallery, a conversation between musicicans Tariq Ravelomanana and Jupie, Baltimore Beat compiles the Best and Worst of Baltimore Arts, a fashion show for grieving parents, and more reporting from Baltimore Beat, Baltimore Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Multimedia artist, performer and musician Raul de Nieves sits next to one of his artworks in a new exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art.



Photo by Vivian Doering Art by Derrick Adams

Inside the Gorgeous New Coffeetable Book, “City of Artists, Baltimore”
by Marion Winik
Published November 27 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: As BmoreArt founder Cara Ober explains in the introduction to the organization’s latest publication, “City of Artists, Baltimore” (218 pp., $60), this distinctive project grew out of her friendship with former Ivy Bookshop owner Ed Berlin. Combining their connections to and knowledge of the art and literary communities of the city, the pair set an ambitious course. “Our goal is nothing short of elevating the reputation of Baltimore as a model for other cities where art and culture form the legacy of place through the combination of many of the greatest minds that exist there,” Ober writes.

So, yes, it’s a booster project — but one with an exciting, diverse, and enormously talented cast. (See below for a complete list of artists and writers involved.) You may recognize some of the artists — John Waters at least, and Derrick Adams, who has the cover — but even if it’s largely news to you, as it was to me, it’s a stunning collection, with several works by each artist.

I discovered so much to love. Se Jong Cho’s color-block steamroom and spa ladies. Jerrell Gibbs’ narrative paintings about Black family life. The psychedelic installations of Phaan Howng. Voodoo-adjacent assemblages and objects by Oletha Devane and Joyce Scott. With so much of the work in bold, luscious color, the black-and-white photorealist charcoal drawings of Erin Fostel and photography of J.M. Giordano seem all the more sensuous. I’m only stopping with those few because I could go on too long.



"A Beautiful Nightmare" is the title of this chandelier artwork, which is part of an exhibit featuring works by artist Raul de Nieves in the East Lobby of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art.

New exhibits at the Baltimore Museum Art feature work by Raul de Nieves, Elizabeth Talford Scott and Women Printmakers of the WPA
by Ed Gunts
Published November 22 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: A lobby is a transitional zone in an office building, hotel or museum, usually the first space off the main entrance. So it makes sense that the subject of a new installation in the East Lobby of the Baltimore Museum of Art is about the many different kinds of transition in the natural world, from form to gender.

‘RauI de Nieves: and imagine you are here’ is the title of a multi-media installation by Mexican-American artist Raul de Nieves that opened Nov. 19 and will be on view until May 4, 2025.

The work fills the museum’s two-story East Lobby with a series of objects that are all inspired by transformation in the natural world, including “hybrid” figures that appear to be part human and part animal; a 27-pane faux stained glass window with images of cicadas and butterflies; and 999 clear resin flies containing colorful beads and strands of the artist’s hair.



Kevin Coelho, Greg Golinski, and Eric Hatch inside Beyond Video with dog Winnie. —Photography by Matt Rot

How Beyond Video Brought Back Movie Rentals
by Michele Wojciechowski
Published in the December issue of Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: The black-and-white exterior of Beyond Video on N. Howard Street looks like an optical illusion straight out of M.C. Escher. And that sense of disorientation continues with just one push of the business’ front door. Suddenly it’s the early aughts all over again, when renting DVDs and VHS tapes was still one of the hottest modes of entertainment.

From Erol’s to Blockbuster, back then, browsing the selection of the local video store was an event and an outing in its own right. And if you were lucky enough to belong to a neighborhood video store—such as Video Americain or Cranbrook Video—you would get to speak with actual cinephiles, real movie buffs who lived and breathed movies and could make recommendations tailored to your particular taste.

But streaming changed all that.



Kendall Buster, Model City (Constraint), 2016, paper, cardstock, foam-board.

The Kreeger Museum and Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art present “SOLSTICE”
Press Release :: November 28

The Kreeger Museum and Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA) are pleased to present SOLSTICE, a solo exhibition by sculptor Kendall Buster on view at The Kreeger Museum December 9, 2023 – February 24, 2024 in conjunction with her solo presentation, SEED, on view at Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art in Reston, Virginia. This exhibition, curated by Jaynelle Hazard, Executive Director of Tephra ICA, features the single installation Model City (Constraint) which suggests a sprawling landscape of brute forms, referencing both geometric abstraction and modernist architecture. In the exhibition, sunshine filters into the gallery, defining the works’ whorls and chambers in an unpopulated cityscape that seems filled with talking shadows.

“Kendall Buster’s Model City (Constraint) emphasizes the wise phrase – ‘Where there is light, there must be shadow, and where there is shadow there must be light.’” – Jaynelle Hazard

“We’re so pleased for this first-time partnership with The Kreeger Museum, through The Collaborative, to uplift and celebrate the work of DC art star Kendall Buster. Tephra ICA deeply values partnership and collaboration to help thoughtfully contextualize an artist’s work in the canon and it’s wonderful to work with an institution that shares these values,” says Tephra ICA Executive Director and Curator Jaynelle Hazard.

Kendall Buster earned a BFA degree from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC, and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. Additionally, she participated in the Independent Study Studio Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY.

Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues nationally and internationally including the Hirshhorn Museum, the American University Katzen Museum, and The Kreeger Museum in Washington, DC; Artist’s Space and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, NY; the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA; the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, MI; the Bahnhof Westend in Berlin, Germany; Commune 1 and KZNSA Gallery in South Africa; and more.

Buster’s work has been reviewed in ArtForum, Sculpture Magazine, The Washington Post, and more. She has been featured on NPR’s Morning Editionand was a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in the Arts. She currently lives and works in Richmond, VA and is a Professor and the Graduate Director in the Department of Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. […]



—Landis Expandis via Facebook

After Cancer Treatments, Landis Expandis is Getting Back to His Art
by Grace Hebron
Published November 16 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: During a stay in the intensive care unit in the wake of a Lymphoma diagnosis and resulting liver and kidney complications in May, local artist Landis Expandis was limited to intravenous feedings—leaving him understandably ravenous. But instead of letting that discomfort overwhelm him, he did what he does best—translated his feelings into art.

“As soon as my hands worked, I was back to drawing pictures,” he says, adding that he would use his iPad to sketch the foods he dreamed of, but couldn’t eat. It was a pathway for the diligent creator to return to doing what he loves.

Best known as the frontman of local rock and soul quintet All Mighty Senators, the Baltimore musician, DJ, and whimsical visual artist spent roughly two months in the hospital before moving to a rehabilitation center where he underwent six rounds of chemotherapy. He returned home in July, and, thankfully, has since received clean scans. But, as he points out, he still has a long road to recovery.



André De Shields. Credit: Photo by Lia Chang

Best (and Worst) of Baltimore 2023: Arts and Culture
Published November 28 in Baltimore Beat

Excerpt: Best Play Festival: Fells Point Corner Theatre’s 10x10x10 Play Festival

Fells Point Corner Theatre offered a play festival this August that showcased 10 plays with a rotating cast of characters from their 10-actor ensemble no longer than 10 minutes each. The festival explored themes of queerphobia, abortion, addiction, and the internal conflicts that rock our worlds and lay us bare to the emotional crisis of feeling. Each play was striking and creative while giving the audience a great opportunity to watch local actors in several roles. A few favorites from the bunch were “Birthday Manicure,” “The Screening,” “Monster Mash,” and “The Kvetching Tree.”



Derrick Adams. Dew Drop Inn. 2023. Baltimore Museum of Art Joseph Education Center. Photo by Mitro Hood.

BMA Reopens Newly Renovated Joseph Education Center on Dec 3
Press Release :: November 29

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announces the re-opening of its Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center with new opportunities for hands-on artmaking and interactive engagement for families, students, and art lovers of all ages. At the heart of the renovated and expanded center is a series of site-specific installations by internationally acclaimed artists Derrick Adams, Mary Flanagan, and Pablo Helguera, who each created experiences that encourage learning through play and physical connection. The 5,625-square-foot Joseph Education Center also includes new and refurbished classrooms for both dry and wet artmaking and a Wall of Wonder with tactile and digital displays that invite visitors to consider creative processes and activate their own imaginations. The center debuts on Sunday, December 3 with an Opening Celebration from 1 to 5 p.m. with opportunities to meet the artists and enjoy hands-on artmaking.

The renovation of the center was made possible by Baltimore philanthropists Patricia and Mark Joseph, who have been major donors to the BMA for over three decades. They established the center in 2015 with a $3 million gift and have contributed $2.5 million toward its reconceptualization. The transformation of the Joseph Education Center recognizes the evolving ways people learn, enables digital learning and enhanced global connectivity, and establishes more unified areas for intergenerational learning through interactions that prompt surprise, socialization, creativity, and further artistic inquiry. The renovation work was led by Quinn Evans, as project architect, and Whiting Turner, as the contractor.

“Patricia and I are delighted to experience the many new and exciting elements of the center that will certainly enhance learning and we hope also encourage a life-long interest in the arts,” said Mark Joseph. “It has been our pleasure to continue to support education at the BMA and we look forward to the many programs and opportunities that the center will help facilitate for students and visitors of all ages.”

“The dynamic experiences created by Derrick Adams, Mary Flanagan, and Pablo Helguera offer new ways of connecting with art and ideas. Their works, along with the wide range of other interactives in the Joseph Education Center, reflect our commitment to creating opportunities for learning and catalyzing creative engagement,” said Asma Naeem, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “We are grateful to Patricia and Mark Joseph for their generosity and vision in providing a welcoming space for families and helping us make the education center an even more vital space within the museum.”

See also:

Baltimore Museum of Art to reopen renovated education center with interactive installations, artmaking spaces, and more
by Marcus Dieterle
Published November 29 in Baltimore Fishbowl



credit: Emily Hofstaedter

“The Club Nobody Wants To Be In”: Bereaved parents find community at Baltimore fashion show
by Emily Hofstaedter
Published November 22 in WYPR

Excerpt: It’s the Friday before the fashion show. Donna Bruce is busy at her salon getting all of the last-minute details together.

The lighting is cozy. The decor is pink and sparkly. A Barbie doll of Black beauty mogul Madam C.J. Walker sits perched on a ledge next to a bottle of Narcan.

“You see I have my Narcan right up there. It’s because my son Devon was found unresponsive in his vehicle,” Donna said, pointing to the narcan and then to the framed portrait of Devon Wellington, her son who she lost to a heroin overdose in 2021.



Installation view of Dawn Whitmore, Something of Three at Freight Gallery (photo by Dawn Whitmore, courtesy Freight Gallery)

The DC Art Gallery Operating From a Freight Elevator
by Murat Cem Mengüç
Published November 27 in Hyperallergic

Excerpt: Turning an elevator into an art gallery may not be unheard of, but it’s still an uncommon impulse. Like a gallery, an elevator functions as a transient public space. However, transforming a machine designed to transport people and things between floors into a visual art showcase has its own quirks. According to Julia Bloom, director of the Freight Gallery in DC, an elevator serving as an art gallery embraces the “ephemeral” aspects of displaying art. And the term “ephemeral” precisely captures the sensation of witnessing one of her shows.

Visiting the Freight Gallery is inconvenient. The elevator is located in a building on the outskirts of Langdon, a historic neighborhood next to railroad tracks in Northeast DC, and equidistant to two metro stations. After you get off the metro, expect a 40-minute walk involving hills in order to reach the building. A bus ride from the station to the gallery takes at least 20 minutes, plus another 10 minutes of walking. If you instead bring a commuter bike, as I did, the hilly terrain and a massive Home Depot parking lot will color your 25-minute cycling journey.



Behind the Scenes of “Circle Falls”: Q&A With Baltimore Indie Artist Jupie
by Tariq Ravelomanana
Published November 28 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: [Editor’s Note: In this special musical edition of Baltimore Writers Club, Baltimore native and indie artist Jupie (Julius Unger Bowditch) is interviewed by his friend and colleague Infinity Knives (Tariq Ravelomanana). Jupie is celebrating the November 28 release of his new single and music video, “Circle Falls.” The short animated work is a collaboration between Jupie and artist Peggy Fussell, mother of one of Jupie’s best friends since preschool, Grace. In fact, Tariq and Jupie met at a wrap party Jupie attended with Grace for a film Tariq’s roommate produced. And Fishbowl literary editor Marion Winik (me) worked with Peggy Fussell on a regional travel story back at the turn of the century. Friendships and alliances between local creative artists are what the Baltimore Writers Club series is all about.]



Header Image: Multimedia artist, performer and musician Raul de Nieves. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art.

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