BmoreArt News: Best Destinations from NYT, Baker Artist Awards, MLK Tribute Concert

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This week’s news includes: Baltimore makes NYT list of 52 top places to visit in the world, Stem and Vine combines plants and wine, The Dizz gets a second look, Baker Artist Awards on MPT, Baltimore’s Ghost Rivers, Nicole Salimbene at Latela Cutorial, The Rubell Museum’s gorgeous new book, BSO + B&O to honor MLK, a new Inner Harbor Coalition offers an alternative vision from developer David Bramble, The Club Car opens in Station North, Reggie Wells + Carl Grubbs memorials, and Pamela Crockett at Adkins Arboretum — with reporting from East City Art, The AFRO, The Baltimore Banner, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image:  Stem and Vine Owner Quincy Goldsmith and Kendrea Clark Goldsmith’s hands with a Ficus benghalensis, photo by Jill Fannon, from BmoreArt’s Journal of Art+Ideas: Volume 12, More is More.


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Visitors to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum take photos and examine a piece of art entitled “Cupid and Psyche” by Arvie Smith in the “Afro-Futurist Manifesto: Blackness Reimagined” exhibit on March 16, 2023. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

New York Times lists Baltimore among its top ‘52 Places to Go’ in 2024
by John-John Williams IV
Published January 9 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Want to visit one of the best destinations on the planet in 2024? Look no further than Baltimore. At least, that’s what The New York Times says.

The Gray Lady just dropped its list of the top 52 places to go this year and Charm City makes the grade along with destinations such as Paris, Maui, New Zealand (by train), Singapore and Geneva, Switzerland — just to name a few. (Check out the entire list here.)

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: New York Times lists Baltimore among its top ‘52 Places to Go’ in 2024



Quincy Goldsmith is the owner of Stem and Vine, a plant shop and bar in downtown Baltimore that seeks to serve as a hub for community and culture. Stem and Vine’s plants are organized by origin, and native to the Americas, Australia, and Africa. The shop also sells ceramics and art, largely made by women of color. Credit: AFRO Photo / Megan Sayles

Stem and Vine opens in Baltimore, cultivating a space for community, plants and wine
by Megan Sayles
Published January 6 in The AFRO

Excerpt: There are wine bars, and there are plant stores. But, what if the two were combined? Former metallurgical engineer Quincy Goldsmith has done just that in Baltimore with Stem and Vine. 

When walking into the business, located on the 300 block North Charles Street, you see not only plants from all over the world, but a full-service bar with space for fellowship and community.  Its tagline is “cultivating the art of living well.”

“When this came together I wanted Stem and Vine to be more than just houseplants,” said Goldsmith. “I wanted it to be more culture-based and to highlight the diversity in the world of houseplants– but also of cultures and how plants have been traditionally used.”

Read BmoreArt’s story featuring Stem and Vine here.


A rendering shows the proposed Harborplace development from the harbor view. Credit: MCB Real Estate.

Unhappy with a developer’s plan for revitalizing Harborplace, a group of private citizens has formed the ‘Inner Harbor Coalition’ to promote an alternative vision
by Ed Gunts
Published January 9 in the Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: With just over a month to go before City Council members start holding hearings on a private company’s $500 million plan to redevelop Harborplace, a group of Baltimore residents has formed a citizens’ coalition to promote an alternative vision.

The Inner Harbor Coalition is the name of a group that has been created to block MCB Real Estate’s plan to replace the existing Harborplace pavilions with two residential towers and other commercial development, and to show other ways the prime waterfront parcel can be revitalized.

Working with a lawyer, the group is exploring plans to put a question on the city ballot in November 2024 that would give voters a chance to prevent the sort of mixed-use development that MCB proposed and the increased private control of public land that it is seeking.



The 2023 Baker Artist Award Winners

2023 Baker Artist Awardees to be highlighted during January 19 MPT Artworks special
Newsletter :: January 8

Maryland Public Television (MPT) will profile the six winners of the 2023 Baker Artist Awards competition during a special Artworks episode airing on Friday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. on MPT-HD and online at The program will also be available to watch on the free PBS App and MPT’s online video player. A preview of Artwork’s 2023 Baker Artist Awards special and individual artist profiles can be found at

Now in its 15th year, the Baker Artist Awards celebrates the Baltimore region’s creative vitality and recognizes individuals with outstanding talent. Artists who create an online Baker Artist Portfolio and reside in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, or Howard County are eligible for awards. The 2023 winners were announced by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and the William G. Baker Jr. Memorial Fund in June, 2023.

Prizes are awarded to artists who exemplify a mastery of craft, commitment to excellence, and a unique and compelling vision across six creative disciplines: visual arts, inter- and multi-disciplinary work, music, performance, film/video, and literary arts.

The Baker Artist Awards has distributed $1.3 million in annual prize money since its launch in 2009. In 2023, one artist from each of the six artistic disciplines received a $10,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize. One of the six selected artists was also honored with the additional $30,000 Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize, taking home a total of $40,000.

2023 Baker Artist Award winners:

Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson (literary arts; Baltimore City – Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize winner) – Dickinson’s writings span multiple genres, including narrative nonfiction, journalism, short fiction, and memoir. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s, The Washington Post Magazine, and The Southern Review, among other publications. Dickinson has earned numerous awards and accolades for her work, and was named a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow.

Abdu Ali (music; Baltimore City) – Ali is a musician, producer, poet, and multidisciplinary artist who works in sound, video, and live performance. Ali has performed at MoMa Ps1, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Carnegie Museum of Art, and The Kennedy Center, and has had work featured in The New York Times, The Fader, and Elephant Magazine.

Oletha DeVane (inter- and multi-disciplinary work; Howard County) – DeVane’s multi-disciplinary work includes sculpture, mixed-media visual art, and video installations. Her work is on display in permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Museum of the Bible, and Museum of the Americas, and has been featured in publications including B’more Art Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, and The Washington Post.

Colette Krogol (performing arts; Baltimore City) – Krogol is a choreographer, director, performer, and filmmaker. She is co-artistic director and co-founder of Orange Grove Dance, whose dance and film works have been produced and presented by The Finlandia Foundation, The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Lönnström Taidemuseo, Museum of Zhang Zhidong, Raumars AIR, Officina Creativa, CerCCa, and Klaustrid at Skriduklaustir.

Margaret Rorison (film/video; Baltimore City) – Rorison’s work has shown at festivals including The Ann Arbor Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, SF CROSSROADS, Open City Documentary Film Festival, and Mono No Aware Cinema Arts Festival. Her experimental short films have earned her the ORWO Award for Best Cinematography at the Ann Arbor Film Festival and a special jury prize at the New Orleans Film Festival.

Jordan Tierney (visual arts; Baltimore City) – Tierney’s experiential found-objects art is made mostly from trash collected from Maryland’s natural spaces. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, Baltimore Museum of Art, and American Visionary Art Museum.

An encore broadcast of the 2023 Baker Artist Awards Special will air Saturday, January 20 at 8 p.m. on MP2/Create and online

The Baker Artist Portfolio website and associated awards were established by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund and are a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.  Artists wishing to be considered for the 2024 Baker Artist Awards must have an active portfolio on the Baker website by Friday, January 26 at 5 p.m.



The Rubell Museums Publish Comprehensive Catalogue of Collection Highlights and Artist Writings
Press Release :: January 4

The Rubell Museums are pleased to announce the release of Collection Highlights and Artist Writings, a new publication detailing the Rubell Family’s decades-long history of identifying, engaging with, and supporting leading artists of the day and building a world-renowned contemporary art collection. Serving as a testament to the Rubells’ mission of sharing their extraordinary collection with the public and championing the artists represented therein, this catalogue showcases the Rubell Collection’s unprecedented range, depth, and diversity.

Published by Rubell Museum / Contemporary Arts Foundation, the 288-page hardcover catalogue features a rich selection of artwork illustrations and writings by over eighty artists included in the Rubells’ collection of more than 7,700 artworks, among them many of the most illustrious contemporary artists of the past half-century. The publication also features an introduction by Juan Valadez, Director of the Rubell Museum, alongside a timeline of the Rubells’ collecting history and an index of the Rubell Museums’ travelling exhibitions and loan history, providing the most comprehensive overview to date of the Rubell Family’s ongoing work supporting the most compelling contemporary art and artists of our time.

The Rubells started building their celebrated contemporary art collection shortly after Don and Mera married in 1964, when they began visiting artists’ studios and acquiring art in New York. Their son, Jason Rubell, joined them in 1982 in growing the collection and curating exhibitions from its holdings, reflecting the multi-generational family passion for art. As the collection expanded, the Rubells opened their first Museum in Miami in 1993, which relocated to its current location in the city’s Allapattah neighborhood in 2019. In October 2022, the Rubell Family opened a second museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art in Washington, DC.



Photo from bs wise on Flickr. Creative Commons license.

BSO and B&O Museum join to honor MLK, Jr. with tribute concert
by Aliza Worthington
Published January 4 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will perform a special tribute to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. at the B&O Railroad Museum on the evening of Monday, Jan. 15, the day of the federal holiday recognizing King’s birthday and civil rights legacy.

The concert will honor King and the Freedom Seekers of the Underground Railroad in the 1884 B&O Roundhouse as part of the museum’s Underground Railroad programming and BSO’s Symphony in the City Series. “The event promises an unprecedented fusion of history and music,” according to the press release announcing the concert.

A new, original song will be premiered, commissioned by the BSO and written by Wordsmith, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Artistic Partner. “Network to Freedom” is an homage to those Freedom Seekers whose stories are told in the museum’s Underground Railroad exhibit. “The Underground Railroad: Freedom Seekers on the B&O Railroad” exhibit was unveiled in 2022, and the museum is designated as a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Site since 2021.



Installation View of Seed Scattering. Photo by Albert Ting courtesy of Latela Curatorial.

Nicole Salimbene Seed Scattering at The Silva Gallery x Latela Curatorial
by Olivia Niuman
Published January 8 in East City Art

Excerpt: On view through February 2nd, Seed Scattering is a solo exhibition of eleven collage tapestries by DC-based artist Nicole Salimbene. Created by rolling magazine pages and binding them together with gold wire, these highly polished collage tapestries look right at home in the lobby of the Silva, a recently constructed luxury apartment building. The space, a publicly accessible permanent collaboration with Latela Curatorial, highlights the work of artists from the DC region. While a ritzy apartment building may not be the first place one looks for cutting edge art exhibitions, Seed Scattering is a thoughtful and accomplished show that breathes new life into the arts landscape of DC and is well worth the trip.

The theme of seed scattering is apt for work that hides and reveals cues for meaning. In the exhibition catalogue, Salimbene gives us an idea of the intended reference of her practice and use of materials in this body of work:

“Birds have been scattering seeds in me for a while now…This year winged creatures entered my dreams. In that unconscious landscape, the seeds started to crack open. This work is the sprouting and hopefully seeding of a collective conversation with birds. It is my human response to their birdsong, to their planting.” – Nicole Salimbene



Ghost Rivers is a public art installation created by interdisciplinary artist Bruce Willen that traces the path of North Baltimore's Sumwalt Run, flowing underground into the Jones Falls. (Bruce Willen and Side A Photography)

Buried rivers flow underneath Baltimore. One artist wonders whether it’s time to dig them up.
by Daniel Zawodny and Krishna Sharma
Published January 6 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: The gentle hum rising through a rusted Remington manhole cover is the sound of a near ghost. Quiet but steady, audible only when traffic subsides and the hustle and bustle of a modern city street cooperate, flows a river, forgotten but not gone, and encased in an asphalt tomb.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: Buried rivers flow underneath Baltimore. One artist wonders whether it’s time to dig them up.



During Queerscape in June last year, performers took to the signature black and white stage, a focal piece of the soon-to-be Club Car cocktail bar. (Matti Gellman/Darius McKeiver)

“The Club Car” A Pop-Up Queer Cocktail & Cabaret
Press Release :: January 8

Located in the heart of Baltimore’s vibrant arts & entertainment district, Station North. “The Club Car” brings to you a queer focused venue and cocktail bar. From January 12 – February 25th, in collaboration with Central Baltimore Partnership; The Club Car will operate as a neighborhood pop-pop up bar located at 12 w. North Avenue in what was formerly THE WINDUP SPACE and later RITUALS.

Interim Director of Marketing & Communications, Co-Founder, Curator, Darius K. McKeiver also known as Stealya-Manz Blue, “Despite this city and specifically this area, having such a thriving queer scene, there is a lack of brick and mortar representation of that queer landscape. The Club Car is a gift to ourselves and our community – a queer, curated and operated space.” “The Club Car design lands itself in a Mod Dream World, celebrating interior train designs from the 1920s through the 1960s. It features a 14 seat cocktail bar, an intimate stage, billiards and lounge.” – Kitt Cescenzo and Ryan Haase (Designers)

Focusing on classic cocktails with a few twists the bar menu celebrates the past while developing a menu for the future with weekly recipes from Kitt Crescenzo (formerly of Modern Cook Shop, Pennyblack, Patterson Public House, 1157 Bar + Kitchen) and a rotating cast of local bartenders.

The Club Car hopes to develop this concept from “pop-up” into a sustainable arts mecca. With the community support and patronage over the upcoming weeks, The Club Car hopes to solidify its temporary location into a permanent location.

The Club Car will operate during the hours of 4 PM – 11 PM, Friday – Sunday and will be focusing on cabaret style performances including: drag, burlesque, musical theatre, comedy, opera and small scale instrumental and vocal collaborations.

Location: 12 W. North Avenue

“I grew up with The Windup Space and Rituals. Both venues at 12 W. North Avenue, provided safe spaces for queer artists of all backgrounds, while manifesting a stomping ground for emerging artists and celebrated veterans of the Baltimore art community. I miss them both dearly. Our hope is that The ClubCar will be a celebration of the building’s past, acting in tandem with a new, vibrant, creative and inclusive future. We hope that you will join us.”

Join us Friday January 12th from 6 PM – 11 PM for the Opening Reception of “Bad Casting and Other Questionable Decisions” Paintings by Alix Tobey Southwick. This Opening Reception is in collaboration with the “soft opening” of our Cocktail Bar and lounge with 8pm Performances by Ben Shaver (keys) @barishaver and Amber Wood (vocals) @bwaydiva.

See also:
The Dish: Will a pop-up bar and ‘gaggle of gays’ bring business to Station North?
by Matti Gellman
Published January 10 in The Baltimore Banner



The space at 300 W. 30th St., which was formerly Let's Brunch Cafe and, before that, longtime icon The Dizz. (Sophie Kasakove/The Baltimore Banner)

Dutch Courage owners aim to open ‘approachable’ spot in The Dizz building
by Matti Gellman
Published January 3 in The Baltimore Banner

The space of the long-beloved, former Baltimore watering hole, otherwise known as The Dizz, may be getting two new owners.

Brendan Dorr and Eric Fooy, co-owners of Dutch Courage in Old Goucher, announced in a Greater Remington Improvement Association meeting Wednesday night that they expect to close on purchasing the iconic 300 W. 30th St. building in late February.

In the most recent iteration, the space was the home of Let’s Brunch Cafe.

While there is no timeline for the impending restaurant’s opening, the business partners said they plan to curate the space in the style of a tavern.

For eager patrons, that means fewer cocktails, more late-night food and lower prices, Dorr said.

“We want everyone to come in and not feel like they have to spend a lot of money to enjoy themselves,” he said in the meeting.

Dorr explained that the restaurant will begin with providing evening service before expanding hours to lunch.

Both Dorr and Fooy have been working in the restaurant industry for 20 years. Since opening Dutch Courage four years ago, the pair said, they have been itching for the chance to create a more “approachable” eatery. Fooy lives in Remington and Dorr in Charles Village, making the former home of The Dizz, which shuttered in 2019, a close-to-home investment.

News of the team’s venture comes about eight months after the highly anticipated Let’s Brunch Cafe was shut down in the same spot.

“Our goal is to get it open as soon as we can,” Dorr said.

The pair received overwhelming approval from the Remington community, with a majority of the Greater Remington Improvement Association’s voting members electing to support the restaurateur as they attempt to transfer their liquor license into Fooy’s name for the new space.

No date has been set to do so, but Dorr hopes to be able to bring his case before the liquor board during the next available hearing on Jan. 25.

“It [the restaurant] will be something that will draw people to the neighborhood,” Dorr said. “We don’t want to take away from other businesses. We want to attract.”

This story was republished with permission from The Baltimore Banner. Visit for more.



Honoring Carl Grubbs
GBCA Newsletter :: January 9

This weekend, Baltimore lost a music giant. Our dear friend Carl Grubbs died leaving behind an amazing legacy and countless contributions to the music and broader communities of our region. A jazz saxophonist with a distinguished career as a  performer, composer, music educator and recording artist, Carl toured with his ensemble in major cities worldwide. Early in his career, he received extensive training from one of the music world’s greatest legends in jazz, John Coltrane.

Carl has received numerous awards in recognition of his work. He has twice been the recipient of the MSAC Traditions award as a jazz master, working with apprentices to pass on the traditions of improvised jazz music. His organization, Contemporary Arts Inc., run by his indomitable wife, Barbara, received a 2009 MSAC Traditions Project grant that culminated in his collaboration with Lafayette Gilchrist in a CD of the music of Marylanders who made significant contributions to the art form of jazz. In 2009, Mr. Grubbs received a Baker Artist Award from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund. In 2014, he was awarded a Rubys Project Grant. This Grant enabled him to revise and expand his original work, The Inner Harbor Suite Revisited: A Tribute to Baltimore for Jazz/String Ensemble.

The work of Contemporary Arts continues. Since 1997, they have provided music and dance training and jazz appreciation for youth ages 4 – 17 with the opportunities for youth campers to interact with and learn from professional artists. Activities include Field trips that enhance the summer learning experience of camp participants.

Our hearts go out to Barbara and the entire Contemporary Arts family. Details about the celebration of Carl’s life to follow.




So Impotent Our Wisdom, Oil Paintings by Pamela Crockett, on View Through March 1 at Adkins Arboretum
Press Release :: January 5

The pure joy and energy of Pamela Crockett’s swirling autumn leaves and dried pods bursting with seeds thoroughly upends the idea that the dying back of autumn into winter’s cold is a time of sadness. In her oil paintings on view in the Visitor’s Center at Adkins Arboretum through March 1, this Baltimore artist proves it to be a beautiful, ever-changing period crowning the whole cycle of the year. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Saturday, January 13 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Although there are smaller works included in the show, most of Crockett’s paintings are large and powerful. Studying the complex anatomy of plants with the aid of watchmaker’s lenses, she paints their intimate details larger than life and in color so vivid they’re almost scary. As animated as anything in the animal kingdom, a trio of crinkled sycamore leaves waves joyfully as they tumble across the canvas, while segments of sea oat grass recall an inquisitive water creature.

A fragment from a flower bulb on a friend’s coffee table first sparked Crockett’s interest in the cycle of decay.

“In it, I saw an ephemeral beauty,” she said. “The motion of its twisting, curling leaves described the story of its graceful demise. I keep wanting to look closer and closer, as if nature’s secrets and mysteries may reveal themselves if I get in close enough.”

The title of the show, So Impotent Our Wisdom, a phrase drawn from a poem by Emily Dickinson, gives a clue to Crockett’s deeper intent. These paintings are like a call to action. Irrepressibly alive and filled with fascinating details, sometimes including actual seeds or seaweed, they’ll entice you to think about how little we know of this complex and captivating natural world so threatened by human activity.

A veteran teacher of art at several colleges and universities, Crockett is steeped in the craft of paintings and uses its techniques to great effect. She starts each painting by drawing with graphite and colored pencil, then adds color and texture.

“The earliest stages of these oil paintings are very thin layers of colors that display the illusion of texture,” she explained. “I build up in thin layers using a lot of translucent colors. The colors are often applied by stamping with such items as sponges, cheesecloth, bubble wrap, and plastic. As the paintings progress, I build up the forms with actual texture, almost sculpturally.”

Many of the surfaces of Crockett’s paintings seem made by natural forces—the flow of water, the patterns left by the passage of wind, the scattering of seeds or stars across an open field of color. Looking closely, you can never be sure whether you’re seeing the vastness of the cosmos or the infinity of microscopic worlds.

The fleeting quality of the seasons and the fleeting nature of life on earth are captured in the dance of brilliant red oak leaves spinning across the surface of “Seasoning.” Materializing from a seemingly infinite background of blue, they twirl out across narrow bands of deep crimson pressing in from both sides. While the angular curves of the leaves also evoke unfolding flowers and flurries of birds (think autumn flocks and migration), the crimson bands and blue sky are sprinkled with flecks of color and tiny details including occasional strokes of green suggesting newly sprouting plants, a crescent moon and drops of paint that bloom like galaxies.

Far more than simply depicting autumn leaves, “Seasoning” evokes both the cycle of the seasons and the interrelationship of all the elements of the cosmos. Like all the paintings in this show, it will stick in your memory and urge closer consideration of the vitality and fragility of the natural world.

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through March 1 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 100 or [email protected] for gallery hours.



Reggie Wells, a celebrity makeup artist from Baltimore, was Oprah Winfrey’s makeup artist for three decades. (Courtesy of Reggie Wells)

Reggie Wells, a Baltimore native who was Oprah’s makeup artist for 30 years, has died
by John-John Williams IV
Published January 9 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Reggie Wells loved to recall how he would “beat the face” of celebrities — a positive slang term among makeup artists that meant applying makeup flawlessly to their skin.

And he beat the faces of the best, including Beyoncé, Halle Berry and former first lady Michelle Obama. Oh yeah, and he was also Oprah’s longtime personal makeup artist for 30 years.

Wells’ makeup work took him to South Africa, Australia and the Middle East, but the Baltimore native was equally comfortable transforming the faces of senior members of a retirement community in Park Heights. Wells died Monday after a long illness. He was 76.

The third oldest of seven children, Wells was the son of John Henry Wells, a bus driver, and Ada Wells, who worked as a nurse. He grew up in Baltimore County.



header image: Stem and Vine Owner Quincy Goldsmith and Kendrea Clark Goldsmith's hands with a Ficus benghalensis. From BmoreArt Journal of Art+Ideas: Volume 12

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