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BmoreArt News: Museum of Industry, The Afro’s Archives, 2024 MD Heritage Winners

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This week’s news includes: A William S. Dutterer profile in Forbes, a new corner bar exhibition at Museum of Industry, Pride Parade marches to a new location next year, SAAM has a new chairman, equity at the Pratt, Farm Alliance of Baltimore announces dinners, Synthesis installation at FAC, The Afro’s archives, 2024 Maryland Heritage winners, Black Sox memorial, and a new teen program at Black Cherry Puppet Theater — with reporting from Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Banner, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image:  Bill standing next to his painting ‘Guide’ in his studio c. 1985. via William S. Dutterer Trust Facebook page

News GIFs | GIFDB.com

 

 

Portrait of Dutterer on the streets of New York, 1980sSOURCE: THE WILLIAM S. DUTTERER TRUST

The Revival Of William S. Dutterer, An American Maverick
by Christos Makridis
Published February 16 in Forbes

Excerpt: William S. Dutterer, an artist with roots in the 1970s Washington, DC arts community, remains a figure cherished by those familiar with his work, but largely unrecognized by the wider public—a status partly shaped by his own choices. Dutterer, who passed away in 2007, was known for his commitment to creation over commercial success, spending most of his time in the studio rather than navigating the art market. But this year, the William S. Dutterer Trust will present “Seriously Cheeky: The Playful Pathos of William S. Dutterer,” opening at 6pm EST on March 8, 2024 free to the public.

Growing up between West Virginia and Hagerstown, Maryland, Dutterer’s early experiences and the visual culture of his upbringing—ranging from race cars to quilts—later found expressions in his artwork. His artistic journey began as a means to evade military draft, leading him from photography to painting, and eventually to the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) where he completed both his BFA and MFA. Dutterer’s teaching career spanned from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC to the New School in New York City (NYC).

Initially engaged with the abstraction movement and briefly associated with the Washington Color School, Dutterer’s work underwent a significant shift to figuration, reminiscent of the transition made by artists like Phillip Guston. This move, driven by a desire for a more personal connection to his subjects and a departure from the formulaic nature of minimalism, highlighted his originality but also may have impeded his commercial success.

 

 

The Baltimore Museum of Industry Celebrates the City’s Historic Corner Bars
by Lydia Woolever
Published February 19 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: There’s the long creak and sudden bang of a screened door as you enter the hottest new bar on Key Highway. To get there, first, you must walk through the corner store, over the black-and-white porcelain tile, past the fading boxes of McCormick spices and 25-cent cans of Eastern Shore tomatoes. But there in the back, beneath the tin ceiling, two chandeliers dangle above a few dozen beer bottles, beckoning visitors to come in and stay awhile.

The only other person in the place is Rachel Donaldson, who on this Thursday afternoon, just before happy hour, bellies up to the oak bar that she helped build for the latest permanent exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, “The Neighborhood Corner Bar,” which opened to the public this past October.

“Everything you see here is an artifact,” says Donaldson, the museum’s new curator, with the exception of the brass-railed bar top, which is a prop hand-built by volunteer John Reuter.

 

 

Baltimore Pride parade, festival could move this year
by John-John Williams IV
Published February 16 in The Baltimore Banner

The organizers of the annual Baltimore Pride Month events — including the festival and parade — are looking to move the festivities to accommodate growing attendance, which is projected this year to be 100,000 people.

A committee of 50 people will decide where the events will be held, choosing from five potential locations — including an area near the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Lyric Baltimore where Artscape was held last year. A potential move has created buzz and concern among the city’s LGBTQ community. The decision is expected to be made by the end of the month with an official announcement in March, according to organizers.

Other locations being considered include a space near University of Baltimore and several locations near North Avenue, according to committee member Tramour Wilson, senior director of advocacy and community engagement at the Pride Center of Maryland. The committee is also considering keeping the parade route and block party where it was held last year — in the Station North and Old Goucher neighborhoods — and extending it to nearby Johns Hopkins University.

Cleo Manago, executive director of Pride Center of Maryland, the state’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources to the LGBTQ community, defended the planning committee, calling it “very active” when asked about the potential move and the makeup of the committee.

Manago stressed that all of the gay bar owners in town are represented on the committee in addition to a majority of local organizations that serve the LGBTQ community.

“In a deliberate effort to foster inclusivity, this year’s focus involves broadening committee representation by incorporating community organizations serving the sexual gender minority community, as well as local bars and nightclubs. This initiative aims to ignite a sense of unity within our community,” Wilson said.

The theme for this year’s events, which will be held from June 10 to 16, is “Power of the Past, Force of the Future,” Wilson added.

The biggest reason why the committee is considering moving the festival is because of security concerns as attendance continues to grow, Manago said.

“Many of the factors concerning Pride are still under development or in process,” Manago added.

Wilson said that potential locations came from committee members.

Attendance at Pride events has exploded in recent years — up from 30,000 people in 2018, to 80,000 in 2022, to a record 90,000 in 2023.

“Pride planning is currently underway. We are not sure if there will be an increase to costs due to relocation. We just don’t know,” Wilson said.

Despite a growing number of attendees, implications of moving the current Pride parade from last year’s location in the Station North and Old Goucher neighborhoods of the city brings into question the state of Baltimore’s LGBTQ community.

The percentage of Maryland’s adult population that is LGBT is below the national percentage.

In Maryland, 5.4% of the adult population is LGBT, while the national percentage is 5.5% and in nearby Washington, D.C., which has the highest percentage of LGBT adults in the country, it is 14.3%, according to a report from the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law.

In Baltimore, the Mount Vernon area is known as the city’s gayborhood because it was once was the the thriving heart of gay bars, businesses, and culture, but it is now a shell of its former self.

News of the potential move of Pride has the gayborhood abuzz.

At Leon’s, which claims to be one of the longest continually open gay bars in the country, patron Karl Jacobs had mixed thoughts.

“I think moving Pride can be a good thing when it’s done for the right reasons and is intentional,” the Mount Vernon resident said. “If the move is to better accommodate more members of the LGBTQ+ community, then I see that as a good thing. However, Pride celebrations are also opportunities to showcase gayborhoods and queer communities — something that has been shifting in Baltimore for the last decade. Moving something like a festival makes more sense due to capacity versus a parade. The parade used to end here in Mount Vernon, now it doesn’t even cross North Ave.”

Some community members are questioning a potential move.

“I just think it’s shitty that they are being so clandestine with the move,” said veteran drag queen Stacey Antoine, whose stage name is Karmella. “Plenty of businesses plan on Pride happening in that designated area and it’s messing with their money. Also can we just commit to a location? Consistency is key. Otherwise people don’t know what is going on or where to go for Pride events because we are bouncing from place to place. It’s not right nor professional.”

Antoine, who was named Queen of Pride 2008 has been to every Baltimore Pride — in and out of drag — since 2005. His favorite location was when the block party was held at the corner of Eager and Charles streets when the now shuttered Grand Central and Hippo gay bars were open.

“It was pumping!” recalled Antoine, a 37-year-old Station North resident.

Andre Cawley, who is co-founder of the popular gay dance party, Sweet Spot, said he is excitedly waiting for the committee’s official decision before commenting about it. Cawley did add that Pride is important for the LGBTQ community in order to feel safe and to meet fellow LGBTQ people.

”I believe that Pride events are an opportunity for everyone to come together, to celebrate, and to speak out for our community,” Cawley said.

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

 

 

Courtesy of Robert Davidson, photograph by David Perry

Robert C. Davidson Jr. Appointed Chair of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Commission
Press Release :: February 15

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has announced today that Robert “Bob” C. Davidson Jr. of Pasadena, California, has been appointed chair of the museum’s board of commissioners for a four-year term. Davidson has been a member of the museum’s board since 2016 and was the chair of the collection committee from 2021 through 2023.

The museum’s board of commissioners was established in 1908 as an advisory board that meets twice a year in Washington, D.C., to counsel the director about matters of policy and fundraising, and to review proposed major acquisitions. Davidson is the first African American chair of the museum’s commission in the organization’s history.

“As a noted art collector and business executive, Bob Davidson brings important expertise and connections in the arts to this new leadership role,” said Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “He has championed the collecting mission of the museum as well as provided knowledge and experience of strategic, financial and public governance matters.”

Davidson is the retired chairman, CEO and founder of Surface Protection Industries, which in the past 30 years became one of the top African American-owned manufacturing companies in the United States. Prior to owning his own business, he co-founded and was vice president of the Urban National Corporation, a private venture capital firm that raised a fund for investments into U.S. minority-controlled businesses.

Davidson is an avid art collector with one of the country’s finest collections of African American art, which he and his wife, Faye, frequently have lent to major museums for public viewing. Davidson holds a bachelor’s degree and honorary doctorate of law from Morehouse College and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Currently, Davidson’s board affiliations include the Art Center College of Design (chairman emeritus); Broadway Financial Corporation; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (life member); City First Broadway; Jacobs Engineering; Morehouse College (chairman emeritus); The Huntington, Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens; Toyota Motor North America’s Diversity Advisory Board; and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business advisory council.

“I am incredibly honored to continue my work with the Smithsonian American Art Museum as chair of its board of commissioners,” Davidson said. “I believe wholeheartedly in its mission of sharing the stories of our nation through American art and craft to inspire reflection, spark dialogue and build connection. Since joining the commission in 2016, I am proud of the work we have done thus far and look forward to implementing the museum’s newest strategic plan and to strategically expanding the national collections.”

The museum’s commission currently is composed of 25 arts, business and community leaders from across the United States. The commissioners contribute a wide range of perspectives, professional experiences and collecting interests to help advance the museum’s mission.

 

 

ENOCH PRATT LIBRARY MAIN BRANCH. (COURTESY ANTHONY MCCRAY)

Equity at the Pratt goes beyond datasets and into the community
by Alanah Nichole Davis
Published February 19 in Technical.ly Baltimore

Excerpt: This 2023 nominee for the Technical.ly Awards’ Tech Community Leader of the Year category is dedicated to advancing equity.

According to its website, Enoch Pratt Free Library prioritizes inclusive community engagement and service delivery to align this commitment to equity.

The library system pursues that commitment through a range of initiatives in Baltimore City. M’Balu “Lu” Bangura, Pratt’s director of equity and fair practices, shared insights into her daily focus on developing and implementing such projects, including the recently launched Advancing Equity Dashboard.

 

 

2024 Field Notes Dinner & Dialogue Series Celebrates Heirloom Ingredients & Supports Farm Alliance of Baltimore
Press Release :: February 15

The Farm Alliance of Baltimore is thrilled to announce the launch of the 2024 Field Notes Dinner and Dialogue Series, an exciting culinary series that celebrates the richness of our shared foodways while supporting the thriving urban agricultural community in Baltimore City. Each dinner is a celebration of food, the visual arts, music, and historical genius. They will feature photgraphs from the I. Henry Phillips archives and specially commissioned pieces by Pierre Bennu of exittheapple, ceramicist Michelle Lorentzen, and Kenya Miles of Blue Light Junction.

This year’s series will consist of three dinners, each highlighting a unique and historically powerful ingredient: chocolate, Baltimore’s Fish peppers, and coffee. Caesar the chocolatier, Horace Pippen and Rose Nicaud will be the honored ancestors.

The first dinner held on March 17 will dive into the rich history of the cacao bean with a conversation led by Jinji Fraser, the creative force behind Jinji’s Chocolate in Baltimore’s Waverly neighborhood. Guests can look forward to a delicious dinner curated by Rosalyn Vera, the talented chef at Cocina Luchadoras, and a unique selection of cocktail pairings crafted by James Beard award-nominated mixologist Dre Barnhill from Bar Clavel.

“The ingenuity of Black people, their innovations and intellect, has steered American agriculture, food production, foodways, and environmental stewardship since before the birth of this country. Each dinner and the ancestral giant that we choose to highlight in this series will continue to bring that history to life,” says Farm Alliance Executive Director Denzel Mitchell.

The second dinner, to be held in September, will explore the role that the Baltimore’s Fish Pepper and enslaved African foodways played in shaping Chesapeake Bay cuisine. A special guest lecturer will share the fascinating origin story of the chile and how it is intertwined with famous painter, Horace Pippin. This dinner will be held at Woodberry Kitchen’s event space and will feature a specially curated menu by Spike Gjerde and other guest chefs. Gjerde, one of the region’s most renowned chefs and champion of local agriculture, played a vital role in the Fish Pepper’s revival alongside our Executive Director, Denzel Mitchell Jr.

Our third and final dinner in the series will delve into the historical legacy of coffee. The ancestor honored at this event will be Rose Nicaud who is known for her role in popularizing the drink, café au lait. Theis magical evening in November, in partnership with Thread Coffee Roasters and others, promises an insightful exploration of food, music, art, and coffee’s profound global impact.

Get Involved: Local businesses and organizations interested in sponsoring or collaborating with the Farm Alliance of Baltimore for this event are encouraged to contact [email protected].
Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with a fantastic group of professionals while supporting a worthy cause. Join us at the 2024 Dinner and Dialogue Series and be part of a movement towards a sustainable and thriving local food community.

 

 

FAC Announces “Synthesis” pop-up art installation and companion performance showcases at the FAC Art Center
Press Release :: February 20

“Synthesis” is a limited time pop-up art installation at the FAC Art Center located at 5 E 2nd St curated by the Frederick Arts Council through March 9th, 2024.

Artworks are featured in a multimodal dynamic art show and interactive installation accompanying a live music performance series. The pop-up installation and companion performances explore community, cohesion, and the promotion of unity through the arts. Synthesis is bold, vibrant and colorful. A Large scale installation centerpiece by artist Shane Acuff  invites a call to action to explore the natural world.

“Synthesis” Pop-up art installation artists include Shane Acuff, Dylan Zingg, Julia Schrechongost, Judith Kornett, GabyNobody, Andy Salfi, Blue, Sean Patten, and Nonestica. Artist installations are on both the first and second floors, performances occur on the second floor.

The first performance taking place Feb 10th consisted of a cross genre showcase featuring  three local acoustic musicians Andy Salfi, Sean Patten, and Kamyar Arsani. On Feb 17, Jeff Cosgrove performed the first in his three part jazz ensemble series. Visit the remaining segments of his series the third Saturday in March and April. The final installment of the FAC Art Center February Series is our second EDM Night featuring live performances from 3 local DJs including Dylan Zingg, Joey Two-Geez, and DJ Robin Hood on February 24th.

A bonus show on March 9th  features a lineup from Ponythomstevedrone (PTSD), Zootu and the Swamp Whompers which will conclude your chance to witness this unique pop-up installation. The FAC Art Center is open Tuesday-Sunday 11a-5p in addition to After Hours Series events.

For more information visit FrederickArtsCouncil.org.

Baltimore’s historically Black newspaper chain is sorting through its archives. Treasures are surfacing.
by Lillian Reed
Published February 18 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: An envelope of loose seeds. A forgotten reel labeled “Thurgood Marshall.” A mysterious locked filing cabinet belonging to an influential publisher.

Plenty of such unexpected treasures and time capsules tend to accumulate within a newspaper’s headquarters over the years. The cache amassed by the longest-running Black family-owned newspaper is another matter.

Inside a sprawling, windowless warehouse at the edge of Baltimore, a team of archivists is sorting through the AFRO American newspaper chain’s vast collection of records and artifacts. The more than 130-year-old publication at one time had editions in Philadelphia, Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., documenting aspects of Black history and everyday life that never made it to the pages of historically white newspapers.

An envelope of loose seeds. A forgotten reel labeled “Thurgood Marshall.” A mysterious locked filing cabinet belonging to an influential publisher.

Plenty of such unexpected treasures and time capsules tend to accumulate within a newspaper’s headquarters over the years. The cache amassed by the longest-running Black family-owned newspaper is another matter.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: Baltimore’s historically Black newspaper chain is sorting through its archives. Treasures are surfacing.

 

 

State of Maryland Announces 2024 Heritage Award Winners
Press Release :: February 8

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) has announced the winners of the 2024 Heritage Awards through its traditional arts program, Maryland Traditions. Recognizing long-term achievement in the traditional arts, nominations are accepted in three categories: Person or People, Place, and Tradition. Six awards are being provided this year, each including a $10,000 grant.

“This year’s Heritage Award winners reflect the traditions and enterprising spirit of communities from the Western Maryland mountains to the Eastern Shore,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “We’re pleased to shine a light on their work as examples of our state’s strong cultural fabric.”

Donald Owens has been a steward of Baltimore City’s African-American community theater tradition since the 1970s, particularly through his work with the Arena Players, the oldest, continually-operating, historically Black community theater in the country. As the Players’ artistic director since 2007, Owens passes down the tradition through community-grounded acting, directing, writing, and teaching. (Person or People award category)

Angel Rivera of Frederick is a master of the Puerto Rican percussion and dance traditions of bomba and plena, as well as the tradition of distilling pitorro, or moonshine rum. Rivera founded the first and only bomba and plena ensemble in the region and the only pitorro distillery in the continental United States. For more than forty years, Angel’s work has strengthened the sense of community in Maryland’s Puerto Rican diaspora. (Person or People award category)

The Pocomoke Indian Nation continues their centuries-long relationship with the lands and waters of the Pocomoke Homelands, located on the Lower Eastern Shore in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Referenced by English explorer John Smith in 1608 and in 17th and 18th century treaties with the English Maryland Colony, tribal members continue to live on their homelands, where they practice land and water stewardship and educate the public about their tribal history and culture. (Place award category)

Founded in 1972, Carroll County’s Deer Creek Fiddlers’ Convention is a supportive space in which musicians, dancers, singers, and songwriters from diverse traditional music backgrounds can connect, learn from one another, and compete. Prizes are awarded for performance on various instruments and in genres including old-time, bluegrass, folk, blues, and Celtic music. (Tradition award category)

The Emerald Isle Club of Baltimore County was formed by Irish immigrants in 1956 to keep Irish traditions alive. Through monthly ceilis, or dances, and other events, the club offers all Marylanders opportunities to experience Irish music, dance, language, literature, and other aspects of Irish culture. (Tradition award category)

On Frostburg Derby Day, children race small, homemade derby cars down Main Street in Allegany County while families and local business sponsors cheer them on. Organized by the Frostburg Elks since 1977, the tradition grew from the soapbox derby craze of the 1930s and 1940s. In some families, derby racing cars have achieved the status of family heirlooms, with as many as three generations of drivers having used the same car. (Tradition award category)

“The Heritage Awards are the Maryland State Arts Council’s effort to connect the arts with history, culture, and community,” said MSAC Executive Director Steven Skerritt-Davis. “Through the public nomination and review processes that help us determine the winners, this program shows that creative expression happens on a grassroots level just as often as it does in the gallery or the concert hall.”

Heritage Awards have been awarded annually since 2007 in honor of Dr. Alta Schrock, a Garrett County community leader who taught biology at Frostburg State University and founded groups, events, and publications to support traditional arts in Appalachian Maryland and beyond. Dr. Schrock’s legacy and work are a continuing source of inspiration for the Heritage Awards today.

To date, the council has provided 60 Heritage Awards. Previous winners can be viewed in the Maryland Traditions Archive. MSAC will accept nominations for the 2025 Heritage Awards beginning this fall. Check msac.org for updates.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Donald Owens; Angel Rivera; Pocomoke tribal elder Bud Howard, at left; a race at the Frostburg Derby Days; a ceili at the Emerald Isle Club; and late fiddler Claude Martin, after whom a Deer Creek Fiddlers’ Convention prize is named. Images by Christopher Myers Photography, courtesy of Baltimore Magazine; Edwin Remsberg Photographs; Ken Koons; Frostburg Elks Lodge #470; Emerald Isle Club; and Pam Zappardino, courtesy of Common Ground on the Hill, respectively.

 

 

Baltimore Black Sox (Photo from Parks & People)

Baltimore Black Sox Memorial moves into next phase: community engagement
by Aliza Worthington
Published February 15 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: This Black History Month coincides with an exciting milestone in the development of the Baltimore Black Sox Baseball Team Memorial: the community outreach and engagement phase.

The Baltimore Black Sox were a professional Negro League baseball team from 1913 to 1936, and in 1923 they became one of the original six teams to form the Eastern Colored League. They won the American Negro League Championship in 1929 – a season in which they won over 70% of their games.

The memorial project’s goal is to commemorate the legacy of the Baltimore Black Sox Negro League Baseball team and “celebrate the resilience of diverse communities in Baltimore,” reads the press release announcing the new phase.

 

 

Free arts program for Baltimore youth ages 14-17 at Black Cherry Puppet Theater!
Press Release :: February 15

Purim Teen Crew is an exciting new, free program for teens, co-hosted by the Jewish Museum of  Maryland & Black Cherry Puppet Theater

Participating teens (youth ages 14-17) will gain service-learning hours for attending free multimedia art workshops focused on learning about Purim, art, puppetry, and set design. The workshops will culminate with the rehearsal and production of a Purim spiel that will be performed for a family audience at the Black Cherry Puppet Theater on Sunday, March 24, 2024.

This is a great opportunity for Baltimore students interested in puppetry, set design, performance, or learning about theater traditions from different cultures. Participants do not have to be Jewish to join.

Why Join?

-Earn service-learning hours while learning about puppetry, art and theater.
-Help build sets and puppets for the Purim Spiel.
-Participate in the Purim Spiel as cast or stage-hand members.

What is Purim?

Purim is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated with costumes, puppets, and a creative performance, called a spiel, which means play in Yiddish. The Purim spiel is traditionally a performance that retells the Purim story from the biblical Book of Esther while also providing commentary on current events.

Where?

Black Cherry Puppet Theater, 1115 Hollins Street-Baltimore, MD 21223

When?

1. Sunday, February 25: Workshop from 1:00 to 2:30 PM
2. Sunday, March 3: Workshop from 1:00 to 2:30 PM
3. Sunday, March 10: Workshop from 1:00 to 2:30 PM
4. Sunday, March 17: Workshop from 1:00 to 2:30 PM
5. Saturday, March 23: Dress Rehearsal from 1:00 to 2:30 PM
6. Sunday, March 24: Spiel Public Performance from 1:00 to 2:30 PM
7. Sunday, April 7: Post-Spiel Celebratory Pizza Party from 1:00 to 2:30 PM

Go to tinyurl.com/PURIMSPIELTEENCREW to register

Any questions?
Email JMM Communicatons & Public Art Coordinator, Naomi Rose Weintraub, NWeintraub@jewishmuseummd.org

 

 

header image: Bill standing next to his painting 'Guide' in his studio c. 1985. via William S. Dutterer Trust Facebook page

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