BmoreArt News: New Worlds at NMWA, BOPA’s Exhibition Schedule, ND Stevenson

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This week’s news includes: New Worlds exhibition at NMWA, BOPA releases exhibition schedule, ND Stevenson’s graphic novel up for Oscar, North Avenue Market acquired by diverse group, Alvin Pettit sculpts Harriet Tubman, The Walters’ Ethiopia at the Crossroads profiled, docuseries follows BSA students, Reef Book Club returns, Nations Photo Lab, The Peale wins a Buildy Award, and augmented reality brings Black Baltimoreans to life  — with reporting from Hyperallergic, Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Banner, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Marina Vargas, Intra-Venus, 2019–21; Carrara marble, 77 ½ x 26 ¾ x 26 in.; Courtesy of the artist; Photo by Oak Taylor-Smith. National Museum of Women in the Arts

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Mona Cliff/HanukGahNé (Spotted Cloud), Past/Presence/Future, 2020; Gas mask, seed beads, smoked brain-tanned hide, acrylic paint, Oklahoma red dirt, and matte medium; 41 x 10 x 5 in.; Great Plains Art Collection, Museum purchase through the generosity of Lincoln Community Foundation and BNSF Railway Foundation; Photo by Bill Ganzel, Ganzel Group Communications

New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 exhibition opens April 14 at Women’s Museum
Press Release :: March 5

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024, the largest edition of the museum’s longstanding series featuring international emerging artists. Opening April 14, the exhibition highlights the work of 28 visionary artists who imagine alternate realities. With perspectives that shift across geographies, cultural viewpoints and mediums, the artists inspire viewers to envision different futures. New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 is on view through August 11, 2024.

During the past few years, artists have seen the world transformed by a global pandemic, political division, climate change and advocacy for social reform. Their responses to these extraordinary times—in paintings, sculpture, photography, installation, video and textiles—highlight their visions for creating or re-creating a new world, whether exploring facets of the past, present or future. The exhibition will be accompanied by performances and artist talks, to be announced in the coming months.

“The artists in New Worlds, many who have created work specifically for this exhibition, are being recognized for challenging today’s status quo, encouraging us to see issues from multiple viewpoints and envisioning different futures than most of the rest of us can possibly imagine,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling.

Presented every three years, the Women to Watch series is a dynamic collaboration between the museum and its global network of outreach committees. The national and international committees participating in New Worlds worked with curators in their regions to create shortlists of artists. From this list, NMWA curators selected the artists and works to exhibit at the museum. The second major exhibition after NMWA’s reopening from a transformative multi-year renovation, New Worlds will immerse visitors in the museum’s renewed gallery spaces. The exhibition features seven works created specifically for NMWA, including several site-specific installations.

Representing the museum’s outreach committees, New Worlds features works by Irina Kirchuk (Argentina), Saskia Jordá (Arizona), Aimée Papazian (Arkansas), Nicki Green (Northern California), April Banks (Southern California), Meryl McMaster (Canada), Francisca Rojas Pohlhammer (Chile), Ana María Hernando (Colorado), Randa Maroufi (France), Marianna Dixon Williams (Georgia), Sophia Pompéry (Germany), Rajyashri Goody (India), Hannan Abu-Hussein (Israel), Irene Fenara (Italy), Ai Hasegawa (Japan), Mona Cliff/HanukGahNé (Spotted Cloud) (Greater Kansas City Area), Daniela Rivera (Massachusetts), SHAN Wallace (Mid-Atlantic Region), Alexis McGrigg (Mississippi), Eliza Naranjo Morse (New Mexico), Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya (New York), Migiwa Orimo (Ohio), Graciela Arias Salazar (Peru), Marina Vargas (Spain), Arely Morales (Texas), Noémie Goudal (U.K.), Molly Vaughan (Washington) and Sarah Ortegon HighWalking (Wyoming).

Some artists consider how public and private spaces are gendered, offering alternatives to the status quo. Others explore the idea of place itself, addressing the movement of people across geographies, generations and even planes of existence. Several artists use digital strategies to probe topics such as environmental values, bioethics and artificial intelligence. Artists also look to the power of communities to shape identity or question the nature of time, tradition and collective memory.



Press Release :: February 29

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) presents the 2024 exhibitions lineup for the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, School 33 Arts Center, and Top of the World’s Gallery in the Sky. These exhibitions are supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the generosity of the Maryland State Arts Council.


BOPA’s 2024 exhibits begin with Emerge: Vol. 3, Spring Edition. Now in its third year, the Emerge Baltimore exhibition series serves as a platform for local rising artists to show their work in the historic galleries of the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. Emerge: Vol. 3, Spring Edition kicks off on Thursday, March 21, with a public opening reception from 6:00–8:00 p.m. to celebrate the solo shows of Xavier Hardison, BlissArmyKnife, and Jennifer McBrien.

Xavier Hardison works in stone, creating tablet paintings and gravity-defying sculptures from found boulders. His exhibition, “ORIGIN,” will be presented on the ground floor in the Lobby Gallery. The Mezzanine Gallery will host painter BlissArmyKnife’s show, “Let’s Play!” To Bliss, the canvas is an opportunity for novelty and world building — a place without gravity or limits, where anything can happen. The third floor Members Gallery will exhibit the work of Jennifer McBrien — an artist on a mission to transform fabrics into fine art. In “Unraveling Threads,” McBrien “paints” with thread, weaving in her love of birds, plants, and form, stitching history and nature throughout her pieces.

The Emerge: Vol. 3, Spring Edition will be on view from March 21–May 27, 2024. Gallery hours are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. by appointment and Saturdays during Bromo’s public hours from 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Curated by BOPA’s Public Art & Curation Manager, Kirk Shannon-Butts, Emerge: Vol. 3 will also feature Alexander D’Agostino, kolpeace (Christopher Johnson), and Ali Mirsky in the Summer Edition, and Sheila Crider, VILLAGER, and Antoinette Myers Perry in the Fall Edition. Themes for this year’s exhibition series include artists over 60, LGBTQ issues, the environment, immigrants, and the evolution of Baltimore City via the arts. “Emerge Baltimore reinforces the vibrancy and resiliency of the city. Baltimore houses so much talent and so many unique voices. There is a Baltimore Movement taking place in the art world and the nation is slowly taking notice of the tremendous artists who are based here,” says Shannon-Butts.


The Gallery in the Sky at Top of the World will unveil its new Peak Artists Series on Thursday, April 4, 2024, with a free, public reception from 6:00–8:00 p.m. to celebrate the opening of Korean American multidisciplinary artist Tae Hwang’s exhibition, “Buildings, Objects, and Systems.” Born in Korea and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Tae now calls Baltimore home. Her new body of work captures her views on American life, corner store iconography, and the architecture that surrounds and constructs communities.

On Thursday, June 20, from 6:00–8:00 p.m., Tae Hwang will be in conversation with photographer and author of “West Baltimore Ruins,” Shae McCoy, at Top of the World. This event will be free and open to the public. “Buildings, Objects, and Systems” will remain on view through Sunday, June 23, 2024.

“Exhibitions at Gallery in the Sky have proved to be extremely successful with solo shows from Ernest Shaw, Kei Ito, and Kim Rice, just to name a few,” says Shannon-Butts. “This year, we have named it the Peak Artists Series to highlight Baltimore-based artists whose work explores the duality of being born outside of the U.S. while now residing in it. This provides Baltimore’s creative ecosystem with another viable platform to showcase their work and an immersive cultural experience featuring the very best creative talent based in Baltimore.”

Gallery in the Sky’s Fall Peak Artist is Ainsley Burrows, who comes to Baltimore from Kingston, Jamaica by way of Brooklyn, New York and now lives in Harwood. Ainsley is a multidisciplinary artist — as well as a poet, musician, and performer — and he uses his experience and talents in these areas to add depth to his series-based paintings. The Fall Peak Artist Exhibition opens at Top of the World on September 10, 2024.


BOPA will produce three exhibitions this year at School 33 Art Center in South Baltimore. Like Bromo, School 33 houses working artist studios in addition to its gallery spaces.

Beginning Thursday, June 6, 2024, there will be an exhibition of work from past winners of the Municipal Arts Society of Baltimore (MASB) Artist Travel Prize. This prize, awarded by BOPA in partnership with MASB, is intended to function as funding for travel essential to an artist’s studio practice that an artist may not otherwise be able to afford. Prize recipients have traveled to Japan, Brazil, England, Mexico, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and more. The Travel Prize Exhibition will be on view from June 6–July 21, 2024.

The School 33 Residents’ Exhibition will coincide with Open Studio Tour Weekend, October 5–6, 2024, during Free Fall Baltimore. Then, from September 26–November 3, BOPA will host the first exhibition in the Guest Curator Series, where a prominent, nationally-recognized gallerist will activate the galleries of School 33 with Baltimore-based artists.

By producing exhibitions year-round in these iconic spaces, BOPA is providing more paid opportunities for Baltimore-based artists to show and sell their work — a need that local creatives have identified. In addition to increased income opportunities for working artists, activating these galleries also gives Baltimoreans the opportunity to connect with art and the city all in one.



MICA grad’s “Nimona” up for Best Animated Feature Oscar
Press Release :: March 6

Nimona, the Netflix original adaptation of ND Stevenson’s graphic novel of the same name, has been nominated for Best Animated Feature in the upcoming 96th Academy Awards.

Nimona follows the titular shapeshifter and her companion, Ballister, as they seek to bring about justice and clear their names. Nimona’s shape-shifting abilities and the often negative perception of them reflect an allegory to Stevenson’s trans experience. As Stevenson recently shared in a New York Times profile, “Coming from a really conservative family and the evangelical church in the South, the story is definitely a reaction to that.”

Stevenson, a 2013 graduate of MICA’s Illustration program, has spoken openly about how his experience at Maryland’s premier art institution shaped his professional art journey. MICA has offered many students a first-class arts education and prepared them for careers across the cultural and media landscape, including filmmaker Abbi Jacobson, artist Jacolby Satterwhite, and video game designer Jenna Yow.



Diverse Collaboration of Partners Acquire Historic North Avenue Market
Press Release :: March 4

In a testament to the vibrant spirit of Charm City, a dynamic consortium of partners comprised of community-based non-profit organizations, developers, and artists under the banner of the of North Avenue Market Development, LLC have successfully acquired the iconic North Avenue Market located in the heart of the Station North Arts District at 10-30 W North Ave.. The March 1 acquisition marks a significant milestone in the revitalization efforts of Central Baltimore and the broader city. The building was sold for $3.25 million and includes the transfer of a liquor license from longtime owners Mike Shecter and Carolyn Frenkil. North Avenue Market Development, LLC is a joint-venture partnership between the Central Baltimore Future Fund (CBFF), Central Baltimore Partnership, and Twenty-Two Lanes Development LLC.

Layered funding for the purchase included Maryland capital funds appropriated by the General Assembly, which was supported by Sen. Cory McCray and former Del. Maggie McIntosh; lending from the nonprofit revitalization lender founded by Baltimore City, the Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund (NIIF); the sellers; plus capital grants from Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Johns Hopkins University to support the activation of vacant property. The building’s renovation is estimated to cost $30 million, and the new owners have received $4.78 million in Maryland Revitalization Historic Tax Credits in 2023, the largest award last year and one of the largest in recent history.

With 57,000 square feet, plus a 40,000- sq.-ft. basement, the historic building’s expansive space is poised to accommodate a diverse array of tenants, and the redevelopment of this historic landmark represents a pivotal opportunity to further invigorate Station North. One of the unique aspects of this acquisition is the collaboration of the purchasers and sellers with new interim tenants who are activating the iconic building as the redevelopment takes shape. Notably, new anchor tenant Mobtown Ballroom & Café has already made its mark, bringing renewed energy to the corner of North and Maryland Avenues following its relocation from Pigtown; as has The Club Car Baltimore, a queer performance venue and cocktail bar; Baltimore Youth Arts, a nonprofit youth arts education organization; and Currency Studio, a clothing and lifestyle goods designer and retailer.

Ellen Janes, Executive Director of Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP), which coordinated the collaboration, and is the parent organization of the Central Baltimore Future Fund, emphasized the group’s vision for an art-centric development plan that celebrates Station North’s identity as a thriving arts and entertainment destination. “Our aim is to foster an environment conducive to artistic experimentation, creativity, and serendipitous encounters—the very essence of innovation and collaboration,” she remarked.

The North Avenue Market acquisition was made possible through the collaborative efforts of CBFF and Twenty-Two Lanes, and with crucial support from state and NIIF backing. Acknowledging the indispensable role played by pro bono legal services provided by Ballard Spahr, the acquisition represents a testament to the power of community-driven revitalization initiatives.

“In Baltimore City, redevelopment projects such as North Avenue Market are very challenging. It will take time and support from both the public and private sector for us to secure the necessary financing and leasing commitments,” said John Renner, Manager of Twenty-Two Lanes. “In the meantime, we are investing significant time, energy and money into activating the building as it allows us to test concepts that could be part of the future development.”

Built by private developers on the site of Confederate General Bradley T. Johnson’s former residence, North Avenue Market was billed as “Baltimore’s largest enclosed sanitary market” when it opened in 1928. Thronged by nearly 50,000 visitors on its opening day, the market’s twelve retail shops and 22-lane bowling alley were soon joined by more than two hundred grocery vendors. Despite this early success, North Avenue Market was hit hard by both the Great Depression and the end of World War II, both of which led to declines in its customer base. After being struck by a six-alarm fire in August 1968, much of the market’s core was left vacant and abandoned.*

Lauren Kelly-Washington, a community leader in Greenmount West and Chief Operating Officer for the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, praised the legacy of Center City Inc. (the Shecter/Frenkil entity that is selling the Market) and expressed confidence in the Market’s future success as a beacon for authentic cultural expression and entrepreneurial ventures. “The innovative and community-minded legacy Center City Inc. leaves, and the current and future success of the Market is and will be that much stronger and vibrant because of what they created, thereby investing in new businesses and ventures and startups staying true to the authentic culture of the Arts District.”

In addition to the North Avenue Market, CBFF had a pivotal role in launching transformative redevelopment projects including Town Hall, Odell’s, and Voxel Theater, further solidifying its reputation as a catalyst for positive change in Baltimore’s urban landscape.

*Baltimore Museum of Industry website:<

About Central Baltimore Future Fund (CBFF)

Central BaltimoreFuture Fund (CBFF) is a coalition of community-based organizations, developers, and artists dedicated to fostering inclusive and sustainable urban development initiatives in Baltimore. Through strategic partnerships and innovative approaches, CBFF seeks to revitalize neighborhoods, preserve cultural heritage, and create vibrant spaces accessible to all members of the community.



Baltimore sculptor Alvin Pettit is creating a 15-foot statue of Maryland native and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The artwork will stand in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall.

A labor of love for the City of Brotherly Love: Baltimore artist to sculpt Harriet Tubman
by Penelope Blackwell
published March 1 in The Baltimore Banner

You could say Baltimore sculptor Alvin Pettit has drawn closer to his own higher calling in his new project honoring famed Maryland abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Pettit will create nearly a 15-foot clay sculpture to sit permanently in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall. Expected for completion in the summer of 2025, Pettit said he took influences from his Baltimore upbringing when designing the Tubman statue when the City of Brotherly Love put out a call to artists.

Born in Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Tubman is revered for escaping enslavement in 1849 and becoming a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She faced extreme risk when she returned multiple times to lead 70 African Americans to freedom before the outbreak of the Civil War.

Out of about 50 artists nationally, Pettit was selected for his 18-inch model design titled ‘A Higher Power,’ that will feature Tubman standing on top of a Confederate flag as the “oppressive” obstacle that she conquered, he said.

“The reason I call it ‘A Higher Power’ is because I show her with her battle and military gear in which she’s seldom seen in,” Pettit said. “And I show her with her arms in a premium position, because even though she’s fully locked and loaded, with her gun and a pistol, she’s not using any of those. She’s actually calling on a higher power to her to get her through her own obstacles.”

Pettit, a 53-year-old who grew up in the city’s Ashburton neighborhood, was infatuated and creating comic books as a child.

In the early ’80s, he received his formal training at the Maryland Art Institute, Baltimore’s School for the Arts and Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts.

“I was a big comic book fan and collected comic books. And I started doing that early on, and I would draw superheroes and make up my own superheroes. … And when I went to college in New York, my original ambition was to actually become a comic book artist. But then I was exposed to a lot more museums, art from different periods in history, and was exposed to different mediums and different genres of art and the fine arts,” Pettit said.

“I quickly realized I didn’t like sitting at a drafting table for panel art. I quickly moved more into large scale paintings and sculptures because I like the physicality of it,” he added.

But the action poses and the heroic stances in Pettit’s depiction of Tubman are influenced by his love of comic book art.

Though it’s shut down now, Pettit recounted going into a church affiliated with his former elementary school, St. Michael’s on Wolfe and Lombard streets, and seeing a statue of an archangel. It was where he drew the inspiration to place Tubman atop the granite block her small frame, yet militant pose, he said.

“I grew up in a time in Baltimore where I didn’t have the privilege of seeing people in public art that looked like or represented me or other African Americans, or just any kind of diversity. And so, I feel passionate about the fact that, you know, I get to help now add to the narrative of telling the story that is just now starting to be told in public art about African Americans,” Pettit said.

Pettit will spend six months using an oil-based clay to begin the sculpture, but other materials will include a steel armature and carbon foam to carve all the detail into clay. Once the molds are completed, another six months will be needed for the sculpture to be cast in bronze before it will be placed atop a granite base in front of City Hall.

“To be commissioned for a figure as audacious as Harriet in Philadelphia, which is obviously one of the oldest cities … when we talk about the founding of the country, that’s even more of a like a shining star on it, because she’s going to be right there in such a historical city where there are many monuments all around that tell the story of the founding of the country … That’s pretty significant to me,” Pettit said.

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

You could say Baltimore sculptor Alvin Pettit has drawn closer to his own higher calling in his new project honoring famed Maryland abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Pettit will create nearly a 15-foot clay sculpture to sit permanently in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall. Expected for completion in the summer of 2025, Pettit said he took influences from his Baltimore upbringing when designing the Tubman statue when the City of Brotherly Love put out a call to artists.



Theo Eshetu, "Brave New World II" (1999), multimedia and video installation (courtesy Walters Art Museum)

Ethiopia’s Art at the Crossroads of Traditions
by Nandini Pandey and Lauren Cook
published February 28 in Hyperallergic

Excerpt: Dark-eyed saints and apostles parade across a long stitched goatskin in robes of red, yellow, green, and blue. These holy figures are paired in conversation across accordion folds that raise the parchment into three dimensions, hinting that their dialogue transcends the page. This 15th-century painted manuscript, when not stored between wooden boards, was unfolded into a circular fan that led generations of worshippers in liturgical procession. The nearby sounds of a local Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of the Feast of St. Arsema and murmur of enraptured visitors testify to the living communities that Ethiopia’s ancient treasures continue to convene.

This painted fan, the only one of its kind in the United States, summarizes the themes of Ethiopia at the Crossroads at the Walters Art Museum. Compiling over 220 artifacts spanning almost two millennia, the show unfurls continuities between past and present across East Africa’s rich artistic traditions.



Photo via Baltimore School for the Arts

BSA docuseries follows a year in the life of Baltimore School for the Arts students
by Aliza Worthington
published March 6 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: It’s not the movie “Fame” — it’s better because it’s real life.

“Madison & Cathedral” is a docuseries entirely written and produced by the students at Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA). The series, projected to be six episodes, covers a year in the life of the school and its students. The largest student-led professional development project the school has ever undertaken, one episode pays tribute to Tupac Shakur, and in another a student interviews alum Jada Pinkett Smith (’89).

The ambitious project began in the summer of 2023. Students have been working on it throughout the school year. Slated for completion in fall 2024, it will be submitted to various film festivals.



Read To Reef Reading Program | Pratt LIbrary Highlandtown | October 7, 2017

National Aquarium, Enoch Pratt Free Library Celebrate Return of Read to Reef Book Club
Press Release :: February 29

The National Aquarium, in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library, is proud to announce the return of the Read to Reef book club for its spring season. The award-winning program connects Baltimore children to the wonders of the aquatic world.

From March 1 through March 31, Baltimore-area children in grades five and younger can visit any Enoch Pratt Free Library location and present their library card to receive a Read to Reef bookmark while supplies last. After reading any five aquatic or conservation-themed books on the Read to Reef booklist, the reader’s family can visit the Aquarium’s website and enter the code on their bookmark to make a reservation for free admission for up to four guests.

This season’s Read to Reef booklist, curated by library staff and Aquarium educators, includes titles suitable for children of all reading levels – from toddlers exploring books with their caregivers, to children just learning to read to older students ready to explore the fascinating mysteries of the ocean. Additionally, on March 9th, the Aquarium will participate in a Mr. Trash Wheel story time at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, organized by the Waterfront Partnership in celebration of the release of “Green Machines and Other Amazing Eco-Inventions.” This new book, featuring Baltimore’s own Mr. Trash Wheel, is part of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax Books series and is found on this year’s reading list.

“We are delighted to welcome back another season of our Read to Reef book club,” shared National Aquarium Community Programs Manager Sarah Doccolo. “Read to Reef is more than just a program; it’s a gateway to exploration and discovery of our ocean planet. We’re thrilled to continue fostering a love for reading while connecting young minds to the marvels of our underwater world. Join us as we dive into a springtime of imagination, education, and of course, family fun through this year’s Read to Reef book club.”

Since the program’s launch in 2016, almost 20,000 Baltimore-area young readers have read their way to free Aquarium admission for themselves and their families thanks to their participation in the Read to Reef book club. In total, Read to Reef families have enjoyed more than 71,500 free visits.

“Read to Reef book club members have read about 98,000 aquatic and conservation-themed books since the inception of our partnership with the National Aquarium in 2016,” said Enoch Pratt Library Chief Marketing, Communications, & Strategy Officer Meghan McCorkell. “Connecting young readers and their families to marine science and these two Baltimore institutions each year presents a powerful opportunity to encourage our youngest readers to dive into a book and start to understand their place in the natural world.”

Bookmarks are available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning March 1, and can be redeemed for Aquarium admission for each reader and up to three additional family members before June 16, 2024. Some blackout dates apply. Please visit our website for detailed information.



Nations Photo Lab president, Harvis Kramer, with his company’s fine framed prints. —Photography by Matt Roth

How Nations Photo Lab Became One of the Country’s Largest Photography Printers
by Michele Wojciechowski
published February 26 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: While just about everyone carries a camera around in their pockets or purses these days thanks to smartphones, and we mostly share our perfectly filtered, red-eye-removed snaps on social media, there’s actually still money to be made in the tangible photo print industry.


Turns out people still want physical prints of their photos—something they can frame and hang on a wall or put on a desk or send to grandma. And they want something of a higher quality than you can make with an at-home printer or pick up at Walmart.

Baltimore County-based Nations Photo Lab tapped into this need early, and despite a serious detour during COVID-19, they’ve taken a small business that relied on a clientele base of sororities and fraternities and turned it into a national phenomenon, with a reputation as one of best photo labs in the country.



The Peale wins a 2024 Buildy Award!
Newsletter :: February 29

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) has announced The Peale as one of this year’s Building Museums™ Symposium’s Buildy Award Winners. The Buildy Award recognizes The Peale for its leadership and exemplary accomplishment through the planning, construction, and life after opening.

The Buildy Award aims to increase awareness within the field and the public at large, while emphasizing the value of museums and the need for their ongoing creation, rehabilitation, and expansion to serve future generations.

The Buildy Award Committee noted several factors that contributed to The Peale’s success:

  1. The involvement of the community in the development of the design and its programming, and the impact The Peale is making within the community through programs, including the apprenticeship program for exhibition preparation and historic preservation trades that is unique for a museum.
  2. The remarkable and sustainable revitalization of a significant historic landmark. The Committee noted the installation of an all-electric HVAC system and the gentle refurbishment of existing building fabric and finishes that is inherently sustainable and provides for a healthy interior environment.
  3. The beautiful rejuvenation of The Peale’s garden space and its extension into the adjacent alley. A new elevator fronting the alley provides accessibility to the building.

The Peale is honored to receive this achievement, its 6th award for the renovation of the historic Peale Museum building.



Filmmaker Taura Musgrove uses her phone to view the augmented reality history lessons she created about Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson and the Bethel A.M.E. Church, where Jackson used to host the Baltimore Young People's Forum, on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 in Baltimore. (Wesley Lapointe/for the Baltimore Banner)

Augmented reality to bring famous Black Baltimoreans to life
by John-John Williams IV
published March 4 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Taura Musgrove grew up near the history-making and influential Mitchell family in West Baltimore, but admits she knew little about their matriarch, freedom fighter and civil rights leader Lillie May Carroll Jackson.

Musgrove doesn’t want another generation to miss out on learning about Jackson, who among other roles was the NAACP Baltimore Chapter president for more than three decades, including during the pivotal Civil Rights Movement. Jackson should be a household name, Musgrove said. And she plans to make her one through technology.

Tapping into her film school training, Hollywood connections and work at Pixar, Musgrave is creating avatars of civil rights figures, starting with Jackson.

Taura Musgrove grew up near the history-making and influential Mitchell family in West Baltimore, but admits she knew little about their matriarch, freedom fighter and civil rights leader Lillie May Carroll Jackson.

Musgrove doesn’t want another generation to miss out on learning about Jackson, who among other roles was the NAACP Baltimore Chapter president for more than three decades, including during the pivotal Civil Rights Movement. Jackson should be a household name, Musgrove said. And she plans to make her one through technology.



header image: Marina Vargas, Intra-Venus, 2019–21; Carrara marble, 77 ½ x 26 ¾ x 26 in.; Courtesy of the artist; Photo by Oak Taylor-Smith

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