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City of Artists I Exhibit Featuring Phaan Howng, Erin Fostel, and J.M. Giordano

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Baltimore has fostered literary and artistic excellence for over a century, including writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lucille Clifton, Adrienne Rich, Edgar Allan Poe, and W.E.B. Du Bois and visual artists like Charles Wilson Peale, Joshua Johnson, William Henry Rinehart, and Grace Hartigan.  City of Artists is the first full-length book from BmoreArt, designed to chronicle a collective cultural legacy and explore why this city remains a verdant site for significant cultural production. 

In inspired text and rich visuals and designed by Raquel Castedo, City of Artists offers a kaleidoscopic view of a city that has been largely misunderstood, but passionately loved by those who choose to live and work here. The 2024 publication features 220 pages of personal reflections from leading writers alongside portfolios from some of the city’s most celebrated visual artists. City of Artists offers a gorgeous, definitive take on Baltimore that is relevant, witty, innovative, and inspiring, where authors explore specific moments that shaped their creative vision and visual artists offer bodies of work inspired by materials, ideas, and the experiences of their hometown.

Serving as a visual extension, City of Artists I, II, and III are a series of exhibitions created in partnership with the publication hosted at BmoreArt’s Connect+Collect gallery and workspace. Mirroring the book‘s essence and aesthetics, these exhibitions present pivotal and emblematic works by featured visual artists and the opportunity to engage with the artists and their work in the gallery. 

City of Artists I features paintings by Phaan Howng, charcoal drawings by Erin Fostel, and black and white photography by J.M. Giordano. Although their style, media, and ideas vary, the works presented are all inspired by materials, ideas, and experiences that reference Baltimore. Together, the exhibitions and book provide a variety of perspectives from the city’s art scene, as artists translate their experiences into unique visual narratives that continue to evolve and influence Baltimore’s artistic community. 

 

Photo by Vivian Doering
J.M. Giordano photo, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Erin Fostel, gallery photo by Vivian Doering

The exhibition opened on Thursday, February 15, at the Connect+Collect gallery (2519 N. Charles Street) with a reception for featured artists and BmoreArt patrons, subscribers, and their guests. Throughout the run of the exhibit we will be hosting a variety of programs, receptions, and talks with the artists and partnering organizations including City of Artists author Madison Smartt Bell, with Goucher College, the Baltimore Abortion Fund, and a public closing reception on April 25, 2024. We are also planning a limited edition series of prints featuring City of Artists artists in 2024, and to make these available first to BmoreArt subscribers.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy these photos by Vivian Doering of the gallery and by Mollye Miller from the opening reception. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book or visiting the gallery, please email gallery coordinator Inés Sanchez de Lozada to schedule a visit. We are always happy to host college and graduate school groups in the space.

Photo by Mollye Miller
City of Artists Book, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Phaan Howng, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Erin Fostel, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Erin Fostel, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Phaan Howng and J.M. Giordano, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Photo by Mollye Miller
Photo by Mollye Miller
Photo by Mollye Miller
Photo by Mollye Miller
Photo by Mollye Miller
Photo by Mollye Miller
Photo by Mollye Miller
Photo by Mollye Miller
Photo by Mollye Miller

Exhibiting Artists:

Erin Fostel is a visual artist who creates representational drawings with charcoal. Her work often depicts the everyday moments of life, from images of intimate home interiors to the shared public space. She holds a BFA in Drawing and Art History from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and has exhibited through-out the United States and Europe, including: the C. Grimaldis Gallery (Baltimore, MD); Rosenberg Gallery at Goucher College (Baltimore, MD); Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City, UT); Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (VIrginia Beach, VA); Neon Gallery (Wroclaw, Poland); and the Academy Art Museum (Easton, MD). Fostel is a 2019 recipient of the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize and a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award. Her drawings are in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Maryland Center for History and Culture, and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

Phaan Howng creates paintings and installations that center around the Earth defensively brandishing its landscape in a post-human future. She incorporates theatrical and cinematic elements in her work to place the viewer in idealized or satirical speculative futures as a method of creating palatable pathways into more austere environmental topics, encouraging reflection on current environmental and ecological conditions fostered by extractive global capitalism. Howng researches landscape theory, anthropology, and history, and grounds interrogations of Western concepts of nature, the human, and time. She earned a BFA in painting from Boston University and an MFA in multidisciplinary art from the Mount Royal School of Art at MICA. Her work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, DC), Dinner Gallery (NYC), Towson University, MOCA Arlington, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

J.M. Giordano is a photojournalist based in Baltimore and co-host of the photojournalism podcast, 10 Frames Per Second. His book, We Used to Live At Night, chronicles twenty-five years of city nightlife. His work has been featured on NPR, ProPublica, Discovery Channel Inc, Al Jazeera, GQ, Architectural Digest, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Baltimore City Paper, and more. His work, from the Struggle series, is in the permanent collections at the Reginald Lewis Museum (Baltimore, MD). In 2015 he was short-listed for the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Prize and his international photographs covering the collapse of the steel industry were the subject of a solo show at the Museum of Industry in Baltimore in 2023. His new book, 13-23: How a Summer of Violence Led to a Decade of Activism, is available from Nighted Life Books and in local bookstores.

Connect+Collect Gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Erin Fostel, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Erin Fostel and J.M. Giordano, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
City of Artists Book, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Phaan Howng, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Art by Phaan Howng, gallery photo by Vivian Doering
Connect+Collect Gallery photo by Vivian Doering
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