BmoreArt News: Asia North 2024, Remington’s Alligator Mural, Beyoncé and MICA’s Globe Collection?

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This week’s news includes: Asia North returns for a 6th year, Beyoncé’s new album cover’s similarities with MICA’s Globe Collection and Press, an alligator grows (or is repainted) in Remington, Evan Woodward’s museum for magnet fishing aficionados, Blaze Starr exhibition, John Waters turns 78 and reflects on his filthy life, Woodlawn sculptor Junius Wilson to exhibit at the AVAM, BMI exhibition on labor activism, Carlos Raba’s Nana, Megan Lewis and Joyce J. Scott featured, MICA UP/Start Venture winners announced, and RuPaul winners race to Baltimore Pride — with reporting from Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Brew, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image:  Globe Collection and Press at MICA, via MICA website

Good news that is good news GIF on GIFER - by Rexshaper



Pictured: Soo Kyung Jung is Director of DI DIM SAE Korean Traditional Art Institute Photo credit: Howard Ahn

Sixth Annual “Asia North” Asian Arts & Culture Festival to be Held in Baltimore’s Station North Arts District, in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month
Press Release :: April 22The Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP), The Asian Arts & Culture Center (AA&CC) at Towson University, and multiple community partners* present the Sixth Annual Asia North Exhibition and Festival from May 3 to June 1. The exhibit, “Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV,” will be on view at 16 West North Avenue and Motor House with additional programming throughout Station North Arts District.

Additional details about the exhibit and festival are available here.

Innugurated in the spring of 2019, Asia North is a celebration of art, culture, and the Asian heritage of Greater Baltimore, especially the Korean history of the Charles North community, one of the three neighborhoods that comprise the Station North Arts District. In addition to the annual visual exhibit, program highlights include a Filipino Kamayan x Crab Feast, historic Koreatown walking tours, All AAPI Performer Improv Comedy Shows at the BIG Theatre, and a closing celebration and APIMEDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and Desi American) Maker’s Night Market outdoors on North Avenue.

The Asia North 2024 exhibition – “Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV” features 32 APIMEDA artists based in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. The exhibition centers creative expression of the artists ideas of love and home, including the meaning of home, and how they respond to the question, “Where are you from?” Through research from AA&CC’s Greater Baltimore Community History Project, this exhibit honors the Station North neighborhood’s ongoing transformation from a historic Koreatown to a diverse arts district. Curated by Nerissa Paglinauan with Guest Co-curator Ryan Jafar Artes.

Friday, May 3, the festival kicks off with an opening celebration with performances by Ami Dang, Soo Kyung Jung, Somapa Thai Dance Company, and the Yong Han Lion Dancers emceed by curator Joyce Liang. Attendees will also have the chance to meet the artists featured in the exhibition and savor dishes provided by the Baltimore Xiamen Sister City Committee. All activities are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Following a full month of programming, the festival will close Friday, May 31 with an expanded APIMEDA Maker’s Night Market, outdoors on North Avenue from 5 – 9 p.m.



The tracklist poster for Beyoncé’s latest album, “Cowboy Carter,” is seen next to Globe’s “The Biggest Show of Stars for ’61” showcard poster on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Kylie Cooper/The Baltimore Banner)

Did Beyoncé copy the design of a small Baltimore company for her latest album?
by John-John Williams IV
Published April 18 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: The questions started coming almost immediately after Beyoncé dropped her country album earlier this month. People wanted to know if the Baltimore design company that Allison Tipton manages was responsible for the poster promoting the tracks on the album.

Tipton hopped on the internet and searched for the poster and instantly saw the similarities — clear as day. The bursts of outlined shapes — a hallmark of the company’s designs — but this time in red, white, and blue.

And it didn’t stop there.

There was also the bold wood type, vivid hand-lettering, black and white photos of the artists (often as silhouettes or floating heads). The track names on the “Cowboy Carter” poster and release date were located near the top of the page, which is where her company, Globe Collection and Press at MICA typically would have presented the date and venue. The only difference was that instead of the track names, Globe would have traditionally highlighted some of the biggest artists in Black music history — such as Tina Turner and Marvin Gaye.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: Did Beyoncé copy the design of a small Baltimore company for her latest album?



Artists John Ellsberry, Brendan Traceski and Michael Bowen are restoring the Alligator mural in Remington. Photo by Ed Gunts.

The Alligator mural in Remington is getting restored
by Ed Gunts
Published April 23 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: After 37 years, the Alligators are getting a makeover. In recent weeks, drivers stopped for the red light at Sisson and 28th streets in Remington may have seen painters restoring the nearly 200-foot-long mural called “The Alligators” on the south side of 28th Street.

The Greater Remington Improvement Association (GRIA) last year received a $41,440 conservation grant from the Maryland State Arts Council to fund the work, which began in March.



History buff Evan Woodard magnet fishes off a pier in Fells Point on Jan. 26, 2023. (Scott Maucione/WYPR)

He’s known for magnet fishing in the harbor. Now, he’s building a museum
by Hugo Kugiya
Published April 23 in The Baltimore Banner

History buff, urban relic hunter, sometimes bane of archaeologists, custodian of the Inner Harbor, content creator, and social media darling — Evan Woodard could be described as all these things. And soon, perhaps, as museum curator.

Woodard, the young leader of an organization called Salvage Arc, secured a lease for a space in Fells Point, where, if all goes according to plan, he will open the the Salvage Arc Foundation Museum and Community Center. It would be the first permanent physical manifestation of a lifelong avocation in finding — and preserving — what has come before us.

“There’s so much that people pass by every day,” he said, “so much they walk over, drive over, that’s right under their feet.”

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: He’s known for magnet fishing in the harbor. Now, he’s building a museum.



Curator Cathy Till with some of her many Blaze Starr photos and artifacts. —Photography by Christopher Myers

New Blaze Starr Exhibit Takes Center Stage in Catonsville
by John Lewis
Published April 22 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: Cathy Till takes the lids off a few storage bins stacked in a corner of her cozy Fells Point rowhome. She pulls out an impressive array of Blaze Starr memorabilia: publicity stills, photo albums, reels of film, colorful boas, a wig, autographed high heels, and an ornate gown that was worn by the legendary Baltimore stripper herself. Starr made the thousands of earrings that sit in a jewelry box on the dining room table.

“It’s overwhelming how much is here,” says the 71-year-old Till, who has curated an exhibit of these artifacts—loaned by super-fan David Mueller and Starr’s sister, Gail Fleming Browning—now on display at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Catonsville.

Examining Starr’s life in and out of the spotlight, The Hottest Blaze in Town opens on April 22 and runs through June 15, the ninth anniversary of Starr’s death, at the age of 83.



Baltimore filmmaker John Waters at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Greg Gorman.

Turning 78 today, John Waters recalls his show business start as a puppeteer
by Ed Gunts
Published April 22 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Writer and filmmaker John Waters insists that he’s not ready to retire, but a museum exhibit in Los Angeles points out that he already did once and it didn’t stick.

The exhibit, “John Waters: Pope of Trash” at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, includes a handwritten flier in which a young John Waters writes about his “temporary retirement” and subsequent decision to return to the work force after a 1½-year absence.

This was in the late 1950s, when Waters was working as a puppeteer at children’s birthday parties and other gatherings, earning up to $25 per show. It was his first job, and his first foray into show business. According to the flier, he had been working as a puppeteer for more than six years when he took a break.

Read BmoreArt’s review of the Academy Museum exhibition here.



Junius Wilson, the 80-year-old Woodlawn artist who does those amazing wooden sculptures and has created Egypt in his backyard. (courtesy of Junius Wilson)

Woodlawn sculptor lands show at American Visionary Art Museum
by Rona Kobell
Published April 23 in The Baltimore Banner

Junius Wilson always wanted the world to see his backyard work. Next fall, his Egyptian-themed sculptures will grace one of the best-known palaces for outsider art, the American Visionary Art Museum in Federal Hill.

Museum founder Rebecca Hoffberger confirmed that the 80-year-old Woodlawn artist is one of four so far chosen for the fall 2025 show. The theme is “Fantastic Realities — Truth Stranger than Fiction.”

Hoffberger is not sure which of Wilson’s enormous sculptures will grace the second floor exhibit space, but her curator will be able to choose from many options. Wilson’s backyard features a giant pyramid, a three-breasted goddess with the face of a golden calf and a serpent from the Garden of Eden. His basement is overstuffed with two-faced babies, delicate wood carvings and a cheeky swamp with a Donald Trump figure falling in.

Wilson said earlier this year that he hoped a museum would take his work and display it. But he said he and his friends had asked around and found there weren’t a lot of places on the market for a backyard Egypt.

After The Baltimore Banner featured Wilson’s work last month, many Instagram and Twitter followers suggested Baltimore’s beloved outsider art showcase give a home-towner some love.

Hoffberger, however, was already thinking about it. She’s known Wilson for 50 years; he is close with one of her childhood friends, Michael Margolis. She hadn’t seen him in decades when they reconnected last year; Wilson entered the museum’s famous Kinetic Sculpture Race, riding in — what else? — an Egyptian-themed vehicle.

“He was always lovable, and always had that spiritual bent,” she said. “He’s very mystical, but he’s also very kind. He’s been through enormous physical pain, but he’s a visionary.”

Three decades ago, Wilson fell 30 feet off some scaffolding on a job while installing wires. He was in immense physical pain for years, and fell into a deep depression that only lifted a decade ago, when he began carving his sculptures. His story is similar to so many of the artists that AVAM features — self-trained visionaries who use found objects to create art after suffering from trauma.

While most carvers place a picture over a piece of wood and trace it, Wilson works differently. He has visions. The picture springs from his mind. He sees the figure and begins to carve. It shifts with his imagination as he works, and the finished piece looks nothing like he initially envisioned.

Wilson also is undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer. But his prognosis appears good, he said, and he is continuing to work on his art during treatment.

The show at AVAM is the culmination of a dream for Wilson. He’s looking for longer days to do more sculpting in the backyard to prepare for the show. It’s 18 months away, but it doesn’t seem a long wait for Wilson, because he’s already waited for so long. Already, he said, the article has prompted strangers to call and see his collection, turning his backyard into a mini museum.

AVAM, though, will open it to many more people.

“That’s been the ultimate dream. I am really looking forward to doing that,” he said. “That’s a 10-year wish that has come true. You just gotta wait your turn. It’s been 80 years, and I’m still waiting, and I am happy that I am here, able to wait.”

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



Baltimore National Heritage Area Opens “It’s a SNAP!” What Makes Baltimore Charming Exhibition at The Peale
Press Release :: April 25

Today, The Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) proudly unveils its exhibition at The Peale, located at 225 N. Holliday Street, titled “It’s a SNAP!” What Makes Baltimore Charming. This exhibition is proof of the diverse perspectives captured by our community during the year-long photo contest, which welcomed submissions from amateur and professional photographers who beautifully portrayed the essence of the BNHA boundaries throughout 2023.

This Sunday, April 28, 2024, BNHA will host an opening reception at The Peale from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm, during which they will announce the winners of the “2023 It’s a SNAP!” photo contest. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $500 gift card, with the Second and Third-place winners receiving $400 and $300 gift cards, respectively. A photographer deserving of honorable mention will receive a $50 gift card. And, as we all eagerly await, BNHA will unveil the exciting and highly anticipated 2024 competition theme during the opening reception.

The exhibition displays various photos submitted through the 2023 contest, during which BNHA sought photos that portrayed the charm of “Charm City”—the PEOPLE. This showcase features an assortment of images of people who live, work, and play in Baltimore from the lens and perspective of various photographers. These snapshots capture the many facets of Baltimoreans’ lives, from attending festivals and recreational events to enjoying the park, completing daily chores, walking to work, or enjoying a meal at local restaurants. The diversity of these images reflects the rich tapestry of life in our city.

“This unique showcase of photographs captured by this curated group of applicants from the 2023 It’s a SNAP! Photo Contest is a testament to the vibrant life within the Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) and a celebration of our community,” said Shauntee Daniels, executive director of BNHA. “We are excited to expose people to the Baltimore National Heritage Area and showcase the best of our footprint through this opportunity.”

This exhibition is not just a showcase of beautiful photographs but a significant step in advancing BNHA’s mission to promote, preserve, and enhance Baltimore’s rich legacy through history, arts, and culture. It reveals the vibrancy and variety of the Baltimore community and celebrates the shared heritage and culture that makes Baltimore charming.



Behind the scenes putting together the Collective/Action exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Photo from BMI's Instagram page.

Museum of Industry exhibit spotlights 21st century labor activism
by Aliza Worthington
Published April 22 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: A new exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) showcases the recent history of local labor activism in “Collective/Action: Labor Activism in 21st Century Baltimore.”

The exhibition opens May 1 and explores the historic and contemporary organized labor movement.

Workers have long fought for labor rights, which include higher wages, improved safety, shorter hours, and a seat at the bargaining table. Now, however, there is a burst of new activism led by a new generation of workers seizing the energy of the economic and political climate to push the movement forward even further. Baltimoreans will tell their stories and share their experiences in this exhibit to shed light on why they are organizing and to explore the historical roots of the labor struggle.



Carlos Raba at his new restaurant, Nana, in Stoneleigh. —Photography by Justin Tsucalas

Chef Carlos Raba Expands His Vision with Nana
by Amy Scattergood | Photography by Justin Tsucalas
Published April 23 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: It’s late January, the opening day of Carlos Raba’s first solo restaurant, Nana, and the award-winning chef stands in the kitchen, channeling his nervous energy into the preparation of tacos.

In a mixture of English and Spanish, he calls out to his crew, who are busily making orders of tortas, quesadillas, and dogos—Sinaloa-style bacon-wrapped hot dogs paired with caramelized onions and avocado sauce. Behind him, a large rotisserie oven turns slowly, an abacus of golden chickens.

As he moves deftly around the restaurant—checking on the rotating birds, handing plates of tacos to customers, darting downstairs to take inventory of the supplies, and chatting with his staff—Raba’s energy and attention to detail are as apparent as his culinary skills.



Audience members listen intently to Megan Lewis’ artist talk, alongside her paintings “It Be Like That Sometimes” and “The Right Has Been Earned.”

Megan Lewis’ ‘Chromatic Expressions’ captures Black introspection through paintings
by Sydney Brockington
Published April 17 in Daily Orange

Excerpt: Syracuse community members gathered for an intimate event in the main hall of the Community Folk Art Center(CFAC) to observe “Chromatic Expressions,” a 23-piece gallery by multidisciplinary illustrator Megan Lewis. The gallery celebrates the many facets and emotions of Black people.

“My work is a reflection of my personality. It allows me to communicate meaningfully,” Lewis said. “I create the world I want to exist in through my paintings, where I can play, work out and express my emotions.”

CFAC hosted an artist talk Wednesday for “Chromatic Expressions,” where Lewis shared her intimate curation process for the gallery pieces. She reflected on her sources of inspiration and desire to have them showcased through her work at CFAC.

See also:

Megan Lewis: Portraying Black Masculinity and Life Through Art
by Kazeem Adeleke
Published April 12 in ARTCENTRON



Joyce J. Scott, Coppers (2023). Image courtesy of Goya Contemporary Gallery, Baltimore, © Joyce Scott courtesy Goya Contemporary, photo: Mitro Hood.

9 Must-See Shows Around the U.S. This Spring
by ArtNet News
Published April 22 in ArtNet News

Excerpt: Along with spring flowers and rainstorms, a new crop of museum exhibitions is blooming in cities around the country, from Miami to Maryland. With major shows of contemporary artists Mickalene Thomas, Tyler Mitchell, and Raqib Shaw, plus spotlights on the late Lebanese artist Huguette Caland and beloved surrealist Salvador Dalí, here’s our list of the must-see art shows over the next few months.

“Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams”
Through July 14, 2024
Baltimore Museum of Art

Described by Baltimore Museum of Art director Asma Naeem as a “living legend and a pillar of Baltimore’s artistic community,” Joyce J. Scott is the subject of a long overdue and much welcome retrospective on view now at the BMA before heading to Seattle in October. An artist and activist whose work spans sculpture, textiles, beads, printmaking, and performance, Scott tackles the weight of history with humor and wit, ensuring that any and all viewers will find something to connect with in her work.



Maryland Institute College of Art Announces its 2024 UP/Start Venture Competition Winners
Press Release :: April 22

The Ratcliffe Center for Creative Entrepreneurship (RCCE) at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 UP/Start Venture Competition. Founded in 2016, UP/Start is an initiative of the Ratcliffe Center for Creative Entrepreneurship (RCCE), focused on incubating and building creative business ventures within the MICA community. Working with industry partners, it provides mentorship and capital to help nurture ideas into sustainable businesses. This year’s finalists feature a diverse array of creative ventures ranging from alternative fashion practices to advances in the publishing realm.

One of the first institutions to embrace the term Creative Entrepreneurship, MICA is a leader in impactful, future-oriented arts education. This commitment to practicable creativity has resulted in dozens of Fulbright Awards, grants, and positions in local, national, and international institutions. 2023 UP/Start Venture Winner, Angela McQuillan ‘22 (Business of Art and Design, MPS) for example, has branched out her Chimaera Gallery from a pop-up event on campus to a permanent location in central Philadelphia, PA. Since its founding last year, McQuillan has showcased 5 exhibitions that engage with biology and technology.

Past winners have gone on to establish innovative businesses that push forward their respective fields while aiding consumers’ needs for actionable ideas, such as office equipment designed for neurodiversity, an online platform to connect creatives of color, and user-friendly pharmaceutical devices.

Finalists now have the opportunity to move their venture from ideation to implementation at MICA’s Creative Entrepreneurship Innovation Lab (CEINNOV), funded by the Ratcliffe Foundation. CEINNOV functions as a hub for MICA students and alumni to “soft launch” their creative entrepreneurship ventures, learning how to share their creative practices while generating income through their work, and curbing the venture dropoff that can happen after completing a pitch program. Participants of MICA’s Creative Entrepreneurship co-curricular programs can now move from the classroom directly into a market ready educational space located in a Baltimore based entrepreneurship ecosystem to incubate at the Baltimore Innovation Center (BIC).

Over $100,000 were awarded to five projects helmed by six MICA students:

$35,000 and the $5,000 voters choice awarded to Jess Lipinsky ’23 (Illustration, BFA) & Jess Lin ’23 (Graphic Design, BFA). JESS JESS PRESS is an emerging press dedicated to uplifting queer and fem artists and artists of color in the comics/magazine publishing industry.

$25,000 to Luka Shanahan ’24 (General Fine Arts, BFA). Deadbeat Devil is an immersive experience of clothing, accessories, and decor combining affordable, wearable, sustainable art.

$20,000 to Justin Remo ’24 (Printmaking, BFA). Dust Comics is a science-fiction graphic novel series following a group of medieval knights as they set out into the treacherous remains of a once beautiful Earth, searching for clues that will lead them to the truth behind the death of one of their own.⁠

$10,000 to Anthony Culp ’23 (Product Design, BFA). Plexo is a play system that interfaces with Expo dry erase markers, using them as building blocks to introduce moments of play in physical workspaces.

$10,000 to Jantzen Nolan ’24 (Fiber, BFA). VERS is a queer-designed clothing and leather accessory brand that provides carefully crafted outerwear made to be layered over or worn under leather fetish accessories.⁠

The competition was presided over by a panel of judges comprising Jim Wright (Trustee, Ratcliffe Foundation), Camille Mazelev (Founder & CEO, Maze Consulting LLC), Rheagen King(Founder & Creative Director, Denae Creative), Ken Malone (Co-Founder & Executive Officer, Early Charm Ventures), Jim Peterson (Vice President Small Business Ambassador, M&T Bank), Takia Ross (Founder, Accessmatized, LLC), and Roland Meerdter (Co-Founder, DOOR Ventures).

About Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation
Philip and Carole Ratcliffe created the foundation in 2003 with a vision to provide access to education & training for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their ventures, create jobs, and expand economic opportunities in local communities.

About Ratcliffe Center for Creative Entrepreneurship
The RCCE serves as a creative hub for MICA students and alumni to engage with programs that connect resources and training to grow creative ideas into viable businesses.

About MICA: Acknowledged nationally as a premier leader in art and design education, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is deliberately cultivating a new generation of artist—one that is capable of seamlessly integrating innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative citizenship with contemporary approaches to art, design, and media.

MICA is redefining the role of the artists and designers as creative, solutions-oriented makers, and thinkers who will drive social, cultural, and economic advancement for our future.

As the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation, MICA is located in Baltimore, deeply connected to the community. It is a leading contributor to the creative economy regionally and a top producer of nationally and internationally recognized professional artists and designers.



Sapphira Cristál, left, and Nymphia Wind, from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,“ will be performing at Pride. (Handout)

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ finalists sashay from the catwalk to Baltimore Pride
by John-John Williams IV
Published April 23 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Nymphia Wind or Sapphira Cristál?

Now you don’t have to choose. You can see both “RuPaul’s Drag Race” finalists in Charm City this June for Baltimore Pride.

Sapphira will headline a Pride after-party at Baltimore Soundstage on June 15, while Nymphia will headline a show June 27 at Guilford Brewery.

Nymphia’s triumph over Sapphira last week made for the most-watched “Drag Race” season finale in the history of the Emmy Award-winning show.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ finalists sashay from the catwalk to Baltimore Pride



header image: Globe Collection and Press at MICA on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Kylie Cooper/The Baltimore Banner)

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