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BmoreArt News: MICA’s New President, Natalie Wynn, & ‘Preoccupied’ at the BMA

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This week’s news includes: BMA announces Ainsley Burrows and Vonne Napper as 2024 JJC Summer Residents, profile of Natalie Wynn and Lane Harlan, Cecilia McCormick named MICA President, John Waters appears on Real Time with Bill Maher, SNF Parkway’s new plan, Bri Mobley and BLK Ass Flea Market, the BMA’s Preoccupied exhibition, Jenenne Whitfield’s new position, new exhibitions at The Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Art Museum / Academy Art Museum / Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Bulletin, and mourning the loss of Qayum Karzai and Carol Baish — with reporting from Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Brew, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Natalie Wynn. Photography by Matt Roth for Baltimore Magazine

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Cecilia McCormack, MICA's First Female President

MICA installs Cecilia McCormick in permanent role
by Brenda Wintrode
Published June 2 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: The Maryland Institute College of Art announced they’re permanently hiring Cecilia McCormick to lead the historic Baltimore school as its next president.

McCormick had been serving since January in an interim role and was chosen to head the college after an extensive review process involving trustees, staff, faculty and students, according to a statement.

“It has been a particular thrill to lead MICA these past several months. It is a truly vibrant place with remarkable faculty, staff, and students,” McCormick said. “I stand honored and ready to steward such a historic institution into its third century.”

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: MICA installs Cecilia McCormick in permanent role

 

 

Photography by Matt Roth

Who Exactly Is Natalie Wynn?
by Max Weiss
Published May 9 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Natalie Wynn is quite possibly the most famous person you’ve never heard of. She’s what you would call social media famous. Gen Z and millennial famous. And certainly LGBTQ+ famous.

Her YouTube channel, where she posts under the moniker ContraPoints, has 1.79-million subscribers. She also has more than 30,000 paid Patreon subscribers, who get additional quick hit videos, called Tangents, made just for them. She has a Reddit account devoted to her, with breathless posts that follow her every move. “Let Mother Be Tired,” one was titled, when Wynn posted on X (formerly Twitter) that she was overworked.

“Does anyone know if there are any books that Natalie has recommended?” queries another. A third gushes about Wynn’s appearance in a recent video (“such a serve”).

 

 

Ainsley Burrows and Vonne Napper

BMA Announces Two Artists Selected for JJC Summer Residency at MICA
Press Release :: May 23

The Baltimore Museum of Art, (BMA), Joshua Johnson Council (JJC), and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) today announced Ainsley Burrows and Vonne Napper have been selected for the 2024 Summer Artist-in-Residence program at MICA jointly sponsored by the three organizations. Launched in 2022, the residency program provides selected artists the opportunity to work in MICA’s Fred Lazarus IV Studio Center Studio over the course of eight weeks in June and July, allowing the artists to expand their work and scale, as well as embedding themselves within the college community. Napper and Burrows are both Baltimore-based artists who were selected by a five-panel jury comprised of Benjamin Kelley, Donna Rawlings, and Annie Roberts, representing each organization, as well as Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown and Charles Mason III, the previous JJC artists-in-residence. […]

 

 

A Filipino/Mexican popup will take place on Wednesday at Clavel between Lane Harlan, Carlos Raba and Rey Eugenio. Clavel co-owner Lane Harlan is preparing to open a hotel in Spain. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

The Dish: Clavel co-owner gets ready to conquer James Beard Awards — then Spain
by Christina Tkacik
Published June 5 in The Baltimore Banner

If you follow Lane Harlan on Instagram, you might get the idea that the restaurateur spends most of her time hosting dinner parties that get chronicled in Bon Appétit magazine, sipping wine along the Seine or frolicking in a field with her adorable baby girl.

The reality is, Harlan spends most of her time working, and has since she was about 14. “I’ve worked at a 24-hour Denny’s, I’ve worked at the hibachi grill in a kimono,” she reminisced, sitting in the Old Goucher courtyard next to her and her husband’s natural wine bar, Fadensonnen.

Though she frequently travels abroad and does other cool stuff, it’s almost always for work or in the service of one of the five businesses she owns in Baltimore. Wine fairs to find new purveyors for Fadensonnen and bottle shop Angels Ate Lemons. Trips to visit mezcal distilleries in Mexico with the staff of Clavel, the Remington restaurant and mezcaleria she co-owns.

In a couple days, she’ll head to Chicago, where Clavel is one of five national finalists for outstanding bar at the James Beard Awards, one of the food industry’s highest honors. The day before the ceremony, she and her team are doing a pop-up in the Windy City. Truly, the work never stops.

But the seed of her next project was born from her desire to take a break. A few years ago, Harlan, alongside her husband and business partner Matthew Pierce, was staring down her own pandemic-era burnout. “We pretty much saw there was no end in sight of the work grind,” she said. The political atmosphere was, you’ll recall, tense. “And so we started to look to have a place to go abroad.”

They came across an app called idealista, the Zillow of European vacation homes. It’s “very dangerous,” Harlan cautions. “Do not download it unless you’re ready to buy a house somewhere.”

They ended up buying a house in Lastres, a seaside fishing village in Spain minutes from the mountains, with a climate that never gets too hot and enough restaurants and markets to keep the foodie entrepreneurs happy. Lastres is located in Asturias, a region in northern Spain near where Harlan had lived briefly before starting college at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The birthplace of celebrity chef José Andrés, Asturias has “the same landscape as Basque country, but without the price tag,” Harlan said. (Andrés even showed Anthony Bourdain around the area in an episode of ”Parts Unknown”).

“The problem with us,” she said, “is that in theory, we wanted to not work.” But then Harlan and Pierce came across a rundown former clergy house from the 18th century. They began talking to the elderly townspeople of Lastres about the rectory. Everyone had happy memories of the building, which had been a community gathering place and school until the 1970s, when its roof caved in. “We just started feeling like we were the ones responsible” for repairing it, she said.

She compared it to the feeling she and Pierce had when they discovered the Baltimore buildings that would become W.C. Harlan and then Clavel — as if the bricks were speaking to them, inviting them to create.

Harlan said the couple thought: “We love building, we love design. We were like, ‘Why wouldn’t we go into the hotel world?’”

Task number one: a new roof.

Hotel Charo, a seven-room inn named after their daughter, will put Harlan’s talents for creating beautiful spaces on full display once it opens. “In the simplicity and minimalism she accomplishes really warm places,” said friend and Alma Cocina Latina owner Irena Stein.

Stein, whose former executive chef made it to the semifinal round of this year’s Beard Awards, said she is excited to see Clavel named a finalist after two previous semifinalist nods. Such honors bring “a whole serious and formal look at the Baltimore scene” and help attract attention from out-of-town guests for whom the city might not otherwise be on their radar, Stein said. “We need that.”

Similarly, Hotel Charo seems destined to draw new attention to Lastres, particularly from Baltimoreans now drooling over Harlan’s Instagram posts. But Harlan says she’s not trying to put Asturias “on the map,” per se. “José Andrés is from there. He can put it on the map if he wants to,” she said.

Harlan says she’s already getting messages from interested guests who want to come during the solar eclipse in 2026, which will be viewable from northern Spain. “People [are] sending me emails like, ‘Are you going to be open by then?’ I guess it would be a good goal,” she said.

In mid-July, Harlan will spend seven weeks in Lastres, monitoring progress as the building gets new plumbing and electric. The stairs need to be rebuilt. Next summer will come furniture and interior design.

And maybe there will even be time for a break.

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

 

 

Baltimore filmmaker John Waters appears on HBO’s “Real Time” with host Bill Maher.

John Waters weighs in on Donald Trump possibly going to prison, Pope Francis, intimacy experts and Pride Month
by Ed Gunts
Published June 4 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Some people wonder how the possibility of going to prison would affect Donald Trump’s chances of getting reelected president. Writer and filmmaker John Waters wonders how going to prison would affect his hair.

“In jail, you pay the guards to sneak in cell phones,” Waters observed last week. “He’s going to have to sneak in Just For Men, Honey Blond.”

The prison showers could lead to particularly bad hair days for Trump, Waters mused.

 

 

The News Is Out! Announcing Our Renewed Vision
Annoucement :: June 3

We are so grateful to the hundreds of you who joined us last Tuesday to learn more about the renewed direction of the SNF Parkway Theatre.

If you couldn’t join us, you’ll find news, a video, a transcript, and a summary of the announcement below.

We’re thrilled to share this vision with you, and we want your feedback! Please share your thoughts in our feedback portal. We read every entry and value your time and input. This survey will close on Monday, June 10.​​​​​

Watch the Presentation

Read the Full Remarks from Chair Scot Spencer and Vice Chair Camille Blake Fall

Read more about it in:

Summary:

In response to the evolving state of film, the opportunities available to Baltimore’s creative communities, and the need for an increasingly sustainable business model, the SNF Parkway is expanding its programming to include five primary activities:

  1. The Maryland Film Festival and “Film Plus” Events: The vision doubles down on the Maryland Film Festival, which will grow in scope and scale in the years to come, including in its 26th iteration in May, 2025. The Parkway will no longer show film every day of the year. But film will be shown often, and will remain at the center of the Parkway experience, taking the form of bingeable “mini-fests” and themed events that pair films with the talent behind them and thought leaders on the topics they explore.  This approach acknowledges our role as a mission-driven cinema and puts our resources behind carefully-selected, enriching – even transformational – experiences for you, with film at their center.
  2. Filmmaker and Creatives Services: We’ll increase our investment in Baltimore’s filmmaking and creative communities, accelerating the SNF Parkway as a platform for professional development, networking, and exhibition. We’ll do this through partnership with Baltimore’s leaders in these areas, while complementing their efforts to provide a robust fabric of supports for mid-Atlantic creatives.  Primary amongst our investments will be residencies for Baltimore-based filmmakers and other media creatives. We want the SNF Parkway to be a home for transformational career development and yet another reason why filmmakers and media creative professionals see Baltimore as the ideal platform for their success.
  3. Live Arts: The Parkway will become a more versatile venue capable for use by musicians, comedians, spoken word artists, and other performers. In addition to presenting a carefully-selected slate of Baltimore-based and visiting artists, the SNF Parkway will welcome Baltimore’s independent artists, ensembles, and non-profits to utilize the revitalized SNF Parkway as a unique and evocative home for live performance, happenings, and multi-disciplinary experiences.
  4. ​​​Education and Community: Our direction expands services for students and their educators by partnering with Baltimore’s remarkable teachers to host student film festivals, screenings, and workshops. This year we will again present student films, animated shorts, and Baltimore shorts during Artscape. In 2025, we will welcome applications for subsidized residencies for up to three entities – one in film, one in education, and one in live arts – to utilize the Parkway for select events in return for programming offered to the public. In time, we’ll offer internships for upper high school students focused on administration and production, building a bridge between Baltimore youth and the professional communities that call the SNF Parkway home.
  5. ​​​​New Media and Gaming: Finally, acknowledging the fast-fading line between film, gaming, and new media – such as projection mapping, augmented reality and virtual reality – the Parkway will expand its support for digital artists, immersion artists, game developers, gamers, and their communities. Networking and professional development opportunities will be offered through the second pillar of our strategy – Filmmaker and Creative Services – aiming for increased intersection between the filmmaking, creative, digital, and gaming communities.  Over time, the Parkway’s infrastructure will be maximized to support gaming events including exhibitions and competitions, and as a palette for fully-immersive “projection mapping” experiences. We see these enhancements as yet another reason why Baltimore’s creatives will want to use the Parkway as a one-of-a-kind backdrop for their performances.

A new vision, and a revised business model. These changes are in alignment with exciting opportunities posed by a fast-changing media environment, as well as with a business model that positions the SNF Parkway Theatre for long-term sustainability.

While the Parkway was well on its way to a bright future when the pandemic ravaged the non-profit film industry, we realize that too much has changed since 2020 and that we must update our approach and model.

Since the SNF Parkway will show film more selectively moving forward, it will be open for use by others more often than in the past. We’ll welcome non-profits – particularly those in film, live arts, gaming, education, and new media – at subsidized rates. We will also warmly welcome for-profit and private entities that seek a one-of-a-kind venue for their next event, conference, symposium, wedding, or other life ceremony. (Please contact [email protected] for rate sheets and more information).

And, while we’ve always carefully monitored expenses, we’ll further calibrate our staffing and overhead to this new model, seeking increased efficiency as an operation.

This said, our historic building is expensive, and we will continue to work hard to earn the support of you, our loyal family, as well as our valued partners in philanthropy, corporate sponsorship, and public support.

We are proud to announce that with the visionary support of our friends, we are on our way. We are thrilled to announce a multi-million, transformational gift from our neighbor Johns Hopkins University – an unwavering partner to the SNF Parkway – which has provided a vital runway for enhancing the Parkway as a facility able to be used by more Baltimoreans, as well as activating the first stages of the five-pillar program.

We’re additionally thrilled to announce support from Central Baltimore Partnership and the Station North Arts District, which will enable meaningful improvements along Charles Street with a focus on making the footpath from parking to the Parkway increasingly accessible, well-lit, and convenient.

100% of our Board of Trustees has made a financial commitment in support of our new vision.

And finally, we were honored to receive $250,000 from the office of Mayor Brandon M. Scott as part of its Diversity in Arts Grant. Made possible with American Rescue Act funds, this grant is part of a total of $6.25 million dedicated to support diverse arts and culture organizations making a difference in our community.

While these transformational gifts invigorate our vision, we know its full realization will take time. We also know it will take an ongoing dialogue with you, and your support and engagement. We do not take that responsibility lightly and will be working very hard in the coming weeks, months and years to make your experiences at the SNF Parkway unforgettable.

When you join us next, before the show or after the lights come up, we want you to stay and talk with us. Please tell us what you think of this vision and how you’d like to be involved. We’re committed to creating a vibrant future for this beloved institution, in partnership with you. While this is not easy work, we are optimistic, and so very excited. We need you, and want you, with us on this journey!

 

 

Photography by Mike Morgan

With BLK Ass Flea Market, Bri Mobley Creates Opportunities for Black Creatives
by Alanah Nichole Davis
Published June 3 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: It’s the live DJs, the dozens of shoppers, and the chatter that fills the air alongside the wafting scent of grapefruit and mangosteen from the Baltimore-based Sulit Candle Co. that brings so much joy to the woman behind one of Baltimore’s most beloved markets.

“The community is constantly pouring into me,” says Bri Mobley, founder of BLK Ass Flea Market (BAFM), a pop-up marketplace for Black creatives and makers, with a goal of boosting Black businesses and inspiring Black joy.

Now in its third year, the event has grown into a recurring ritual, taking place multiple times a month at a variety of venues across the city, like Good Neighbor and the Charles Street Promenade this month. Each features upward of 50 vendors, mostly from Baltimore, selling original artworks, handmade jewelry, tea blends, vintage clothing, and more.

 

 

T.C. Cannon's (Kiowa/Caddo) 1978 "Self Portrait in the Studio". Photo Credit: Mitro Hood, BMA

The BMA’s ‘Preoccupied’ prioritizes Indigenous voices in much-needed ways
by Aliza Worthington
Published May 30 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: “Preoccupied” is not only a clever play on words for the title of an exhibition on Native and Indigenous artwork at the Baltimore Museum of Art. It is a meta takeover of the museum, with Indigenous community members leaving their mark on the museum’s permanent collection in addition to the special Native and Indigenous works curated and created specifically for the exhibition.

Dare Turner (Yurok Tribe of California), Curator of Indigenous Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and Leila Grothe, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art for the Baltimore Museum of Art, worked together to create “Preoccupied: Indigenizing the Museum” to uplift Indigenous perspectives, center Native art, and help Native and Indigenous artists “claim space” and be heard.

More broadly, they sought to literally Indigenize the museum. Turner and Grothe began the project by talking to Native communities in Baltimore and Indigenous artists across North America. Their top priority was not to burden Native community members with “fixing” the problematic aspects of how Native art has been either excluded or warped in its presentation in museums. They simply asked them to talk about their experiences in museums, and how they felt when they walked through them. Unsurprisingly, Native and Indigenous folks felt predominantly invisible.

 

 

Jenenne Whitfield has been named Harborplace’s new director of experience. (Taneen Momeni/The Baltimore Banner)

Former AVAM director talks new Harborplace role and why she’s staying in Baltimore
by Taji Burris
Published May 30 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: MCB Real Estate this week announced a new position with a familiar face: Jenenne Whitfield, the former director of the American Visionary Art Museum, was named as the Director of Experience of Harborplace.

The role will “infuse Harborplace with innovative and inclusive cultural programming,” according to a press release. Whitfield’s noteworthy history with art made her an ideal fit.

Whitfield was the president and CEO of Detroit’s acclaimed Heidelberg Project, an outdoor visionary art space, for nearly three decades before becoming the second-ever head of AVAM, replacing its founder Rebecca Hoffberger, in September 2022. Since parting ways with the museum in September of last year, Whitfield has been a member of Mayor Brandon Scott’s Arts & Culture Advisory Committee, recently sitting as one of the judges that chose five artists to paint portraits of past mayors for City Hall.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: Former AVAM director talks new Harborplace role and why she’s staying in Baltimore

 

 

“Some Light Reading (A Summer Exhibition).” Courtesy of Mitchell Art Museum.

Exhibits on Display at St. John’s College Explore the Relationship of Art, Light, and Text
Press Release :: May 30

The Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Art Museum at St. John’s College is pleased to announce two art exhibits on display this summer. “Some Light Reading (A Summer Exhibition),” which explores the relationship of art, light, and text, is on view through July 7. The museum is also offering “Two Art Books–Louise Bourgeois and Fischli/Weiss,” at the Greenfield Library through September 8. The museum will also host events that are free and open to the public including an exhibit tour, poetry reading and film showing.

“With its play on words, ‘Some Light Reading’ looks at art as a form of perceptual, cognitive, and spiritual illumination,” says Peter Nesbett, Director of the Mitchell Art Museum. “Meanwhile, the art books on display at the library are art objects that can be looked at but can’t be read, since they are devoid of explanatory texts.”

“Some Light Reading (A Summer Exhibition)”: Playing off St. John’s College’s reputation as a school of big ideas and heavy texts, the exhibition offers a selection of art and texts that explore the magical, life-making qualities of light, as well as the idea that art—with or without light—can be a source of illumination. As the writer and activist Audre Lorde has written, “The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live.” The exhibition features a variety of artworks, including prints, sculptures, and paintings by artists Virgil Marti, Eileen Neff, Bahar Yürükoğlu, Vija Celmins, and Rockne Krebs, interspersed with quotes by Emily Dickinson, Lorde, the poet Eileen Myles, and Virginia Woolf.

“Two Art Books: Louise Bourgeois and Fischli/Weiss”: This exhibition presents two small, zine-like art books, each featuring a single body of work. Though different in temperament and focus, both ask fundamental questions about the meaning of life and our place in the social or natural order. Les Fleurs (The Flowers) includes reproductions of 28 gouache paintings created by the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois in 2009-10, a year before she died at the age of 97. Ordnung and Reinlichkeit (Order and Cleanliness) by the Swiss artist duo Fischli/Weiss contains 15 black and white drawings by the artists from 1981. This exhibit is on display in the Greenfield Library’s Lillian Vanous Nutt Room.

Summer Events at the Museum:

(Free and open to the public; no pre-registration required.)

Exhibit Tour: On June 15 from 3 to 3:30pm, the Mitchell Art Museum’s Manager of Artistic Inquiry, Jenny Cawood, will lead an educational tour about “Some Light Reading.” During this half-hour tour, Cawood will talk about the delicate connection between visual art and poetry, the stories and art historical references behind the featured pieces, and how light can act as both object of study and subject of beauty within our lives. This tour will be discussion-based and informal.

Poetry Reading: On June 22, from 1 to 1:45pm, the Mitchell Art Museum will host a special guest speaker (TBA) for a Public Poetry Reading. Selections performed will come from master poets including Ada Limón, Frank O’Hara, Lucille Clifton, e.e. cummings, and Gwendolyn Brooks. The program will present poetry that speaks to the themes of “Some Light Reading” – love, grief, hope, nature, life – and provide a different level of insight into this unique exhibition.

Film Showing: On June 30, at 1 p.m. the Mitchell Art Museum will show Don Hertzfeldt’s sublime 2012 film It’s Such a Beautiful Day in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium in Mellon Hall. Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time and boasting an ultra-rare 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, It’s Such a Beautiful Day is an experimental adult animated comedy-drama film which is directed, written, animated, photographed, produced and narrated by Don Hertzfeldt.

For more information on Mitchell Art Museum exhibits and programming, visit sjc.edu/mitchell or follow @sjcmitchell on Facebook and Instagram.

Visiting the Museum: The museum’s summer hours are Thursday and Friday, 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Exhibitions are always free and wheelchair accessible. Parking is available on weekends in the Mellon Parking Lot (off St. John’s Street, north of Calvert Street) or in the Calvert Street Garage (one block away) at 19 St. John’s Street, and during the week at the Gott’s Court Garage (two-and-a-half blocks away) at 25 Calvert Street. The museum is located at the heart of campus in Mellon Hall.

Visiting the Greenfield Library: The library is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From June 10 to July 20, the library will also be open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Greenfield Library is located on the corner of St. John’s Street and College Avenue.

 

 

Artwork by Darlene R. Taylor (b. 1960): Fannie: Census 1880, 2023, mixed media on paper, Courtesy of the Artist

AAM Announces Solo Exhibition by Multidisciplinary Artist Darlene R. Taylor
Press Release :: April 2

The Academy Art Museum is pleased to announce HEIRLOOMS, a solo exhibition by artist Darlene R. Taylor. An artist talk and reception for Taylor will be held on Friday, April 5 at 6 pm. Taylor is a multidisciplinary artist based in Washington, DC and the Maryland Eastern Shore. Her work explores identity, race, kinship, place, and the journey from girlhood to womanhood. Remembering and reclaiming a record of Black survival are at the center of her practice.

In HEIRLOOMS, Darlene R. Taylor (b. 1960) affirms the resonance of memory in material culture as she imagines portraits of Black women obscured in historical archives. History is a muse that guides Taylor to know the past from the women who lived it. HEIRLOOMS examines the presence of Black women in Maryland’s Talbot County communities and Taylor’s own ancestry and follows the artist’s experience researching and interpreting photographs found in archives and family albums. Taylor employs mixed-media collage using vintage linens, laces, cottons, and buttons collected and handed down from mother to daughter, friend to friend.

Taylor states, “I’ve been using antique textiles for some time, many of which I found in antique stores locally in Maryland. But the works in HEIRLOOMS have an even more resonant history. I had been thinking about the way the handkerchief holds so many emotions and experiences—sweat and tears, joy and sadness. When I shared that thought with my friend circle, they responded by giving me handkerchiefs and linens passed down through their own families. In this way, my work is becoming its own archive of Black women’s lives. The cloth holds memory, and when it is given to me, I am connected to an ancestor through that exchange.”

Her use of women’s personal effects also draws inspiration in part from artifacts unearthed during two excavations commissioned by the Museum at the former home of Henny and James Freeman, one of the earliest- documented free Black landowning families who lived on the Hill Community site from 1787-1828. This site was gifted to AAM in 2023, and the Museum has plans to rehabilitate the existing structure on the site and connect it to new construction of an annex that will provide needed administrative space, as well as commemorate the historical significance of Easton’s Hill Community. Part of the annex will be named The Henny and James Freeman Wing and showcase the objects unearthed from the excavations in outdoor displays that tell the story of the family and neighborhood. Of the more than 6,000 historical artifacts unearthed, the most remarkable finds were personal items including buttons, jewelry, children’s toys, a woman’s shoe buckle, and a hair comb. These unique objects offer a rare connection to Black domestic life in the eighteenth century— particularly the lives of Black women and children, whose stories were frequently lost to history.

The works on paper on view in HEIRLOOMS engage mid-19th century forms, including silhouette, dressmaking, and quilting. Weaving the language of prose and poetry in the collages, Taylor inscribes public records with reimaginings that reveal the interior longings of generations of Black women, terrain so often distorted or absent in archives. This hybrid form of history-mapping in poetic verse and fabrics once held by ancestors assembles an archive that remembers untold stories so that more can be known of what Taylor refers to as “the love, labor, and thriving of Black life and family.”

“In trying to imagine these lives, I am always asking what is behind each woman’s gaze. Much of my work is based on photographs of women I find in historic archives. Even though we can see their faces, we often know more about the objects pictured in the room than we do about the women. So I try to stand with each woman, to look at what she is looking at. I’m not staring at her; I’m seeing the world as she sees it and observing those elements that make up her world,” notes Taylor.

“Taylor’s HEIRLOOMS stitches together the forgotten stories of Black women, weaving memory and material into a vibrant tapestry of resilience and remembrance. We are thrilled to showcase Taylor’s beautiful works on paper and to amplify voices that have historically been silenced,” adds Interim Director Jennifer Chrzanowski.

A handmade paperback book HEIRLOOMS is available for purchase in AAM’s Museum Shop as well as a limited-edition fine art print of the image The Storyteller with an excerpt of the poem Porch Telling written by Darlene R. Taylor.

 

 

Kikugawa Eizan. The Courtesan Oyodo of the Tsuruya Brothel; Tiger Hour (Tora No Koku), 4 to 6 a.m. (1812 or later). The Baltimore Museum of Art: Straton Family Fund. 2008.11

BMA Presents Henri Matisse & Japanese Woodcut Artists
Press Release :: May 30

On June 2, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) opens a focus exhibition that explores artistic engagement with color and pattern in 19th-century Japan and 20th-century Europe. The Art of Pattern: Henri Matisse and Japanese Woodcut Artists brings together 14 paintings and prints by iconic Modernist painter Henri Matisse and some of Japan’s most popular woodcut artists—Kikugawa Eizan, Keisai Eisen, and Utagawa Kunisada. Across cultures, artists have used patterns to signal human desire, whether through the depiction of opulent background settings or lavishly adorned clothing. In the 1920s, Matisse often surrounded his models with heavily decorated interior backgrounds, using prints and patterns in his compositions to create and define the private spaces his figures inhabited. By contrast, early 19th-century Japanese woodblock artists depicted their female subjects more often in public spaces and clothed in ornately decorated and many-layered kimonos. These prints often show glamorized female courtesans and entertainers depicted as though on parade. The Art of Pattern: Henri Matisse and Japanese Woodcut Artists is on view June 2, 2024 through January 5, 2025 in the Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies.

“The Art of Pattern gives visitors a wonderful opportunity to see the symmetries of two cultures and eras represented by some of the most prominent artists of their time,” said Asma Naeem, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “This exhibition is a visual feast that revels in the seductive beauty of patterns.” […]

 

 

Baltimore Bulletin by David Pontious
Newsletter :: June 3

Happy Monday. Every adventure must eventually come to an end, and today I’m sharing that the Baltimore Bulletin will publish its final edition at the end of this month, on June 28. For just over five years, I have worked to round up all the Baltimore news that matters into one evening newsletter. I started the newsletter when I was a junior in college, and I am ending it now to prepare, after several years in city government, to enter law school this fall.

So much has happened: three major elections, a once-in-a-generation pandemic and once-in-a-generation bridge collapse, corruption cases against elected officials, policy fights in City Hall and Annapolis, and much more. Through it all, I’ve tried to stay true to the mission I established on Day 1, to make the Bulletin “readable, informative, and somewhat entertaining.” I hope I mostly hit that target.

This newsletter would be empty without the tireless work of journalists in Baltimore — The Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore Brew, the Baltimore Banner, the Baltimore Beat, the Baltimore Business Journal, the AFRO, Baltimore Magazine, WMAR, WBAL-TV, WBAL radio, WJZ, FOX45, The Real News, Associated Press, and more. My thanks goes out to them, and to you all — reading, forwarding, and sending me your thoughts and stories.

a note from BmoreArt: We’ve subscribed to this newsletter for years and often turned to it to find articles for this post. We thank David for all his great work and wish him all the best in the future!

 

 

Qayum Karzai, owner of The Helmand, an Afghani restaurant in Mount Vernon, died Thursday. (Simone Phillips)

Beloved restaurateur Qayum Karzai, owner of The Helmand, dies at 77
by Christina Tkacik and Brett Barrouquere
Published June 30 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Qayum Karzai, owner of the popular The Helmand restaurant in Mount Vernon and brother of a former president of Afghanistan, died Thursday at age 77.

The cause of death was a heart attack, said his son, Helmand Karzai.

The news of his sudden passing stunned his family, friends and the many people who knew him through his Baltimore restaurants.

“He’d been doing great,” Helmand Karzai said. “He’s been as active as ever recently,” and was closely involved with the operations of all three of his eateries. Qayum Karzai, who lived in Glenwood, had just spent Memorial Day weekend with his family and grandchildren.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: Beloved restaurateur Qayum Karzai, owner of The Helmand, dies at 77

 

 

Carol Baish, managing director of Baltimore’s Theatre Project, dies
by Jacques Kelly
Published May 29 in The Baltimore Sun

Excerpt: Carol Baish, managing director of Baltimore’s Theatre Project, died of cancer May 3 at her Chinquapin Park home. She was 85.

She worked closely with her husband, Philip Arnoult, who founded the arts group in 1971 as a part of Antioch College’s division in Baltimore. It began as Baltimore’s Free Theatre and remains a showcase for international and area theater.

Her husband said: “Carol was the love of my life. We were married for over 50 years. She wasn’t only my wife, she was my professional partner.”

 

 

header image: Natalie Wynn. Photography by Matt Roth for Baltimore Magazine

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