Close Read; August 27 – October 1, 2020

Screening nightly, sunset – 11pm

BmoreArt’s Connect + Collect Gallery | 2519 N. Charles Street

Close Read is a group exhibition featuring new work by three Baltimore-based photographers: Akea Brionne Brown, SHAN Wallace and Savannah Wood. Each artist has spent time conducting research in the historic AFRO American Newspapers’ archives, and has created new work inspired by their findings. The exhibition is scheduled to open August 27, 2020 at BmoreArt’s Connect + Collect Gallery, which is sited in the former AFRO headquarters.
This project marks the first time that artists have been explicitly invited to work with the AFRO American Newspapers’ archives. Brown dissects a pamphlet about urban renewal, redacting its promotional language to reveal a different message about its underlying negative effects. Wallace’s animated photo collages combine her own images with photos from the AFRO archives to celebrate nearly a century of Black women’s play and labor. Wood follows a genealogical trail, connecting the AFRO’s roots back to a former plantation (now a state park) in Montgomery County. The work produced for this show highlights different artistic approaches to archival inquiry, with Baltimore’s Black communities as a common thread.

The artwork will be projected on the gallery windows nightly from sunset to 11pm, allowing for an in-person art experience while maintaining physical-distancing protocols. The work will also be screened on the Baltimore Museum of Art’s Screening Room starting August 26.

Close Read is produced by Savannah Wood and the AFRO American Newspapers. This project is supported by a grant from the Grit Fund, with additional funding was provided by the Awesome Foundation and Afro Charities.

Special thanks to Peter Smith for technical support.

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