Monday, September 29, 2008

Curators' Incubator Opens @ Maryland Art Place

Frank Klein

Maryland Art Place's Curators' Incubator, an annual event that highlights and encourages emerging curators, opened this past weekend and featured two distinct and interesting exhibitions.
Rebecca Webber chose to focus on surveillance imagery in her show, Invisible Omniscience: Seeing and the Seen, while Zoma Wallace and T. Shareen Dash sought to define the term and showcase artwork from the art collective Afrikatalyst (also the title of their exhibition).

Webber's show featured a variety of perspectives and approaches to the idea of surveillance. Artists Leslie Furlong, and Christa Erickson dealt with actual footage from different kinds of surveillance cameras -Furlong using footage from cameras recording weather data in Hawaii to show the absence of event in surveillance, and Erickson creating a hopscotch grid from international imagery.
Also from Invisible Omniscience:
Brendan Howell

Eric Parnes, left and William Betts right and below

Afrikatylist included a number of powerful pieces, each of which contained its own message, whether encrypted, as in William Nathanial Thomas IV 's 14 pieces (containing codes in hieroglyphics, graffiti tags and other symbols to tell a story), or more obviously in the picture-poems of Akil E Kennedy.
Also from Afrokatalyst:
Jonathan Edwards

James Phillips

Johnnie Bess above and below

Curators' Incubator will run through October 25th
Maryland Art Place
8 Market Place, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Friday, September 26, 2008

Public Moves; Call For Participants!

Join a Magical Public Art Happening on Federal Hill
Come out and move together with a mass of strangers atop Federal Hill on Sunday, October 26th.

Public Moves
Federal Hill is a community performance atop Federal Hill featuring Baltimoreans of all ages and colors, shapes and sizes, backgrounds and experiences. The performance is inspired by the everyday movement we see on the hill and each person will play a part in creating it! To do it come to one rehearsal in October and join us on 10/26: Find out more and sign up at

A Baltimore Love Thing! @ The Annex Theater

Poster by Sarah Matson
A Baltimore Love Thing!
A play by Tim Paggi
October 2, 3, and 4
8 PM
At The Copycat Annex Theater

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stories From The Woods @ Current Gallery

Stories From The Woods investigates a fascination with the natural world. The showcased artists explore a contemporary reinterpretation of nature, while simultaneously drawing from past folklore and classic painting. Through stylized, representational, sculpture, narrative paintings, and whimsical installation pieces by a group of invited, regional artists, Stories from the Woods seeks to transform the space into a platform for these fantastical narratives.

October 3 - 31
With a Reception on Oct 3 from 7 - 10 PM
Artists: Bonner Sale, Christine Buckton Tillman, Emily Nachison, Emily Slaughter, John Bohl and Annie Gray Robrecht
Curated by Alex Ebstein (me)

David Hess @ Goya Contemporary

David Hess, the Maryland sculptor whose work can be seen at The American Visionary Art Museum, and Johns Hopkins Hospital is known for his large, architectural sculptures. Reconstruction, his current exhibition at Goya Contemporary, is a scaled down version of his found object construction:
Artist David Hess, with Daniel Stuelpnagel

Hess exhibits infrequently, if you get a chance to go over to Goya, you really shouldn't miss it.
3000 Chestnut Ave # 214
Baltimore, MD 21211

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Arts Preview Tomorrow on Maryland Morning 88.1!

I was actually trying to keep this under wraps, but since Cara has already put up a post:

Cara Ober (of Bmore Art) and I will be talking to Tom Hall of WYPR's Maryland Morning about upcoming arts events in Baltimore. The segment will air tomorrow morning, sometime between 9:30 and 10 am.
Cara sounds much more professional than I managed to, she used her "teacher voice."

Listen in tomorrow (Sept 23), or find it online here

Be kind.

The Super Art Fight Experience, relayed by John Marra:

Photo courtesy of

Live mural painting (legal or otherwise) is an indispensable aspect of Hip Hop culture. Most memorable and intimate shows have (or ought to have) at least one artist improvising large-scale pieces alongside its musical acts and in full view of the crowd. Both artists are given the chance to showcase their work to new group of potential fans, an artistic community is strengthened, and the audience gets the chance to watch two live acts at once. Everyone wins.

I found it surprising to hear that MC Chris, the self-proclaimed “geek” rapper, cut the Super Art Fight debut from their slot opening for him at the Ottobar in June. Even after the S.A.F. team brought their performance to the upstairs lounge, MC Chris trash-talked them and their whole idea during his set. He made a cameo as a demon named “MC Pee-Pants” on Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but he’s not into the idea of local comic artists and illustrators drawing robots and monsters fighting on large canvases. Go figure.
Jamie Baldwin pits her Skulls against Michael Bracco’s Hearts.

I didn’t know what to expect when I went down to the Ottobar on Friday. I’d just heard that there would be some live painting and Michael Bracco (who won a well deserved B.O.B. for his comic Novo) would be doing some of it. That was good enough for me. I’d only seen one flyer for the event posted, and I’m glad I hung on to it.

Super Art Fight goes like this: for every bout, artists are each given a pile of markers and thirty minutes to cover the four joined pieces of 2’ x 3’ canvas with representations of their individually assigned themes. Between rounds bands play on stage and the artists sell their books, sketches, t-shirts and craft at the merch area upstairs. The whole thing feels like one part rock show, one part Kaiju Big Battle, one part comic convention.
Chris Impink and Garth Graham

S.A.F. co-creators Jamie Noguchi, Rosscott Nover, Marty Day, and Nick Borkowicz met, as most comic artists do these days, on the internet and comic-con circuit. The two hosts and six artists each have their own web comic, and have been collaborating for years.

“This just seemed like the next logical step,” Nover told me before ordering his pint so he could gesticulate excitedly. “We met on the internet, we hung out at conventions, and we wanted to do something bigger. We know all these really great people who draw or play music but we’d never done something all together and on our own like this.”
Nick Borkowicz and Jamie Noguchi during the final battle.
The bands Karmelas Game and the Headwounds may have been co-billed for the night, but the show definitely belonged to the artists. Round three, the final round of the evening, was about as epic as it could get at something like this. Noguichi and Borkowicz were presented with twelve canvases and a full hour to draw, but their themes were chosen at random by the digital “Wheel of Death”. Suggestions like Orthodox Jew pirates, ninjas dancing the Thriller and gaggles of Star Wars references may elicit eye-rolling from some, but S.A.F. is a showcase of talent-under-pressure, and watching Borkowicz (apparently a tattoo artists) handle his non-sequitur topics with such ease was really enjoyable.
Noguchi rags on Borkowicz’s Luke Skywalker.
The real joy of S.A.F. comes from watching the processes of the individual illustrators as their pieces unfold and the canvases fill. Each round began with the artists working on opposite ends of the canvas until they got up the nerve to cross and attack the other’s work in a visual equivalent of an MC freestyle battle. But by the end of each round, though, the competitors were collaborators, going into mini-huddles to decide where or what to draw next as a team. The audience members packed shoulder to shoulder and stood on tip-toe for the three rounds, cheering, booing and chanting. Color commentary by hosts Nover and Day kept everyone’s ears occupied over the droning Matrix-style techno, but their wired mics kept them stuck on stage and, occasionally, fishing for something to say. Maybe they were just as engrossed as the rest of us.
Noguchi and Borkowicz’s finished piece.
To his credit, MC Chris inadvertently laid the groundwork for another Baltimore niche-scene with devoted fans and a lot of potential to grow. The Ottobar feels like the perfect venue for an event like this, with the bands-on-stage, artists-on-floor setup. I wasn’t into using randomly selected audience members to judge the winner of each round. Again, I recognize that S.A.F. is full of talented people and this seems fair, but why not take the freestyle battle route? Something as simple as screaming loudest for your favorite would engage the audience that much more. And waiting for a band to set up after watching a fast paced art battle is a minor gripe, but I’d like to see the next S.A.F. (slated for this December) handle the music/art a bit more seamlessly. That will come with time, as will the possibility for other artists and musical acts with more variety bringing in other crowds unfamiliar with Super Art Fight. The cartoonists will get away from their lonely drafting tables and tablets to perform for a crowd, the bands will find new fans and potential flyer and album art designers, and the audience will stumble home with the satisfaction of seeing something pretty unique. Everyone wins.Day, Borkowicz, Noguchi, and Nover bring the night to a close.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bright Shiny New Opens @ Paperwork Gallery

Bright Shiny New, the current exhibition at Paperwork Gallery, features the work of recent BFA and MFA graduates. The included pieces are pretty interesting, but the show seems sparse... perhaps a lack of applicants? The Paperwork Gallery is a tremendous resource to new and emerging artists, and worth checking in with for their upcoming calls for entry/news/events. Take advantage of these things!
Photos from the opening:

Daniel Wallace

Art Bloggers Mark Barry of Ionarts and Cara Ober in front of Jana Rice's pieces

Jessie Lehson
One of my favorite art ladies, Laura Amussen in front of Joseph Letourneau's photos


Allison Wade

Jessie Lehson's annual rings

Jaime Bennati's fabulous newspaper piece

Detail from Joseph Latourneau's photograph

Check out the show at Paperwork Gallery
107 E. Preston Street
And their dot com!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Super Art Fight TONIGHT @ The Ottobar

This sounds amazing!
For more info go to the Super Art Fight Website!

Laura Burns' Poetry of Everyday Time

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Local artist and Goucher professor, Laura Burns, has invited you to experience images of Juarez, Mexico in real time.

Looping in 15 minute segments, Burns' videos focus on mounds of earth with the city alive in the periphery. The subtlety of the sound and motion as the secondary experience of these videos helps to reinforce the still and the slow, the artist described her show as "the antithesis of pop culture."
Take a second to stop by and experience this show-or take at least 15 minutes- on display in the Corrin Art Gallery in the Meyerhoff building on the Goucher College campus.
1021 Dulaney Valley Road
Baltimore, MD 21204

Beastiarum Vocabulum @ Rosenberg Gallery

Jessie Boyko's unapologetic rhino fornication, her paintings are based on her travel experiences

Beastiarum Vocabulum, the new show at Goucher's Rosenberg Gallery, features artists who are exploring the relationship between animals, humans and art. The theme of the show came to curator Laura Amussen after last year's Art Basel, where she saw a number of artists investigating these ideas. The included artists each have a very different take on and reason for their animal imagery. Some worked more figuratively, and others have abstracted the animal beyond recognition, as with David Page's leather drumsticks (below), and Beverly Ress's delicate paper work.
Gowri Savoor uses animals to represent memory and its occurrence in her life

Detail from Lisa Dillin's igloo sculpture

Beverly Ress

Evan Morgan's sculptures in front of Jenny Mullins' animation

Beverly Ress

Me inside Lisa Dillin's growling sleeping bag...yes it growls

Evan Morgan's deer ducks

David Page in front of Melissa Dickenson

Lily and a friend admire Melissa Dickenson's pieces

David Page
The show as a whole has a slightly more commercial feel than past Rosenberg exhibitions. This is maybe in a large part due to the included prices, and (me, personally) having seen Page's work recently at Jordan Faye. Amussen, as always, has selected some beautiful and interesting pieces for the space, my favorites being Jenny Mullins' video and Lisa Dillin's funny/surreal/bizarre sculpture, but I think, honestly, I would like to have seen some more beasts-it is a little tame.

The show is already open to the public, but will have its opening reception on Thursday, September 25th from 6 - 8 pm.