Wednesday, December 31, 2008


(Compiled by Alex Ebstein of Ten Tigers and Cara Ober of BmoreArt)

1. CASH PRIZES! The new Baker Artist Awards, as well as the newly established Sondheim Prize, awarded annually, means up to $85,000 for a handful of local artists. This is NOT chump change and does establish, especially in times of economic uncertainty, a REAL commitment to artists here in Baltimore (unlike that Station North Tax Bullshit).

The Baker Artist Awards is absolutely free for artists to participate in and encourages an online community for artists living here – a virtual curator's wet dream!

The Sondheim Prize set the tone three years ago, awarding $25,000 to one artist and promoting the work of finalists and semi-finalists in professional exhibitions, as part of Artscape.

2. Free Museums/Free Fall Baltimore: Beginning in 2006 with an $800,000 fund from Baltimore City and County, and having acquired a current list of 20 sponsors, Baltimore residents continue to enjoy free admission to the BMA and Walters Art Museums. Additionally, Free Fall Baltimore organizes free events and workshops involving several of the city's under-attended art centers, including Baltimore Clayworks and Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. Having access to international, contemporary and historic artwork free-of-charge is an invaluable resource to students, teachers, aspiring and working artists alike.

3. Gary Kachadourian! We love Gary. A working artist, teacher and Visual Arts Coordinator at Baltimore Office for Promotion and the Arts, the man can't possibly sleep. Organizing city-wide events, reviewing grant proposals, and serving as a constant resource to the arts community, Gary Kachadourian is responsible for some of Baltimore's greatest art assets. From the Current Gallery to beautifying the city (and employing local artists) with the Baltimore Mural Program, Gary is behind the scenes of Baltimore's coolest public art projects.

4. A Rumor of Live/Work Spaces being built by the city! I have no idea where this project is, in terms of being a fantasy or a reality, but rumor has it that the city is funding the construction of loft-style studio spaces on abandoned lots in the city. Other rumors are that 11 Row Homes on the 1600 block of Latrobe St. (between Lanvale & Federal St., just east of Guilford) are now being rehabbed for Artists to not only live in, but also work in. This project is being funded by a private company so it could be bust at this point. However, as real estate prices plummet and the station north arts community grows stronger each day, the price is right and the only people with enough 'vision' and/or crazy to buy or lease these spaces are artists.

Ryan Browning's "Image Guardian" at Gallery Four

5. New and Re-Opened Venues. In 2008, no less than 6 major players emerged or re-opened on Baltimore's cultural venue roster. Two projects (originally) spearheaded by Jason Hughes, The Library and Gallery Four are again holding exhibitions, while The Wind Up Space, The Strand and Echo have begun to establish themselves as enclaves of artistic, theatrical and musical expression in the city. The Hexagon, formerly the Lo-Fi Social Club, continues to showcase young, regional musicians on their stage and artworks in its lounge-like lobby. Baltimore's talents have an ever-expanding outlet for exhibition.

Aaron Henkin and Lisa Morgan of the Signalrin

6. A Supportive Local Media. Baltimore artists are fortunate to have individuals like Bret McCabe, Lisa Morgan, Aaron Henkin and Tom Hall in the local press. Shining a light on many of the deserving exhibitions and art ventures produced in the city, The Signal, Maryland Morning and City Paper help to generate the encouraging buzz needed in the community. Be it an interview with Lisa Morgan, or a CP best-of nod, artists receive a healthy amount of praise and recognition along with some valuable criticism.

Erin Cluley in front of Rene Trevino's mylar sun disc, photo by Cara Ober

7. Erin Cluley. Sure, she is adorable and yes, an artist in her own right, but this year she's been cutting her teeth as a professional curator and we have to say, we're happy with her efforts. Cluley is most often seen behind the scenes at C. Grimaldis Gallery, as the assistant gallery director. We suspect she is at least in part responsible for the tremendous innovations we've seen in the last year from this Baltimore mainstay – especially exhibits like Grimaldis Sculpture at Area 405, as well as her own curatorial projects like, "My ______ Other," "To The Teeth" and "Transitions" all at Creative Alliance, Cluley shows a professionalism and a promise that Baltimore sorely needs.

Photo by Cara Ober

8. NEW ART STORE! The Artist and Craftsman Supply store opened its doors several months ago, next to Joe Squared Pizza on the corner of North Avenue and Howard Street. If it's colorful, funky attitude doesn't win you over, their low prices and huge selection of everything you need will. We hope that their strategic location, next to MICA's graduate studios will be condusive to their success because we like shopping there! Kitty cat stickers and glitter and wooden boxes to paint on? YEAH. This store is part of a small chain of stores based in Maine.

Philippa Hughes in the Washington Post, image by Len Spoden

9. DC ART Collectors! God Bless 'Em. Just a short train ride away, DC has an art scene that is populated not only by artists and curators but these other people called COLLECTORS. These collectors actually PURCHASE work by local emerging artists, sit on panels to brag about their collections, provide tours of their homes and collections, and support LOCAL artists. It is truly amazing. Names like Philip Barlowe, Philippa Hughes, Heather and Tony Podesta, Robert Lehrman, ames Alefantis, Monica Bussolati, Allison Cohen, Melvin L. Hardy, and Dr. Michael Pollack are music to artists ears in DC, and also Baltimore artists who manage to get their work there. You can read Philippa's Hughes' blog, The Adventures of Hoogirl to get an idea of this concept!

Philip Barlow photographed by Max Hirshfeld

Where are the Baltimore collectors? They do exist. At this point, there are a few shining stars and we LOVE you!, but most Baltimore collectors still prefer to buy work for their collections in New York and spots outside of Baltimore. For shame! Local collectors need to step it up and get involved with the homegrown art scene. Panel discussion on collecting, anyone? Just say the word and we'll make it happen.

10. Local Art Blogs. Not that we're trying to pat ourselves on the back or anything, but blogs are an amazing, although under-utilized, promotional tool. Immediately accessing an international audience, Radar Redux, Baltimore Interview, Bmore Art and Ten Tigers are on a mission to bring Baltimore's artists to the world! On a less grand scale, blogs help to consistently promote and document local events and exhibitions, creating permanent, accessible records for artists, curators and art spaces. We're here for you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Liz Ensz and Eun Woo Cho January 9 @ School 33

Friday, January 9, 2009 6-9pm | Opening Reception at School 33 Art Center

Two Person Juried Exhibition

Featuring the work of Liz Ensz (Baltimore) and Eun Woo Cho (NYC)

Juried by Andrea Pollan; Director of Curator’s Office in Washington DC

Part of School 33 Art Center’s Open Call to Artists

Exhibition Dates | January 9 – February 7, 2009

Gallery Hours | Tues, Wed, Fri 10-5pm | Thurs 10-7pm | Sat 12-4pm

School 33 Art Center | 1427 Light Street Baltimore, MD 21230

Sunday, December 28, 2008

MCA Denver @ A Glance

Designed by David Adjaye, The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver opened in October of 2007. Their current exhibitions include works from Damien Hirst, Jonas Burgert, Jane Hammond, Adam Helms, Terry Maker, and Omer Fast.

"Toxic Schizophrenia" by British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster

"Second Day Nothing" by Jonas Burgert

Maurizio Cattelan's Wrong Gallery shows up in the gift shop

"MCA DENVER has five distinct galleries, three spaces for education, multiple sites for special projects/commissioned works and one live art/lecture hall. The galleries perform in a rotation sequence that allows the Museum to always remain in an active state, thus offering something new to be seen upon each return visit. MCA DENVER excites artists and visitors alike to enter into creative conversations that extend beyond our walls."

for more information check out

Friday, December 26, 2008

NADA Art Fair and Art Damage/AFTER-PARTY.

Canada Gallery's boothNADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) art fair is flashy, big-budgeted and extremely professional. Enjoying its Wynwood location in the Ice Palace, NADA showcased young, exciting work; with highlights including Ajit Chauhan, Barry McGee and Ara Peterson. Compared to the other fairs (with the exception of Aqua, still my favorite) NADA was the easiest to navigate, and most consistently stimulating. With affordable prints, publications and books toward the exit, and Banana Republic tote bags reading "I need money" available in a booth on the lawn, you couldn't deny that NADA had something for everyone.
Maya Hewitt (above and below)
Ara Peterson
Barry McGee

White Columns
Klaus Winichner
Ajit Chauhan (above and below) he rules pretty hard.
Overduin and Kite's booth
Peggy Franck
Dana Frankfort
Atsushi Kaga
Miller and Shellabarger @ Western Exhibitions (above and below)
Lin May
Louise Despont
Chris Johanson

Keltie Ferris
Hilary Pecis
Taylor McKimens
Jay Nelson

As if the fair itself wasn't cool enough, the (FREE) Art Damage/Nike after party featuring PANDA BEAR and No Age at Karu & Y really sealed the deal:
Panda Bear
No Age
Videos on the lawn

Gratuitous Panda Bear Photos...because it was the best show ever.