In my core, I am an artist advocate. I am completely inspired by the wealth of creative talent in Baltimore, specifically within the African American community. How do I recognize an underserved, unsupported, unrecognized art community? This became my personal mission. While the art community in Baltimore has grown in the past decade, I believe a cross section of our cities creatives are being excluded. I embarked on a journey to do something rather than just complain by partnering with two community spaces to curate two exhibitions. One of living artists in Baltimore "Baltimore's Unsung", and the other of deceased artists from Baltimore "Baltimore MASTERS Art of the Ancestors". Both drew hundreds of supporters who have longed to see artists of color unify.
First, I organized and curated an exhibition of "LIVING" Baltimore African American Artists titled "Baltimore's Unsung". The exhibition was one of the largest assemblages of Baltimore African American Visual Artists on display at The Downtown Cultural Arts Center during Black History Month. Exhibition was held in 2014 during Black History Month.
Was the largest assemblage of Baltimore African American Artists including: Tommy Roberts, Aaron Maybin, Karen Y. Buster, Charles Cooper, Eric Briscoe, Ernest Shaw, Laura Benson, Belle Massey,Winston Harris, Matthew Rice, James Myrick, Jeffrey Kent, Jerry Prettyman, Brandon Lee, Laurence Hurst, Maurice “Moe” Bradford, Dallin Smith, Larry Poncho Brown, Phillip Snead, Ram Brisueño, Ed Towles, James E Murphy Jr., Derek McGowan, Sean Anthony Vass, Sr., Linda Gray, Matthew "Bay Bay" Williams, Kylis P Winborne, Randy Walters, Ursula Cain-Jordan, Eljay Elijah McBride, Guy Jones, Brianna Faulkner, Valerie Smith, Hasani Claxton, Kyle Hackett, Francine Harris, Anndell V. Banks, James Edward Jones, James Redd, Nelson Taylor, Yolanda Redd, Robert "Kaki" McQueen, Nathaniel Gibbs, Tracy Stevens, and Wendell Shannon-Supreme. Unsung - Baltimore’s Own In the world of art there is often a stigma and/or issues associated with supporting local artists; particularly artist of color.
Baltimore has a rich legacy of visual artist whose contributions represent the very fabric of the city. These artists may have national and/or international acclaim, yet they often go unrecognized within their own community. Their works decorate our great city, however only a few local galleries validate their contributions. In addition local institutions rarely utilize these artists wealth of experience and knowledge. They often face the continued challenges of biased selection in several local art exhibitions and festivals. The Unsung exhibit will feature the artist, designers, crafts creators and entrepreneurs that actively represent the Baltimore art scene. The exhibition is a reunion of sorts of these artisans that evolved during the development of the city. This will be a rare gathering of visionary and dynamic creators, who use art to heal, uplift and empower. Photography by Anderson Ward.
Second, I organized and curated an exhibition of "DECEASED" Baltimore Artists that have joined the ancestors.
In honor of Black history month The Fredrick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum hosted an exhibition entitled "Baltimore MASTERS Art of the Ancestors", a salute to historical Baltimore African-American visual artists. Exhibition was held in 2016
Baltimore has a rich legacy of visual artists. Their contributions are the very fabric of Baltimore City. Many of these artists acquired national and international acclaim, yet often have mostly gone unrecognized within the art community. Only a few Local galleries have validated their contributions, and most local institutions have yet to acknowledge their contributions.
This was a rare gathering of visionary and dynamic creators who utilized art to heal, uplift, and empower. Baltimore “MASTERS” Art of the Ancestors featured the visual artists that represented the Baltimore African American art scene. The exhibition was the first of its kind to recognize this legacy of artists, activists, and entrepreneurs that were the very fabric of the inner city. Over 15 visual artists will be represented in this landmark exhibition including the likes of Thomas Stockett, Larry O. Brown, Sr., William Joyner, Robert Torrence, Tom Miller, Bill Strong, Pontella Mason, Leroy “Miki” Jones, Irving Phillips, Sr., Elizabeth Scott, Cary Beth Cryor, Luke Shaw, O’Neill Hammond, Anderson Piagett, Gerald Hawks, James Barefoot, Larry Stevens, Roy Cross, Chenal Alford, Carl Clark and Hosea Solazaro, to name a few. Photography by Anderson Ward.