From a pool of more than 100 applicants, a jury selected Nekisha Durrett and Jackie Milad to create site-responsive installations in dialogue with Fred Wilson’s sculpture Artemis/Bast (1992). The winning works will be presented at the BMA beginning April 2023 through March 2024.
In dialogue with Fred Wilson’s sculpture Artemis/Bast (1992), on extended loan from a private collection, the BMA seeks to commission two (2) artists or artist teams to create site-responsive installations of their own work that engage with the question:
What images and thoughts emerge when myths and histories collide?
Emerging and mid-career artists residing in Maryland or its contiguous states are invited to engage in an open dialogue around their own practices while examining the complex legacies unfurled in Wilson’s art as it has intersected with Baltimore’s cultural life and specific histories, from his groundbreaking Mining the Museum project organized by The Contemporary in 1992 to his retrospective organized by the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2001.
Successful proposals, while in dialogue with Fred Wilson’s sculpture, are not intended to be a homage or recapitulation of his prior projects. Instead, these commissioned installations will center around the collision of myths and histories, a provocation posed by Artemis/Bast and explored through the concerns and interests of the commissioned artists’ own practices.
The commissioned works will be presented in the two galleries to either side of the John Waters Rotunda at the BMA, where Artemis/Bast will be installed at center.
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Artemis/Bast, 1992, juxtaposes two mythological characters from divergent cultures of origin: The Egyptian cat goddess Bast and the Greek goddess Artemis the huntress, exposing their shared symbolism of protection and fertility. The sharp contrast of deep ebony feline head and a white, heavily draped Neoclassical body, combined with the shards of plaster at the feet of Wilson’s creation, shatters perceived knowledge of the ancient world, and reminds us that Africa was a present and equally compelling source of intellectual, philosophical, and social advancement in the time of antiquity.
Fred Wilson first presented this work as part of his installation Panta Rhei – A Gallery of Ancient Classical Art at Metro Pictures in 1992. Artemis/Bast is currently on view at the BMA in How Do We Know The World?, a multi-year reinstallation of the Museum’s contemporary wing.
Please read the following carefully before uploading your materials.
You will need to submit all of the following materials when filling out the form:
- Letter of Intent: This is not the artist’s proposal. Two (2) pages or less, outlining how the artist will approach the proposal to commission a site-responsive installation at the BMA that dialogues with Fred Wilson’s Artemis/Bast and activates the designated exhibition space. Preliminary to any formal proposal, this letter should demonstrate how the artist’s existing concerns and practice connect to this project, why the opportunity is of interest, and how the artist would approach the proposal if invited to proceed to the next stage.
- Current Resume: Not to exceed three (3) pages, for each project participant.
- PDF Portfolio: Collate representative images of five (5) relevant artworks into a single PDF; for each, include title, creation date, complete materials, scale, duration (as applicable); optional: brief statement up to 200 words per artwork may be incorporated.
Submit Here to Be Considered
The submission period closed on July 27, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET
The goal of the open call is to select artists or artist teams, based on qualifications, experience, and references. In July, the BMA will invite up to five (5) artists or artist teams from those who submit to the open call to develop detailed proposals for a site-responsive commission. In August, a jury will then select two (2) finalists among these proposals to be commissioned by the BMA to create new work for exhibition April 2023 to March 2024. The selected artists or artist teams will begin work in September 2022, six months prior to installation and opening.
Information sessions were livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube on:
- Tuesday, June 14 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Wednesday, June 15 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Questions and answers from information sessions are available here.
Information Session #1 | Download the transcript
Information Session #2 | Download the transcript
The Exhibition Space
Located at the crossroads of the BMA’s European art galleries and Antioch Court, the John Waters Rotunda is dedicated to the presentation of works by contemporary artists. BMA Commissions will respond to Fred Wilson’s Artemis/Bast in the John Waters Rotunda by activating the adjacent Jacobs 3 and Jacobs 9 gallery spaces to either side.
- Week of June 13: Public information sessions
- June 27, 2022 (11:59 pm EST): Submission deadline
- July 15, 2022: Shortlisted artists/teams invited to submit proposals
- July 15−29: Information sessions for shortlisted artists
- July 15−August 5: Proposal development period
- August 5 (11:59 pm EST): Proposal deadline
- August 24−26, 2022 : Jury interviews & final deliberations
- August 29, 2022: Two selected artists notified
- September 6, 2022: Two selected artists meet with BMA project team & commence work on commissions
- November 2022 & January 2023: Studio visits with BMA team to review in-progress work
- March 2023: Works delivered & installation begins
- April 2023−March 2024: Exhibition on view