September 15, 2006
Artists Selected for siteMaryland: Governor’s Arts Initiative 2006
BALTIMORE, MD (September 15, 2006)—The Baltimore Museum of Art and Maryland State Arts Council today announced the artists who have been selected to participate in the inaugural siteMaryland juried exhibition. On view October 1-November 5, 2006 at the BMA, siteMaryland: Governor’s Arts Initiative 2006 is a juried exhibition of artists living or working in Maryland that will change venues each year. The inaugural exhibition features 11 works of art that will reinvent the BMA’s gardens and grounds—from sod houses on the front steps to a human pyramid performance held daily in the Sculpture Gardens. The final selection reflects an impressive range of ideas and practices that will dramatically transform the Museum for the launch of free admission on October 1. siteMaryland is presented by the Maryland State Arts Council in partnership with the BMA.
“The BMA has a long history of exhibiting works by contemporary artists from Baltimore and beyond, so I am delighted that we are hosting the inaugural siteMaryland exhibition,” said BMA Director Doreen Bolger. “That it opens concurrent with the Museum’s launch of year-round free admission could not be better timing.”
“I encourage all citizens to support Maryland’s arts community by attending siteMaryland,” said Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. “We are very fortunate to live in a state that embraces and celebrates the arts the way that Maryland does. I am pleased that this exhibition will highlight the wealth of talented artists that call Maryland home.”
A closing night celebration will take place on Thursday, November 2, during Free First Thursday Night’s extended evening hours from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information about siteMaryland, call 443-573-1832.
siteMaryland artists include:
Vestal Abbott (Carroll County): Using interviews with local patrons and members of the art community, Abbott will create an acoustic impression of the BMA that will be transmitted to visitors via radio frequency as they walk around the site.
Zoë Charlton and Rick Delaney (Baltimore): Two scaled-down versions of a typical Baltimore bungalow will adorn either side of the BMA’s Pope entrance, introducing a bit of suburbia (complete with the manicured lawn) to the BMA’s neoclassic façade.
Rachel Eisler (Baltimore): A poem written specifically for the BMA’s Spring House will explore the particularities of this small building while addressing the role of water in more fundamental ways. Visitors will experience the calm of this extraordinary building while listening to Eisler’s reading.
David Fouts (Baltimore): This artist works with discarded materials to create improvisational sculptures on site. He will make use of detritus and castoff materials from local neighborhoods and constructions areas surrounding the BMA for this unusual piece.
Billy Friebele (Hyattsville): For this three-part installation that explores the space surrounding the Visitors Entrance, Friebele will produce a suspended kinetic sculpture, a chalk drawing based on its shadows, and a video piece that tracks its movements. The works will shift and alter with the changing winds and weather.
Lexie Mountain Boys (Baltimore): Neither male nor from the mountains, this all-girl performance group will create a living pyramid in the BMA’s sculpture garden, mimicking the formal geometry of surrounding works with their decidedly human formation. Known for their spirited and spontaneous performances, the artists have scheduled events daily through November 2.
Anna MacDonald (Baltimore): Thousands of translucent water-filled surgical gloves will be layered like glowing feathers to create the impression of water cascading from two niches flanking the Pope entrance. As temperature and daylight change, the vessels expand and contract like a living organism.
David Page (Baltimore): A native of South Africa, Page will “protect” the elevated bases on the Pope Terrace with colorful fabric bolsters that also safeguard visitors from accidental toe stubs and shin knocks. The humor of the work exposes a climate of caution that often surrounds museums, and public behavior in general.
Christina Ralls and Katharine Better (University of Maryland Baltimore County): These UMBC students work with range of community and children’s groups in an effort to make art that motivates positive change in people’s lives. They will present a collaboratively produced maypole structure that invites written commentary from visitors.
Calla Thompson (Baltimore): Meticulously cut silhouetted figures will appear to fall down the steps below the Pope Entrance, tumbling over one another as they descend. Using the risers as her surface, Thompson allows the piece to break apart step-by-step, underscoring the role (and potential absence) of perspective for both art and her vulnerable subjects.
James Vose (Baltimore): Using the smooth rounded surface of the museum’s columns as his springboard and base, the artist will create a metal sculpture that clamps onto the building like a prosthetic or scaffold. Interested in seemingly incidental implements, Vose makes work that evokes overblown and out-of-place utilitarian objects that mysteriously alter their environments simply by being there.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.