Charles Mason III, photo by Schaun Champion. Nicoletta Darita de la Brown, photo courtesy the artist
Charles Mason III, photo by Schaun Champion. Nicoletta Darita de la Brown, photo courtesy the artist

BMA affiliate Joshua Johnson Council initiative embeds artists at MICA for six weeks

BALTIMORE, MD (May 10, 2023)—The Baltimore Museum of Art, (BMA), Joshua Johnson Council (JJC), and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) today announced Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown and Charles Mason III have been selected for the 2023 Summer Artist-in-Residence program at MICA jointly sponsored by the three organizations. Launched in 2022, the residency program provides selected artists the opportunity to work in MICA’s Fred Lazarus IV Studio Center Studio over the course of six weeks in June and July, allowing the artist to expand his work and scale, as well as embedding himself within the college community. Brown and Mason are both Baltimore-based artists who were selected by a four-panel jury comprised of artists Maia Chao and Jerrell Gibbs and curator Cynthia Hodge-Thorne, representing each organization, as well as James Phillips, the previous JJC artist-in-residence.

“The JJC Artist in Residence at MICA is designed to provide access and opportunity for artists at any stage in their career, to explore, expand, and even resurrect parts of their creative practice in an environment where collaboration is encouraged and opportunities are limitless,” said Antoinette Peele, JJC immediate past chair and executive committee member. “The JJC intends for this initiative to provide long-lasting intergenerational connections among artists in our community, by leveraging connections between organizations to support artists with what they actually need.”

Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown (Panamanian-American, b. 1981, Baltimore, MD) is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist and curandero chamána (shamanic practitioner). Her artworks re-conceive the life of an artist as thriving, nourishing others during and through her art practice, while healing herself in public space as a Black-Latine woman. She is a 2022-23 Public Humanities Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center and 2023 Artist-In-Residence at the National Aquarium; as well as a “Mindfulness in Art Practice” instructor at Baltimore School for the Arts. She has performed at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; The Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; The Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building, Washington, DC; Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD; and Eubie Blake Cultural Center, Baltimore, MD. Exhibitions of Brown’s video artworks and installations have been presented at the Tribeca Film Festival, New York, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; and numerous regional galleries. Her work is in the collections of The Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University and GLB Memorial Foundation Collection, among others.

Charles Mason III (b. 1990, Baltimore, MD) is an artist and curator who creates abstractions around identity politics and the “performative act of blackness” experienced and manifested through physical materials. Solo exhibitions of his work include Screaming in Silence, My Salvation is Love (The End) at Anna Zorina Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2022); Goya Contemporary Gallery, Baltimore, MD (2021); and Spillway Collective, Philadelphia, PA, (2019). He has participated in group exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI; and Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL; among others. He has work in the permanent collections of the James E. Lewis Museum of Art in Baltimore, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. He is also a recipient of the Maurice Freed Memorial Prize from the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia. Mason received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and his Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

“This key initiative exemplifies how the JJC has built a dynamic, collaborative, and responsive portfolio that supports art and artists since its founding over 38 years ago,” said Dave Eassa, BMA Director of Public Engagement and JJC Liaison. “We are grateful to our partners at the Maryland Institute College of Art for building this residency with us, placing care and sustainability for artists at the forefront of all decision making and creating a platform for years to come.”


Maia Chao is an interdisciplinary artist who works collaboratively in performance, video, sculpture, and social practice. She is currently a 2022-23 Pew Fellow and a full-time professor of social practice at Maryland Institute College of Art. Jerrell Gibbs is an artist and JJC member who graduated with an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, CC Foundation, X Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, and Los Angeles Museum of Art. Cynthia Hodge-Thorne is the inaugural Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker Curatorial Fellow at the BMA. She worked on all aspects of the related Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure (2020) commission, as well as other contemporary projects, and holds an MA in art history from American University. James Phillips is a Baltimore-based artist working primarily with painting. He was the inaugural JJC Summer Artist in Residence in 2022 and currently is a professor in the fine arts department at Howard University.

Joshua Johnson Council

The Joshua Johnson Council (JJC) is an affiliate group of the BMA and one of the oldest museum support groups dedicated to Black Diaspora artists and their art.  Named after an 18th-century African American portrait painter, the JJC has over 38 years of furthering its mission of forging meaningful connections between the BMA and Baltimore’s African American communities. JJC members are artists, administrators, museum professionals, collectors, and others who share the same goals. The group supports artists through programming initiatives in conjunction with the BMA, its virtual platform JJC Talks, museum internships, and by supporting acquisitions. The directives of the JJC have seen over three decades of artist support and development, creating a body of work that is truly visionary, intergenerational, and responsive to the needs of the moment.

Maryland Institute College of Art

The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), founded in 1826, is consistently ranked in the very top tier of visual arts colleges in the nation and enrolls approximately 1,400 undergraduate students and 300 graduate students. MICA offers programs of study leading to the BFA, MA, MAT, and MFA degrees, as well as post-baccalaureate certificate programs and a full slate of credit and noncredit courses for adults, college-bound students, and children. Located in the City of Baltimore, MICA is committed to an expanded understanding of the role of creative citizens in communities and unique approaches to cross-cultural, economic, and political contexts and partnerships. MICA accelerates the knowledge, skills, habits, and work of creatives who are self-reflexive, visionary, and entrepreneurial. MICA is also recognized as an important cultural resource for the Baltimore/Washington region, sponsoring many public and community-based programs, including more than 100 exhibitions by students, faculty, and nationally and internationally known artists annually, as well artists’ residencies, film series, lectures, readings, and performances. Visit the College’s website at

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.

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