November 7, 2022
BMA Announces Additional Programs for A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration
Special Events Held in November, December, and January
BALTIMORE, MD (November 7, 2022)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) today announced three more programs to complement and expand on themes in its major fall exhibition, A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration. Several artists who were commissioned to make works for the exhibition are participating in these events, as well as community leaders committed to archiving Baltimore’s cultural heritage, and acclaimed musicians Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran with author Farah Jasmine Griffin. Details about each event follows, along with biographies for each participant.
Preserving Legacies Panel Discussion
Sunday, November 20 – 2:30 p.m.
Explore the process and experience of preserving the legacies and stories of Black culture through the work of artists and archivists. Participants include Savannah Wood, artist and Executive Director of Afro Charities; Jelisa Blumberg, Creative Director of Black Baltimore Digital Database; Larry W. Cook, artist and Assistant Professor of Photography at Howard University; and Webster Phillips, artist/ archivist and grandson of longtime Baltimore Afro-American photographer Henry Phillips. The discussion will be led by poet and Community Arts Fellow for the Billie Holiday Center for Liberation Arts, Jeneanne Collins.
Free Family Sunday: Needle Felt Your Story
Sunday, December 4 – 2:00 p.m.
Join artist Katherine Dilworth for the next installment of the Pandemic Quilt project. Families are invited to learn the technique of needle felting with the artist and create their own quilt square depicting their own family’s journey.
BMA Violet Hour: Legacies of the Great Migration Artist Talk
Thursday, December 15 – 6:30 p.m.
Exhibition co-curator Jessica Bell Brown moderates a conversation with artists Zoë Charlton, Torkwase Dyson, and Jamea Richmond-Edwards. The discussion will take a deep dive into the impact of the Great Migration of 1951–1970s and explore Southernness, land, belonging, and the development of new works.
Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration
Thursday, January 26 – 6:30 p.m.
Following sold out engagements at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center, jazz pianist, composer, and artist Jason Moran and mezzo-soprano and composer Alicia Hall Moran create a special rendition of their acclaimed “Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration” performance. Renowned author and scholar Farah Jasmine Griffin will read from her works on the Great Migration, Billie Holiday, and more, as the Morans share their own family lore, both harrowing and inspiring. Weaving together music from rhythm and blues to gospel, classical, Broadway, work songs, rock, and more, the Morans will be joined by some of the most exciting musicians working in Baltimore and beyond.
Jelisa Blumberg is a transdisciplinary designer and researcher, with a focus on architecture and lighting, based in Brooklyn, NY and Baltimore, MD. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and a core member of Dark Matter University. She holds a Master of Architecture and a Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design from The New School, Parsons School of Design, in New York along with a BFA in Design from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the creative director of the Black Baltimore Digital Database.
Larry W. Cook is an interdisciplinary artist working across photography, video, and mixed media. Cook received his MFA from George Washington University and his BA in Photography from SUNY Plattsburgh. Cook has exhibited his work nationally at the Kemper Art Museum, MoMA PS1, the National Portrait Gallery, and internationally at Schiefe Zähne in Germany, and the 2022 Venice Biennial in Venice, Italy. His work is in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Harvard Art Museums, Baltimore Museum of Art, and other institutions. Cook is an Assistant Professor at Howard University.
Webster Phillips III is maintaining the photojournalist tradition of his father, Irving H. Phillips Jr. (Baltimore Sun), and grandfather, I. Henry Phillips Sr. (Afro-American), producing an artistic and graphic body of work about the Baltimore of his generation. In 2008, he began scanning his grandfather’s 4” x 5” black and white negatives and currently has over 10,000 photographs in their database at ihenryphoto.com. During the pandemic, he began virtual ID sessions with elders to identify unknown people in places in the archives. He is focused on embracing the digital age and making The I. Henry Collection available online and accessible for educational purposes.
Savannah Wood is an artist with deep roots in Baltimore and Los Angeles. Wood works primarily in photography, text, and installation to explore how spirituality, domesticity, and our relationships to place shape our identities. Wood is also the Executive Director of Afro Charities, where she is creating infrastructure to increase access to the 130-year-old Afro American Newspapers’ extensive archives. Wood is a graduate cum laude of the University of Southern California, a 2022 Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund fellow, 2022 Creative Capital finalist, and a 2019–2021 Robert W. Deutsch Foundation fellow. Like four generations of ancestors, she lives and works in Baltimore, sharing and preserving Black stories.
Jeneanne Collins is a poet, writer, and community artist. She is currently a second year Community Arts Fellow with the Inheritance Baltimore–Billie Holiday Center for Liberation Arts at Johns Hopkins University. She spent the last year collecting oral histories and facilitating intergenerational events throughout Baltimore City with Elder-in-Residence Charlie Dugger and Artist-in-Residence D. Watkins. She is continuing her cohort collaboration with post-docs, historians, archivists, and librarians to create art and programming situated in the archives. Her most recent project is a multidisciplinary installation and walk of remembrance honoring the Black ancestors of the JHU Homewood campus. Jeneanne believes that archives transform the power of community and that “Your Inheritance becomes your Legacy.” She holds an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Community Arts.
Free Family Sunday
Katherine Dilworth is an artist whose landscapes marry photographic images with the textures and techniques of textiles. Her work has been shown in galleries throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as included in books on fiber art and photography. For the last 10 years, she has worked as a visiting artist in schools through the nonprofit Arts for Learning Maryland, sharing fiber art techniques with students and teachers in arts integrated lessons.
Violet Hour Artist Talk
Jessica Bell Brown is the Curator and Department Head for Contemporary Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Her recent exhibition projects include How Do We Know The World?, Thaddeus Mosley: Forest, Stephanie Syjuco: Vanishing Point (Overlay), and A Movement In Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration co-organized with the Mississippi Museum of Art. Prior to the BMA, she was the Consulting Curator at Gracie Mansion Conservancy in New York, where she curated She Persists:
A Century of Women Artists in New York, 1919-2019 with First Lady Chirlane McCray. Previously, she held roles at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Creative Time. Her writing has been featured in several artist monographs and catalogues, including Janiva Ellis, Thaddeus Mosley, Baldwin Lee, Lubaina Himid, Matthew Angelo Harrison, as well as Flash Art, Artforum, Art Papers, Hyperallergic, and The Brooklyn Rail.
Zoë Charlton creates figure drawings, collages, and installations that depict her subject’s relationship to culturally loaded objects and landscapes. She participated in residencies at Artpace in Texas, the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in North Carolina, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Charlton received a Pollock-Krasner grant (2012) and Rubys Artist grant (2014) and was a 2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize finalist. She co-founded ‘sindikit, an artist project space in Baltimore and holds a seat on the Maryland State Arts Council. Charlton received her BFA from Florida State University (1993) and MFA from University of Texas at Austin (1999). She is an Associate Professor of Art at American University and resides in Baltimore.
Torkwase Dyson describes herself as a painter whose forms address the continuity of ecology, infrastructure, and architecture. She merges ideas such as site and built environments and nature and culture under the rubric of environmentalism. Fascinated with transformations, ambiguities, and environmental changes that place these subjects in relation to each other, her practice investigates our connections to imagination, materiality, geography, and belonging. In 2016, Dyson was elected to the board of the Architecture League of New York as Vice President of Visual Arts. She received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University (1999) and an MFA from Yale School of Art in painting and printmaking (2003). Dyson is based in New York.
Jamea Richmond-Edwards is an interdisciplinary artist that creates monumental scale assemblages and immersive installations. Invested in exploring the materiality of collage and improvisational gestures, her recent works include self-portraiture that dwells within the realm of imagination and mythos. Born and raised in Detroit, she draws inspiration from her childhood growing up during the crack and aids epidemic that created devastating and lasting effects in Black and Indigenous American communities across the US. “I didn’t have to visit a museum to understand art. My generation inherited the artistic and cultural legacy of the Motown Era that our parents experienced firsthand in the city.” Richmond-Edwards received her BA from Jackson State University (2004) and MFA in painting from Howard University (2012). Her works are included in the collections of the United States Embassy, The Rubell Family Collection, and Studio Museum of Harlem.
Two Wings Performance
Jason Moran (co-producer and pianist) is Artistic Director for Jazz at the Kennedy Center. Moran has recorded 16 solo albums, the most recent being The Sound Will Tell You. Within jazz, his multimedia tributes to Thelonious Monk, Fats Waller, and James Reese Europe shifted the jazz paradigm, combining striking visuals, music, and history. Moran was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010. He co-owns YES Records with his wife, singer and composer Alicia Hall Moran. Moran scored Ava Duvernay’s films Selma and The 13th and the HBO film adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. He is also a visual artist with paintings in the permanent collections of SFMOMA, MoMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Moran currently teaches at the New England Conservatory.
Alicia Hall Moran (co-producer and mezzo-soprano). Moran’s multi-dimensional performances encompass opera, concerts and recitals, major symphonic works, new music premieres for cutting edge composers, and Moran’s own compositions for contemporary dance, film, theater, and visual art. As a conceptual vocal artist Moran has recorded two critically acclaimed albums: Heavy Blue and Here Today, as well as numerous self-produced touring concerts (Black Wall Street, the motown project, and Battle of the Carmens/Breaking Ice), and diverse collaborations in new music as well as through imaginative artistic residencies at some of the nation’s foremost institutions. Awards and fellowships include a Bessie Award for musical collaboration in ensemble with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, an NAACP Theater Award nomination for her portrayal of Bess on Broadway, the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, a Van Lier Fellowship from the Harlem School of the Arts, a Ford Foundation Art of Change fellowship, and the Inaugural Chamber Music Artist Residency at Frost School of Music at University of Miami. Her writing credits include New York Amsterdam News, Tidal Magazine, and Princeton U. Press. Major collaborations with husband Jason Moran include Bleed for Whitney Biennial, Work Songs for Venice Biennial, and Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration.
Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies at Columbia University, where she also served as the inaugural Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies. Professor Griffin received her B.A. in History & Literature from Harvard and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. She is the author or editor of eight books including Who Set You Flowin?: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001), and Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II (Basic Books, 2013). Griffin has collaborated on two theatrical projects for which she wrote the book. The first, “Geri Allen and Friends Celebrate the Great Jazz Women of the Apollo” premiered at the Apollo Theatre in 2013. The second, “A Conversation with Mary Lou” premiered at Harlem Stage in 2014, and was performed at The John F. Kennedy Center in 2016. Her most recent book, Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature was published by W.W. Norton in September 2021. Griffin is a 2021-22 Guggenheim Fellow and Mellon Foundation Fellow in Residence.
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.