October 6, 2022
BMA Presents Baltimore, Addressed: Baker Artist Awards
Exhibition features works by Laura Amussen, David Page, Ernest Shaw Jr., Susan Waters-Eller, and Pamela Woolford
BALTIMORE, MD (October 6, 2022)—Baltimore, Addressed: Baker Artist Awards unites works by five recent awardees who respond to the past, present, and imagined future of the city. Laura Amussen (interdisciplinary, 2020); David Page (visual arts, 2019); Ernest Shaw Jr. (visual arts, 2022); Susan Waters-Eller (visual arts, 2020); and Pamela Woolford (interdisciplinary, 2022) have each created works that speak to their geographic or social experiences in Baltimore. Some delve into the city’s complex histories and challenges, while others celebrate the city’s rich natural and intellectual resources, painting the future leaders of this American metropolis. The exhibition is on view on the third floor of the BMA’s Contemporary Wing from November 13, 2022, through March 12, 2023.
Baltimore, Addressed encompasses a variety of multimedia installations, paintings, drawings, video, photography, and archival materials. Laura Amussen is presenting a 40-foot immersive installation of artificial trees, stumps, fungi, and ferns, as well as a projection inspired by her pandemic lockdown hikes in Loch Raven Reservoir. David Page is suspending historical Singer sewing machines and fabrics to highlight the individual expertise of each textile worker lost or suppressed by global industry and capitalism. Ernest Shaw Jr. is displaying large-scale paintings of West Baltimore Black youth beside African diasporic role models. Susan Waters-Eller’s triptych and diptych paintings and recent works on paper visualize human divisions caused by systemic racism and environmental exploitation. Pamela Woolford’s site-specific installation features digital photographs with overlaid audio clips portraying the surreal love story of a middle-aged Black woman and her boyfriend, the photographer, in everyday urban settings.
“Baltimore has a thriving contemporary art scene, and this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to sample the work of five talented artists who address the personal, political, and social concerns of this place and this time,” said exhibition curator Brittany Luberda. “We are incredibly grateful to the William G. Baker Jr. Memorial Fund and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance for their extraordinary support for the artists in our community.”
Established by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund and managed by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, the Baker Artist Portfolios and associated awards were launched in 2009 to recognize Baltimore’s talented artists and engage the public in supporting their work. One artist per discipline (visual, literary, film/video, music performance, interdisciplinary) is adjudicated each year to receive a $10,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize and one of those awardees is selected to receive the $40,000 Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize, the largest art prize in the region. An anonymous jury selects awardees from up to 900 Baltimore-region artists who have created a free, online portfolio at www.bakerartist.org. Selected artists exemplify a mastery of craft, depth of artistic exploration, and a unique vision generated in Baltimore’s unparalleled creative community.
Baltimore, Addressed: Baker Artist Awards is curated by Brittany Luberda, BMA Anne Stone Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts.
This exhibition is generously funded by The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund.
Laura Amussen – Interdisciplinary Arts 2020
Laura Amussen (born 1973, Auburn, CA) is a visual storyteller who employs a multi-disciplinary approach that often includes large-scale site-specific installations, sculptures, mixed media works, videos, projections, photographs, and performances. Her work has been exhibited locally and nationally in solo exhibitions at Ladew Topiary Gardens (Monkton, MD); Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA); Creative Alliance (Baltimore, MD); Katzen Arts Center, American University Museum (Washington, DC); Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (Boone, NC); Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (Grand Rapids, MI), and Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (Wilmington, DE); among others. Amussen is the recipient of numerous grants, awards, and honors, including the Mary Sawyers Baker Award from the Baker Artist Awards and an Andy Warhol Foundation Grant through Appalachian State University. Amussen is also an adjunct faculty member at Towson University and the Maryland Institute College of Art, as well as an independent curator. She was the director of exhibitions and curator at Goucher College for over ten years, where she programmed and mounted over 100 exhibitions. She received her MFA from Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she was awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship and Jacob K. Javits Fellowship.
David Page – Visual Arts 2019
David Page (born 1962, Cape Town, South Africa) is an artist and educator who has exhibited in over 60 exhibitions, biennials, and trade show expositions. Recent solo shows include Security Theatre at the Creative Alliance (Baltimore, MD); God and Lunchmeat at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA); and Staan Nader, Staan Terug! (come closer, get away!) at Stevenson University (Stevenson, MD). Page was awarded the Trawick Prize in 2004 and University of Maryland’s Sadat Art for Peace Award in 2001, which included the commission of a small sculpture presented to Nelson Mandela during his visit to the university, and received five Maryland State Arts Council’s Individual Artist Awards. During his wide-ranging career, he has also worked as a freelance artist at Experience Music Project (Seattle, WA), created display props for the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American Culture (Anacostia, MD), and fabricated sculptural set pieces for feature films The Euphoria Project and Hannibal. Page is a Sculptor-in-Residence at American University and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He earned a National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Cape Tecnikon in South Africa and received an MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Ernest Shaw Jr., Visual Arts 2022
Ernest Shaw’s (born 1969, Baltimore, MD) artistic and educational practices are rooted in a life-long journey of self-discovery. Significantly influenced by the Black Arts and Black Power movements, his two-dimensional, mixed-media portraits and murals reflect the lived experiences of Black/Africana people past, present, and future. Shaw’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Baltimore at Top of the World Observation Center, Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum, Creative Alliance, and James E. Lewis Museum at Morgan State University, among others. His work has also been presented in exhibitions at Bowling Green University in Ohio and Cade Art Gallery at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland. He has participated in residencies at MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA); Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY); The Studios at Key West (Key West, FL); Motor House (Baltimore, MD); and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (Amherst, VA); and is the recipient of the Mary Baker Imboden Prize from the Baker Artist Awards and a Ruby Artist Award from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. Shaw is currently an adjunct professor at Towson University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Baltimore City Community College, and teaches art in Baltimore City Public Schools. He holds a BFA from Morgan State University and an MFA from Howard University.
Susan Waters-Eller – Visual Arts 2020
Susan Waters-Eller’s (born 1950, Baltimore, MD) work probes beneath surface reality using illusionistic techniques in a variety of media from painting to interactive animation. She has been on the fine arts faculty of Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) since 1978 and is a three-time winner of the Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her work has been presented in numerous MICA exhibitions, as well as at Goucher College, Towson University, the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University, and as the backdrop for singer/songwriter Jason Mraz’s 2009 concert tour. Her work was also shown in France after her residency at Rocheforte-en-Terre and in China prior to her Contemporary American Oil Painting book’s publication there. Waters-Eller co-edited the book Beyond Critique: Different Ways to Talk About Art with Joe Basile and her essay, “What Creates Response,” which describes how she applies ideas from neuroscience to the art of critique, became a subject for her panel participation in a Columbia University symposium on critique. Waters-Eller has given talks at such varied venues as Maryland House of Correction and an experimental music festival. Her Seeing Meaning blog, launched in 2008 to develop her ideas of visual philosophy and how cognitive understanding can be enhanced by imagery, now has readers from over 100 countries.
Pamela Woolford – Interdisciplinary Arts 2022
Pamela Woolford (born 1967, Baltimore, MD) is an interdisciplinary artist and keynote speaker who intertwines her work as a writer, filmmaker, performer, and immersive-media director to create new forms of narrative work about Black women, Black girls, and others whose joy, imagination, and inner life are under-explored in American media and popular art. Her latest film, Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-noir, had a limited online release and will be screened as part of her upcoming retrospective, Up/Rooted: Pamela Woolford’s Cabin Windows, a virtual-reality experience. Woolford is the author of more than 100 memoir, fiction, profile, human-interest, and think pieces published in The Baltimore Sun, Poets & Writers Magazine, NAACP’s Crisis Magazine, Harvard University’s Transition, and other publications. She has been awarded a Storyknife Writers Residency in Alaska and an NES Artist Residency in Iceland and was a Bisson Lecturer in the Humanities at Marymount University in Arlington, VA.
Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA)
A leading nonprofit provider of services to artists and cultural organizations in the region, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance creates equity and opportunity In, Through, and For arts and culture in Greater Baltimore. Whether they are emerging or established, mainstream or underground, grassroots or institutional, GBCA believes in unifying and strengthening all members of the creative community. We do this through marketing, education, financial support, and developing innovative programs that increase equity in the cultural community and beyond.
William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund
The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund believes that arts and culture play a central role in the development and growth of healthy individuals and thriving communities and commits its resources to promote and sustain a vibrant arts and culture sector in metropolitan Baltimore. Its grants support organizational effectiveness and provide cultural experiences that welcome people of all backgrounds, enrich residents’ lives, strengthen the region’s sense of cohesion and identity, promote local artists and their work, and make the metropolitan area a desirable place to live.
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.