BMA Violet Hour: Lasting Legacies
What makes a lasting legacy? Join the artists from the current exhibition All Due Respect—Lauren Frances Adams, Mequitta Ahuja, LaToya M. Hobbs, and Cindy Cheng—as they reflect on their work and how materials and artist resources have influenced their careers. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, art historian, curator, and Professor Emerita and Founding Director of the Center of Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Lauren Frances Adams
Lauren Frances Adams is a painter who lives and works in Baltimore. She grew up in Snow Hill, North Carolina on a pig farm. Her work engages political and social histories through iconic images and domestic ornament. Her work has been exhibited across the United States at museums, university galleries, and artist-run spaces. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and has held residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Sacatar Foundation in Brazil. She is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award, and a 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award. Americans for the Arts recognized projects she co-produced in 2011 and 2017 as “outstanding public art.” Lauren was a founding member of Ortega y Gasset Projects, a project space in New York. Lauren teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
“Whip-smart and languorous” is how the July 24, 2017 issue of The New Yorker described a large-scale painting by Mequitta Ahuja then on view at the Asia Society Museum in New York. Ahuja is the recipient of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship. Mequitta has focused her career efforts on museum exhibitions and acquisitions. The year 2022 began with one of Mequitta’s large-scale self-portraits being acquired by Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Her work has been exhibited at The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, MCA Chicago, The Phillips Collection in D.C. and The Brooklyn Museum, among others. Mequitta’s work has appeared in Modern Painters and The New York Times. In 2010, Mequitta was featured in ArtNews as “An Artist to Watch.” On June 1st, 2007, Holland Cotter of The New York Times, sighting Mequitta’s New York debut exhibition stated, “Referring to the artist’s African-American and East Indian background, the pictures turn marginality into a regal condition.”
LaToya M. Hobbs
LaToya M. Hobbs is an artist, wife, and mother of two currently living and working in Baltimore, MD. She received her BA in Painting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and MFA in Printmaking from Purdue University. LaToya’s work deals with figurative imagery that addresses the ideas of beauty, cultural identity, and womanhood as they relate to women of the African Diaspora. She creates a fluid and symbiotic relationship between her printmaking and painting practice, producing works that are marked by texture, color, and bold patterns. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and her work is housed in private and public collections, such as the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, the National Art Gallery of Namibia, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other accomplishments include a 2019 Artist Travel Grant from the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore and the 2020 Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize.
Cindy Cheng has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, the Anderson Ranch Artist Residency, and will participate in the Joan Mitchell Center Residency in 2022. She is a recipient of a 2018 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, and in 2017 she won the Sondheim Artscape Award. She was a finalist for the Trawick Prize in 2016, 2017, and 2021. She has participated in solo and group shows at the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, MD), School 33 Art Center (Baltimore, MD), Fjord Gallery (Philadelphia, PA, in collaboration with Cheeny Celebrado-Royer), Ditch Projects (Eugene, OR), St Charles Projects (Baltimore, MD), and at ‘Sindikit Project (in collaboration with Cheeny-Celebrado Royer) (Baltimore, MD). Cindy received her BA from Mount Holyoke College, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from MICA in 2008, and earned an MFA from MICA’s Mount Royal School of Art in 2011. Cindy is currently teaching at MICA in the Drawing Department. She enjoys puzzles and badminton.
Dr. Leslie King-Hammond
Leslie King-Hammond is an art historian, curator, artist, and cultural and community innovator. She is Professor Emerita, former Graduate Dean and founding Director of the Center of Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. King-Hammond sits on the board of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Collections and Acquisitions Committee of the Walters Art Museum, and the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation, an initiative committed to developing and supporting arts hubs and incubator labs in Baltimore City. King-Hammond’s artistry has been exhibited at the New York Historical Society, Benjamin Banneker-Douglass Museum, Museum of Biblical Art, The Smithsonian-Arts and Industries Building, Galerie Myrtis, Apex Gallery, Montserrat College of Art Gallery, MICA-Meyerhoff Gallery, and the James E. Lewis Museum. Her mixed media-bricolage installations and fiber works explore the anonymity of women’s handwork and the intersection of African Diasporic spiritual beliefs.