The BMA marks its 110th anniversary with an ambitious initiative centered on the environment.

In February 2023, Maryland Governor Wes Moore announced the goal of achieving 100% clean energy in the state by 2035. The BMA is stepping up to the challenge by embarking on an ambitious environmental initiative that will kick off in November 2024 as part of the Museum’s 110th anniversary celebration.

Turn Again to the Earth, a title inspired by the writing of environmental activist Rachel Carson, will include:

  • A series of ten exhibitions that capture the relationships between art and the environment across time and geography.
  • The development of a sustainability strategic plan.
  • A citywide eco-challenge led by the BMA encouraging other civic and cultural organizations in the region to embrace environment-related conversations and sustainable planning efforts.

“In these troubled times it is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.” – Rachel Carson, environmental activist and writer

Featured Exhibitions

  • LaToya Ruby Frazier’s More Than Conquerors: A Monument for Community Health Workers of Baltimore, Maryland 2021-2022 features a series of portraits and related interview excerpts that capture the tireless efforts of community health workers in Baltimore during the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. The acclaimed installation sets their advocacy and self-determination amidst harmful environmental and socio-political factors resulting from historical disinvestment in Black communities.
  • Black Earth Rising, a group exhibition guest curated by British curator Ekow Eshun, will explore the complex ties between race, colonialism, and the climate crisis through works by African diasporic, Latin American, and Native American artists.
  • Justen LeRoy: Lay Me Down in Praise is a three-channel video of slow-moving footage of geological events like volcanic eruptions and turbulent seas melded with a transfixing soundtrack informed by blues, R&B, gospel, and jazz music.

Other exhibitions will showcase:

  • The influence of environmental pollution on the emergence of European modernism through works by Claude Monet and Henri Matisse.
  • An exploration on extraction that demonstrates nearly all art is made through the transformation of natural resources.
  • A selection of historic and contemporary artworks created in China, Korea, and Japan that depict the harmonious interdependence of nature and humanity.

Image: Installation view of Justen leroy: Lay Me Down in Praise exhibition at Art + Practice. September 17, 2022–January 21, 2023. Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Joshua White. Courtesy of Art + Practice.