On Art Museum Drive

SHAN Wallace: The Avenue

On view through Fall 2021

The Avenue, named for Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue, tells a story of the culinary histories embedded in the journeys of Black people from Africa to the Americas, and from South to North. In five digital collages, Wallace combines personal references to her family and her journey as a photographer with historical references.

A central figure in the collages is Lillian Harris Dean, a turn-of-the-century food entrepreneur known popularly as “Pig Foot Mary” who sold southern food out of a baby carriage to African Americans who had just moved North to New York City.

The project grows out of Wallace’s ongoing research into the foundational roles Black Americans have played in U.S. food culture — how food has been a means of finding freedom, communion, and joy, from the colonial era to the present.