Sept. 5, 2014 locallysourced.weebly.com
Details of Artist work for LOCALLY SOURCED. Photographs by Gloria Azucena. Portrait courtesy of Artist.
September 2-21, 2014 Opening Night:
September 5, 2014 5-7 pm Sheila & Richard Riggs & Leidy Galleries, Fred Lazarus IV Center Maryland Institute College of Art
131 W. North Avenue Baltimore, MD 21201 exibition curated by MICA Curatorial Practice Class of 2015 contact:
LOCALLY SOURCED HIGHLIGHTS LOCAL ARTISTS AND STATION NORTH COMMUNITIES, SEPT. 2–21 MICA’s M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice Students Examine Five Local Artists’ Experiences Through Commissioned Work
urated by the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice Class of 2015, LOCALLY SOURCED explores how exchanges between local artists and their neighbors help a community thrive. For the exhibition, five artists based in central Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District— Aaron Henkin, Jason Hoylman (MICA ‘07), NETHER, Wendel Patrick, and Paula Whaley—have produced newly commissioned works in a variety of media.
Through sculpture, sound, photography, painting, and installation, these artists offer different perspectives on the vibrant and interconnected cultural landscape of Station North. “LOCALLY SOURCED goes beyond looking at the artwork itself by examining local artists’ contributions to the neighborhoods they work within,” said Kelly Johnson ‘15, co-curator and M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice candidate. “In their creative practices, all of these artists build networks
of people around them, which in turn contribute to the success of their work.”
visual narratives, each artist supports a different audience within Station North.
The selected artists are not all activists, nor do they all create specifically community-based projects. But their awareness of and engagement with their communities are essential to their working methods. From Whaley’s community sculpture workshops to NETHER’s neighborhood-inspired murals, and from Hoylman’s tracing of neighbors’ paths to Henkin and Patrick’s community-sourced audio and
“These five artists have been introduced to each other through this project,” said Melani Douglass ‘15, co-curator and M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice candidate. “The exhibition examines how the artists’ networks overlap—informing, contributing to and impacting both arts and nonarts communities.”
introduction Sourced: Local Artists and Communities Influence Each Other by Kelly Johnson
04 05 08 09
artists Paula Whaley NETHER Jason Hoylman Aaron HENKIN & WENDEL PATRICK
locally sourced networks Illustrated map by Gloria Azucena and August Schwartz
essays Itâ€™s All About the Network by Emily Russell Afterwords by Jeffry Cudlin and Gerald Ross
Acknowledgements & programs
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friday, September 5, 2014
Sourced: Local Artists and Communities Influence Each Other by Kelly Johnson, CP ‘15
he 2015 Curatorial Practice Master of Fine Arts (CP ‘15) at MICA emphasizes curating
as a process of inquiry and understanding. The curator cycles through periods of discussion, action, reflection, and re-action in the development of an exhibition, particularly one that involves a community. Director-at-Large at Independent Curators International(ICI) Kate Fowle describes this responsive role of the curator as “mediator, facilitator, and middleman”1 between artist, audience, and exhibition space. CP’s Practicum course is a yearlong collaborative project designed for CP students and partnering artists to develop relationships with diverse audiences in Station North, ultimately creating an exhibition of community-engaged art. Networks of individuals from Station North—including five artists from the neighborhood; their friends, coworkers, neighbors, and patrons; and other constituents of the Station North community—were prompted to come together for this exhibition in order to participate and share ideas about the relationship between this specific community and art. Past CP classes have commissioned artists to create site-specific works for Station North businesses (Invited, 2012) and established artist residencies in local houses of worship (Congregate, 2013). This year, LOCALLY SOURCED continues the tradition of curating community-engaged exhibitions by examining how specific artists draw inspiration from and contribute to their respective social groups while living and/or working within Station North. The exhibition asserts that artists as individuals exchange ideas and resources with their networks of neighbors, patrons, and friends, resulting in artwork that reflects the community in some form. Writing in Every Curator’s Handbook, SculptureCenter’s Ruba Katrib advises the attentive contemporary curator to “reach into various areas in one’s community and pull out the content that is already there,”2 in order to develop an exhibition that is meaningful to an intended audience. To find artists who were already reflecting on the ways they interact with Station North communi-
ties in their artwork, the ten curators of CP class of 2015 (CP ‘15) reached out to networks of people active in the neighborhood. This included talking with Station North community leaders, participants in past Practicum projects, and the Practicum Advisory Committee, consisting of Station North residents, arts professionals, CP faculty, and staff members from MICA’s Office of Community Engagement. These networks led to five artists, each from a different Station North social network or circle: sculptor Paula Whaley, muralist NETHER, painter/sculptor Jason Hoylman, radio producer Aaron Henkin, and musician Wendel Patrick. While the featured artists in this exhibition are sourced locally from Station North, the artists also locally source the content of their work directly from their environments, relationships, and experiences within this shared area. Through new work commissioned for the exhibition, the artists examine the extent to which their practices are community-oriented. The final results reflect a community influence on many levels—from conceptual inspiration to hands-on participation in the featured works. Viewed together in the exhibition, the artists’ works reach out to and cross-pollinate many of Station North’s social groups, as each artist’s practice requires audience participation and input. Whaley invites the neighborhood into her studio space to participate in sculpture workshops. During these events, she exchanges art-making techniques with participants, while also gathering momentum and inspiration from her neighbors for the creation of new sculptural figures. NETHER engages in conversations with his neighbors before installing his murals in the community, often including stylized portraits of them in the compositions, providing a public presence for his community members. Working at the Windup Space, Hoylman interacts with various creative communities in Station North on a daily basis, facilitating shows and other events. For the exhibition, he examines how members of his network interact with shared space in the neighborhood by mapping their paths.
Artist and community members gather with the creators for a BBQ to discuss the exhibition. Photograph by Chris Beer.
Henkin and Patrick photograph and interview participants involved in the LOCALLY SOURCED community, visiting the interviewees in their own spaces and creating interconnected profiles of the artists and influential members of their networks. Grant Kester (MICA ‘86), author of Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, notes that the modernist vision of “the radically autonomous figure of the individual artist” isolated in the studio alludes to a traditionalist model, while the “dramatic growth of interest in collaborative, collective, and socially engaged practices,” especially in the past decade, signals a “shift in the nature of contemporary art practice at the level of form and methodology.”3 Kester elaborates that a contemporary, socially-minded practice offers “a very different image of the artist, one defined in terms of openness, of listening, and of willingness to accept a position of dependence and intersubjective vulnerability relative to the viewer or collaborator.”4 This image of the artist working with a group of people as collaborators, “whose knowledge and experience are essential to the work’s content and development,”5 reflects the practices of each artist in LOCALLY SOURCED as well as
and social engagement. Further, the artwork that results from their collaborations with the community demonstrates how the artist establishes perspectives for reflection within her or his neighborhood. Whaley’s contemplative sculptural figures with contented eyes closed in reflection and outstretched flowing limbs are interspaced throughout her studio and invite the viewer to be introspective, providing a calm, meditative environment for a neighborhood retreat. NETHER’s larger-than-life, spirited public portraits of his neighbors show respect for the legacies and homes of longtime Station North community members. Hoylman’s minimalist, algorithmically arranged tracings of his networks’ winding paths observe a community’s overlapping use of space, highlighting this neighborhood as the central transit area of Baltimore which unifies many residents. Henkin’s and Patrick’s collaged visual and audio documentation preserves a sample of this community of artists and their social networks in Station North at a specific time in its evolution. Moving through the exhibition allows the viewer a glimpse into the different social circles each artist inhabits at this moment, mediated by her or his particular aesthetic lens.
“While the featured artists in this exhibition are sourced locally from Station North, the artists also locally source the content of their work directly from their environments, relationships, and experiences within this shared area.” a wider trend in contemporary art practices today. Texts and exhibitions influential to LOCALLY SOURCED, including projects featured in Kester’s scholarship in Conversation Pieces, along with those in Nato Thompson’s Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991 to 2011 (MIT Press, 2012), often focus on community-engaged or social practice artists who use art as an activist tool for sparking dialogue around certain social issues affecting a community. LOCALLY SOURCED continues to expand notions of how community-engaged art can function, what community-engaged practices can look like, and why this type of art is relevant to the field of curating now. While these artists did not necessarily see themselves as community-engaged prior to participating in this project, they all now acknowledge that the ways in which they work in their own neighborhoods add to a larger dialogue about art
While agency is given to the artists in this exhibition to reflect on their relationships with their community, none of these artists are the final experts on their neighborhoods or on the appropriate role of artsts within them. CP ‘15 designed the exhibition to reveal this continually developing relationship between artist and audience by reflecting both voices in the final artworks and related texts. Further, an interactive wall in the exhibition’s design directly asks viewers to reflect on their own individual connections to Station North and the art they experience in the galleries. Accompanying programs include sculpture workshops with Whaley that preceded the exhibition; a collaborative a performance in which a local dance company interacts with Hoylman’s final arwork; and a public artist lecture on North Avenue with NETHER. All of these elements were designed by the curators to allow for further exchange of resources and creative ideas between the community audience and artists. Writing on the nature of curating in Artforum, Tensta Konsthall director Maria Lind asserts, “rather than being a product of [solely] the curator’s labor per se, curating is the result of a network of agents’ labor.”6 Just as the community-engaged artist relies on relationships with others to create their work, the curator acts in concert with many people, objects, and spaces to create an exhibition. Organizing these types of exhibitions allows curators to further reflect on the extent to which their own practices are socially engaged, as curators rely on communities—networks of artists and audiences—to source and experience their work as well. LOCALLY SOURCED provides an overall framework for examining these infinitely interlaced social dynamics, reflected specifically by the products of contemporary community-engaged artists of this moment in central Baltimore. Station North communities can bring more artists working in many different mediums and practices to the forefront of the neighborhood, sparking a continued dialogue about potential roles for creative individuals in their communities.
1 Fowle, Kate. "Who cares? Understanding the Role of the Curator Today." In Cautionary Tales: Critical Curating. (New York: apexart, 2007), 16. 2 Katrib, Ruba. “Make Your Audience.” In Every Curator’s Handbook. (Perfect Art Institution, 2012), 37. 3 Kester, Grant. Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art. (Oakland: University of California, 2013), 110, xxviii. 4
Lind, Maria. “The Curatorial,” Artforum, October 2009, 65, quoted in Terry Smith. Thinking Contemporary Curating. (New York: Independent Curators International, 2012), 50. 6
Paula Whaley crafting materials. Photograph by Melani Douglass.
aula Whaley is a figurative sculptor who uses clay, paper, fabric, and other natural materials to create stylized sculptural figures. Whaley is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, and the Cadres Couture in Paris, France. In 1987, after the death of her older brother, author James Baldwin, Whaley began to work with clay as a means to heal from her loss. The immersive installation Whaley created for LOCALLY SOURCED is reflective of her gallery on Charles Street. The arrangement of sculptures alludes to her window display and recreates the intimate and sensory experience of her studio. Active in the Station North community, Whaley exhibits local artists in the storefront gallery of her home. She also provides an intimate learning space for sculpture workshops offered in partnership with groups including Baltimore’s Youth Resiliency Insitute. Her studio and the artwork within it provides an environment that encourages calm and reflection, serving as a retreat for her community. Whaley has a method of networking that is perhaps uncommon in today’s saturated art world: instead of seeking out an audience, people come to her in her own space.
For her work in LOCALLY SOURCED, Whaley took on a new challenge. In the artist’s own words, she found herself “taking risks with new materials and not knowing how everything would turn out.” For her figures Wisdom and The Mystic, the artist focused her attention on an increase in scale in comparison to past work. Whaley also added abstract installation elements to her pieces for the show, like a driftwood swing created for her figure Earth Goddess. She also experimented with new materials like plaster in The Art of Healing.
Artist Statement “My work has always been concerned with the act of making art as a source of healing. With figurative expression as my primary focus, art has also allowed me to connect with others who respond to this theme. So many aspects of human experience find ways into my work.
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Paula Whaley, Earth Goddess, Mixed Media, 2014. Photograph by Gloria Azucena.
I am captivated by the ephemeral nature of life, the role of gesture, and subtle combinations of elements. The underlying spirit within makes each figure an expression of deep personal reflection. LOCALLY SOURCED has given me the opportunity to stretch my talents in ways I never have—specifically in experimenting with larger scale pieces. Sometimes we tend to stay in our comfort zones, repeating the same ideas. My goal was to create work that was a lot bigger than the soft-sculpture figures I have created in the past and even to branch into more abstract installation pieces. The reflective quality of my work is still there, however. I have learned you have to come out of that box but also really be you, your authentic self. Along with creating work for the show, I’ve also been able to collaborate with artists and curators in sharing, experimenting, and imagining new ideas. This allows one to dis-
cover and create new ideas in approaching art and the process of creation. My figures have changed and I am experimenting with new materials to create different textures on their clothing and hair and faces. The seniors for whom I led a sculpture-making workshop at the Village Learning Place helped me to reflect on even more new techniques and ideas.
ourselves—it can be like turning on a light bulb internally. I know art can be a source of healing. It has been for me, and I want to share that with others. I hope the figures and the materials in this show will speak to the viewer about that healing.” —Paula Whaley
Art helps us to discuss so many themes about
“Along with creating work for the show, I’ve also been able to collaborate with artists and curators in sharing, experimenting, and imagining new ideas. This allows one to discover new ideas in approaching art and the process of creation.”
Paula Whaley, Untitled, Mixed Media, 2014. Photograph by Emily Russell.
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riginially from Baltimore, NETHER is a street artist known for his images on paper adhered to structural surfaces known as wheat pastes, murals, and wall-mounted paintings depicting abstracted, monumental portraits of locals paired with cityscape imagery. His distinct style is characterized by thick line work and color gradients, leading to strikingly simple narrative portraits. As curator and participating artist in Wall Hunters: Slumlord Project, NETHER advanced his socially-engaged practice by matching street artists with vacant buildings and local community organizers. He sees public art as a tool to call attention to vacant housing and community development. The Tipping Point, a mural commissioned for LOCALLY SOURCED, comments on the past few years of change and development in Greenmount West, Barclay, and Charles North—three neighborhoods that compose the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. In the mural, a developer’s unraveling master plan blocks visual representations of past identities of the neighborhood, according to memories that longtime Station North residents shared with NETHER.
In the process of painting murals on the street, NETHER engages with passers-by, residents, and business owners both about the work and their lives. He has returned to many sites to create portrait murals of community members he has built relationships with, and in turn he has been commissioned to create murals outside of individuals’ homes and businesses. Station North has visibly changed over the past 10 years due to residential and commercial development bringing artist subsidized housing, working studios, chain and boutique restaurants, coffee houses, and mom-and-pop shops that weren’t here before. The Tipping Point contrasts past and present, highlighting the cause and effect of development on the history, culture, businesses, and residents of the Station North community.
Artist Statement “The first time I started hanging out in the Station North/West Greenmount area was when I was younger, in high school. Shortly after that, I moved there. I saw this neighborhood before it was even established as an arts district. I remember a struggling neighborhood with a progressive mind and active residents striving for better conditions. Since the entertainment district’s establishment, the neighborhood has experienced significant changes. While I agree the improvement thus far has been beneficial, I am still fearful. The process could go too far— creating a gentrified hipster mecca unaware of
NETHER, Wisdom, 2013. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
NETHER installing work in Station North. Photograph courtesy of Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Inc.
the historically black neighborhood in which it exists. Most of the progress has come from artists, many of whom have great ideas, but who are transplants nonetheless, uncomfortable mingling and working with many of the long time residents. The mural for the exhibition begs that artists reckon with these dynamics and listen to the true wisdom in the neighborhood, which is an organic wisdom. When I first dove into street art roughly 5 years ago, I focused on installing temporary wheat pasted pieces in neglected neighborhoods and on vacant properties. After putting up a large amount of work between 2010 to 2011, I began to question the decline of these areas—specifically the issues of vacants, slumlords, white flight, and numerous other factors that have contributed to Baltimore’s decline. After meeting vacancy activist Carol Ott, my work started to get much more directed, and I started seeing my art as a tool for social change. These developments led to the founding of Wall Hunters Inc., and the launch of the Slumlord Project in partnership with Baltimore Slumlord Watch. With the project, I managed the installation of 17 large-scale unsanctioned murals exposing individuals that Carol and I identified as slumlords—owners of derelict properties that cause health and safety concerns for the tenants and surrounding neighbors. Before the installations began, a lot of groundwork was required to get the blessings of residents secured for the installation spots. This required about six months of going to different neigh-
“Although the general thread tying my work together has been addressing some of Baltimore’s current problems, recently I have been focused on the past and how it has affected the present. My intention for the mural in LOCALLY SOURCED is to highlight the future of the neighborhood and its potential renaissance.” NETHER, The City is Ours, 2014. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
borhoods, scouting properties, and talking to residents. Through this groundwork I became fascinated with how people in these neighborhoods reacted to the cause. Many people had become so fed up with lack of city support for their neighborhoods, and were willing to make sure all the mural installations went smoothly. They understood what we were doing and why we were doing it. Since the Slumlord Project, I have followed the same formula when installing my personal work. My idea is to bring the quality of the work you see in Station North to neglected neighborhoods such as Poppleton, Middle East, Harlem Park, Sowebo, and Sandtown. Installing work in these neighborhoods has generally been more political and almost always in the grey area of the law, but always
with community support, which I view as more important. Although the general thread tying my work together has been addressing some of Baltimore’s current problems, recently I have been focused on the past and how it has affected the present. My intention for the mural in LOCALLY SOURCED is to highlight the future of the neighborhood and its potential renaissance. In terms of artistic style, I have done installation and wall painting before but never blended both into one piece. The two-part design of this wall will push me to combine the styles in a way that I have not done previously, and hopefully will push the work and tie into the message I am trying to relay.” —NETHER
THE WINDUP SPACE AREA 405 TOOL LIBRARY
CARRIBEAN PARADISE LIAM FLYNN’S ALE HOUSE OPEN PLOUGH GRAFFITI ALLEY
HOME GALLERY NANCY PEARSON’S FLORAL SHOP THE LIVING WELL SANKOFA AFRICAN BAZAAR
NANCY JOE SQUARED RED EMMA’S PENN STATION NEW DOOR CREATIVE
JOE SQUARED GRAFFITI ALLEY THE WINDUP SPACE WYPR
AARON HENKIN & WENDEL PATRICK
STATION NORTH THE CHARLES THEATER OUTAKES CAFE
LOCALLYSOURCED.WEEBLY.COM ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT © 2014 MARYLAND INSTITUTE COLLEGE OF ART (MICA), MICA CURATORIAL PRACTICE MFA PROGRAM CLASS OF 2015
MICA CURATORIAL PRACTICE
artists Jason Hoylman
ason Hoylman was born in Oklahoma. After traveling throughout the United States he settled in Baltimore where he met his wife and has lived for the past 15 years. In 2007, he received his B.F.A. from MICA. Hoylman has lived and worked in Station North for several years, watching artists take an active initiative in creating a stronger neighborhood network through investment in property and developing collective spaces for artists to work and live, like his residence at City Arts Apartments. Hoylman is fascinated by math and visual aesthetics of numbers and geometrical figures, which inspire his paintings and sculptures. He studies both tactile and visual phenomena pulled from the combined numbers and data he is currently analyzing to present abstract ideas through a lens that is uniquely his own. Hand-scribbled notes, computer-derived maps, and personal experience become compositional elements communicating the ideas behind this body of work. In his new commission for the exhibition, 27 Portraits of Passing that form a Magic Cube, Hoylman explores the day-to-day movements by individuals living within the same geographical area. The cubes serve as individual portraits that trace the walking/driving/ busing/biking habits of 27 different people from Station North over the course of several months. Among the 27 individuals, nine are close friends of Hoylman’s, nine are members of the Curatorial Practice class of 2015, and nine are individuals he met while participating in the exhibition, including other LOCALLY SOURCED artists. Hoylman presents the records of each participant in a form that references building blocks scattered through the gallery. When placed in order, stacked in sequence of an algorithmically-created cube, the piece presents a newly created community defined by space. This is the first time the artist has attempted a community project of this nature. The work relies on the dedication of its participants through the exercise of walking with purpose and recording the results. Each block represents personal journeys of the participants in Station North and beyond over the period of a month. With this work, Hoylman suggests that all of our paths can intersect and intertwine, and
Hoylman has been collaborating with The Collective’s AKIMBO performance on September 13. Here he shows dancers his mathematical formulas that inspire this project as they discuss how to involve his artwork in their performance.
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indeed they do most often in Station North, the geographical center of Baltimore. Each of the traced paths of the 27 individuals, along with the artist’s own (Change in Place), offers a minimal and abstracted conception of an artistically driven, collective use of space—an aesthetic reflection of community-engaged practices. The work allows the audience to draw its own conclusions about what shared space is, how it manifests itself on a daily basis, and how our own personal journeys can convery mutual experiences.
Artist Statement “I would say the thickest thread of connection between my participation in LOCALLY SOURCED and living/working in Station North would be the community. I have taken great pride and interest in the growth of my neighborhood over the past five years. Although artists have lived for sometime in this neighborhood, they are now taking more of a proprietary interest in its community by buying property and working with the local community at large to build a stronger neighborhood. It is one thing to live in a community; it is another thing entirely to work to improve your neighborhood for yourself and others, which is what I believe is happening now. LOCALLY SOURCED reflects this new community of artists working together to create stronger ties between themselves and their neighbors.
Jason Hoylman, No. 11, 2014, traced path of Station North community member for Locally Sourced. Image courtesy of the artist..
In general the production of my work is a solitary affair, although strongly influenced by the environment of where I live. This is the first time that I have actively sought to include the community around me in the creation and production of work. It has required me to relinquish certain preconceived notions of what the final work will look like, and remain flexible in my creative vision. I have been astonished by how much my community is willing to work and share personal information with me for the sake of art. But with community involvement the artist does surrender some control the final output, and many art projects/ performances that require community participation accordingly risk failure. My practice generally involves the integration of as yet unseen information into my existing archive, and then figuring out how it relates to to the concepts I’m interested in expressing. I look for similar patterns in the world and attempt to find yet unseen connections. This exhibition gave me the opportunity to bring
Jason Hoylman gave members of the community journals to record their paths through the neighborhood. Photograph by Yeim Bae.
“This exhibition gave me the opportunity to bring in vast amounts of information from my community, and filter it through my own creative vision.” in vast amounts of information from my community, and filter it through my own creative vision. The unseen information for this project, is everyday movement through our own environments. What sort of forms do we draw with our lives? For this project I chose an ideogram that I have worked with for some time, specifically the 3x3 magic square. Both its physical form and intellectual characteristics are used. This ideogram serves as the template through which all of the information I collect will be filtered. The first filter is the environment of the community. The environment that we move through everyday is a three-dimensional experience, so the magic square is upgraded to a magic cube, a form that contains 27 cubes with correspond-
ing numbers to their positions. The 27 community participants were given journals with which to record their movements. These movements are transcribed onto a square map of Baltimore City. To then return these maps to a three-dimensional configuration, one of eleven different flat cube forms are laid over the map. The form that covered the most of the maps was selected, and now the map can once again be returned to three-dimensions. The 27 cubes now form a new map system that accurately represents these members of the community. The new map system, like community, is flexible, adaptable, and can be reconfigured to fit one’s needs.” —Jason Hoylman
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artists Other community members featured in photographs and audio for Out of the Blocks: Station North include: • Martin Kasey at Canteen • Brian and Akeisha at Caribbean Paradise • William Jarboe III, Tyler W Davis, Mark Wadley, and Austyn Sullivan of “Barbelith’ at Hour Haus • Jina Hall at Liam Flynn’s • Lorenzo Centeno and Alicia Menbreno at Mi Comalito • Sherman and Antwon at Perfect Touch Hair Salon and Barber Shop • P.J., Josiah Morgan, Gabby Vigo, Cullen Nawalkowsky, Lania Thomas, and Reginald Simms at Red Emma’s • Arman Mizani, David Meyer, Natalia Bacchus, Sarah Dougherty, and Jeffrey Gates at Station North Tool Library • Russell de Ocampo at The Windup Space
Aaron Henkin & Wendel Patrick
Photo of Russell de Ocampo of The Windup Space by Wendel Patrick for Out of the Blocks: Station North, 2014. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
“Our process relies on something intangible but crucial: rapport. When we meet strangers, we have to be our authentic selves or we fail. How can people entrust their stories to us if we aren’t transparent and genuine about who we are? We simply have to be ourselves until others feel safe to be themselves with us.
aron Henkin is a radio producer and host at WYPR, Baltimore’s NPR-affiliate, and professor at MICA in the Design Leadership MBA/MA program. Wendel Patrick, a longtime Baltimore resident, is a music producer, audio engineer, and jazz pianist. Patrick also hosts the Boom Bap Society, a monthly open-mic night at Station North’s Windup Space. Henkin and Patrick use audio, video, and photography to capture stories of the Station North community. Through intimate interviews, Out of the Blocks: Station North brings the voices and faces of LOCALLY SOURCED artists and members of the Station North community into the galleries. Narratives from Paula Whaley, NETHER, and Jason Hoylman intertwine with those from a sampling of their Station North networks, including Vander Pearson of Pearson’s Flower Shop, Piper Watson and John Shea of the Station North Tool Library, and James Clemmer and Esther Armstrong of Sankofa African & World Bazaar. Portrait photos are shot from extreme angles with high-contrast filters to present an honest, unromanticized version of the community and its members. Patrick samples ambient sounds from Henkin’s interviews, weaving them into the conversations to produce an original score—further immersing the viewer into the interview experience. The duo previously collaborated in 2012 to create Out of the Blocks,
“Wendel and I randomly crossed paths, hit it off, and embarked on a project that turned out to be greater than the sum of its parts. It really feels like the same serendipitous thing has happened with this exhibition.”
By the time we’re ready to edit, we have a mountain of raw material. That mountain (of audio, video, and photographs) gets broken into tiny pieces. We study these pieces, sift them, sort them, discard some of them, rearrange what’s left, discard some more, and then repeat the whole process again. We layer in original music that includes in its composition bits and pieces of the sounds we’ve collected. Everything melts together, congeals, and when it’s done, we have an impressionistic multimedia cross-section of a person.
Photo of Paula Whaley in front of her home and studio gallery by Wendel Patrick for Out of the Blocks: Station North, 2014. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
a radio series that combined experimental sounds, music, and photographs with the oral histories of residents in Baltimore’s Waverly neighborhood. For the exhibition, Henkin and Patrick feature the story of a community they are more familiar with, as the neighborhood
is the site of much of their work. The collage of collected stories reflects how the LOCALLY SOURCED artists and their networks overlap, informing and contributing to one another’s lives, thus becoming a part of Station North’s overall story.
Photograph of Jason Hoylman at his art studio in Area 405 by Wendel Patrick for Out of the Blocks: Station North, 2014. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
Multiply this by the number of lives we document, add to it the aesthetic bonus of juxtaposition, and you get a portrait of a neighborhood. We humbly acknowledge, though, that this just one of many possible portraits. The Eiffel Tower has been painted thousands of times by thousands of different hands, and no two images look the same. Maybe one day, another portrait will be made of this place. For countless reasons, it’ll look and sound nothing like ours. But it’ll be true, too, in its way. There’s a lot of talk about museums, galleries, and art institutions ‘opening their doors’ and ‘engaging communities.’ This exhibition is done by the neighborhood, for the neighborhood, and about the neighborhood. It’s an occasion for pride, but it’s also an occasion for some honest and candid reflection on who we are—the old heads and the new—and how we’re impacting each other’s lives. We’re grateful to have been called on to do this project for LOCALLY SOURCED. I don’t think either of us ever imagined being part of a bona fide art exhibition. It’s been interesting for us to think about how our work is presented and received in a gallery setting. Wendel and I randomly crossed paths, hit it off, and embarked on a project that turned out to be greater than the sum of its parts. It really feels like the same serendipitous thing has happened with this exhibition. The curators have put us all into a synchronous orbit together, and the result is pretty revelatory.” —Aaron Henkin
essays It’s All About The Network by Emily Russell, CP ’15
or LOCALLY SOURCED, the Curatorial Practice class of 2015 examines reciprocal exchanges between five featured artists and their neighbors: individuals, businesses, and community groups within the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. The exhibition emphasizes the social nature of art in Baltimore. These five artists are not sitting alone in their studios 24/7; they are out and about, participating in the goings-on of their neighborhoods. The LOCALLY SOURCED network map (See pages 6-7) provides a visual representation of these artists’ engagement with Station North, and illustrates how the curators, the artists, and the community have interacted to create the newly commissioned works in this show.
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artists, curators, and other community members have made this exhibition possible. According to museum planning consultant and Johns Hopkins University Professor Paul Pearson, collaboration is “the primary mechanism by which humans have survived by sharing knowledge, creating communities, and facilitating decision making.”2 For this exhibition, as the artists and curators developed their connections with individuals, they tried to envision how these interactions might relate to the community on a broader scale. Through researching places and spaces for the map, the curators found common ground between the artists and themselves. Every week, artist Paula Whaley buys flowers at Pearson’s Florist on North Avenue. The exterior of the building as well as the ambiance inside reminds her of a flower shop she frequented as a young girl in Harlem, New York. Whaley purchased flowers there to make shrouds for funerals and arrangements for events. Pearson’s Florist gives Whaley a sense of nostalgia; additionally, she shops there because of the need she sees to support local businesses. The Curatorial Practice program has a history with Pearson’s, too. The Class of 2013 (CP ’13) worked with owner Vander Pearson as a part of their Practicum project Invited, asking him to collaborate with artist Amy Boone McCreesh to develop
Urban designer, theorist, and professor James Corner defines mapping as “the digging, finding and exposing, relating, connecting and structuring of information.”1 Similarly, the creation of the LOCALLY SOURCED map has helped the artists to conceive their new artworks and the curators to structure the exhibition itself. This mapping is not without precedent: For decades, curators have been investigating the growing number of artists who use mapping in their work. Katharine Harmon’s The Map As Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, co-authored with Gayle Clemans, looks at unconventional methods of map-making used by artists to express their visions—realities or illusions—of the world. The book, which was published in 2009, was written six years after Harmon’s book You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination, which explored non-traditional maps, both real and imaginary. Educators like Harmon, artists, and research facilities are all using mapping to assemble general ideas and information aside from typical geographic maps and the purposes they serve.
a temporary art installation in the shop’s front window. CP ’15 has maintained contact with Mr. Vander and supports his business, which brings commerce to North Avenue, by buying flowers or party supplies from him whenever possible. Additionally, LOCALLY SOURCED artists Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick interview Mr. Pearson as a part of their work in the exhibition.
The LOCALLY SOURCED network map helps demonstrate how collaborations between
Artists Jason Hoylman and Wendel Patrick both value the Windup Space on North Av-
Inside Pearson’s Florist. Photograph by Xiao Tian Yang.
enue. The Windup Space unites a number of different creative communities: It serves as a bar, performance venue, visual arts gallery, and meet-up spot for special events. Hoylman currently spends most days of the week working there as a curator; Patrick has performed there many times as a co-host DJ and as producer of the Baltimore Boom Bap Society. Hoylman stresses the importance of the venue for Station North, explaining: “Windup [provides] a place where the community can access the arts in an approachable way…more impor-
“The map provides a point of departure from which viewers can begin considering places where the artists’ social exchanges take place. It traces these imaginary boundaries we create between people and places.”
from the artists’ own practices. Hoylman, for example, has created his own mapping technique, a system of journaling his walks in the neighborhood to visualize the connections he makes with people and places on a daily basis. These recordings are the basis of his work and many of his stops are located on the LOCALLY SOURCED map—the exhibition gallery and studio space Area 405 being just one example. LOCALLY SOURCED has created a place for the curators and artists to consider how they fit into Station North as a whole. The map provides a point of departure from which viewers can begin considering places where the artists’ social exchanges take place. It traces these imaginary boundaries we create between people and places. A community isn’t just a group of people sharing space and goals, but also a group of people that is open to ideas and interactions, goal-oriented or not. Artists, curators, and audiences alike are sharing resources, creative ideas, and relationships—all of which make up an innovative art district.
tantly, the Windup Space often gives artists the room to try things out without some of the financial burdens.” Many Windup Space events are free of charge, including the series of improvisational music performances by the Out of Your Head collective, and public arts talks like Baltimore Design Conversations and The Working Artist.
See the map in the center-fold of the LOCALLY SOURCED newspaper to get a glimpse of the influential places in Station North for artists Aaron Henkin, Jason Hoylman, NETHER, Wendel Patrick, and Paula Whaley, and for the MICA Curatorial Practice MFA class of 2015.
The LOCALLY SOURCED network map emerged not only from the curators’ investigations into the neighborhood, but also
1 Corner, James. “The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention.” In Mappings. ed. Denis Cosgrove (London: Reaktion Books, 1999), 225. 2 Pearson, Paul. “Book Review: Creating Exhibitions: Collaboration in the Planning, Development, and Design of Innovative Experiences by McKenna-Cress and Kamien.” Exhibitionist. 33, no. 1 (2014): 91.
Overview top of Station North, pictured here is Penn Station. Photograph by Xiao Tian Yang.
afterword by Jeffry Cudlin, CP Faculty
OCALLY SOURCED argues that all artists, no matter what methods or materials they use, can be community artists making public art—especially if they focus on their own backyards. This project reflects intensive conversations between artists, neighborhood residents, and the ten 2015 Curatorial Practice Master of Fine Arts (CP ‘15) candidates at MICA about how art and community fit together. All five artists in the project either live or work in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. With LOCALLY SOURCED, CP ’15 not only highlights how the work of these artists already impacts Station North, but also offers all five an invitation to do more through commissions for new audience-focused artworks and public programs inside and outside the gallery. Community art—also sometimes called dialogical art, social cooperation, new genre
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public art, or social practice art—is a discipline typically consisting of pubic art projects addressing needs or social issues, often created in close collaboration with the intended audience, possibly even encouraging non-artists to become art producers. As for public art, critic and curator Lucy Lippard defines it as “accessible work of any kind that cares about, challenges, involves, and consults the audience for or with whom it is made, respecting community and environment.”1 While the artists in this show would not necessarily identify themselves as community artists per se, CP ‘15 sees in all five the ability to make strong public art—at least as Lippard expansively defines it. Particularly of interest to the class is how well these artists speak to their own surroundings, mainly due to their strong relationships to their audiences, developed over time—what curator and art historian Miwon Kwon would call the “sitedness of the artist.” With LOCALLY SOURCED, the CP ’15 students have departed significantly from the formula established by the two classes that preceded them. Each year, for the Curatorial Practice M.F.A. program’s first year Practicum course, students are challenged to collaborate on a show that engages audiences in Station North, where our program is sited within the Lazarus Graduate Studio Center. For both Invited (2012) and Congregate (2013), students commissioned artists to act as service providers—collaborating directly with selected community groups, and working within those groups’ own spaces. For Invited (2012), the CP ’13 class brought ten artists and ten non-arts business owners together to collaborate on temporary art installations within repair shops, stores, and
AFTERWORD restaurants—venues not on official maps of Station North attractions, but nonetheless vitally important to conversations about the area’s future. For Congregate (2013), CP ’14 students created temporary artist residencies in five Station North churches, and asked artists to create works based on their experiences working amongst church congregants and faith leaders. Artists in both shows worked in a variety of disciplines, but the nature of the commissions required each artist to make public art, creating space in their works for the voices of their audiences. For LOCALLY SOURCED, rather than selecting Station North audiences and then assigning regional and national artists to work with them, the students decided to consider and select artists first. The students have chosen five artists working in very different ways: a painter and object maker; a sculptor; a muralist; and two audio and video producers. Rather than ask each to address a specific issue or work with a specific demographic, CP ’15 asked the artists to simply reflect on the potential of their work to engage and create exchanges with audiences in their own backyards. Essentially, LOCALLY SOURCED was an openended commission for the artists to strengthen their existing ties to Station North and to think deeply about what their art can do. When he founded the Curatorial Practice M.F.A. program, our Director George Ciscle wanted to transform how curators and artists consider their relationships to institutions and audiences—specifically by putting audiences first. LOCALLY SOURCED reflects that vision. I would like to thank CP ’15 for their seriousness, sense of adventure, and hard work above,
MICA Curatorial Practice Class of 2015 curators at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 2014. Left to right starting from the back row: Gloria Azucena, Yeim Bae, Emily Russell, Marnie Benney, Melani Douglass, Jennifer Gray, Christopher Beer, Kelly Johnson, Kirsten Poulsen-House, Samantha Redles
beyond, and outside the program’s curriculum and coursework in creating this project. When they joined the Practicum class, Gloria Azucena, Yeim Bae, Christopher Beer, Marnie Benney, Melani Douglass, Jennifer Gray, Kelly Johnson, Kirsten Poulsen-House, Samantha Redles, and Emily Russell embarked upon the difficult challenge of working collaboratively via consensus-based decision-making. In my experience, this can be the most difficult part of professional life: absorbing and valuing differing points of view, and sharing ownership
and responsibility for major projects equally with others. I have no doubt that their experiences with this project have prepared them for future work connecting venues, artists, and audiences in new and challenging ways.
1 Lucy Lippard. “Looking Around: Where We Are, Where We Could Be.” In Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art. (Seattle: Bay Press, 1995), 121. 2 Miwon Kwon. One Place after Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2004), 135.
afterword by Gerald Ross, CP Faculty
he Curatorial Practice Master of Fine Arts is in its third year and, like each of the preceding classes, CP ‘15’s exhibition is incredibly thoughtful and ambitious. This year, the student curators are championing the local and bringing exclusively Baltimore artists to MICA’s galleries. So, after 2 years of inviting artists from all over the globe, why has Practicum decided to go local? As consumers, we all understand what the term “going local” implies: if we economically support a smaller, more familiar community, we cut out the middleman, and we get the best, newest, freshest product. With continued support, that community thrives and continues to provide us with a better product—without the over-processed, flavorless, and homogeneous nature of corporate branding. For LOCALLY SOURCED, the curators have made a deliberate decision to go local—and by doing so, go directly to the source, providing an unfiltered, first-hand experience of arts in the neighborhood. They have built an exhibition from the ground up, unearthing community voices that, although perhaps underserved at times, still maintain deep roots in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Baltimore is an important historical place for the arts. It is the birthplace of Eubie Blake and Billie Holiday; H.L. Mencken was born in Baltimore, as well as Morris Louis and Phillip Glass. Countless others have found success from their beginnings here, and MICA has a long history of partnering with
CP ‘15 Installing window vinyl for LOCALLY SOURCED. Photograph by Gloria Azucena.
and supporting local artists. This past year, MICA mounted two massive, communitydriven exhibitions: Picture Windows, The Painted Screens of Baltimore—a 100-plus year historical examination of our local folk art, and The Amazing Johnny Eck—a tribute to Baltimore’s beloved artist, performer, and citizen. Filled with objects, ephemera, and artworks made by locals, these two MICA exhibitions celebrated just a portion of Baltimore’s unique artistic history. Their success
also showed how locally sourced work can easily coexist alongside more contemporary art experiences, and as source material informing and inspiring Baltimore’s burgeoning art scene. I believe LOCALLY SOURCED similarly shines a light on how developing connections and relationships within the framework of community engagement impact the growth of an arts scene, in this case Baltimore’s own, in
addition to influencing personal artistic practice. This year’s Practicum project provides an opportunity to bring a personal, street-level sensibility and experience into the forum of MICA’s academic community. It allows for a broadened understanding of place, as these artists and curators discover and develop their own language as participants and contributors to the project.
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Practicum Advisory Committee
Curatorial Practice Class of 2015
Myrtis Bedolla, Galerie Myrtis
The Baltimore Community Foundation
Reverend Dale W. Dusman, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (Congregate)
Friends of Curatorial Practice
Deana Haggag, The Contemporary
MICA Office of Community Engagement
Frankie Jones, Soul II Soul Barbershop (Invited)
Friends of CP 15
NETHER Wendel Patrick Paula Whaley MICA CP Faculty Lindsey Anderson Emily Blumenthal George Ciscle Marcus Civin Jeffry Cudlin John Lewis Gerald Ross
Pastor Ryan Preston Palmer, Seventh Metro Church (Congregate) Ben Stone, Station North Arts and Entertainment District Inc Karen Stults, MICA Office of Community Engagement Stephen Townes, MICA Office of Community Engagement Anthony Venne, Walters Art Museum Graphic Design
Marnie Benney Melani Douglass
AKIMKO: Patrick Klink, Sidney Pink Kevin Brown, Nancy’s by SNAC Rebecca Chan, Station North Arts & Entertainment District Inc The Collective: Sonia Synkowski, Jessica Fultz, and troupe
Jennifer Gray Kelly Johnson Kirsten Poulsen-House Samantha Redles Emily Russell
The Living Well Jessica Weglein Goldstein, MICA Office of Communications MICA Curatorial Practice Class of 2014
MICA Graduate Studies Office
MICA Office of Exhibitions Red Emma’s
The Village Learning Place
Xiao Tian Yang
The Water: Dan Cohan, James Klink
M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice micacuratorial.org 410.255.4102 firstname.lastname@example.org
programs Past events include:
Paula Whaley’s sculpture workshops
With the help of CP ‘15 students, Paula Whaley conducted two sculpture workshops in August with seniors and young people at The Village Learning Place and The Living Well, giving them the opportunity to make art together. Participants worked together to create original figures, learn special techniques using clay and other materials, and build community relationships.
Upcoming events include:
Saturday, September 13, 1:00-3:00pm Riggs & Leidy Galleries, Lazarus IV Center, 131 W North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218 Local dance company The Collectice, accompanied by live music from The Water, will interact with Jason Hoylman’s artwork in a special performance as a part of the annual AKIMBO Dance Festival.
Artist Sidewalk Talk with NETHER
Saturday, September 20, 1:00pm W. North Avenue, between Red Emma’s and Liam Flynn’s (approximate address 60 W. North Avenue at North Avenue Market) Street artist NETHER will host a conversation about his work for LOCALLY SOURCED and his previous murals in Baltimore, including his role as a curator of Wall Hunters.
Paula Whaley’s Workshop photographs by Emily Russell.
For more information please visit locallysourced.weebly.com. Copyright 2014 by Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form by any means without written permission of the artist and publishers.
Curated by the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice Class of 2015, LOCALLY SOURCED explores how exchange...
Published on Sep 5, 2014
Curated by the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice Class of 2015, LOCALLY SOURCED explores how exchange...