Friday, August 10, 2012



WHEN: through August 10; closing reception 6:00-10:00 PM; Panel Discussion 7-8, Performances 6-7 and 8-10.
EMP Collective, 306 W Redwood Street, Baltimore

EMP Collective is collaborating with the Rotating History Project (Teddy Johnson and Heather Rounds, in its historic space, the Faust Building, this July.

The Faust Building, once a wholesale shoe business and mercantile outpost, resides at the heart of Baltimore’s former Garment District. Drawing from EMP’s location and the neighborhood’s history as garment manufacturing center, the Rotating History Project created Down through the Needle’s Eye.

Down through the Needle’s Eye is a multidisciplinary art exhibition that brings 19 local artists together to explore and ruminate upon concepts and themes related to Baltimore’s historic former Garment District. The project features many 2012 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize applicants and EMP is proud to host this exciting project as part of The Artscape Gallery Network.

Melding past and present, an artistic exploration of the history of the neighborhood seems especially fitting given its location within the newly-designated Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District.

Panel: Explorations of Baltimore’s Historic Garment District: First-hand accounts and reflections from industry workers, scholars and artists.

  • Joe Beal, Former Baltimore city garment worker
  • Michael Masatsugu, Department of History, Towson University
  • Matt Mettler, Department of History, Towson University
  • Valeska Populoh, Fiber Department, MICA, Contributing artist
  • Andrew Shenker, Contributing artist
  • Phil Spector, Owner, Fashions Unlimited, Baltimore

Artists who have contributed to the 5 week show.
Andrew Shenker
Annie Farrar
Charlotte Keniston
Chris Fitzwater
Christine Stiver
Daniel Van Allen
Dominic Terlizzi
Dominique Zeltzman
Grant Whipple
Hannah Brancato
Hannah Mandel
Joseph Young
Kaitlin Murphy
Laure Drogoul
Max Bent
Melissa Webb
Michael Masatsugu
Minas Konsolas
Rachel Wolfson Smith
Valeska Populoh

The History of Baltimore’s Garment District

An area of the city loosely falling between Fayette Street, Greene Street, Pratt Street and Hanover Street, it was in the Garment District where umbrellas were first manufactured in the US and the second largest men’s clothing factories in the world once operated. The city’s labor movement and many of its early union struggles happened here as well.

The rise and decline of the Garment District as a flourishing industrial center for Baltimore’s manufactured products, as well as the people who worked and struggled to maintain their livelihoods through the decades, speak to events and societal practices that are not alien to our own time and highlight the finite nature of our society’s industries in general.

Through various artistic mediums, the Rotating History Project aims to draw attention to the threads running through our history, culture and environment, without compromising the integrity of our subject matter. For us, history does not begin and end on a page. It moves all around us; alive wherever we may turn our head next. It's a tool for informing our present and future. Although our mediums are the arts, we see our target audience as the larger community, far beyond the scope of art patrons and practitioners. The Rotating History Project was founded by Baltimore-based artists Heather Rounds and Teddy Johnson, who work in collaboration with a variety of individuals, specific to the themes of each event.