Exhibition Explores Historical, Present-day and Future Development of North Avenue and Charles Street
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 1–Sunday, Sept. 20. A reception will take place on Friday, Sept. 4, 5–7 p.m.
WHERE: Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries inside the Fred Lazarus IV Center (131 W. North Ave.), Baltimore
The M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) presents Intersection, an exhibition showcasing the layered stories of people, places and moments in history that have shaped the identity of one of Baltimore City’s popular intersections, North Avenue and Charles Street in the Station North neighborhood. The exhibition, which highlights four corners and four eras in history within the past 100 years.
Intersection is a curated selection of newly commissioned work and pieces from personal collections, including painting, photography, projection artistry, site-specific installation and performance art. The exhibition is a visual experience creating an opportunity for artists to discover the city’s history, offering viewers the chance to look at the many layers of the historic crossroad of North Avenue and Charles Street. Viewers will be able to explore the geography, social relationships and cultural landscape of Baltimore’s rapidly changing urban center.
“At the four corners of North Avenue and Charles Street, we see the past, present and future of Baltimore,” said Margaret MacDonald, M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice candidate and co-curator. “There, we find Pearson’s Florist, a family-owned business for more than 30 years; an abandoned 1928 limestone bank building; the rehabilitated Ynot Lot, a site for community events and programming; and the recently renovated Station North Chicken Box, a performance and gallery space to Station North.”
Charles Street and North Avenue, a major crossroad that carries the flow of people and things east and west, as well as north and south through Baltimore, act as a focal point for artistic expression—a lens to view and speak to a variety of cultures, races and identities. The exhibition will point to pivotal, historic moments and movements in the U.S., such as the Great Depression, Great Migration, Civil Rights Movement and present day, while capturing a keen sense of the importance of urban life and its many cultural shifts.
“The intersection of North and Charles has been an important hub for culture and activity throughout the past 100 years,” said Kibibi Ajanku, M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice candidate and co-curator. “We are thrilled to have artists respond to the rich history to show where we, as a city, have been, where we are now and, through them, where we might go.”
The exhibition features MICA’s Film and Video Chair and video installation artist Nadia Hironaka, photographer Reuben “Dubscience” Greene, graphic designer Tiffany Small ’14 (Graphic Design Post Baccalaureate), multimedia artist and educator Ada Pinkston ’13 (Community Arts M.F.A.), filmmaker Ras Tre Subira and performance artist Olu Butterfly Woods.
Hours for MICA’s galleries, which are free and open to the public, are Mondays–Saturdays, 10 a.m. –5 p.m., and Sundays, noon–5 p.m., except on major holidays.
Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 B.F.A., M.F.A., M.A., M.A./M.B.A., M.A.T., M.P.S. and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.
Image caption: Ada Pinkston ’13 (Community Arts M.F.A.), This Bridge Called My Back or the never-ending labor of creating space to move past the isms, painted fabric, broom, paper, charcoal, book, projection, and live performer, 2015.