Baker Artist Awards 2017 & 2018
WHEN: September 12 – October 14, 2018
WHERE: Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore
The Baltimore Museum of Art celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Baker Artist Awards with an exhibition of visual art works by 2017 and 2018 awardees, featuring Abraham Burickson (interdisciplinary, 2018), Sara Dittrich (interdisciplinary, 2017), David Marion (visual art, 2017), and Amy Sherald (visual art, 2018). This exhibition will present a small selection of sculpture, painting, video art, and mixed media works by these four recent award recipients, showcasing the breadth and exceptional talent of these artists.
“The Baltimore Museum of Art is proud to host this exhibition exemplifying the best of Baltimore’s creative community,” said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford. “We are extremely pleased to partner with Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and the Baker Foundation, who are providing both recognition and financial reward for outstanding artists working in Baltimore.”
The exhibition includes Abraham Burickson’s The Odyssey Works Box (2017)—an archival box filled with books, photographs, and other ephemera—accompanied by a video tour that leads the viewer through the history of Odyssey Works and the collective’s renegade performances. Sara Dittrich’s two wall sculptures, Variations on Listening #5 (2017) and Variations on Listening #9 (2017), are arranged with hundreds of small, clay-molded ears in geometric patterns that give visual form to the labor of listening. They are accompanied by A Chorus of Footsteps (2018), a stop-motion animation video presenting a top-down view of clay-molded feet as they pitter-patter against a white background. Two large-scale sculptures by David Marion, Extinction Event (2018) and Fracking (2016), use clay, wood, steel, and other materials to show the effects of violence perpetrated on the natural environment. Two portraits by Amy Sherald, Well Prepared and Maladjusted (2008) and The Rabbit in the Hat (2009), showcase the artist’s signature style in which the skin tone of African American portrait subjects is rendered in a muted grayscale.
The Baker Artist Portfolios and associated awards were established and are funded by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund and are a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. The online portfolio website (available at BakerArtist.org) was created to promote and recognize the rich community of artists in the Baltimore region. Since its inception in 2008, the Baker Artist Awards have awarded over $800,000 in prizes to more than 100 artists from the Baltimore region. Awardees are selected annually by an anonymous jury from more than 700 Baltimore-region artists who created a free, online portfolio at www.bakerartist.org. Selected artists exemplify a mastery of craft, depth of artistic exploration, and a unique and compelling vision.
“As we celebrate 10 years of excellence, we are thrilled to be able to present these extraordinary artists at the BMA,” said Connie Imboden, President of the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund. “Our 10-year partnership with the museum is a testament to our shared commitment to showcase the best of what Baltimore has to offer.”
Each year, one artist per discipline (visual, literary, film/video, performance, interdisciplinary, music) receives a $10,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize. One of these six is then selected to receive the Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize, which includes an additional $30,000. At $40,000, this is the largest art prize in the region. This year’s recipient of the Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize is Amy Sherald, who was also recently acclaimed for being commissioned to paint former First Lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait.