Help Restore Bruce Nauman’s Masterpiece at the BMA

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catch of the day fish (2)If you’ve lived in Baltimore for any length of time, you know this sculpture. Violins Violence Silence. For almost 30 years, those neon words illuminated the outside of the BMA’s East Wing—and became a striking symbol of the museum’s support of pioneering artists over the years. But as powerful as any piece of artwork may be, eventually the elements take a toll. This past fall, the piece was removed from the outside of the museum through a dramatic de-installation process so that it could be re-fabricated with more up-to-date and durable neon—ensuring the work a renewed life, and many, many years of glowing brightly. In the coming weeks, you (yes, you!) can help make the restoration possible by supporting any of the fabulous fundraisers organized by Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art (FoMaCA). They’ve already raised half of their $120,000 goal—and now they’re going all out to help raise the rest in style.

Though there are many ways to be a patron of the arts, we personally prefer methods involving cocktails. And all the better when held in an amazing setting. The Illuminate Cocktail Party, hosted at the renownedly unique home of local artist Lat Naylor and his wife Barbara offers just that experience. The party takes place on Thursday, January 23rd from 6pm-8pm and space is limited– so be sure to make reservations through the BMA. (See the house below and see more pictures here.)

Latty's house

Looking for something a bit more erudite? Later in the spring, you can attend a panel discussion and dinner with art world luminaries including Kathy Halbreich and Paul Schimmel who will talk about their personal involvement in the 1993-1995 retrospective exhibition of Bruce Nauman’s work, as well as the impact of Nauman on contemporary art over the last two decades. Long story short: it’s never been easier to  get involved with the restoration of a landmark sculpture that’s been a part of our city’s landscape for decades. And thanks to the organizing of FoMaCA, it’s also never been more enticing.

For more information about any of the fundraising events, or to make reservations, visit

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